Wednesday, August 17, 2016

98th Natsu Koushien - Day 11, Game 4 - Nichinan Gakuen (Miyazaki) v Hokkai (Minami Hokkaido)

Last Round of 16 game. Winner gets a crack at Seikou Gakuin, which seems like a good and bad matchup at the same time by now. From the games so far, Hokkai by far has the bigger task ahead of them while Nichinan Gakuen has shown their competence in their games so far.

Nichinan Gakuen (Miyazaki)
CF (16)Matsunaga Haruomi (松永 悠臣)
3B Yoshiga Kenshin (芳賀 憲伸)
2B Maeda Naoki (前田 尚輝)
LF Masuda Kaisei (益田 海成)
RF Hamamoto Itsuki (浜本 樹)
C Hagiwara Hiro (萩原 哲)
SS Ishijima Yuuto (石嶋 友翔)
1B Ishida Kouhei (石田 航平)
P Moriyama Genki (森山 弦暉)

Hokkai (Minami Hokkaido)
SS Ono Yuuya (小野 雄哉)
2B Kanno Shinji (菅野 伸樹)
3B Satou Yuuki (佐藤 佑樹)
C Satou Taiga (佐藤 大雅)
1B Kawamura Yuuto (川村 友斗)
LF (15)Fuse Taisei (布施 太聖)
RF Gehou Tadashi (下方 忠嗣)
P Oonishi Kento (大西 健斗)
CF Suzuki Yamato (鈴木 大和)


15:22 - First pitch!

Well, Nichinan Gakuen not wasting any time. Yoshiga hits a single through the left side. 2 down now and Yoshiga at 3rd, Masuda hits a hard grounder up the 3rd base line and off of Yuuki into foul territory. Yoshiga scores easily and it's 1-0 just like that.

Surprisingly to me anyways, Hokkai would have a response soon after. Bottom 2nd,Taiga leads off with a base hit past Maeda. 2 down and Taiga now at 3rd, Gehou would hit a single to left and there we are at a tie game, 1-1.

I'm actually surprised to see Hokkai having as much success as they are against ace Moriyama. I guess part of it is that Moriyama isn't really firing it in there as he maxes out in the mid-120s. So in the 3rd they have runners at the corners and 2 out, but fail to score. and then in the 4th they get back to back hits from Fuse and Gehou, but when Oonishi strikes out Fuse must've had his signs crossed up because he's stuck in no-man's land and run down for the 3rd out. While they have the advantage right now on offense, they need to be converting these opportunities into runs.

The game hits the break all square at 1-1. Neither ace is completely dominating if you look at strikeouts, but both have managed the game really well as it has zipped along at a quick 50 minutes.

Hokkai would get first crack at breaking the deadlock. Bottom 6, Yuuki whizzes one past Moriyama into center for a base hit. Taiga lays down a bunt, but the Nichinan defense waits for it to go foul... which it never does! And to make matters worse, after a conference, Kawamura lays down a bunt that Moriyama fields, goes to 3rd, only to see the 3B not covering the bag! All safe and it's manrui, no out!!

Now Nichinan gets one of those outs back when Fuse grounds to short. Ishijima goes home for 1, but that's all they get.

And now Gehou grounds to short! Ishijima goes to 2nd for 1, throw to 1st is the double play and somehow Nichinan Gakuen escapes!

However, they aren't immediately able to turn that into momentum for their side, so it kind of sits in the middle while the two teams fight for it. In the meantime, both teams scuffle at the plate.

And then suddenly the run comes out of nowhere. Bottom 8th, Moriyama innocuously hits Sugano. After a sac bunt Taiga drives a ball into the left center field gap! That will score Sugano and it's 2-1 Hokkai!

And then...

Kawamura hits a ball to right, Hamamoto chases after it, goes to the wall...

And it's gone! It's gone! Hamamoto hits a 2-run HR and Hokkai is suddenly up 4-1!!

There would be no coming back for Nichinan Gakuen as Moriyama futilely screams while holding back tears. Nichinan would go down in order in the 9th as Hokkai moves onto the best 8, 4-1.

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