Monday, August 8, 2016

98th Natsu Koushien - Day 2, Game 4 - Hokuriku (Fukui) v Touhou (Aichi)

Well, today's games as a whole weren't as exciting per se, but so far things have gone somewhat as expected.

Hokuriku (Fukui)
3B Yamauchi Yuuma (山内 佑真)
SS Nakagawa Taiji (中川 大治)
2B Mitsui Masahiro (三ツ井 将大)
1B Yagi Masaya (八木 雅也)
CF Naitou Shouta (内藤 翔太)
LF Yamamoto Takahiro (山本 隆広)
RF Tanaka Shouta (田中 翔大)
P Mizuno Hayato (水野 隼斗)
C Kawabata Daiki (川畑 大樹)

Touhou (Aichi)
LF Suzuki Mizuki (鈴木 光稀)
SS Hamajima Yoshiaki (浜嶋 良明)
P (9)Matsuyama Masahiko (松山 仁彦)
RF (1)Fujishima Kento (藤嶋 健人)
3B Konishi Keiji (小西 慶治)
1B Matsumoto Ryouya (松本 凌弥)
C Takagi Akira (高木 舜)
2B Suzuki Rio (鈴木 理央)
CF (10)Tanaka Raiki (田中 来起)


15:58 - First pitch

Top 1st
So Touhou does start with Matsuyama on the hill. Velo looks okay, and he gets 2 quick outs. Mitsui does get a single through the right side, but apparently Matsuyama has a great pickoff move as he's caught off base for the 3rd out.

Bottom 1st
Meanwhile, Touhou is getting their hacks in with both Suzuki and Hamajima grounding out to 3rd.

Matsuyama gets Touhou's first hit with a poke to right.

Mizuno though gets a rare K as Fujishima chases a ball low for the 3rd out. Not a bad start for Hokuriku.

Top 2nd
Hokuriku not lost at the plate at all, as Yagi singles to left. However, Naitou isn't bunting but hits one back to Matsuyama who starts the 1-6-3 double play (though Matusmoto needs to leave the bag and make the tag). A groundout to 2nd later and the side is retired.

Bottom 2nd
Yamauchi makes a fielding mistake when he charges a swinging bunt and throws it away at 1st with no chance for the out. Konishi takes 2nd on the error.

After a sac bunt, Takagi hits a shot to 3rd. Matsuyama has it, looks the runner back, but airmails that throw to 1st! Konishi scores and it's 1-0 Touhou.

Morita-kantoku playing aggressive as Takagi goes for 3rd and with the pitch wide to the 1B side, Kawabata can't throw him out.

And now he calls for the squeeze on a 3-2 count but Suzuki can't lay it down! 2 out.

AHHHHH!!! As if the errors weren't enough, Mizuno airmails the first pitch to Tanaka allowing Takagi to score, making it 2-0!

Tanaka walks to flip the lineup over, and then Tanaka first pitch steals 2nd. Another walk, and Yatsuda-kantoku calls for time.

It doesn't help as Hamajima bloops one to right. Not only that but Mitsui flubs the cutoff throw allowing Hamajima to take 2nd.

Mitsui finally puts the inning to bed fielding a shot from Matsuyama. 3 runs on 1 hit though to put it bluntly is not good.

Bottom 3rd
After a quiet frame for Hokuriku, Fujishima hits a ball to right center and to the wall for a triple. And when Konishi hits a hard grounder to 3rd, Yamauchi almost airmails another ball. Yagi makes the leaping catch, then scrambles to 1st for the out. Yikes.

Doesn't matter in the end though as Matsumoto hits a ringing single through the right side, making it 4-0. They can't add to it but it is looking more likely that the game is already in hand.

Top 4th
Yamauchi, trying perhaps to atone for his errors, just gets a base hit up the middle, deflecting off a diving Suzuki.

After that Matsuyama makes a mistake leaving one over. Nakagawa lines it over Suzuki and going so fast it splits the defense and goes all the way to the wall for a triple. 4-1.

Mitsui tries to make it 5-2 with a screamer up the 3rd base line, but Konishi makes the stop and makes a great throw to 1st for the 2nd out.

Matsuyama needed one more out though, because Yagi singles through the right side, and now we have a 4-2 ballgame!

2 down after a fielder's choice and Hokuriku turns up the heat! Naitou takes off for 2nd and gets there safely. Another base hit and it's a 1-run ballgame!

Yamamoto tries to beat out a chopper to the right side, but Suzuki is there to make the throw and retire the side. And so despite the errors and mistakes, Hokuriku finds themselves down just 2.

Bottom 4th
As I try to get myself comfortable, the game goes off the rails in a hurry. After 3 base hits and another run making it 5-2, #10 Honda comes in relief.

And on the first pitch Fujishima hits a 3-run HR to make it 8-2.

The next 6 people would get on, the 2nd of which was on a fielder's choice where Mitsui instead of going for the out at 1st, tries to cut down the lead runner when they needed outs.

By the time Matsumoto flied out to left to end the inning, 16 batters would come to the plate scoring 12 runs on 11 hits. 16-2 and Honda was left to endure it on the mound.

Rest of Game
With the game in hand, I'm going to still watch it, but commentary will be spaced out.

In the 6th, needing only a single for the cycle (in 4 consecutive ABs no less), Fujishima blasts a ball to the wall in center...

For a double.

I wound up falling asleep mid 8th inning, but there wasn't much else to the game. Hokuriku got a couple more runs in garbage time, and Touhou rightly wasn't as concerned with how the last part of it went as the final tally was 19-9.

The big takeaway was that Matsuyama was able to be more than serviceable on the mound, though not able to pitch a full 9. But if you can use him in tandem with Fujishima, Touhou could have the most important piece for a title run - pitching.

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