Thursday, August 18, 2016

98th Natsu Koushien - Day 12, Game 3 - Hokkai (Minami Hokkaido) v Seikou Gakuin (Fukushima)

With the first two winners not drawing each other, this matchup can breathe easy not having to face Sakushin Gakuin. Shuugakukan is still in play, which is why for the winner of this game, perhaps drawing Meitoku Gijyuku is the lesser of two evils.

Hokkai (Minami Hokkaido)
  • def Matsuyama Seiryou 2x-1
  • def Nichinan Gakuen 4-1
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)

Seikou Gakuin (Fukushima)
  • def Clark Kokusai 5-2
  • def Touhou 5-3
3B Matsumoto Kouki (松本 康希)
2B Koizumi Teppei (小泉 徹平)
CF (9)Kanou Satsuki (加納 皐)
P (8)Suzuki Takuto (鈴木 拓人)
LF Kamakura Takashi(鎌倉 誠)
CF (15) Satou Shunya (佐藤 駿矢)
SS Segawa Kouki (瀬川 航騎)
1B (13)Nishikawa Shouya (西川 将也)
C Kadoi Taijyu (門井 泰寿)

13:05 - First pitch!

For Hokkai, this couldn't have been that much worse of a 1st inning.

Satou boots the first groundball from Matsumoto, Oonishi hits 2 batters, a wild pitch scores the first run, a shallow fly ball that shouldn't score anyone does because they can't get under it comfortably, and the first base hit scored the 3rd run of the inning. 3-0 Seikou Gakuin after 1.

Unfortunately for Seikou, they were not immune to the ugliness either. Suzuki walks the first batter, walks another batter after a sac bunt, gives up an RBI single to Oonishi, saw 2B Koizumi flay miss his toss to 2nd on a double play, and then Suzuku hit a batter to bring a 2nd run in, making it a 3-2 ballgame.

Oy. You guys are playing for a spot in the Best 4, clean it up would you?

The do for an inning, but Hokkai almost blows it yet again. Oonishi gives up back-to-back singles to Kanou and Suzuki before Satou is able to snag a hot shot from Kamamura, step on 3rd for 1, and throw to 1st for the double play to retire the side.

Instead it's Seikou Gakuin who falters again. 4th inning, Gehou singles. After a failed bunt, Suzuka lays one down and not only does it work, but everyone's safe! And then with 2 down, Sugano singles to right, followed right behind by Satou, each scoring 1 meaning that Hokkai amazingly has the 4-3 lead!

And they add to it! Kawamura up to lead off the 5th and he blasts a ball to right center! The fielders converge and it's gone! Solo HR for Hokkai and they're leading 5-3!!

Saitou-kantoku relieves Suzuki with #11 Suzuki Takuto who walks 2 of his 3 batters and throws a wild pitch. #18 Saitou comes in and immediately Hokkai's Suzuki lays down the squeeze, which works, putting them ahead 6-3, which is where we are at the break.
Needless to say, the game up until this point hasn't been pretty, and with Seikou changing pitchers twice in an inning, it might yet get worse.

Thankfully for them it doesn't get too much worse. They give up a run in the 8th. Problem was, they weren't able to generate many opportunities until the 8th where Kanou hit a double, but got thrown out trying to go to 3rd on a grounder to short. After that, Kamakura hit a double that would have scored 1. Instead PH #16 Nakaya grounds out to 2nd netting the team a donut.

And so Seikou Gakuin goes down to Hokkai no less. Just to be clear, I don't like the school because it has won Fukushima 10 times in a row. But I don't dislike the players. It's not their fault they went to the best school - the only school perhaps - that they may remember to go to Koushien. It's what the school represents that I don't like.

Which is why I still feel bad when I see the players from Seikou crying. Their summer is over and a spot in the Best 4 wasn't that far away.

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