The last game of round 2 hopefully isn't a blowout, though it might be.
Souseikan faced Tenri in the first round and dug in against the Nara champs eventually walking them off in the 9th. The pitching wasn't anything to write about either, so that plus Kendai's propensity to run will put the defense at risk.
Kendai Takasaki took a while to warm up, but exploded for 8 runs in the 3rd against Sangawa. The speed is there but it appears it is more selective than just running around the bases. The pitching wasn't bad, but like many other teams wasn't great either.
Kendai Takasaki should be favored to win this matchup and then get an easy pairing with Akita Shougyou in 2 days time.
1B Torikai Ritsuki
RF Shimada Rkiya
CF Mine Shuuta
LF Washzaki Jyun
C Oota Keisuke
SS Uto Kenyarou(?)
2B Nakajima Takashi
3B Nakajima Kouki
P Fujisaki Mitsugu (#10)
Takasaki Kenkoudai Fukushi Takasaki (Gunma)
CF Kasuga Yuuma
SS Hayashi Kenya
2B Souma Masato
3B Shibahiki Ryousuke
C Tsuge Sena
RF Miyamoto Takahiro (#17)
1B Kotani Kaisei (#13)
LF Satou Nozomu
P Hashidzume Naoya (#10)
14:20 - First pitch!
Torikai drive to left center! Kasuga and Satou converge, but it goes off the fence and bounces away from both of them! Torikai in with a leadoff triple!
Shimada does his job, flies out to left and brings Torikai in making it 1-0.
Kasuga splits the defense on the left side for a single. No bunting, but Hayashi grounds into a tailor-made 5-4-3 double play.
Fujisaki puts a runner back on though as he hits Souma.
Shibahiki tries to give the ball a ride, but Satou has plenty of room to make the catch.
Hashidzume's delivery causing fits for most of the Souseikan lineup. Unable to make decent contact they are retired in order.
The same can be said for Fujisaki's sidearm delivery. Miyamoto draws a walk, but then he's caught trying to get a jump on Fuijsaki and is picked off 1-3-6.
Kotani tries the safety bunt, but is thrown out to end the inning.
Hashidzume records 2 K's against the bottom of the lineup before giving up a hit to Torikai. However, he tries to steal 2nd and gets thrown out.
Satou leads off with a single back up the middle. Hashidzume bunts him along, but Kasuga flies out to center. Does move the runner over, but there's 2 outs.
Hayashi grounds to short and once again Kendai Takasaki is stymied.
It really does feel like the teams could hit, but the deliveries of the two starters are throwing everyone off.
Hashidzume was about to get a clean inning, but then walk Washizaki.
Oota with a liner down the left field line.. fair!! It'll go all the way to the wall! Washizaki being waved around! Relay from Kouki home... OUT! A great relay 7-5-2 gets the runner and keeps it a 1-0 ballgame!
Man, Kendai's batters have no timing on the ball as Fujisaki's slow pitch speed leaves them ahead of the ball.Tsuge gets the best of the 3 groundballs but Uto picks that up the middle and makes the throw for the 3rd out.
Souseikan continues to get baserunners with 2 outs. This time around Kouki singles through the right side. But a fielder's choice ends the inning. It is a steep uphill battle to score a run when your first base hit in the inning is with 2 out.
Miyamoto starts the 5th with a single to right.
Kotani with the push bunt! Takashi goes to field it, but there's confusion as to who's covering 1st1 Fujisaki scrambles, but the throw is wide! All safe and Miyamoto goes to 3rd!
Satou with a fly to left and that'll bring the runner home! The throw is cut off and we're tied at 1-1!
#3 Ooshima to hit for Hashidzume, and he singles through the left side! He's replaced by #16 Yanamoto.
Kasuga grounder to the left side... Uto makes a diving stop, tries to get the runner at 3rd, but instead hits Kotani in the back.
Hayashi with the squeeze, but he pops it up! Fujisaki makes the catch and there's 2 out!
But he leaves one over the plate and Souma lines it into center! Kotani scores! Yanamoto scores! It's 3-1 Kendai Takasaki!
That'll be it for Fujisaki as ace Mizunaga comes in.
Shibahiki grounds to 3rd to end the inning, but Kendai Takasaki gets a big inning to take the lead before the break.
With Hashidzume's day done, ace Kawai enters the game.
Torikai still perfect on the day! He lines a ball back up the middle for another single.
But then he's picked off by Kawai! 1 out!
After that Shimada and Mine pop out for a 3 up 3 down inning!
One down and Oota's hard grounder eats up Shibahiki and allows Oota to get on base.
Kawai has him picked off, but he's instead called for a balk! And soon after he hits Uto! Souseikan with the douten runner on base!
Takashi inside outs a ball to right for a base hit and now it's manrui for Souseikan!
Kouki with a swinging bunt! Kawai scrambles to field it.. Throws home...
He hits Oota! The ball bounces away as Oota scores to make it 3-2 and there's still 1 out!
Obviously Mizunaga is there to be the ace and not a hitter as shown when he chases a ball letter high away. 2 out.
But this brings up Torikai and time is called.
He pops it up! Kasuga under it and makes the catch for the 3rd out! Kendai Takasaki keeps the lead!
The P change seems to have reset Kendai's batting back to the beginning when they were struggling. 1-2-3 inning meands now 5 straight batters retired.
Shimada with a ball back up the middle! Souma stops it in the gap, but he won't get the throw over in time! Douten runner on and is bunted over,
Washizaki with a drive to left center! Miyamoto and Kasuga converge, but it falls in just in front of the wall! Shimada will easily score and we're tied at 3-3!!
Oota walks bringing up Uto. He hangs in, fouling off several pitches.
In the ends it's a grounder to short! Hayashi goes to 2nd for 1, relay to first... beats a diving Uto! 3 out! Souseikan gets the tie, but not the lead!
Souma walks on 4 straight, and that prompts a time-out.
Shibahiki picks a great time to get a base hit! He singles past Uto for a base hit!
Tsuge swinging! He singles back up the middle! Souma holds up at 3rd and it's manrui for Kendai Takasaki! And Miyamoto, 2-2 on the day is up!
Miyamoto reaches out and pops one up! Mine charging in, charging in, dives!!
He can't get it! It bounces away and that means Souma scores for the 4-3 lead! Mine with within inches as the ball bounces in front and off of Mine's face!
And Kotani takes the next pitch to center! Mine misses the pick and the 2nd run scores easily! 6-3 Kendai Takasaki as #7 Washizaki comes in to take the hill while Asou goes to LF.
Sac bunt is the first thing in order, and then Kawai hits one to right center for a 2-run double. 8-3.
Kasuga bunts the runner over probably more for practice.
And Hayashi will be the only one hitless as he grounds out.
Souseikan goes quietly in 9th as Kendai Takasaki advances 8-3 to play Akita Shougyou in round of 16.
It would appear that Kendai Takasaki needs several innings to figure out a pitcher, because in both cases they put up a big inning after seeing the pitcher at least one time through.
As for Souseikan they certainly didn't play poorly, they just played a better team today.