Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day 6 - Game 2 - Urawa Gakuin (Saitama) vs. Mie (Mie)

We're now into our 2nd round games, and first up is Kanto champs Urawa Gakuin versus Tokai runner-ups Mie.

Mie barely held on to defeat Tottori Jyouhoku in the opening game of the tournament.  But based upon the results of the Chuugoku region, this is not really a good sign for Mie.

On the other hand Urawa Gakuin took care of its business by dispatching Tsuruga Kehi 10-2.  And seeing that the other Hokushinetsu representative lost to Kinki 5/6 team Riseisha (though they put up a decent fight), they did exactly what they were supposed to do.

So with that being said, Mie will probably have an uphill climb if they want to advance to the Best 8.

Urawa Gakuin (Saitama)
SS  Takemura Haruki
C  Rinzaki Tatsuya
P  Satou Takuya
RF  Sasagawa Ryouhei
LF  Yamane Yuuta
1B  Akashi Hyuuma
3B  Kigure Naito
CF  Ishibashi Tsukasa
2B  Midorikawa Koutarou

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


11:19 - First pitch!

Top 1st
Not an auspicious start when the Mie C can't field what seems like a routine fly on the first batter. Miura has to throw several more pitches to retire Takemura on an infield fly.

Miura is actually having to throw a lot of pitches here to the first two batters.  He strikes out Rinzaki, but his pitches aren't quite hitting the mitt where Kobayashi wants them.

Satou pops up to 2nd on the first pitch and it's a 1-2-3 inning.

Bottom 1st
Satou's control looks a bit better to start, as gets a fairly easy 1-2-3 inning in part thanks to a nice charging catch by Ishibashi.  Well, it wasn't nice in the fact that he kinda tumbled forwards when catching it, but he still made the catch.

Top 2nd
Miura's fastball hitting 143, as this inning is much better.  He records a strikeout between two first pitch fly balls and he's keeping the Urawa Gakuin batters off-balance here to start.

Bottom 2nd
It's more of the same for Satou.  Mie's 4-5-6 batters make weak contact on the ball and the side is retired in order.  Satou's doing his job, but what about the offense?

Top 3rd
Miura doing a great job in the mound.  Three routine grounders and Mie is holding their own against Urawa Gakuin.  If this keeps up they have a chance for the upset!

Bottom 3rd
Kobayashi with a grounder to the gap in left.  Takemura slides over to get it, but can't get enough on the throw and it short hops Akashi!  Base hit, and leadoff runner, on base!

Oda lays down a great bunt and they have a runner in scoring position!

Jinya doing a good job as the #9 hitter taking pitches, but takes one too many when he freezes on a fastball down the middle on a full count pitch.

Up to the top of the order and Ogawa.

But Satou strikes him out on a ball in the dirt!  Rinzaki throws to first for the out, and Mie's chance falls by the wayside!

Top 4th
The top of the order tries to attack the first pitch but grounds to 2nd.

Satou trying to exercise some patience runs the count full, and Miura overthrows a fastball inside (145) and earns a walk.

Now Miura falls behind Sasagawa 3-0 before getting a fastball in there.

Satou tries to steal 2nd, but Kobayashi's throw is there in plenty of time!  No perfect game for Miura, but he's still faced the minimum.

Bottom 4th
Satou having a little bit of control issues, running the count full on Kitade before retiring him.  At the same time both teams are starved for runners, so Ishizaki tries a safety bunt to no avail.

And Okamoto bails out Satou by swinging on a 2-0 pitch and flying out to right.

Top 5th
It's another inning of weak ground balls but the Urawa Gakuin offense.  They're getting the bats ahead and over the pitches from Miura and he has for the most part breezed through the first 5 innings!

Bottom 5th
Naoki turns on a ball inside and sends it past a diving Akasahi for a base hit!

Miura bunt goes foul, no.. fair!  Miura scrambles to head to first, but Rinzaki starts the 2-6-3 double play!

Urawa avoids a jam as Kobayashi flies to right.  Through 5 we've faced just 1 over the minimum and Mie has had the better of it, if just.

Top 6th
Kigure makes more solid contact, but it's a grounder right at Kitade for the out.

Miura records just his 3rd K in Ishibashi when his slider catches the outside corner.  But then he falls behind Midorikawa 3-0 before filling up the count.  And his slider trying for the outside corner goes begging.

And a wild pitch by Miura sends Midorikawa to 2nd!  Okita-kantoku calls time.

Miura's control has been a bit erratic this inning.  He falls behind Takemura 3-0, gets one strike in, but then walks him too!  This is not a good sign.  It's too early to be tiring and losing your mechanics.

But Rinzaki swings on a slider inside and Miura's out of the inning!

Bottom 6th

The urgency may be on for Mie to score to help out Miura as the two walks in the last inning may suggest they're running out of time.

Defensive change for Urawa as #17 Nishioka in for Ishibashi at CF.

Oda falls for a slow curve away and one down for Satou.  Jinya is jammed and flies out to Takemura in foul territory.

Ogawa grounds to short and Mie can't do anything against Satou.  Despite his early troubles, he seems to have found his control and is hitting his spots.

Top 7th
Satou takes a ball to left, and that goes over Jinya's head!  He's in with a leadoff double and Urawa's first hit!

And whether or not they were being careful with Sasagawa, Miura walks him, and he in a big pinch as Okita-kantoku calls for time.

Yamane showing bunt, but the first two pitches go for balls before he lays it down.

Infield in for a play at the plate.  Yamane swinging away on the first pitch, but Miura trying to keep the ball down falls behind 3-1!  It's a walk to Akashi as it's now manui with just one down!

#7 batter Kigure up, 2 groundouts to 3rd so far today.

Grounder to short!  Naoki has it and goes home for one!  Kobayashi's throw to 1st is high, but Okamoto snags it (not in time).  2 down!

New CF Nishioka in, falls behind 1-2.

SANSHIN!  Miura gives a fist pump as he gets Nishioka on a high fastball!  He's out of the jam!

Bottom 7th
Mie needs to use that momentum from the last half inning to get themselves a run.

But Satou seems to have gotten stronger on the mound!  He gets a groundout from Kitade and a foul fly from Ishizaki before striking out Okamoto on three straight!  Mie's lucky 7 ends just like that!

Top 8th
Miura's control issues persist as he walks #9 batter Midorikawa.

Takemura tries to bunt the runner along, but can't and goes down 0-2.  He free bunts and fouls out!

Rinzaki bunts Midorikawa along and they're looking for the one-shot.

But instead we see a rare event.  Miura intentionally walks Satou!  They're going to pitch to Sasagawa!

However Miura falls behind 2-1, but gets him to swing on a change!  One strike away from getting out of the jam!

Sasagawa fights one off.  And Miura hits him!  Miura hits him in the butt and now it's manrui for Urawa Gakuin!

Miura will have to get out of another bases loaded mess!  Yamane up, swings at the first pitch, jammed, but gets it over the infield!  Ogawa's throw is late and 2 runs score!  From one pitch away to getting out of the inning to being behind 2-0, Yamane's bloop base hit breaks the deadlock!

Akashi flies out to center to end the inning, but they've done what they needed to!

Bottom 8th
Mie will now have to come back against a confident pitcher who's only thrown 75 pitches so far!

Naoki chases a shuuto outside and goes down for the first out.  Miura chases a fastball outside and too goes down swining.  Mie certainly feeling the pressure now.

Kobayashi trying to get on base any way possible, fights at the plate and fists one in to left after an 8 pitch AB!

Now Okita-kantoku sends in #15 Shigeyama to hit for Oda.

Satou with a ball that bouncer about 55 feet it seems and Kobayashi takes 2nd!  Mori-kantoku calls time.

And Shigeyama goes ahead 3-1!


But he does and what would have been ball 4 and fouls it off!

SANSHIN!  Satou gets Shigeyama on what might have been a shuuto inside and he's out of the inning!

Top 9th
#16 Nishimura comes in for PH Shigeyama and takes over at 2B.

Miura gets two quick popouts before finally retiring stubborn batter Midorikawa.  It's a 1-2-3 inning, but Mie only has one last chance to keep their hopes alive.

Jinya grounds out to 2nd for the first out.  Back to the top of the order.

Ogawa chases a slider for the 2nd out!  Last chance in Kitade!

Grounder to third!  Kigure with it!  Throws to first, and that's the game!

Mie with a great effort against the Kanto champions, but Miura stamina issues in the 2nd half of the game cost him!  They certainly had their chances against Satou and Urawa Gakuin, and they should be happy about their efforts, but they'll have to wait for the summer to try and get back to Koushien.

As for Urawa Gakuin, they survive a 2nd round game that was probably harder than expected to advance to the best 8.  Satou wound up giving a good performance overall, but the offense will need to support him more, especially since the next opponent is either Kyushu Gakuin or Osaka Touin.

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