Sunday, March 20, 2016

Day 1, Game 3 - Shiga Gakuen (Shiga) vs. Kiryuu Dai-ichi (Gunma)

Rounding out the day, it feels like a role reversal. If one were to look at this at name value, Kiryuu Dai-ichi would be the favorite. But instead, Shiga Gakuen has the stronger resume. The offense is solid through the lineup, and the pitching isn't #1 worthy, but it's certainly servicable. Uchiike Kakeru's numbers for Kiryuu Dai-ichi look strong, but it's been mostly against weaker competition. If Shiga Gakuen can keep it level or take the lead early, it may be hard for Kiryuu Dai-ichi to advance.

Shiga Gakuen (Shiga)
RF Tokudome Kaito
2B Ikawa Shou
C Gotou Katsuki
1B Umagoshi Daichi
3B Matsuoka Tatsuki
LF Yamaguchi Ryuuki
CF Nishimura Taiki
SS Kohama Ryouki
P Kamimura Hikari

Kiryuu Dai-ichi (Gunma)
CF Oikawa Keita
LF Shimoma Takumi (#16)
C Takada Shuuhei
3B Kaburagi Fuuka
1B Takarada Yoshimune
RF Ikeda Shuuma (#7)
SS Yanagiya Taichi (#14)
P Uchiike Kakeru
2B Saitou Kyou


16:07 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Tokudome exercising patience at the plate, draws an opening walk. Igawa, sporting shades, bunts him over. Gotou with a rip shot, but Kaburagi right on it for the 2nd out.

Shiga Gakuen a team of characters it seems. Umagoshi whips the bat over his head as if he's going to take off like a heli. Draws a walk though, so I guess that's a plus.

No base hits for Shiga Gakuen, but they're showing they're willing to take a base if given to them.

Bottom 1st
Kamimura has no nerves it seems unlike all the others. He gets a 1-2-3 inning as easy as you like.

Top 2nd
Yamaguchi chopper to the right side, but he books it and catches the defense napping! He's on with an infield hit!

Nishimura bunts, Uchiike goes to 2nd, but Yamaguchi slides in ahead of the throw!!  All safe, and Fukuda-kantoku quick to call time.

No good! Kohama rips a single to right and Yamaguchi scores easily! Not only that but Nishimura takes 3rd! 1-0! Shiga Gakuen!

Tokudome does the right thing, chops a ball to the right side. Saitou snags the ball, but the run scores to make it 2-0!

Ikawa another scorcher! This one's to the right side and Kohama is being waved around! The throw in... and Kohama avoids the tag! It's 3-0!! Holy crap I'm impressed!

Top 3rd
Umagoshi up for his 2nd AB, and gets hit in the foot. Haven't really seen him swing yet. He's bunted to 2nd and moves to 3rd as Yamaguchi looked to put the ball to the right side.

Nishimura Ks to end the inning, but I they seem to have a plan every time they step in the box.

Bottom 3rd
Yanagiya gets the first runner with a scorcher up the 1st base line! Uchiike shows bunt, but tries the buster approach and fouls it off! He does though eventually bunt him along.

Kamimura isn't an overpowering pitcher, but he knows where to go in the zone. He's not afraid to go to either side of the plate and mix things up.

Top 4th
The hit parade continues! Kohama and Kamimura with back to back solid singles. Tokudome not bunting, but uses a jam shot to do the same thing.

Ikawa grounder to the right side, and it finds a spot between a drawn in Takarada and Saitou! That scores 12 to make it 4-0!

Gotou singles past Yanagiya and that's another run! 5-0!

That's it for Uchiike as #10 Aoki comes in... and promptly hits Umagoshi... Oy.

Matsuoka grounder to 1st, AHHHH!!!

It goes through Takarada's wickets! 2 more runners score and it's a blowout now at 7-0.

The damage ends there, but it's more than enough.

Bottom 4th
A rare hiccup for Kamimura as he hits back-to-back batters, but as quickly as it happened, he retires the next 2 batters and the disturbance is over.

Rest of game
There really isn't much more to say so far. Shiga Gakuen continues to add-on while the heart of the Kiryuu lineup tries to start anything. Takada and Kaburagi get base hits the next time around, and Takarada gets a lucky slow chopper back to Kamimura. But he completely has Ikeda guessing and strikes out to retire the side,

The 7th for Kiryuu Dai-ichi sees sloppy play from the leaders. There's a mixup on a fly ball between Yamaguchi and Nishimura. Ikawa tries for a flashy glove toss to 2nd on a grounder up the middle, and Gotou doesn't allow access to home on a close play. It results in 3 runs, but more importantly there's a lack of focus.

That lack of focus seems to still persist. What should have been the 3rd out, instead goes under Kohama's glove and into left. This already with 2 runners on, leads to the 4th run. Shimoma singles to left and it's a 9-5 game... A wild pitch makes things even more tenuous, but Takada grounds out to 3rd to end the inning. Still, that comfortable lead is made even less so.

In the end though, Shiga Gakuen gets their act together and closes out the game. The final is 9-5, though it shouldn't have been that close. They can be a dark horse in the tournament, but they need to focus for the full 9 innings.

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