Monday, August 15, 2016

98th Natsu Koushien - Day 9, Game 2 - Shounan (Kagoshima) v Hanasaki Tokuharu (Saitama)

2 matches to go in round 2. Both Shounan and Hanasaki Tokuharu won handily in the 1st round, it'll be interesting to see how these teams fare, because they're certainly not as good as their 1st games indicate.

Hanasaki Tokuharu (Saitama)
2B Chimaru Tsuyoshi (千丸 剛)
RF Takahashi Toshiki (高橋 哉貴)
SS Okazaki Daisuke (岡崎 大輔)
LF (15)Nishikawa Yoshinari (西川 愛也)
3B Kusumoto Kouki (楠本 晃希)
CF Yamamoto Yuuya (山本 優也)
1B Nishime Kizuku (西銘 築)
P Takahashi Kouya (高橋 昂也)
C Nomoto Masayasu (野本 真康)

Shounan (Kagoshima)
CF Imada Kaito (今田 塊都)
SS Oosawa Daiki (大沢 大樹)
1B Kamikuri Taisei (上栗 大聖)
LF Yoshiuchi Takumi (吉内 匠)
RF Sekiyama Mio (積山 水音)
3B Kouno Katsumaru (河野 勝丸)
2B Orio Kousei (折尾 昂靖)
P Hamaya Shouta (浜屋 将太)
C Maekawa Taisei (前川 大成)


12:10 - First Pitch!

For certain Hanasaki Tokuharu with their ace in Takahashi is probably favored. But Hamaya at least in his first game looked well enough to compete, and responded early with routine groundouts and a couple of Ks. Nishikawa did gets a line single to left, but it's been one of the few square-ups the team has had early.

On the other hand though Takahashi has had quite a few baseballs squared up on. Top 1st, both Imada and Oozawa hit line singles to the outfield. Now, they ran themselves out of the inning when Imada was picked off 1st, but you had to wonder if it was just a fluke.

2nd inning, Sekiyama gets a base hit up the middle. After they fail to bunt the runner over, it's Sekiyama's turn to get picked off 1st by Nomoto. 2 innings in a row while you're hitting the ace good? You're not going to get these opportunities forever.

And yet Shounan still gets a chance at a run after Orio is plunked and Kusumoto makes a high throw on Hamaya's grounder, but nothing comes of it.

But if nothing else, Hamaya and his defense are preventing Hanasaki Tokuharu from taking the Shounan mistakes and turning them into an advantage. Top 3, 1 down and Nomoto hits a ball to shallow left. Yoshiuchi charges in, dives, and makes a great catch for the 2nd out.

Now for sure Hanasaki Tokuharu is having baserunners, but not in dangerous situations except for Nishkawa's leadoff in the 2nd.

But once again, Shounan's main skill appears to be to shoot themselves in the foot.

Bottom 3, leadoff single by Imada. After a sac bunt, it's Okazaki's turn to throw a ball to 1st high.

AND YET. When Nomoto tries to catch Imada coming home on a possible squeeze, Kamikuri takes off for 2nd, and...

Well do I need to say?

3 straight rallies killed off by poor baserunning. No need to say it, but they'll certainly regret it later.

Bottom 4th, Orio hits a blooper to left that somehow finds its way between Okazaki and Nishikawa. During Hamaya's AB, Orio takes off for 2nd, but doubles back after he stumbles. He barely makes it back to 1st without being thrown out.

And on the VERY NEXT PITCH, Hamaya drives a hanging slider to left center and to the wall for a double, which scores Orio, 1-0.

Hamaya takes that lead to the break, thanks to 9 groundball outs which have to have frustrated the Hanasaki Tokuharu team.

But post-break, Hamaya finds himself in a spot of trouble. He hits Nomoto, and then with 2 down and Nomoto on 3rd, he walks Okazaki.

Nishikawa then hits a comebacker off of Hamaya's glove. It slows down enough going up the middle that Orio has no play when he gets there. Nomoto scores the douten run to make it 1-1.

And all those runs that could have been come back to bit them here, because on the next batter Kusumoto sneaks one past a diving Kamikuri down the right field line for a bases clearing triple. 3-1.

Toss in another HBP and a single past a diving Oozawa up the middle and the final tally ends up at 4-1.

Hamaya would be relieved in 7th for #10 Hatakenaka soon after walking a batter, but he would give up that runner and one more. 6-1 and if the game wasn't in hand then, it is now.

Shounan scores some token runs late, but the game was never in doubt as Hanasaki Tokuharu advances 6-3.

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