Showing posts with label Tottori Jyouhoku. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tottori Jyouhoku. Show all posts

Friday, August 9, 2013

Day 2 - Game 2 - Tottori Jyouhoku (Tottori) vs. Kumamoto Kougyou (Kumamoto)

It'll be I think more of the same here as Tottori Jyouhoku and Kumamoto Kougyou do battle under the blazing sun.

Both teams won their prefecutral tournaments without much trouble with the exception of one game, and both teams did not really mercy rule their opponents.  Given their prefecture of origin I think it probably hurts Tottori Jyouhoku more, but that will be seen on the field.

Tottori Jyouhoku (Tottori)
CF Tanaka Ryouta
SS Hirayama Takuma
2B Abe Narito
1B Moriguchi Tomoki
C Torikai Rikito
3B Yamada Souta
RF Noma Kyou (not in original roster)
P Uehara Takuma
LF Koyama Tomoki

Kumamoto Kougyou (Kumamoto)
1B Sakai Shun
CF Yamamoto Rikiya
2B Nishiyama Takato
3B Kudou Seiya
LF Takaki Eiji
SS Horita Takafumi
RF Matsushita Ryoumu
P Yamashita Kouta
C Honda Masahiro


10:44 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Tanaka starts off the game with a ball the opposite way into left.  And while the bunt defense looks a little shaky, they get Hirayama out at 1st.

Yamashita is an average pitcher at best with a fastball that just ticks over 130 and a slider in the mid 110s, along with a curve and changeup supposedly.

Abe figts off acouple, but winds up chopping one to short.  Tanaka advances to 3rd.  That brings up Moriguchi.

But Yamashita induces a grounder to short and the inning is over.

Bottom 1st
Sakai announces Kumamoto Kougyou's appearance with a ball to deep left center!  Tanaka chases it, but it lands at the base of the wall for a double!

Yamamoto with the bunt, Uehara quickly fields it, throws to 3rd... and Yamada can't hold onto the low throw... all safe!  It's called an E5, but I wonder if it's an E1 or no E at all...  Either way now Kumamoto Kougyou has a big threat early!

But Nishiyama can't capitalize!  He pops up to Abe just outside the infield dirt for the first out.

Kudou though delivers!  He rips one through to left and Kumamoto Kougyou takes the quick 1-0 lead!

Uehara also looks like another "ace" on the mound.  Low-mid 130s fastball, and ah....

A slider in the mid 110s that just hit Takaki to load the bases for Horita.

Hayashi-kantoku calls for the squeeze and Horita just reaches out to foul it off!  But now he's behind 1-2 and has to swing away.

Grounder to short!  Hirayama goes to Abe for one, toss to Moriguchi... beats a diving Horita for the inning ending double play!  Uehara gets out of the jam with just 1 run against him - he should feel fortunate.

Top 2nd
Torikai thinks he has ball 4, but Yamashita paints the inside corner for strike 3.  Yamada, not wanting to be caught looking silly watching a pitch, instead looks silly chasing a ball outside for another K.

Noma (who isn't on the rosters I found online), must be a good addition - at least to start - lining a single to center.

But Tottori Jyouhoku's batters can't seem to pull the trigger as Uehara watches a fastball go by for yet another K.  3 K's for Yamashita this inning, and his control looks very good to start this game.

Bottom 2nd
Uehara is also featuring a curve in the low 100s and a sinker in the 110s.  He can't seem to locate any of them as he walks Matsushita to start the 2nd.

Yamashita shows bunt late and successfully lays it down up the 3rd base side.  Runner in scoring position for last batter Honda.

Uehara struggling with control still, hits Honda to turn over the lineup.  Meanwhile, the Kumamoto Kougyou ouen-dan is playing a song I hear from Narashino... Not as good, but ah... soothes the soul.

Back to the game, and Sakai hits another gapper to left center for yet another double.  This time it scores Matsushita...

And knocks Uehara out of the game.  Or at least to right.  #10 Fukuiwa comes in for RF Noma to take the hill while Uehara shifts to RF.

Fukuiwa doesn't throw hard either (high 120s), but his 3/4 delivery for way on the first base side sweeps across and gets Yamamoto to chase for the 2nd out.

And Nishiyama hits a grounder up the 1st base line that Sakai smothers and takes to the bag for the 3rd out.  But Kumamoto Kougyou hangs another run up on the board.

Top 3rd
Well, Tottori Jyouhoku trying to size up Yamashita just can't.  9-1-2 go in order, all with weak groundouts.

Bottom 3rd

Fukuiwa just hung a fastball right in the middle of the zone and cleanup batter Kudou blasts it out to left for a no-doubter.  3-0 Kumamoto Kougyou.  Guess it may not be close after all.

Takaki follow up with a single back up the middle and it's got to be red alert time for Tottori Jyouhoku (if it wasn't earlier).

Oh boy....

Bunt back to Fukuiwa, throws to 2nd, but it's high and into center.  Everyone's safe.  Now Matsushita's bunt puts both runners in scoring position for Yamashita.

But Yamashita hits it right back to Fukuiwa who has Takaki out of position at 3rd.  He's run down and we reset the runners with 2 outs for Honda.

And while you do walk the runner with 1st base open, in this case it was probably unwarranted as now Sakai steps in again.  Another double and the lead may be doubled. Worse part is there's nowhere to put him.

But Fukuiwa finally retires Sakai!  He hits a grounder to 2nd and the inning is over with just the HR.

Top 4th
One down for Tottori and Moriguchi hits a ball back up the middle.  Nishiyama tries the leaping throw back to 1st, but it pulls Sakai off the bag.

However, Torikai proceeds to ground into a tailor-made 4-6-3 double play and the inning is quickly over.

Bottom 4th
Yamamoto gets his first hit with a ball back up the middle.  Nishiyama bunts him along for cleanup batter Kudou.

Fukuiwa wants nothing to do with Kudou and walks him to bring up Takaki.  He puts a charge into one, but Tanaka is able to run it down in deep left center for the 2nd out.  Yamamoto advances to 3rd.

Fukuiwa, though with still some difficulty, finally puts a bagel on the board as Horita hits a comebacker to end the inning.

Top 5th
Still, they trail by 3 and they need the bats to get going.

One down, and Fukuiwa hits a comebacker off of Yamashita's foot and into center for a base hit.  He's fine and will continue.

For the 2nd straight inning though, Tottori Jyouhoku grounds into a DP.  This time Uehara goes back to Yamashita who starts the 1-6-3 DP to end the inning.

Bottom 5th
It's a tough slog for Fukuiwa and Tottori Jyouhoku.  He manages to put another 0 on the board, and is helped out a bit because despite 2 batters going full on him, he also gets first pitch outs.

Well, we're at the break and it's been all Kumamoto Kougyou.  Tottori Jyohoku will need to adjust to Yamashita somehow, or else it'll be futility until the end.

Top 6th
Tomoki trying to help the team in any way possible, but is punched out by home plate umpire Doi on a ball inside.  The top of the order rolls over after that on 2 straight pitches and the side is quickly retired.

Bottom 6th
Changes for Tottori Jyouhoku.  #9 Takada comes in for Tomoki and takes over in LF.

And Fukuiwa just cannot get a clean inning, though to be fair it was Kudou who hit a laser to right center for a double.  Otherwise, the Kumamoto batters chased balls at the edges of the zone and were easily retired.

Top 7th
The game is really humming along in terms of speed - which isn't good for Tottori Jyouhoku as they're down to their final 3 innings.

But Tottori Jyouhoku's batters are just not making hard contact - just weak contact.  Torikai debunks that, but its a 2-out single past a scampering Kudou into left.

After a conference call from Hayashi-kantoku, Yamada puts one past Horita for a base hit!  Still, there's 2 outs and RP Fukuiwa is at bat.

He's got a good eye and good discipline as he works the count full after falling behind.

Ball the opposite way up the 3rd base line... Fair!!  It's past a diving Kudou and into left!  Torikai comes in to score on the single and Tottori Jyouhoku is one the board at 3-1!

Looking to build on that, #14 Mankin comes in to hit for Uehara as Fukuiwa is doing a good job in relief.  But Yamashita gets him to grounds out to 2nd to end the inning!

Fukuiwa keeping the team in it on both sides of the ball, knocks a run off the deficit.

Bottom 7th
#13 Miura comes in for PH Mankin and takes over in RF.

Horita with a ball to deep right center, Tanaka running it down makes a great leaping catch for the first out.  Fukuiwa sets himself up for a 1-2-3 innning... but that's spoiled when Yamashita collects his first hit back up the middle past Hirayama.  That's compounded when Honda is hit for the 2nd time today, flipping the lineup back to Sakai...

But Sakai decides to swing at a slow curve and flies out to right to end the inning.  Yet another donut put up on the board as Tottori Jyouhoku tries to mount a late game rally.

Top 8th
Considering how they hit last inning, this inning may be key to see if they have figured out Yamashita.

Takada up for his first AB is a bit behind, as he hits a fly ball to center for out #1.

But Tanaka does have Yamashita's number now!  He lines one to left center that splits the defense!  He's rounding 2nd, going for 3rd... throw in... SAFE!! He slides around the tag and is in with a triple!

Hirayama with a ball up the 3rd base line!  THAT'S FAIR down the line!!  Tanaka scores and Hirayama is being sent to 3rd... he slides in safely!! 3-2 and the douten run is 90 feet away!!


The momentum built for Tottori Jyouhoku evaporates on 1 pitch as Yamagi-kantoku calls for the squeeze, the pitch goes wide, and Hirayama is run down for the 2nd out.

Abe is called for strike 3 for offering a bunt and while Tottori Jyouhoku got one run, they could have had more...

Bottom 8th
The momentum seems to be shifting to Kumamoto Kougyou finally when Nishiyama doubles past Yamada down the 3rd base line.

But Fukuiwa bears down yet again, strikes out Kudou looking after a 6 pitch AB.  And then gets Takaki to fly out to center to end the inning!

Top 9th
Despite the bad decision making in the 8th, Tottori Jyouhoku still has 3 outs to go.

Moriguchi gets things off on the right foot with a liner to right for a base hit!  Yamagi immediately sacrifices the out for 90 feet.

That brings up Yamada.  Hayashi-kantoku makes a defensive change, putting #13 Kiyomizu in for Takaki in LF.

Liner to 1st, caught by Sakai!  Goes to 2nd, but Horita is late in covering!  All Moriguchi can do is stay at 2nd though as the glue for Tottori, Fukuiwa, steps in.

And with one strike, another change.  #14 Iwashita comes in for Sakai to play 1B.

Fukuiwa down to his final strike...

Grounder to short!  Horita up with the ball, goes to 1st... game set!

Tottori Jyouhoku fights late, but it's not enough as Kumamoto Kougyou prevails 3-2!

Sadly, this game shows the parts of kokoyakyu I don't like.  The bunt is used too excessively, and the squeeze bunt is not a surprise, but expected.  You just had back-to-back triples, there's only 1 down, and instead of putting the faith in your hitters to continue, you call a squeeze that the opposition is expecting.

It fails, you lose by 1, and yet questions may not be raised because it's "expected".


Kumamoto Kougyou kept Tottori Jyouhoku in the game, and if not for the *ahem*boneheaded*ahem* decision to try the squeeze, the game may still be going.

But, this is kokoyakyu, take the bad along with the good, and Kumamoto Kougyou will advance to the next round.  Fukuiwa has nothing to cry about - he like Sakatani kept his team in the game.  It's just that he couldn't complete the comeback.

Notable Players
Yamashita Kouta (Kumamoto Kougyou) - CG, 2 ER, 10 H, 5 K
Kudou Seiya (Kumamoto Kougyou) - 3-4, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB
Sakai Shun (Kumamoto Kougyou) - 2-5, 2 2B
Fukuiwa Kiriya(?) (Tottori Jyouhoku) - 7.2 IP, ER, 7 H, 2 K, 2 BB, HBP
Fukuiwa Kiriya(?) (Tottori Jyouhoku) - 2-3, RBI
Tanaka Ryouta (Tottori Jyouhoku) - 2-4, 3B, R

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Day 8, Game 4 - Tottori Jyouhoku (Tottori) vs. Tenri (Nara)

This is one of those games that makes me nervous in that I saw promising things from a team that I liked, but frustrated me to no end - but feel like I need to see another game to prove I believed what I saw.

Tenri, facing a Miyazaki Kougyou team that hadn't been to Koushien in 52 years, was in a dogfight for the first 5 innings.  Down 1-0 in the 6th, Tenri used a pair of effors to get ahead 2-1.

The knock I developed on Tenri was that they were too predictable.  You could bet that in a close game with a runner on 3rd, they'd squeeze bunt without fail.  That combined with other questionable managerial decisions made them a team that I thought wouldn't be good.  (Side note, I think much like the dormitories for the Tenrikyo church where the residence managers change every couple of years, apparently the manager does too as I believe they've had a different manager every year they've been to Koushien since I've been following it - which obviously hurts continuity).

But in this game, the errors were caused because they weren't predictable.  In that 6th inning, with runners on 2nd and 3rd, the Miyazaki infield was playing in expecting a squeeze bunt from Watase.  Heck, I was expecting it too.

He didn't.

Instead he swung away, hit a ball up the right field side.  Both the 1B and 2B went to the ball, then the 1B retreated back towards the bag.  When the 2B went to toss the ball towards 1st, both the P and the 1B watched it go right in-between them allowing the 2nd run to score.

That seemed to setup the 7th when after a leadoff double and sac bunt, they then decided to pull off the suicide squeeze which worked.

Sure, I may be looking into it more than I should be but it does seem like they're learning.  I hope.

It doesn't hide the fact though that Tenri managed just 5 hits in their game, which doesn't bode well for future games at all considering who they were playing.

On the mound, Nakatani was serviceable for his 6 innings of work, and while Hashimoto-kantoku probably made the right decision to relieve him, Yamamoto still made things interesting in the final 3 frames.  So even with a lead, unless it's a large one, it'll still be nail-biting time until the last out.

Tottori Jyouhoku took advantage of an error which would have ended an inning, and scored all their runs for a 3-1 win over Kagawa Nishi.  But 4 of their 8 hits came right after the error, and ace Hirata allowed several run-scoring opportunities in the final 3 innings not to mention that he went from 5 Ks the first time through the order to 2, 1 and 0 in the subsequent iterations.

This game may come down to late game pitching as both sides appear to be shaky in endgame play.  Whichever side falters first may the the one to go home.

Tottori Jyouhoku (Tottori)
SS Taniguchi
3B Abe
CF Kimura Tetsuya
RF Satou
1B Kawano
C Kinoshita
LF Kobayashi
P Hirata
2B Komai

Tenri (Nara)
LF Hayata
CF Higashihara
2B Watase
3B Furuta
1B Inabetsu
RF Kimura Hide
SS Yoshimura
P Nakatani
C Funabiki


15:44 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Field temperature just a shade over 104F.  Oy.

After a 8 pitch at bat, Nakatani gets Taniguchi to roll one to Inabetsu for the out.

Abe hits a shallow pop to center, Watase running out makes the catch.

Kimura with a comebacker that Nakatani fields and tosses to 1st for a 1-2-3 inning.  But it took him 18 pitches to retire the side.

Bottom 1st
Hayata with good contact but flies out to left. Higashihara whiffs on a slider for Hirata's first K.

Hirata has a unique delivery in that he holds the ball directly behind him in the windup before going forward.

Watase with a hit though the right side for a base hit.

Hashimoto puts on the hit-and-run, but Furuta grounds to Taniguchi.  He beats Watase to the bag for the 3rd out.

Top 2nd
Satou with a quick liner to left which Hayata catches.  Kawano watches a fastball go by for strike 3 for the 2nd out and Kinoshita fouls out to Inabetsu to end the inning.  Much more efficient inning for Nakatani this time around.

Bottom 2nd
Inabetsu with a grounder to the gap in left.  Taniguchi with it, but has to hurry his throw and it goes wide.

Kimura with the bunt, Hirata grabs and fires to 2nd, but it's way wide and into center.  Fortunately, it's right to Tetsuya.

Yoshimura lays down the bunt.  Kawano charges in but passes it with no play at 3rd, allowing Hirata to go to 1st for the out.

Nakatani up and he's not showing bunt, but the infield is playing in. In fact he does swing away and falls behind 1-2.

Hot liner foul down the 1st base line!  Hirata goes inside and Nakatani fouls it off.

Hirata goes outside with the fastball and Nakatani is rung up for the 2nd out!

It's up to last batter Funabiki...  He goes down 1-2.  Waste pitch levels the count as Funabiki fouls off another inside pitch.  Next one high and in for a full count.

High and in again and it's manrui for Tenri with the top of the order and Hayata up.

Kinoshita goes out to talk with Hirata.

Hayata with a grounder throught left side!  Inabetsu scores!  Kimura being waved home as the throw is cutoff!  Hayata with a timely 2-out 2-RBI single gives Tenri the 2-0 lead!

Higashihara up for Tenri.  He calmly takes a ball to right!  Runners taking off on contact and Funabiki scores to make it 3-0!

Runners at the corners, still with 2 down for Watase. as Yamaki-kantoku calls time.

Watase turns on another one and singles through to right!  Hayata scores as Satou throws for 3rd!  The throw is offline and Watase thakes the opportunity to take 2nd!

Furuta the 9th man to come to the plate.  Hirata falls behind 3-1 and walks Furuta to load the bases.  That brings up Inabetsu again for the 2nd time this inning.

Hirata gets ahead on two sliders down and away that Inabetsu swings at.  He holds off on the 3rd one just outside.

But he can't resist swinging and strikes out to end the inning.  Tenri with a big inning early sending 10 batters and putting a 4-spot on the board.

Top 3rd
Kobayashi swings on the first pitch, but gets under it and flies out to center.

Hirata with a pop fly down the right field line (where the ABC graphic shows a high level headwind of 10 m/s coming in from RF), Hide, Watase and Inabetsu all converge on it and Hide makes the catch as Inabetsu dives out of the way!  Oy, watch out there.

And Komai goes down swinging on an outside fastball to retire the side.

Bottom 3rd
Kimura lays the safety bunt down!  Abe charging in, but his throw is too late!

Yoshimura up, but he's not bunting.

Kimura takes off for 2nd, but his jump isn't that great and Kinoshita had him dead to rights for out number 1.

Hirata hits Yoshimura, putting the runner back on base.

Natakani with a foul fly, Abe goes over the mound and stumbles into the fence as it falls in.  He's ok.

Taniguchi lifts another ball up, this time in fair territory.  Taniguchi drifts to the 1st base side of 2nd and makes the catch.

Down 0-2, Funabiki waits on two borderline pitches and fills up the count.

Hirata just misses with the 3-2 pitch and there's runners on 1st and 2nd for Hayata.  He falls behind quickly waving at two fastballs.  He's finally able to paint the corner with the fastball, retiring Hayata to end the inning.

Top 4th
Taniguchi leading off for Tottori Jyouhoku and he hits a high fly to left for the 1st out.

Abe with a ball past Nakatani, and past a diving Yoshimura into center for Tottori's first base hit!

Nakatani comes back and strikes out Tetsuya on a high fastball for the 2nd out.

Satou takes a Nakatani pitch the other way.  Hayata turns around and sprints back, but it's over his head!  He tracks it down at the wall, but by the time they get it in Abe scores all the way from 1st!  Satou puts Tottori Jyouhoku on the board at 4-1!

Kawano grounds out to short to end the inning, but Satou gives Tottori progess in cutting into Tenri's lead!

Bottom 4th
Highashihara with a ball to deep left-center!  Kobayashi running back to the wall, stumbles as it fall just in front of the wall. Higashihara running all the way, slides into 3rd with no throw!

Hayata having trouble with his control as he falls behind Watase before getting 2 strikes to fill the count.

Watase with a fly to shallow right.  Satou with it and Higashihara takes off for home!  The relay home is, way offline!  Higashihara scores easily getting back the run they lost. It's 5-1!

Cleanup batter Furuta can't seem to figure out Hayata as he swings on a high fastball for strike 3.

Inabetsu hit on the 3-1 pitch and goes to 1st (even if he wasn't awarded the HBP, it'd stil be ball 4.

First pitch ball to Hide sends Kinoshita out to talk with Hirata again.

After falling behind 2-0, Hirata puts two in the zone that Hide fouls off.  2-2 now and Hide swings and misses on the slider for the 3rd out.

Top 5th
Kinoshita reaches out and pokes one the other way, but Hide is there for the catch.

Kobayashi with a grounder down the 3rd base line.  Furuta makes a great stop, but the throw is up the right field line and past everyone!  Kobayashi takes 2nd on the error.

Hirata with a grounder to 3rd.  He looks Kobayashi back, except that Watase came in behind Kobayashi and he's suddenly caught in a rundown!  He goes down 5-4-6 and Hirata can't advance to 2nd!

Komai gets under one and it's an easy fly to center.  Higashihara there to field it for the 3rd out.

Bottom 5th
Yoshimura up to start for Tenri, and he falls victim to the slider for the first out.

Nakatani gets under one yet again and hits a can of corn to Taniguchi.

Funabiki work the count full for the 3rd straight AB, and again watches a ball just low for his 3rd walk of the game.

Back to the top of the order and Hayata.  He grounds out to 2nd and the side is retired.

Tenri heads into the break with the 4-run 2nd inning being the difference in the game.  Still, the second half will be the more important part as the pitchers go deeper into their pitch counts.

Top 6th
Taniguchi first pitch short chopper.  Nakatani runs it down and throws to 1st for the out.

Abe goes down on 3 straight, waving at an outside fastball for the K.

Kimura with a grounder to short, but Yoshimura short hops Inabetsu and he can't field it.  E6 and the inning continues.

Satou takes off on the 1-1 pitch, it's outide but Funabiki can't get a good hold of the ball and lets Satou take the base.

No harm done outside of more pitches as Satou grounds out to 2nd to end the inning.

Bottom 6th
Unlike Nakatani who was at 60 pitches at the break, Hirata sits at 112.

Defensive changes for Tottori Jyouhoku:
  • #15 Hirayama comes in for Taniguchi and goes to 3rd.
  • Abe goes from 3B to 2B
  • Komai goes from 2B to SS
One down for Tenri and Watase hits a ground ball past Kawano fair down the 1st base line!

Watase running through 1st reaches 2nd.

Furuta's struggles at the plate continue.  He goes down swinging on 3 straight for the 2nd out.

And now #13 Urushihara hits for Inabetsu, but hits the first pitch to 2nd for the 3rd out.

Top 7th
Urushihara stays in the game at 1B.

Kawano with a good swing on the ball, but Hayata doesn't have to move to get the out.

Kinoshita with a hot grounder, but right at Yoshimura who goes to 1st for the 2nd out.

Kobayashi with a 2-out baserunner with a single past Furuta into left.

But Hirata hits one to Yoshimura.  He slides a little more than he'd like to field it, but is still able to flick it to Watase for the 3rd out.

Bottom 7th
Hirata finally gets a 1-2-3 inning as he just needs 7 pitches to retire the side.

Top 8th
Komai hits a chopper right in front of home.  Funabiki takes it and throws it to 1st for the out.

Hirayama with a grounder to Urushihara for the 2nd out.

And Nakatani catches the outside corner to strike out Abe to end the inning.

Bottom 8th
Funabiki wants to get in on the hits and hits one hard right between Hirata's legs and into center for a base hit.

Funabiki takes off for 2nd, Hayata with a single to center!  Funabiki rounds 3rd, but holds up as the throw comes in. Hayata though takes 2nd on the throw.

Higashihara not squeezing here it appears.  But he does go after two balls out of the zone... well, make that 3 now as he goes down swinging.

Watase lifts one to left center.  Tetsuya calls off Kobayashi to make the catch, but Funabiki still is able to come in to score making it 6-1.

Furuta looking for the base hit, gets hit instead.

Yamaki-kantoku decides now to send in #10 Nishisaka to relieve Hirata for the last out of the inning.

Urushihara goes down swinging and that's 3 outs.

Top 9th
Last ups for Tottori Jyouhoku.

Kimura with a base hit through the left side to leadoff the inning.

Satou with a liner right at Yoshimura!  He goes to 1st for the double play, but misses everyone and bounced off the camera well!  Kimura is awarded 3rd base!

Kawano with a single to right!  Kimura scores to make it a 6-2 ballgame!

Kinoshita to try and keep the momentum going, but he pops it up!  Funabiki against the backscreen, makes the catch!  2 down!

Kobayashi the last chance for Tottori.  Grounder to 2nd!  Watase flips to Yoshimura and that's the ball game!

Tenri uses a big inning early to get ahead of Tottori Jyouhoku while Nishitani got ahead of the Tottori batters and had relatively stressless innings to help advance his team tot he 3rd round.

For Tottori Jyouhoku it was an uphill battle from the start.  And with their batters continuously off-balance, it was just impossible to overcome.  But it was a good tournament as they earned their school's first win at Koushien, and it can be something they can build on for the future.

Notable Players
Nakatani Keita (Tenri) - CG, 2 ER, 5 H, 5 K, 0 BB
Higashihara Masashi (Tenri) - 2-5, 3B, R, RBI, 2 K
Watase Yuuya (Tenri) - 3-3, 2B, 3 RBI
Funabiki Kakeru (Tenri) - 1-1, 3 BB, 2 R
Satou Kouji (Tottori Jyouhoku) - 1-4, 2B, RBI

Friday, August 10, 2012

Day 3, Game 3 - Kagawa Nishi (Kagawa) vs. Tottori Jyouhoku (Tottori)

Our final game of the day pits 2 teams struggling to get a foothold at Koushien.

Tottori Jyouhoku is rather new to the whole Koushien experience.  They reached their first Natsu Koushien tournament in 2009 and then under current kantoku Yamaki Hiroyuki earned a trip to this year's senbatsu where they lost to Mie 6-5.

This year, they needed just 4 games to win Tottori's bid - it just goes to show how the population drain to rural areas have resulted in lower enrollments in rural prefectures such as Tottori.  Offensively, most of the punch can be found in 3B Abe and CF Kimura.  Meanwhile, #11 Idzi is used in tandem with ace Hirata in games.

Kagawa Nishi makes their 4th trip to Natsu Koushien - all since 2000.  However, their only win came during my first trip there in 2006.  Of their 5 games, the two notable was a 5-4 sayonara win in 13 innings against Kanonji Dai-ichi where they tied the game in the bottom of the 9th, and a 3-2 win over Marugame in the final.

The team averaged 0.352 overall, but a 0.271 in their final two games seems more accurate.  Iwagami-kantoku also uses a tandem pitching staff using #10 Nishisaka along with Hayashi whenever the situation warrants.  Neither are strikeout pitchers either, so expect a lot of balls in play on both sides.

With both sides probably having an eye to the future and possible recruitment (I mean more of appeal to the middle schooler as opposed to actual recruiting), there is incentive to win and advance.  This should be a highly competitive game, with the advantage probably going to Kagawa Nishi partially on strength of prefecture and a deeper pool of players to draw from.

Kagawa Nishi (Kagawa)
C Oota
RF Watari
SS Oozaki
LF Yamamoto
1B Yanagi
3B Nishioka
CF Shirakawa
2B Funakoshi (#14)
P Hayashi

Tottori Jyouhoku (Tottori)
SS Taniguchi
3B Abe
CF Kimura
RF Satou
1B Kawano
LF Kobayashi
C Kinoshita
P Hirata
2B Komai


15:22 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Oota leads off the game slicing over short for a base hit.  Watari tries to bunt him along to 2nd, but instead he free bunts and fouls out.

Hirada hangs one for Oozaki and he drives one deep to left!  Kobayashi running back to the fence, waits... as it bounces off the actual fence!  Oozaki in with a double and Kagawa Nishi threatens early!

Yamamoto can't get around on Hirata's fastball and he goes down swinging for the 2nd out.

And Hirata freezes Yanagi with a slider on the outside corner to get out of the jam!

Bottom 1st
Two down for Tottori and Kimura hits a ball that short hops Funagoshi and goes into right for a base hit.

Cleanup batter Satou though hits an easy comebacker to Hayashi who tosses to 1st to end the inning.

Top 2nd
Hirata settles down, retiring the side in order as neither Nishioka, Shirakawa or Funakoshi can make good contact on the ball.

Bottom 2nd
It's a quick 6 pitch inning for Hayashi as Kawano pops up to 2nd, Kobayashi first pitch swings and grounds to 2nd, and Kinoshita decides to play golf instead of baseball and flies out to left.

3rd Inning
Sorry, the lack of sleep has been kicking my butt.  I'm still keeping score, but it's hard to keep my eyes open.  Nonetheless, there hasn't been much save for a great diving catch by Oozaki on a liner by Komai.

Top 4th
One down and Yamamoto gets Kagawa's 3rd hit of the game with a single to left.  Hayashi with a ball back up the middle, takes a weird hop and gets away from Komai and Yamamoto advances to 3rd!  Chance for Kagawa Nishi to break the draw.

But Nishioka pops his bunt up!  Kawano catches it in foul territory and quickly flips it to Komai to double off Hayashi!

Bottom 4th
2 quick outs for Hirata but when Satou grounds to 1st, it takes a high irregular hop.   Yanagi makes a leaping snag, takes his time, but throws it behind Hirata!

Kawano up and he lines one down the right field line.. fair!!  That goes all the way to the wall as Satou heads for 3rd and is being waved around!  The throw in from Watari is late and Tottori Jyouhoku opens the scoring and takes a 1-0 lead!

Kobayashi with another laser down the right field that, that's fair too!  Watari scrambles back to the wall to retrieve it, but Kawano scores too making it 2-0 Tottori!

Kinoshita next lines one to left, Kobayashi is being waved home as the throw is cutoff.  Totori now leads 3-0!!

Hirata continues the hit parade with a single through to left.  Komai flies out to end the inning, but Tottori takes a good lead here in the 4th.

Top 5th
One down, Funagoshi hits a shallow fly.  Satou charging in late, dives and makes the catch for the 2nd out.

Hayashi then hits a shot down the left field line for a double, but is stranded when Oota grounds out to short.

Bottom 5th
One down and Abe singes down the right side for a base hit.

Kimura with a grounder to 3rd, Nishioka with the ball, hesitates for a second, then throws it to 2nd base when Abe already had slid in safely!

But Satou bails out Hayashi as he grounds into the inning ending 6-4-3 double play!

We head to the break with Kagawa Nishi down 3 runs, which is certainly not impossible, but they'll need to capitalize on the opportunities they do get.

Top 6th
Watari tries for the drag bunt up the right side, but a charging Komai makes a great throw to just beat Watari to the bag.

Two down and Yamamoto gets his 2nd hit of the day going inside out and hitting a ball to center.

Hey, Kagawa Nishi's oen-dan plays "Jock Rock" too!

Hirata ends the inning though when he strikes out Yanagi on a slider.

Bottom 6th
Kawano catches a hanging curve and lines it down the right field line for a leadoff double!

Iwagami-kantoku has seen enough from Hayashi and sends in #10 Nishisaka.

After a flyout, Kinoshita hits a grounder to 3rd.  Kawano is caught in between bases, but then Nishioka throws the ball away, allowing Kawano to advance after all!

Hirata tries for the safety bunt, but Kawano makes another base-running mistake in not reading thte stop sign!  Nishisaka runs him down for the 2nd out!  Komai grounds out to 2nd to get out of the pinch.

Top 7th
Nishoka with a routine grounder to 3rd, but Abe airmails the throw, allowing Nishioka to reach 2nd.  Shirakawa follows that up with a grounder through the left side and now Kagawa Nishi has a good chance to get on the board.

#16 Kawako comes in to hit for Funagoshi, but grounds to 1st.  Kawano alertly tags 1st and throws home!  Nishioka is caught between bases and is run down for the 2nd out!

Nishisaka grounds to 3rd and Kagawa Nishi is turned away.

Bottom 7th
Kawako stays in at 1B, with Yanagi going to 3B and Nishioka going to 2B.

Taniguchi collects his first hit of the game with a safety bunt up the 3rd base line.  He gets advanced twice on a bunt and groundout, but is left stranded when Satou grounds out to 2nd

Top 8th
Once again, Kagawa gets a runner on with 2 outs as Oozaki slices one down the left field line for a double.

This time though, Yamamoto delivers a base hit through the right side!  They wave Oozaki home, and the throw frm Satou is taken up the line!  Oozaki scores to make it 3-1 and they avoid the shutout!  Yanagi grounds out to end the inning, but Kagawa Nishi is on the board!

Bottom 8th
2 down and Kinoshita is hit by a pitch.  But he's subsequently picked off 1st and run down to end the inning.

Top 9th
Last chance for Kagawa Nishi.  Nishioka first pitch grounds to 3rd.  Shirakawa pops out to Komai, and Kagawa is down to their final out!

But Kawako keeps the game alive with a double to the left field wall!  He's replaced by #17 Sakamoto.

Now #11 Itou comes in to hit for Nishisaka, and he hits a seeing eye single to left!  Sakamoto has to hold, but the douten runner is on base!

The lineup turns over to the top and Oota.

He hits a low liner!  Kobayashi charging in, makes the running grab to end the game!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day 1 - Game 1 - Tottori Jyouhoku (Tottori) vs. Mie (Mie)

Well, with the opening ceremonies completed, the other teams exit as Mie and Tottori Jyouhoku take the field for the tournament opener.

Now, admittedly there probably won't be a whole lot of people here.  Though with the final game being a headliner, it's quite possible the stands might be a little more full than expected for a game like this.

That's not to say Mie or Tottori Jyouhoku aren't good teams, they're just not attention grabbers.

Tottori Jyouhoku won the Chuugoku Super-Regionals, albeit against a slightly weaker field.  Their offense is pedestrian at best (and that was against a weaker field), which means much of the burden will lie with ace Hirata Shouma and reliever Nishisaka Ryou.

First up for them will be Mie.  Now, Mie is no perennial title contender, however they did take Aikoudai Meiden the full 9 in the Toukai Super-Regional final, falling just short 4-3.  Their offense is probably a tick better than Tottori's, but it'll probably also boil down to their ace Miura Koutarou.  They have used many other relievers, but none with extensive playing time, meaning it'll probably be Miura or bust.

I would probably expect a low-scoring affair due to the offenses more than the pitching.  Though if either ace wears down, their game - and subsequently their tournament, ends just after it started.

Tottori Jyouhoku (Tottori)
RF  Satou Kouji
2B  Komai Yuusuke (#6)
CF  Kimura Tatsuya
1B  Kawano Shou
3B  Taniguchi  Hibiki (#15)
LF  Hamada Kouki
C  Kinoshita Yuugo
SS  Hirayama Takuma (#5)
P  Hirata Shouma

Mie (Mie)
3B  Kitade Kazuma
CF  Ishizaki Shouki
1B  Okamoto Takurou
RF  Ogawa Tomoya
SS  Maekawa Naoki
P  Miura Koutarou
C  Kobayashi Daiki
2B  Oda Hayao
LF  Maekawa Jinya

10:32 - First pitch!

Top 1st
Miura starts the game off by getting Satou to swing at three straight pitches.  But as quickly as he records his first K, he walks Kumai on 4 straight, and almost walks Kimura on 4 pitches (it was 5).

And immediately timeout is called  as #15 Shigeyama comes out to the mound.

Cleanup batter Kawano looks for a ball to hit as he fouls off a 2-0 pitch.  Miura gets in a second strike on the outside corner and now Kawano is on the defense just fouling off a pitch.

The swings give Miura a second wind as he strikes out Kawano on a lsider, then Taniguchi on three straight to end the inning!

Bottom 1st
Hirata looking good to start, but a routine grounder to short is thrown high by Hirayama and Mie gets a baserunner.

But just as quickly, Kitade is caught off first and a pickoff throw forces him to 2nd where despite a collision Hirayama holds onto the ball.

It's too bad as Ishizaki takes a ball the other way into the gap.  He rounds the bases as the ball falls softly in for a stand-up triple!  Mie back on the offensive!

Okamoto up and he's brushed back with a pitch up and in!

But when Hirata tries to go down and away, Okamoto golfs it to center!   Kimura fields it conceding the run and Mie scores the first run of the tournament!  They lead 1-0!

Ogawa goes down swinging to end the inning, but not before Mie draws first blood!

Top 2nd
A little on ace Miura.  He's pretty much your average pitcher, with a fastball that can hit 135.  His slider is a bit erratic and can be anywhere from 125~132.  He also has a curve in the high 100's-low 110's.

Despite his lack of control early, he manages to strike out Hamada to start the inning, then gets some help as Kitade plays self-defense on a liner right at him for the 2nd out.  Finally Hirayama flies out to center and it's a much smoother inning for Miura.

Bottom 2nd
Mie's oen-dan goes into Big6 songs.  Whee!

Miura's opponent is about the same.  Fastball in the 134~138 range, slider in the low 120's and a change in the 100's.  He does seem to exhibit better control than Miura.

But Naoki lines a fastball right back up the middle for a leadoff hit.  Miura lays down the bunt and it's up to Kobayashi to get the runner home.

He gets ahead 3-1, but eventually winds up grounding to 3rd.  Oda comes up now to try and play add on.

They try to paint the corner on a 1-2 pitch, but it goes begging.  Doesn't matter because they try it again and Oda offers and misses to end the inning.

Top 3rd
Miura gets himself into trouble yet again.  One down, he hits top batter Satou.  Then Komai lays down a bunt down the 3rd base line that stays fair for a base hit!

Kimura make Miura pay for it as he lines one over Okamoto down the right field line for a double!  That scores Satou and the game is tied at 1-1!

Kawano then hits a grounder to 3rd.  Kitade charges, but his only play is to 1st.  That scores Komai to make it 2-1!  Taniguchi grounds a chopper to 2nd to end the inning, but not before the Chuugoku champs take the lead!

Bottom 3rd
Jinya manages to reach 1st via a dead ball and is bunted to 2nd.  He's advanced to 3rd on a grounder, but there's two outs and they need a one-timer from Okamoto.

Hirata gets him to hit a chopper back to him, but he can't field it cleanly and it goes off his glove! It deflects back towards the left side of 2nd.  Hirayama comes in, but bobbles the ball allowing Jinya to score, tying the game at 2-2!!

Dunno if that chopper rattled him a bit, but he walks Ogawa and now is in a slight pinch.  But he gets Naoki to strike out on a slider down and in to limit the damage.

Top 4th
Miura seems to have on and off innings.  After having a soft liner forcing him to duck for a single, he gets Hirayama to hit a comebacker to him.  Miura proceeds to start the inning ending 1-6-3 double play.

Bottom 4th
Meanwhile, Mie's batters seem to be timing Hirata well.  Miura hits a deep fly to center, followed by a liner to center by Kobayashi.  Oda finally succeeds in actually getting a hit with a liner to center.  Jinya is not as lucky though, as Hirata starts throwing junk and he strikes out to end the inning.

Top 5th
Miura continues to have trouble with leadoff batter Satou, issuing a one-out walk.  But when Komai lines one to Jinya in shallow left, he's too aggressive!  Jinya throws him out trying to return to 1st and the inning is over!

Bottom 5th
Kitade starts off the Mie offense with a slicer over Taniguchi!  It goes all the way to the wall for a leadoff double!  Ishizaki lays down the bunt, and it's up to Okamoto.

And he takes a pitch letter high and drives it to center!  It's over a running Kimura!  Okamoto eases into 2nd with an RBI double!  3-2 Mie!

But Mie helps him limit the damage as Ogawa chases a ball in the dirt, and then Okamoto is caught in between 2nd and 3rd and is run down.  But as we head to the break, Mie leads 3-2!

The game is about what I expected.  Not necessarily good offenses per se, and the pitching is average.  It'll come down to who can get the timely hits more than anything else.

Top 6th
Miura is certainly settling down it seems.  First pitch strikes and a bit more control as the game has progressed.  Kimura pops out to right, cleanup batter Kawano strikes out swinging on a slider outside, and while Taniguchi slices down the left field line for a single (good play by Jinya to limit him), Hamada routinely grounds out to short to end the inning.

Bottom 6th
Bad luck seems to plague the Chuugoku champions.  Naoki hits a hard ball to the right side, but Kawano smothers it!  However, his toss to 1st glances off Hirata's glove and Naoki's safe!

Mie continues to play for a run at a time, and Miura bunts him along.

Kobayashi can't hold up his swing on a ball down and away, and it's up to Oda once again.  He hit a liner back up the middle last time up.

Hirata, aware of this isn't giving him anything good.  Sliders down or fastballs away.

Oda's doing his best, fouling off pitches to stay alive...

And he lines one over Taniguchi into left!  But Hamada is playing in and Naoki can't score!

Up to Jinya to try and get the runs home.

But instead Oda runs the team out of the inning as he's thrown out trying to steal 2nd!  Why?!

Top 7th
Lucky 7 for Tottori Jyouhoku, and they're starting to run out of time.

Kinoshita gets a break when a grounder to 3rd is thrown short by Kitade and bounces over Okamoto's glove.  E5 and the tying run is aboard.

Hirayama tests Kitade again with a bunt down the left side.  Kitade's throw is short again, but Okamoto just picks it for the out.

Trouble for Miura!  Last batter Hirata grounds one past a diving Kitade to left!  Jinya is playing in again, so the runners have to stop.  But the tying run is 90 feet away!

Okita-kantoku calls time to try and slow down the momentum.

But Miura's nemesis is at the plate in leadoff batter Satou. This time around, Miura gets ahead 1-2!  But Satou works the count full, and drives a pitch down and in to center!  It's deep enough and Kinoshita scores easily!  We're douten at 3-3!!

Komai makes Kitade make one more play at 3rd to end the inning, but the 7th indeed provides to be lucky as Tottori Jyouhoku ties the game!

Bottom 7th
Jinya's troubles at the plate continue as he continues to swing at sliders down and in for a K.

Kitade looks to make up for the error as he reaches out and hits a seeing-eye single to left.

Odd, Okita-kantoku isn't calling or a bunt.

Oy...  Kitade pushes it when a ball gets away from Kinoshita, but Ishizaki was holding up the stop sign and Kinoshita throws him out easily.  Ishizaki hits a lazy fly to center and the inning is over just like that.  Momentum may be swinging to Tottori at just the right time.

Top 8th
Problem is, they still cannot get good contact on Miura's pitches.  It's the middle of the lineup, and Kimura hits a grounder to 2nd, Kawano nubs one back to Miura for 2 quick outs.

Taniguchi though seems to be getting in the groove as he sends one into the left center field gap for a 2-out double!  Chance for Tottori, but Hamada steps in 0-3 on the day.  Miura needs to get him as Kinoshita stands on the on-deck circle.

Hm?  Miura's throwing in the low 140's?  Didn't notice that now.  He just threw a 144 pitch.

But it's a high change that he dribbles back to Miura who throws him out to end the inning!

Bottom 8th
Okamoto gets his 2nd hit of the day, a ball just under the glove of Hirayama into left!  It's a given that Ogawa's going to try to lay down the bunt.

But he can't lay it down!  He's down 1-2 in the count and is still showing bunt?  Yes, he still going for it!

And he lays it down beautifully!  Mie now has the go-ahead run in scoring position for Naoki!  But he's just 1-3 with a single back up the middle in the 2nd...

Naoki gets good contact on one, but it's right at Satou!  He doesn't move an inch to record the 2nd out!

Now Miura has to help his own cause with 2 out.  Can he do it?  He did hit a deep drive to center, but otherwise has laid down 2 bunts.

Grounder to short... off Hirayama and into center!!!  Kimura runs it down, but not before Okamoto scores giving Mie the 4-3 lead!

Kobayashi with a single to left!  Miura advances to 3rd as Hamada runs it down and Tottori is in big trouble!  Yamamoto-kantoku calls time and tries to settle down Hamada.

But Oda guides a pitch down and in to the right side and just past a diving Komai into right!  Miura scores on the RBI double and it's now 5-3 Mie!

And finally Yamamoto-kantoku pulls the plug on Hirata when he falls behind Jinya 2-0.  #10 Nishisaka enters the game.  He looks like the same, a righty who has a fastball in the 140's and a change in the high 110's.

But Nishisaka strikes him out on a wild pitch!  Kinoshita hurries to the ball, but everyone's safe!  Kobayashi scores and it's now 6-3 Mie!

Kitade properly strikes out to end the inning, but the damage is done.  Tottori Jyouhoku finds them down 3 again with just 3 outs to go...

Top 9th
Miura gets ahead of Kinoshita 0-2, but nibbles and fills up the count.  And walks him!!

#4 Yokozeki comes in to PH for Hirayama.  But he's way ahead of an 0-2 curve and strikes out swinging!

New P Nishisaka offers at 3 straight pitches away and there's quickly 2 outs!  It's down to captain Satou to keep the game alive!


Satou with a solid drive to right!  Ogawa running to the wall...


Satou drives a ball out to right (which isn't easy) and pulls Tottori Jyouhoku within 1!  It's 6-5!!

And now is it Miura that's rattled??  He walks Komai on 4 straight and now the douten run is aboard!  Okita-kantoku calls time.  He needs Miura to settle down quick or else it could get out of hand.

Kimura with a solid hit though the right side!  Runners on 1st and 2nd with 2 out!!  And cleanup batter Kawano stands in!!

Whoa.  Big swing and miss on the first pitch.

Fouls off the second, and he's down to his last strike...

Pitch outside, and he holds off.. 1-2.

Fouls off another one letter high away...


Kawano finally bites on the slider away and misses to end the game!  Mie holds on to win 6-5!!!!

Tottori Jyouhoku mounted a rally here in the 9th, but just falls short.  It's Mie who will advance to the next round as the Chuugoku champions gather their Koushien dirt and will return back to Tottori.

For Mie, it's a hard fought win that will not get any easier.  With Miura already laboring in their first game, and no real relievers to speak of, it will be difficult to advance in the next round.

Notable Players
Satou Kouji (Tottori Jyouhoku) - 1-2, HR, 2 RBI, BB, HBP
Kimura Tatsuya (Tottori Jyouhoku) - 2-4, 2B, RBI, BB
Taniguchi Hibiki (Tottori Jyouhoku) - 2-4, 2B, K
Oda Hayao (Mie) - 3-4, 2B, RBI, K
Okamoto Takurou (Mie) - 2-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI