Monday, August 8, 2016

98th Natsu Koushien - Day 2, Game 1 - Inabe Sougou Gakuen (Mie) v Tsuruoka Higashi (Yamagata)

I'm a bit behind in team reviews - got the 1st two games in, but I'm still hoping to enjoy today - especially after yesterday's games.

Tsuruoka Higashi (Yamagata)
CF (17)Kudou Daisuke (工藤 大輔)
2B Tai Kento (太居 建人)
RF Maruyama Dai (丸山 大)
1B Satou Yoshi (佐藤 要)
LF Nasu Tsubasa (奈須 翼)
3B Igamatsu Tsubasa (伊賀松 飛翔)
C Kishi Daisuke (岸 大輔)
P (18)Kobayashi Kazuki (小林 一輝)
SS Hagiwara Takahito (萩原 誉人)

Inabe Sougou Gakuen (Mie)
CF Okumura Touki (奥村 拓希)
RF Miyazaki Yuuto (宮崎 大和)
2B Kanda Shouji (神田 将嗣)
LF Fujii Ryouma (藤井 亮磨)
C Watanabe Yuuta (渡辺 雄太)
SS Morita Ryouma (守田 良真)
P (16)Akagi Sousuke (赤木 聡介)
1B Fukase Ryoutarou (深瀬 凌太郎)
3B Fujita Ryouga (藤田 涼雅)


09:00 - First pitch

Top 1st
Kudou gets a favorable bounce when a chopper goes off Akagi's glove and dribbles to the left side for a base hit. He's of course bunted over.

Akagi a bit shaky here in the opening frame, hitting Maruyama. Satou grounds one to the right side, advancing the runners, but Nasu grounds to 3rd to end the threat.

Bottom 1st
Inabe Sougou gets a leadoff runner of their own when Kobayashi issues a leadoff walk. They show bunt but elect to swing away. And that is paid off as he takes a letter high pitch and lines it down the left field line for a base hit! Early chance!

And there is still no bunt from them either as Kanda drives one, but right to left for the first out.

Kanda meanwhile draws a walk and the bases are loaded. And for Kobayashi, who doesn't throw hard, he has to live off of his control and it's just not there.

He does manage to full up the count after falling behind Watanabe 3-0.

But Watanabe connects on one, except that Igamatsu makes a great catch and dives back to 3rd, beating Okumura for the double play!

Top 2nd
Meanwhile Igamatsu turns right around and hits a ball to left center for a leadoff double! That's compounded by Akagi when his pickoff throw goes awry,

Kishi punishes that immediately with a ball past a drawn in Fujita! 1-0 to the Yamagata champs!

After a failed bunt attempt, Akagi puts himself in a bit deeper water walking the #9 batter Hagiwara.

He almost gets out of the inning, but instead Tai shoots a ball though the right side and Kishi is able to scurry home to make it 2-0!

That's all they get, but they strike first in the battle of relief starters!

Bottom 2nd
Morita gets a favorable bounce as he gets a high hop that Hagiwara can't adjust for.

ISG meanwhile continues the no-bunting strategy, instead electing for the hit-and-run which sends him to 2nd on the grounder from Akagi.

Kobayashi gets his 2nd out with Fukase chasing a slider outside. A grounder to 2nd and the side is retired.

Top 3rd
That's also it for Akagi as ace Yamauchi comes in to take the hill.

And it's a relatively easy inning for the ace has he retires the heart of the Tsuruoka lineup in order.

Bottom 3rd
Inabe Sougou continuing to get baserunners. Okumura bloops one down the left side and Miyazaki not bunting either puts one almost in the same place giving them a great scoring chance,

Kanda not bunting as well, but hits a short chopper to the left side. Hagiwara's throw to 1st is high! That allows Okumura to score and it's 2-1!

Fujii swinging away, but is ahead of a slider for the 2nd out.

And now Ozaki-kantoku calls for the bunt!

Watanabe lays it down, but it goes right back to Kobayashi! He shovels home and Miyazaki is out!

WIth Morita flying out to center, Kobayashi holds onto their slim lead.

Top 4th
A decent opportunity seemed to be starting when Kishi blooped one to left. However, only Kudou could do anything with it with a similar blooper to left. Tai would end up stranding both runners on a flyout to center.

Bottom 4th
The inning was a bit of a mess on both sides. After 2 out Fujita gets on when Igamatsu airmails a throw allowing him to take 2nd.

Okumura with a ball up the middle, and Hagiwara boots that one. Problem is, Fujita strays too far from 3rd and is caught stranded! He races home, but is retired 6-5-2 to end any chance to tie the game.

Top 5th
Yamauchi gives up a leadoff walk, but shortens the inning with a textbook double play and a kick save to his 3B who makes the throw to 1st.

Bottom 5th
Another error from Tsuruoka Higashi. This time it's Kai who makes a great running pick up the middle, but throws it away. Kanda finally makes them pay with a single through the right side and we'e tied at 2-2!

One down now and Watanabe lines one to right for a base hit putting runners at the corners. Chance as Morita, but he pops it up! Tai goes back to make the catch, but Kanda races home! Throw in is not in time and Inabe Sougou takes the lead 3-2! I saw the CF nearby, he probably should have taken it so he could make the throw home with momentum, but it's too late now!

Yamauchi can't build on that, striking out to retire the side, but his team has put him ahead as we hit the break!

Bottom 7th
Momentum seems to be with Inabe Sougou at this point having taken the lead, and despite not scoring in the 6th they had baserunners.

And leading off the inning was Miyazaki who was 3-3 on the day.

Unfortunately for Kobayashi, he puts one middle-middle and Miyazaki sends it over the RF wall to make it a 4-2 ballgame.

And instead of slowing down he speeds up. The TV coverage can't even show the HR as Kanda singles to left. That's followed up by another single by Satou and Inabe Sougou threatens to put the game out of reach.

With one down, Ozaki-kantoku calls once again for the squeeze, this time it's laid down perfectly and the lead expands a little more to 5-2.

Top 8th
Maruyama tries to get his team on track with a double to the right field wall. But neither Satou or Nasu can drive him in, moving him only to 3rd.

2 down and runners at the corners, #12 Kawakami comes in to hit.

After thinking that he had him retired not once but twice, Yamauchi has him on a fly ball to center.

Bottom 8th
#11 Yoshizumi comes in for Watanabe to take the hill, Kawakami stays in at C, Matsumoto moves to left and #8 Abe is in now in for Kudou in center.

Yoshizumui gets a clean frame in his inning of work, but the team needs runs now.

Top 9th
Yamauchi gets a quick out, but after hitting Hagiwara and falling behind Abe 3-0, #11 Yoshizumi comes in. It's understandable that he walks Abe to continue the inning.

But Yoshizumi not faring any better and he walks Tai! Manrui as Ozaki-kantoku calls time. What seemed like it was going to be a routine 1-2-3 is anything but.

Maruyama pops one way up in foul territory, Kishi and Satou converge... and it falls in! They really needed that out.

And now Yoshizumi walks in a run to make it 5-3 with cleanup hitter Fujii coming up!

But he swings on the first pitch! 6... 4... 3... double play! The game is over!

And somehow, with all the trouble, Inabe Sougou Gakuen survives 5-3!

For me, it's another example of a team failing to let a P struggle on the mound. 1 HBP and 3 walks, and you attack the first pitch? You have to let them continue to struggle, especially with an out to give. The pressure is on the mound not at the box.

But, Inabe Sougou survives and advances.

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