Thursday, August 11, 2016

98th Natsu Koushien - Day 5, Game 1 - Hachiouji (Nishi Tokyo) v Nichinan Gakuen (Miyazaki)

We're rounding out the 1st round today and starting the 2nd on this short schedule day. Shiritsu Wakayama or Hiroshima Shinjyou await the winner of this match.

Hachioujji defeated both Toukaidai Sugao and Waseda Jitsugyou, but ace Saotome not a power ace at all. Nichinan Gakuen established power, but did not face substantial competition. Tokyo would be the stronger prefecture of the two, so penciling a winner will be difficult.

Nichinan Gakuen (Miyazaki)
CF Nagahara Takumi (長原 拓海)
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)

Hachiouji (Nishi Tokyo)
LF Yamaguchi Shun (山口 駿)
SS Takenaka Yuuki (竹中 裕貴)
CF Shiihara Ryou (椎原 崚)
RF Hojyou Yuuki (保條 友義)
3B Onoda Naomichi (小野田 直道)
1B Kawagoe Ryou (川越 龍)
2B Ishidzuka Fuyu (石塚 冬汰)
C Hosono Yuu (細野 悠)
P Saotome Daiki (早乙女 大輝)


09:30 - First Pitch!

1st Inning
Oh, this is a surprise! Both aces throw in the mid to upper 120s!!

I'm not as surprised out of Miyazaki, but winning with that in Nishi Tokyo? That's impressive in it's own right! Looking at it in that light, the battle isn't with the offenses, it's with which pitcher can maintain his control of the zone the longest. When you can't throw hard, control is everything.

The first inning sees batters taking quite a few pitches. Yamaguchi gets a leadoff walk for Hachiouji in their half of the frame, but otherwise both pitchers are off to a good start.

2nd Inning
Hamamoto for Nichinan gets the first hit in the game, a single through the 6-hole. They don't elect to play for the one-timer, and while Hagiwara give the ball a good thump, he lines out to left. Ishijima hits a clean single to right on a ball up and in to given them a decent scoring chance, but Ishida goes after a slider ont he first pitch and pops out to end the inning.

Moriyama willing to shorten the game getting the Hachiouji batters to make contact. 12 pitches,3 routine groundouts.

3rd Inning
Nichinan getting all the opportunities so far. Nagahara gets a one-out base hit as the ball takes an odd hop at Ishidzuka, but he's thrown out by the slimmest of margins by Hosono, killing the rally.

Hachiouji meanwhile gets their first hit, from Hosono no less, a single to shallow center.

But on a missed bunt attempt, he's caught straying too far from 1st! Hagiwara fires to 1st and they nail him for the 2nd out!

Moriyama finishes it off snagging a comebacker by his counterpart Saotome. It's a real pitcher's duel to start.

4th Inning
Nichinan Gakuen is making good contact on Saotome's pitches, but is just missing the sweet spot. Maeda and Hamamoto just get under a ball and fly out to left, and Masuda hits a liner, but right at Takenaka.

Moriyama continues to get groundouts, recording the first 2 in that manner. But then out of nowhere Shiihara lines a single over a leaping Maeda, and then Hojyou does the same over Ishijima! Back-to-back hits and Hachiouji has their first real chance!

Onoda meanwhile is taking real close pitches, almost striking out twice, but instead working the count full.

He hits a grounder to the left side, but Ishijima runs it down, throw to 1st.... OUT!  Nichinan with the great double play and they're out of the jam!

5th Inning
Finally those hard hits are finding the gaps for Nichinan Gakuen! Hagiwara hits a single to left. Then, they continue trying the hit-and-run on Ishijima's AB until he finally delivers a hit to right! That means runners at the corners and no out!

But, when Ishida hits a ground ball to 2nd, Hachiouji actually concedes the run! They turn the double play and give Nichinan Gakuen the 1-0 lead!

In the bottom half, Hachiouji gets a chance again with 2 outs. Hosono draws just the 2nd walk from Moriyama, then Saotome lines a first-pitch single to left.

But that last hit escapes them. Yamaguchi grounds out to short and we're at the break. It's a quick game with good pitching, great defense and chances for both sides.

6th Inning
Hachiouji makes its change at pitcher, sending in #11 Yonehara to finish the game.

(At this point I had to attend a meeting and could only watch the game in which I will have a writeup, but Yonehara basically cratered the moment he came in, allowing 5 runs and effectively making the game out of reach.)

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