Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Looking back and going forward

While I still have games to recap that I missed while working a convention, suffice it to say that I'm surprised at how things turned out.  As good as Sendai Ikuei was, they were shutdown by Kochi.

For Tsuruga Kehi, I was down on the whole Hokushinetsu region, but they proved me wrong by upsetting 2 other super-regional champions and reaching the Best 4.

For sending 6 teams to Haru Koushien, and despite knowing most of the region was weak, not one team advanced to the Best 8.  Not even Osaka Touin, though perhaps injury had more to do with that than anything.

Meanwhile Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou looked to be a force, if not for having their entire battery roughed up in the Osaka Touin game.  They won the battle, lost the war.

That loss was to a team from Shikoku who had 2 teams represented in the Best 4 and guaranteed one in the finals.  And if not for 3 games in 3 days, who knows what would have happened to Saibi?

We had many teams win their first game, most notably Moriokadai Fuzoku, but including Shoushikan, Yamagata Chuo and Engaru.

I was personally entertained by Souseikan's oen-dan, and while they will rival my Seihou in the summer, I wouldn't mind seeing them this summer as well.

And we know of stars that have already been there that have risen in this tournament.  Not the least of which are aces Ojima Kazuya and Anraku Tomohiro, Urawa Gakuin cleanup batter Takada, amongst others.

So as the players march around the field for the last time and the door is closed on the 85th Haru Koushien, the teams will prepare for the 95th Natsu Koushien, another special Koushien where we will see the field expanded once more and more teams will get a chance for the coveted title of Natsu Koushien champions.

*FYI, the special multiple of 5 Koushien tournaments apply to the summer too:
  • Saitama becomes Kita + Minami Saitama
  • Chiba becomes Nishi + Higashi Chiba
  • Kanagawa becomes Kita + Minami Kanagawa
  • Aichi becomes Nishi + Higashi Aichi
  • Osaka becomes Kita + Minami Osaka
  • Hyogo becomes Nishi + Higashi Hyogo
So you should expect 55 teams this summer!

Day 13, Championship - Saibi (Ehime) vs. Urawa Gakuin (Saitama)

So here we are, the 決勝 between Kanto champions Urawa Gakuin and the surprising Shikoku 3-seed Saibi.

Urawa Gakuin, for as many Koushien tournaments they've been to, this is their first championship game.  Their first appearance, the Natsu Koushien in 1968, they reached the semifinals.  The Haru Koushien in 1992 they also reached the semifinals before losing.

They had a renaissance last year having won 2 games before bowing out.  And now this year they are back in the championship game.

After seeing the competition they faced, I thought that their offense wasn't for real.  But while Kishimoto for Tsuruga Kehi was fatigued in the game, they roughed him up for 11 hits (including a HR) and 5 runs.

Meanwhile ace Ojima has continued to not be pressured at all.  Tsuruga Kehi's strategy of attacking Ojima basically failed.  He doesn't throw particularly hard, and perhaps people think that he should be hittable.  But I think the best way to deal with him is to back him into a corner.  By swinging early, Ojima can dictate the action and the pitches his opponents are swinging at.

Saibi has had a very short Koushien history.  But it's a very successful one:
  • 2004 Haru Koushien - Champions
  • 2004 Natsu Koushien - Runner-up
  • 2005 Natsu Koushien - 2nd Round
  • 2008 Natsu Koushien - 1st Round Loss
And here they are again at the championship game.

But Saibi has basically played close games throughout the fall taikai and the Haru Koushien.  Outside of the first 2 games in the Ehime taikai, 6 of their 8 games were decided by 1 run.  In fact, their largest margin of victory was 3 against Seiseikou and a battered Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou.

Unfortunately for Saibi, they will be without their leadoff batter Ueda as he injured his middle finger on his throwing/batting hand in the semifinals.  Yamashita takes over in the leadoff spot, with Oota moving up to #2 and Goutouji coming in as a starting member.  It's a shame almost that Yamashita is in the leadoff spot considering how he's hitting.  The bottom of the lineup needs to get on base ahead of him to really take advantage of his hitting.

But really, it's been Anraku who has been the one carrying the team.  Starting with his 232 pitch enchousen performance against Kouryou, he has basically put the team on his back to reach the final.  His pitch location has gotten worse in his last game, and he predominantly threw off-speed pitches early on.  This will be his 3rd game in 3 days, and the most important of them all.

Saibi (Ehime) - Shikoku 3 seed
CF Yamashita Takuma (#9)
RF Oota Yuuya (#5)
SS Usagawa Riku
P Anraku Tomohiro
3B Morita Shouhei (#15)
1B Fujiwara Kouki
LF Goutouji Shin
C Kaneko Kouhei
2B Machida Takahiro

Urawa Gakuin (Saitama) - Kanto Champions
SS Takemura Haruki
2B Nie Hayato
CF Yamane Yuuta
3B Takada Ryouta
1B Kigure Naito
RF Saitou Ryousuke
C Nishikawa Genki
P Ojima Kazuya
LF Hattori Masamitsu


12:32 - First pitch!

Top 1st
Yamashita already making an impact!  He swings on the first pitch and grounds one past Ojima into center!

Oota pops up his bunt!  Ojima goes to field it, but drops it!  But Yamashita had to hold due to the possible catch and is easily thrown out at 2nd.

Usagawa tries to work the count, but falls behind 0-2.  He hits a towering popup that Hattori finally calls of Takemura and Yamane for.

That brings up cleanup batter (and ace!) Anraku.  He's certainly working the count versus Ojima, then goes and wastes the advantage on a shoulder high fastball.  2-2 count.

And then misses on a fastball on the outer half for strike 3!  Nice start for Ojima!  And I think Saibi is taking pitches when they can.

Bottom 1st
Anraku willing to throw more fastballs here, but the speed is still a bit slow in the mid-130s.

Takemura grounds out to 2nd for the first out.

Anraku's control still doesn't look good, and he's throwing slower to start.

Nie with a grounder up the middle!  Machida ranging over, makes the sliding pick, throws as he's going down to the ground and it gets to 1st in time!  Nice play and a strong arm from Machida!

And Yamane grounds to short.  Usagawa with the routine play and we're scoreless after 1.

Top 2nd
Morita with a ball to right center gives Uragaku another leadoff runner!

Fujiwara trying to bunt him along, fouls off his first attempt.  Lays down the push bunt to move him along for new starting member Goutouji.

Goutouji tries for a base hit through the left side, but Takemura makes a great sliding stop!  Throw to first is up the line, but Kigure makes the tag for the out!

Kaneko with a grounder to short!  Takemura dives, but this time the ball trickles past him into left!  Morita heads home without stopping and the throw is late!  Kaneko coming through with a base hit to give Saibi the first strike!  1-0!!

Machida working the count on Ojima, runs it full.

Single to right!  Kaneko on a dead run heads for 3rd and slides in safely!

With Yamashita coming up, Mori-kantoku calls time.

And Yamashita isn't swinging away, in fact he gets ahead 3-1!  Will they just walk him and deal with Oota?

No, they go inside and get him to groundout to 2nd for the 3rd out.  But Kaneko gives them the early lead!

Bottom 2nd
Anraku gets the ball he wants against cleanup batter Takada, but he's sluggish chasing the short blooper and it falls in behind him for a base hit!

Kigure bunts him along, but Saitou can't advance him at all as he flies out to right.

Nishiyama turns on one and lines it through to left!  Takada has to hold at 3rd.  There was a mistake by Anraku.

But Anraku gets Ojima to chase a ball outside and pops it up!  Usagawa turns his head away it seems as he makes the catch for the 3rd out!

Top 3rd
Oota not getting memo about working count, swings on first pitch and flies to shallow left.

Usagawa tries, but winds up getting behind 0-2 before chasing a ball away for Ojima's 2nd K.

Anraku is almost put in the same position, but guides a ball into center for a 2-out hit.

Morita up 2-1, can't check his swing, starts playing defensive.  Grounds to 1st to end inning, but they are playing it right in my opinion.

Bottom 3rd
Uragaku trying to work Anraku as well, but he continues to miss in the right places if he does.  As a result they are having trouble dealing with him.

Hattori chases a fastball away for the first out, Takemura behind 0-2 grounds to 1st, and on a full count Nie grounds to 2nd.

Top 4th
Fujiwara attacks Ojima and lines a ball down the left field line!  That goes to the wall for a leadoff double!

But Goutouji can't bunt him along!  He's forced to swing away and can't get around a fastball going down for the 1st out.

That brings up Kaneko who had the timely RBI single earlier.

But this time up 2-2, he handcuffs him on a ball inside and rings him up for his 4th K!

That leaves it up to last batter Machida to drive him in.  But he swings away early and grounds to Takemura for the 3rd out.

Ojima is certainly hittable, and it looks like most Saibi batters have a plan at the plate.

Bottom 4th
I have a feeling the tables have turned.  With Anraku not hitting his locations, I think Urawa is attacking earlier in the count.  What they don't understand is that he's not leaving them in hittable areas.

So in the span of 7 pitches, Anraku retires the 3-4-5 batters without a ball leaving the infield!

Top 5th
One down and Ojima issues his first walk to Oota.  Jyoukou-kantoku will play for the one timer as Usagawa bunts him along.

But Anraku swings and misses on a fastball away and Ojima holds the line!

Bottom 5th
Anraku with a slow curve and Saitou grounds it past Fujiwara for a base hit!

Mori-kantoku electing to have Nishikawa hit.

And Nishikawa has Anraku's number!!  He hits one to deep center, and Yamashita leaps, but it's just out of his reach!  It one-bounds to the wall and he's in with a double!

Runners on 2nd and 3rd as Jyoukou-kantoku calls time.

Anraku going after Ojima, gets ahead 0-2, but Ojima fouls a couple off.  Another away, another foul.

Grounder to the left side!  Usagawa dives, but can't get to it!  Saitou comes in to score and Nishikawa advances to 3rd!  Ojima helps his own cause with a douten single!  It's 1-1!

Hattori up to give Uragaku the lead.


Mori-kantoku puts on the squeeze, but the ball is above Hattori's head!  Kaneko holds the ball until Anraku points to 3rd!  Throw from Kaneko and they have Nishikawa picked off!  What a break for Saibi!

And Hattori grounds back to Anraku.  He goes to 1st for the 2nd out.

Takemura with a grounder to 1st, but Fujiwara can't get a hold of the ball!  By the time he does it's too late!  The inning continues dangerously for Saibi as Nie comes to bat!

Takemura takes off on the first pitch, but there's no throw from Kaneko.

And now Anraku hits Nie!  Manrui for Uragaku as Jyoukou-kantoku calls time...

Yamane attacks the first pitch and singles to center!  Yamashita bobbles the ball, but 2 runs score on the play anyways on the hit!  Urawa Gakuin now leads 3-1!

Takada driving the first pitch deep to left!  All Goutouji can do is play it off the wall for yet another double!  Both runners score and it's 5-1 Uragaku!

Kigure with a drive to left center!  Again Goutouji can only chase it as it lands at the base of the wall for another double!  3 straight hard hit doubles and it's gone from 1-1 to 6-1!!

Saitou up for the 2nd time, continuing to pour it on!  He singles to shallow right center and Kigure scores to make it 7-1!!

Nishikawa follows suit with another single to center and will Jyoukou-kantoku pull the plug?

It doesn't look like it as he leaves Anraku in, but he finally gets Ojima to pop out to Usagawa to end the inning.

But it looks like Anraku has just run out of gas and his team finds themselves with what seems like an insurmountable deficit as we hit the break!!

Top 6th
Morita driving a pitch into right center has a leadoff double!

But Fujiwara chases the first pitch and grounds to 3rd, unable to advance Morita.

A surprise as #8 Ueda comes in to hit, but he is just as unproductive, grounding to short on a 0-1 pitch.

Kaneko tries to find the right pitch, gets ahead 3-1 before Ojima puts one in on the outer half.  He grounds to short as well and Saibi is in deep trouble if not already lost.

Bottom 6th
Oota is staying in the game at CF!  Yamashita shifts to RF and Oota goes to LF!

After a K to Hattori, Takemura resumes the hit parade with a liner to right.  Mori-kantoku will still play for another run as Nie bunts him along.

And now Anraku hits Yamane!  Oy.

Mori-kantoku will not let up!  He starts the double steal and Kaneko's throw is not in time!

And now he hits Takada.

#10 Yamaguchi warming up, but putting him in admits defeat and the inability to have Anraku fight through the rest of the game.

Kigure with a ball to center.  It falls in front of Ueda who fires home as Yamane is waved in!  Kaneko with the tag, but not in time!  It's 9-1 Uragaku.

Saitou grounds to short to end the inning, but it's almost elementary now.

Top 7th
#11 Yamane comes in to hit for Machida, and takes a close pitch inside on a full count for a walk.  He's replaced by #13 Nakagawa.

Yamashita follows that up with a single to right.  2 runners on with no out, but a long journey to go.

Case in point, Oota grounds into the 6-4-3 double play, and Usagawa flies out to left to end the inning as quickly as it got started.

Bottom 7th
Jyoukou-kantoku has waved the white flag.  Anraku moves to 1st, #10 Yamaguchi comes in for Fujiwara and takes the hill, while #14 Hayashi Kanya comes in for PR Nakagawa to take over at 2B.

And while he gives up a walk to last batter Hattori, he retires the other batters without too much trouble.

Top 8th
It's really a formality now and the Saibi batters probably realize this too.  They go down in order - Anraku grounding back to Ojima, Morita and Yamguchi going down on strikes.

Bottom 8th
Mass changes for Saibi.

Oota comes in from LF to the mound.  #16 Tsunedzuka comes in for Yamaguchi and goes to LF.  Meanwhile, #18 Hayashi Kento comes in for Anraku and goes to 3B shifting Morita goes to 1B.  Anraku's day is officially done.

The extra runs Urawa Gakuin aren't necessary, but show respect to Saibi instead of easing up.

Nie singles to left, followed by a sharp grounder to right by Yamane.  Takada walks to put the bases loaded.

Kigure grounds to short and Usagawa goes home to cut down the lead runner.,

But a hit batter to Saitou brings in a run to make it 10-1.

Nishikawa then splits the outfield with a ball to left center for a bases clearing double, 13-1.

Ojima records the 2nd out on a grounder to 3rd.

But Hattori walks, Takemura blasts one over the drawn in outfield to score two more, 15-1.

Nie up for his 2nd AB this inning scorches one past Morita into right for a double, 16-1.

Yamane makes it 17-1 with a liner over Usagawa's head.

Takada flies out to center to end the inning.

Top 9th
Ueda up for his 2nd AB, grounds back to Ojima.  #12 Utsunomiya, hitting for Kaneko, also grounds back to Ojima.

Hayashi flies out to left, Hattori makes the catch and Urawa Gakuin wins their first ever Koushien title (Haru or Natsu)!!

Urawa Gakuin's players sprint to their oen-dan to celebrate, while Anraku's tears finally come out after the loss is finally realized.  He put up a great effort for as long as he could, but 3 games in 3 days was just too much to handle for the 2nd year fireballer.  It's always hard to see the losing team, especially in games like these, but here's to hoping Anraku gets another chance here at Koushien before his time is up.  He's earned it in my opinion.

Meanwhile Ojima, a 2nd year himself, masterfully worked through Haru Koushien, and while he never threw hard, he managed to deftly avoid big innings and keep his team always in it.  Do not be surprised if they may challenge in the summer, but again, the lack of a fireballer will always make it difficult in single-elimination scenarios.

But that's for a later time!  For only the second time in the prefecture's history, a team from Saitama wins Koushien!  And for Urawa Gakuin, they get to celebrate their first ever Koushien title!!  Enjoy it!  You've earned it!

Notable Players
Ojima Kazuya (Urawa Gakuin) - W, CG, ER, 8 H, 7 K, 2 BB
Nishikawa Genki (Urawa Gakuin) - 4-5, 2 2B, R, 3 RBI
Kigure Naito (Urawa Gakuin) - 2-4, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI
Yamane Yuuta (Urawa Gakuin) - 3-5, 3 R, RBI, SB, HBP
Anraku Tomohiro (Saibi) - L, 6 IP, 3 ER, 12 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 3 HBP
Yamashita Takuma (Saibi) - 2-4
Morita Shouhei (Saibi) - 2-4, 2B, R, K

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Day 12, Semifinal #2 - Kochi (Kochi) vs. Saibi (Ehime)

Well, we know one team who's in the finals.  Who will step up to face them tomorrow?

One thing we do know, it will be a team from Shikoku - which is not what I would have expected at all.

Oddly enough, Kochi has not faced off against Saibi as they were on opposite sides of the Shikoku taikai.  They got here by first shocking Kanzei (ok, perhaps just me only) with a 5-1 upset. After that, the team has played very close, low-scoring games defeating Tokoha Kikugawa then upsetting the Meiji Jingu champs Sendai Ikuei.

For Saibi, it was the only extra inning affair again Kouryou, then handling Seiseikou and battering an already battered Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou battery for 6 runs.

I really don't know what to expect from this game, especially since this isn't a rematch from the fall.  It's been a while for Kochi to reach the finals, while Saibi is going for their 2nd finals in their 2nd attempt.

Who wants it more?

(I'll insert more here when the game is over)

Kochi (Kochi) - Shikoku Champions
2B Wada Yoshito
SS Doi Kouyou
1B Ichikawa Gou
3B Wada Ren
LF Matagawa Ryouyuu
CF Ueta Shunya
RF Sugimoto Daiki
C Maeda Ryuusei (#12)
P Sakai Yuuya (#10)

Saibi (Ehime) - Shikoku 3 seed
CF Ueda Kyousuke
RF Yamashita Takuma
SS Usagawa Riku
P Anraku Tomohiro
LF Oota Yuuya (#5)
3B Morita Shouhei (#15)
1B Fujiwara Kouki
C Kaneko Kouhei
2B Machida Takahiro

13:22 - First pitch!

Top 1st
Anraku throwing a lot of off-speed pitches to start.  Perhaps he can't locate his fastball?

More like his fastball is not as fast as before, only in the upper 130s.  Yoshito grounds to 1st on one such one.

More off-speed pitches to Doi.


Doi gets a hold of a fastball from Anraku!  Oota running back to the fence!! Looks up!!


Doi with a HR in the first just like the previous game gives his team a 1-0 lead!

Anraku continues with his steady diet of non-fastballs.  Ichikawa strikes out looking on a slider and Ren flies out to right.

But if Anraku's fastball is wordly today and he's throwing off-speed pitches almost exclusively, this could be a big problem for Saibi.

Bottom 1st
One pitch, one out.  Kyousuke flies out to left.

Yamashita tries to work the count, but winds up grounding out to short for the 2nd out.

Usagawa is called going around on a slider down and in and it's a 1-2-3 inning to start for Sakai.

Top 2nd
Shunya with a ball up the middle, Usagawa with a great diving stop, but the ball slips out of the glove on the way to throw to 1st and Shunya is safe!

And now he tries to steal 2nd!  Throw from Kaneko is a bit of a loop and Ueta is in safely!  And the ball gets away fro Usagawa allowing Ueta to reach 3rd!

Ah, looks like the dirt from the slide got in his eyes.

Luckily for Saibi, it doesn't hurt them as Maeda grounds to 2nd to end the inning.

Bottom 2nd
After a groundout by Anraku to start the 2nd, Oota works a walk off of Sakai.

But when Jyoukou-kantoku runs the hit-and-run, Morita grounds right to Ren who goes to 2nd and still gets the lead runner!  Yoshito fires to 1st and the twin-tandem gets the double play!

Top 3rd
Bottom of the order and Sakai steps in.

Grounder to short, and the hop unexpectedly eats up Usagawa!  He drops it and his throw to 1st is late!

Back to the top of the order and Yoshito, and ooooh...  He gets called out on a very questionable fastball in the bottom of the zone.

Anraku continues to throw predominantly off-speed pitches which only help to speed up the bats.

Doi gets around on one, but grounds to Fujiwara.  He goes to short for 1, goes back to Fujiwara for the double play!

Bottom 3rd
So far Saibi is going after early pitches, but like last game, it seems like when they're able to go deeper into counts they get better results.

Fujiwara grounds out to short on a 1-1 count.  Kaneko hits a soft liner to short on the same 1-1 count.

Machida has to swing away after falling behind 1-2, and grounds out... to short to end the inning.

Top 4th
Anraku is back to hitting the low-mid 140s, but it seems hittable.

Ichikawa on the 2-2 pitch walks back to the dugout only to be called back by the umpire!  He wasn't called out!

He is later though as he is frozen on a fastball down the middle.

Ren goes after the first pitch and hits a deep fly to center.  Ueda is there near the fence to make the catch.

And it looks like he's using his fastball more now as he buries a fastball and gets Matagawa to chase to end the inning.

Bottom 4th
Hm.  I think someone's heard me over on Saibi's bench...

After a quick flyout by Ueda, Yamashita and Usagawa work back-to-back full count walks.  That sets the table for Anraku, who should still implement the strategy.

Once again, he is working the count and gets ahead 2-1.  Oddly, Jyoukou-kantoku has Oota go out and talk to Anraku.

On the very next pitch, Sakai bounces it in front of Maeda!  It bounces high into the air and to the backstop!  Runners advance, and now it's Shimada-kantoku calling for time!

Anraku goes after the 3-1 pitch but can't make contact!  Full count yet again for Sakai!

Check swing by Anraku makes contact with the next pitch and fouls it off!

Ball low and Sakai has walked the bases loaded!!

Shimada-kantoku as Sakamoto warming up along with another pitcher.  He's got to make a decision quick because Sakai is in a real pinch!

Grounder to 3rd by Oota.  Off Ren's foot as he shuffles over and it's into foul territory!  He chases it down but has no play!  Yamashita scores and it's 1-1!!

Now Morita looking to give Saibi the lead, but he deviates from the plan!  He swings on the 1-1 pitch and pops it up!  Ren in foul territory makes the catch for the 2nd out!

And Fujiwara also chases a pitch early and falls behind.  He winds up chasing a fastball away for the 3rd out and Sakai limits the damage to the douten run!  (Saibi's 6-7 hitters let him off the hook.)

Top 5th
#7 Goutouji comes in to play CF for Ueda.

Ueta leads off the inning with a grounder past a diving Usagawa!  Sugimoto tries to bunt him over, but Anraku instead fires to 2nd!  Usagawa makes the out but the slide from Ueta prevents a throw to 1st.

Maeda up and it looks like Sakai's day is over.  #18 Takeuchi is in the on deck circle instead of Sakai.

Shimada-kantoku sending Sugimoto!  Throw from Kaneko... not in time!  Kochi threatens to take the lead once again!

But Maeda bails swing on an ball up and in for the 2nd out.

Takeuchi trying to get the timely pinch-hit runs the count full but is called out looking on a borderline fastball to end the inning.

Bottom 5th
Ace Sakamoto comes in the game for Kochi to hold the tie.

One pitch, one out.  Kaneko flies out to center.

Last batter Machida pulls a ball on the outer half and singles to left!  Jyoukou-kantoku elects to have Goutouji bunt the runner along for a one-shot.

And it works!  Yamashita hits a grounder past a diving Doi!  Machida is being waved home!  Throw in from Matagawa is up the 1st base line and late!  Machida scores and Yamashita takes 2nd on the throw!  Yamashita with the gyakuten RBI to give Saibi the 2-1 lead!

Usagawa still without a ball in play as he feebly swings on a sinker to end the inning, but even putting ace Sakamoto in hasn't help Kochi here in recent inning as Saibi ties, then takes the lead as we hit the break!

Top 6th
Defensive change as the outfielders play the shuffle game.  Goutouji goes from CF to LF, Oota goes from LF to RF, and Yamashita goes from RF to CF.

The defense doesn't affect this inning though as leadoff batter Yoshito grounds to 2nd, Doi looks at a 146 kph heater down the pipe, and Ichikawa grounds to 1st to end the inning.

Bottom 6th
Things are changing quickly as Anraku singles back up the middle, going 5-hole on Sakamoto.

Oota looking to bunt, but actually gets ahead 3-1 before the count runs full.

The cameras go to the 3rd base coaches' box and it's former CF Ueda with his middle finger bandaged up.  That can't be good for them.

Back to the action, and Jyoukou tries the hit-and-run only to have Oota miss and Anraku left out to dry.  He's run down for the 2nd out.

And Morita pops out to Yoshito to end the inning.

Top 7th
Ren with a drive to left-center!  Yamashita running over, leaps!


Anraku tries to put a fastball by Kochi's cleanup hitter, but he drives it out of the ballpark!  Kochi with their 2nd HR of the day ties the game at 2-2!!

Anraku retires the next 3 without much issue, but the HR bug has bit him yet again - this time in the Lucky 7!!

Bottom 7th
Fujiwara with a bit of bad luck has his check swing hit the ball in play in front of home.  Maeda goes to 1st for the out.

Kaneko with a lazy fly to center is the 2nd out.  Machida softly lines out to 3rd and Saibi can't get anything on their Lucky 7.

Top 8th
#17 Okuda in to hit for Maeda as the Kochi oen-dan plays Born This Way.  He grounds to 1st.

Sakamoto without a hit still as he pops one to Usagawa behind 2nd.

Back to the top of the order and Yoshito.

Down 1-2, he bloops one into left center for a single.

But he's stranded there when Doi flies out to center to retire the side.  Are we headed for another enchousen game?

Bottom 8th
#2 Kawakami Shouta now in at C.
Goutouji gets ahead of Sakamoto 3-1, but can only hit a fly to center.

Yamashita with a ball driven to left!  Matagawa chasing it to the wall!!!


Yamashita trying to give Anraku a break!  He drives a HR to give Saibi the lead at 3-2.

Sakamoto trying to hold the line at 1, gets Usagawa to climb the ladder for the 2nd out.

But when Anraku has a grounder take a high bounce past Yoshito into right, Shimada-kantoku has seen enough.  Ren comes in from 3B to take the hill and #16 Kawakami Yuuta comes in Sakamoto's place to play 3B.

Oota pops out to Shouta to end the inning, and it's crunch time for Kochi!!

Top 9th
3-4-5 batters up for Kochi.

Ichikawa with a pop fly down the 3rd base line.  Machida going out is called off by Oota, but the ball pops out when he dives for it!  Ichikawa running all the way reaches 3rd safely!  What a quick turn of events!!

But Anraku gest Ren to pop it up!  Machida under it and makes the catch for the 1st out!

Matagawa with a hard ball at short!  Usagawa there, but he can't field it cleanly!  Goes to get the ball but has no play!!!  1st and 3rd with just 1 out!

Ueta with a grounder to 3rd!  Morita going home... he's out by a good margin!

They're down to their final out as Sugimoto steps in.

Anraku gets ahead 0-2!  Sugimoto with a fly ball to right!  Oota under it and this time he will not drop it as he secures it for the 3-2 victory!  Saibi will advance to the finals to win their 2nd Haru Koushien title in as many attempts!

You can tell from the players to the kantoku though that Kochi had a chance at this game.  Anraku wasn't at his best and by the 2 HR's they hit, he was certainly human.  Yet they were never able to take advantage of other opportunities to extend the lead or retake it.  Considering it would have been their 1st appearance in a final in 38 years, they know this was the best chance they've had and it slipped away.

But give credit to Anraku for hanging in there despite definitely being not 100%.  He did just enough to allow his offense (and by that I mean Yamashita) time to pull the game out for him.

Saibi got as many hits as Kochi.  But it was the 4 walks but the timing of those hits that made all the difference.  And so Saibi, the Shikoku 3-seed will face off against Kanto Champions Urawa Gakuin for the 85th Haru Koushien title!!

Notable Players
Anraku Tomohiro (Saibi) - W, CG, 2 ER, 5 H, 7 K, 0 BB
Anraku Tomohiro (Saibi) - 2-3
Yamashita Takuma (Saibi) - 2-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI
Sakai Yuuya (Kochi) - ND, 4 IP, ER, 0 H, 2 K, 4 BB
Sakamoto Yuuta (Kochi) - L, 3.2 IP, 5 H, 3 K, 0 BB
Doi Kouyou (Kochi) - 1-4, HR, R, RBI
Wada Ren (Kochi) - 1-4, HR, R, RBI
Ueta Shunya (Kochi) - 2-4

Day 12, Semifinal #1 - Tsuruga Kehi (Fukui) vs. Urawa Gakuin (Saitama)

Well, I've missed quite a bit, and it looks like things have gone, well... not as expected.

Take semifinal #1.  I'm sure that if you had to compare Harue Kougyou vs. Tsuruga Kehi you probably had to favor Tsuruga Kehi just because of their experience.

Harue Kougyou and Tsuruga Kehi got the short end of the sticks.  Both had to start from the furthest depths of the bracket.  Harue Kougyou drew Tokoha Kikugawa and lost 9-5.  Tsuruga Kehi meanwhile has defeated 2 champions, and the Tohoku 2 and 3 seeds and has reached the semifinals.

What has shocked me has been the way they've done it.  In the fall taikais their offense was nearly non-existant.  Yet with exception of the Moriokadai Fuzoku game (where they probably on my suggestion took a "game off", they have done nothing but show offense.  With 2, 4, 2 and 5 extra base hits in their 4 games, they've shown they can hit the ball.

And yet, it's not like they've totally shutdown their opponent's offenses.  More often than not, they give up about as many hits as they get.  The difference is that their ace Kishimoto Jyunki has just limited the impact of those hits.

The problem for Azuma-kantoku is that in their last game against Seikou Gakuin, he tried to give his ace rest after giving him an 11-0 lead.  But out of the 15 batters his relief corps faced, 8 reached base via a hit or walk.  In fact Kishimoto had to come back in to clean it up.

So chances are that means that unless there is another blowout, it will be Kishimoto all the way.  Thankfully he has one day off before this start.

Their opponent is one of the two last champions that are left.

Urawa Gakuin won the relatively weak Kanto super-regional.  And so far, they haven't been challenged really this Koushien.  After taking it relatively easy on Tosa with a 4-0 win, they've blown out Yamagata Chuo and Hokushou.

Sure, give credit for Urawa Gakuin for doing everything they've needed to do to reach this point, but this will certainly be the biggest challenge ace Ojima will be facing.  If his line against Hokushou is any indication (1 H and 1 BB, but 1 K), he will be really hard-pressed to locate his pitches until the last out is recorded...

Tsuruga Kehi (Fukui) - Hokushinetsu Runner-up
CF Mine Kentarou
3B Yonemitsu Issei
1B Yamada Seiya
C Kita Ryouta
SS Asai Hiroya
LF Miyazaki Hiroya (#13)
RF Iwata Shinya
2B Yamane Takaki
P Kishimoto Jyunki

Urawa Gakuin (Saitama) - Kanto Champions
SS Takemura Haruki
2B Nie Hayato
CF Yamane Yuuta
3B Takada Ryouta
1B Kigure Naito
RF Saitou Ryousuke
C Nishikawa Genki
P Ojima Kazuya
LF Hattori Masamitsu


11:00 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
Two quick outs from Ojima to start the game.  But Yamada singles to right to break up the fast start.

Kita up, works the count full.

Lines one down the left field line!  Hattori has to field it at the wall!  Yamada rounding 3rd, he scores!  Tsuruga Kehi with yet another extra base hit to get a 1-0 lead!

Asai grounds to 1st to end the inning, but already Tsuruga Kehi is flexing their offensive muscle!

Bottom 1st
Kishimoto not as off to a great start as he beans Nie with one down.  But after another popup to Takaki by Yuuta, there's 2 down.

Takada does down and drives a slider to left center.  Mine running back, running back... running back to the wall!  He leaps!!!


Wow!  Urawa Gakuin flexing their power with a ball that did not look like it was going to clear the wall, but just did!  Takada fires right back at Tsuruga Kehi giving Urawa Gakuin the 2-1 lead!!

Kigure with a drive to left!  Miyazaki running back to the wall has to play it off the wall!  He's in with a double!!

Saitou flies out to left to end the inning, but this is a surprise!

Top 2nd
Unlike the first inning, Ojima is handling the bottom of the lineup.  Iwata gives him a tough time in the middle, but he gets Miyazaki and Takaki on 2-pitch outs.

Bottom 2nd
Defensive change for Tsuruga Kehi!  #17 Kakutani comes in for Miyazaki to play LF.  Wonder what that is about.

Kishimoto not looking as sharp it seems.  Nishikawa goes full on Kishimoto and flies out to right after Iwata calls off Takaki.

Then after a quick groundout by Kishimoto, Hattori just bloops one over a leaping Asai for a base hit!

And now Mori-kantoku is pushing the action!  2-2 pitch to Takemura and Hattori takes off!  Throw to 2nd is late and now Urawa has a runner in scoring position!

But Kishimoto finally gets Takemura to groundout to short to end the inning.  He isn't looking as sharp this time around.

Top 3rd
Tsuruga Kehi is attacking Ojima early.  Kishimoto grounds out to 3rd, while Mine gets hit.

Issei hits a chopper up the 1st base line, basically advancing Mine.

And while Ojima makes a mistake leaving one over the plate, Yamada can only ground it to 2nd for the final out.

It doesn't look like either pitcher is on their game right now.

Bottom 3rd
After a first pitch out to Nie, Yuuta runs the count full on Kishimoto - who is missing locations by a good margin, before grounding to 3rd.

Takada, who hit the HR earlier, got hit by a Kishimoto offering trying to be inside.

But Mori-kantoku tries to push the offense again by having him steal on the first pitch, only to be thrown out by a country mile.

Top 4th
Again, Tsuruga Kehi attacking Ojima knowing he'll be in the zone with hittable pitches.

But they're not making great contact.  Curious.

Kita grounds out to 3rd, Asai fouls out to Kigure.

But new LF Kakutani with a hard grounder to 3rd!  Takada dives, but the ball isn't that far away and is actually behind his glove!  Takemura backs up the play, but Kakutani is easily safe.

Hit-and-run!!  Iwata lines one over a ducking Ojima into center!  Kakutani sprinting for 3rd, reaches without any issue!  Runners at the corners with 2 out!

But Takaki's hard hit to 2nd is smothered by Nie!  He goes to 1st and the inning is over!

Bottom 4th
Kishimoto beginning to look like his normal self, getting ahead of Kigure 1-2 before getting him to not hold up his swing on a slider away.

Of course I say that and he leaves a pitch high on Nishikawa who lines it down the right field line for a double.  Runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out!!

1-0 pitch to Ojima, Kita fires to 3rd!  Saitou is caught off the bag and is called out!!!  What a mistake by the Urawa Gakuin baserunners!  Now instead of 2nd/3rd with 1 out, it's 2nd with 2 out!  Kita was all setup for that too.  Pitch outside, but on the glove side so he could quickly fire it over.  That was planned all the way as Kita saw something.

And it is a big mistake as Ojima grounds to short to end the inning!

Top 5th
One down, back to the top of the order and Mine.  He gets on base again, but this time drawing a walk instead of getting hit.

And the first pitch gets away from Nishikawa!  Mine heads to 2nd on the passed ball!

But Issei with a grounder to short!  Takemura with a great running stop, throws across his body to 1st... makes the play!  Wonderful play from Urawa's SS!

And Yamane swings on the first ball and pops it up!  Yuuta under it and makes the catch for the 3rd out!

Bottom 5th
Hattori with a short blooper up the middle.  Takaki charging in, but by the time he gets the ball, Hattori's almost at 1st and there's no play!

Kishimoto struggling with control again, going 3-0 on Takemura before getting a generous inside call and a regular strike to fill up the count.

But Takemura just scorches one back up the middle!  Takaki has no chance at it as it goes to center!  Hattori running reaches 3rd with no problem!

Nie trying for a sac fly, swings and gets a pop fly!  Asai goes back towards the outfield grass and makes the catch for the 1st out!

Yuuta tries to hit a sac fly to right on a 1-1 pitch, but winds up fouling it off.  The Tsuruga Kehi battery tries the outside strike, but gets no bites from either Yuuta or the umpire.

And they try it again a bit more inside, but this time Yuuta does bite!  Same swing, and he bloops one into left!  Hattori with a big smile as he runs home giving Urawa Gakuin the 3-1 lead!!

Kishimoto is finally able to retire Takada for the first time inducing a grounder to short.  But it's slow enough that Asai's only play is to 1st, advancing the runners.

Kishimoto leaves one over again!!!  Kigure takes down the left field line once again to the wall!  It's an easy double and a 5-1 lead for Urawa Gakuin!!!

Uragaku's oen-dan playing Yankee Doodle Dandy as Saitou steps in.

Kishimoto gets him to pop out to Takada to end the inning, but Kishimoto does not look good at all in this game.  Worse yet, Azuma-kantoku knows he has no realistic options in the bullpen.  If he goes there he admits defeat.

As for Ojima he's giving up contact, but none of it has hurt him.  And for the most part, the balls hit are not hit hard.  Tsuruga Kehi's batters are helping him out too by swinging away early and not letting Ojima go deep into counts.

Top 6th
Kita swinging for the fences pulls one foul.  I don't think he's getting that pitch again...

Kita does make contact, and it is hard, but it's right to Yuuta in center.

Asai swings on the first pitch and pops out to Takemura.

Kakutani is the first one to work the count in a bit and while he goes 3-1, he grounds out to Takemura to end the inning.  Tsuruga Kehi is in all likelihood helping Uragaku out by swinging away early.

Bottom 6th
For the most part that's what Uragaku has done in the last 2 innings.

Nishikawa with his 2nd base hit, a shot past Yamada into right.  Ojima showing bunt, lays it down.

Hattori with a grounder to 3rd.  Yonemitsu stumbles, but makes the pick!  Throws to 1st a bit off balance, but Yamada makes a great catch to secure the ball for the 2nd out!

Back to the top of the order and Takemura.

Liner to right side!  Yamane dives to his right and makes a great catch!!  He had almost no time and yet he's still able to quick dive to save another run!

Top 7th
Tsuruga Kehi still attacking early in the count.  Iwata grounding to 2nd on a 1-1 pitch.

Yamane able to turn on a inside 2-1 offering from Ojima, but he flies out to right.

And Kishimoto this time works the count, but strikes out swinging to end the inning!  They're down to their final 6 outs!

Bottom 7th
The MBS feed totally conks out on everyone.

In the meantime, I can see from the Asahi site as Nie grounds out to 2nd after a long AB, Yuuta floes out to left and Takada goes down swinging on 3 straight.  Still, Kishimoto's being worked.

Top 8th
That isn't the case with Ojima who again works quickly.  Mine backed into a corner for one of the few times strikes out swinging.  Issei goes after a 1-1 pitch and flies out to center.

Yamada also attacks an early pitch, takes the 2-0 ball into left for a double.

But he's left stranded there after Kita grounds to short to end the inning!  They're down to their last 3 outs!

Bottom 8th
After a liner to 3rd by Kigure that Issei snags, Azuma sends in #16 Watanabe to hit for Saitou.  He promptly takes one the other way for a base hit.

And after a pitch to Nishikawa, Mori-kantoku sends in #15 Kubo to run for Watanabe.

Ojima with a blooper to left, Asai going back again and yet again it falls behind him for a base hit!  Now runners at 1st and 2nd for Hattori, but he flies out to right-center to end the inning.

Top 9th
It's already the 9th inning and Tsuruga Kehi needs 4 runs before they record 3 outs!

Asai grounds out to short and there's already one out!

Kakutani gets hit and they have a runner, but it's just 1 and they need 3 more in.  #14 Yonemitsu Nagi comes in to run.

Iwata with a comebacker to Ojima!  Goes to 2nd, and is taken out by Nagi preventing the double play!

But what's this!  The umpires call an aggressive slide and call the runner out at 1st!  Game set!

It's not the way Tsuruga Kehi would want to end a game, but unfortunately it caps off their loss to Urawa Gakuin!

Tsuruga Kehi got their first attack in right away, but was unable to do anything thereafter.  They tried to solely use their bats to put pressure on Ojima, and as a result played his game.  He was not under much stress for the majority of the game and cruised to the 5-1 win!

So Urawa Gakuin has reached their 1st ever Haru Koushien final.  Will they bring the title home to Saitama?

As for Tsuruga Kehi, Kishimoto probably under a day's rest and under the pressure to perform with no backup behind him probably spelled the death knell for his team.  Great run from the Hokushinetsu representative, but they'll have to work on their pitching depth come the summer.

Notable Players
Ojima Kazuya (Urawa Gakuin) - W, CG, ER, 5 H, 3 K, BB, 2 HBP
Takada Ryouta (Urawa Gakuin) - 1-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, HBP, K
Kigure Naito (Urawa Gakuin) - 2-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, K
Hattori Masamitsu (Urawa Gakuin) - 2-4, R, SB
Kishimoto Jyunki (Tsuruga Kehi) - L, CG, 5 ER, 11 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 2 HBP
Yamada Takaki (Tsuruga Kehi) - 2-4, R, 2B
Kita Ryouta (Tsuruga Kehi) - 1-4, 2B, RBI

Monday, April 1, 2013

Day 11, Quarterfinal #4 - Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou (Gifu) vs. Saibi (Ehime)

Our final quarterfinal matchup may or may not be an exciting matchup.  It's all because it depends on the battery for Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou.  The battery of Fujita and Kouyama each suffered injuries that jeopardized their participation going forward.

Now, with just 1 day of rest their team takes the field once again, and perhaps as no surprise, both are out on the field to start the game.  It still begs the question though as to what their actual health is coming in.  Kouyama because of the offense he brings, and Fujita because he's the ace.

If they're not 100% (especially Fujita), Kengifushou will probably be in a heap of trouble against Saibi.

And that's because Saibi has ace Anraku - who has completely taken the Haru Koushien by storm by the performance he had against Kouryou.  3 days later, he comes back to limit Seiseikou to just 1 run on 7 hits.

Now, he comes back on 1 day's rest to try and send his team to the semifinals.

This for him and his team is where fatigue will start to set in.  Anraku was fortunate enough to have that 232 pitch performance in the first game - but that's not to say that it depleted him so much that his stamina is much shorter.

Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou (Gifu) - Tokai Champions
LF Kawamura Renji
SS Noda Gento
3B Azuma Taito (#4)
1B Takenaka Hiroki
C Kouyama Takurou
CF Aoki Shouya
RF Hayashi Tomonori
2B Okimoto Takuya (#14)
P Fujita Ryouji

Saibi (Ehime) - Shikoku 3 seed
CF Ueda Kyousuke
RF Yamashita Takuma
SS Usagawa Riku
P Anraku Tomohiro
3B Oota Yuuya
1B Morita Shouhei (#15)
LF Goudouji Shin
C Kaneko Kouhei
2B Machida Takahiro


13:46 - First pitch!

Top 1st
Kawamura right off the bat swings on the first pitch and hits a fly ball down the right field line.  Yamashita sprinting into foul territory, makes the catch against the fence for the 1st out!  Nice defensive play to start the game!

Anraku goes away on Noda and retires him on three straight, looking at a slider for the out.

And Anraku works Azuma in and out, striking him out on a fastball outside, and it looks to be business as usual for the Saibi ace.

Bottom 1st
Oy, the battery is already battered and Ueda starts Saibi off with a zinger past Fujita into center for a base hit.

After the sac bunt by Yamashita, a pitch from Fujita gets away from Kouyama and he loses track of it!  Ueda advances to 3rd, and Saibi already threatening here in the 1st.

Liner from Usagawa!  Azuma leaps, and it's off the end of his glove and into right field!  Ueda scores and Saibi quickly takes the 1-0 lead!

Fujita not going to buckle down early, gives cleanup batter Anraku no fastballs to hit and gets him to chase on a slider away for the 2nd out.

And then he turns around, pitches away exclusively to Oota before freezing him on a fastball inside for the 3rd out.  And if not for another inch of vertical from Azuma, it would still be a scoreless game.

Top 2nd
Takenaka hits a comebacker off of Anraku!  It deflects towards 3rd, but Oota can't get there to field it in time.  Wasn't a hard hit ball though, so Anraku is fine.

Kouyama trying to bunt Takenaka along, can't and falls behind 1-2.  Still shows bunt though.

It's a bust-and-run!  Kouyama tries to put it through the right side, but it's right to Morita!  He goes to 2nd for one, throw to 1st... wide!!  It gets away from Machida and into foul territory!  Kouyama takes off for 2nd, but the ball bounces off the wall and right to Kaneko!  He goes to 2nd and Kouyama is out by a mile for your run of the mill 3-6, E6, 2-6 DP.

Aoki with a fly to center.  Ueda going back, going back, backpedals... and makes the catch on the warning track for the 3rd out.

Bottom 2nd
Saibi continues to put the pressure on Kengifushou as Morita hits a 3-1 single just past a diving Noda into left.  Goudouji squares to bunt, but continues to take pitches, eventually falling behind 2-2.  Forced to swing away, he waves on a changeup away for the first out.

Kaneko also trying to bunt, this time what looks like a safety bunt, but for the 2nd straight batter they can't put one down.

Instead it's a hit-and-run!  But Kaneko can't make contact on a slider away and Kouyama throws out Morita for the strike 'em out-throw 'em out double play to end the inning!

Top 3rd
Bottom of the order attacking early as Hayashi takes the first pitch and grounds to 1st.

Okiyama with a shot past a diving Oota down the left field line for a double!  Anraku left that one over the plate.

Fujita up to help his own cause now and tie the game with a base hit.

And it's a grounder to the right side, through for a base hit!  But Okiyama is held up at 3rd!  Runners at the corners as the lineup turns over to Kawamura.

Grounder to short!  Usagawa has it, looks to start the 6-4-3 double play.  But Machida is a touch late to 2nd causing Usagawa to delay for a split second.  Throw to 1st is not in time and Okimoto scores to tie the game at 1-1!

Fujita-kantoku pressing with the hit-and-run!  Noda with a liner back up the middle, caught by a diving Machida!  Great catch to end the inning by the 2nd baseman!  But Kengifushou manages to put together a run from the bottom of the order and we're back to level!

Bottom 3rd
Machida turns around to start the 3rd, but unlike the sports highlight shows he does not come back to hit a home run or some key hit, instead he fouls out to Takenaka to start the inning.

It's back to the top of the order for Saibi, and Fujita immediately goes to the off-speed pitches.  Ueda is given absolutely nothing in the zone and yet he still chases a change down in the zone for the 2nd out.

Yamashita though with a drive to left center!!  Kawamura and Aoki converge on the ball, but it falls in front of the wall!  Yamashita on his wheels slides into 3rd safely with a 2-out triple!

Usagawa with another chance to drive in a run and gets ahead 2-0.  But he chases a ball wide and pops it up!  Noda ranging towards the left field line makes the catch and Fujita is out of the jam!

Top 4th
Anraku trying to get back on track gets Azuma to pop out to Usagawa.

But Takenaka turns on a fastball inside and drives it to right!  Yamashita back to the wall, but can't get there in time and he's in with a double!

Kouyama up now perhaps to give Kengifushou the lead, falls behind 1-2 but manages to work the count full... and the Anraku offering isn't even close!  Anraku once again in trouble here in the 4th as Kaneko goes out to talk to his ace.

Aoki stands in and once again Anraku gets ahead 1-2.  But again he tries to get Aoki to chase to no avail and the count runs full!

And Anraku walks him too!  It's manrui for Kengifushou!

Hayashi with a swinging dribbler to the right side!  It's off Anraku's glove and to the right side!  Machida picks it up and can only go to 1st for the out.  Takenaka scores and Kengifushou takes the 2-1 lead!

2 down and Okimoto steps in looking for another base hit.

But Anraku ramps up the fastball and gets him to chase one up and in for the 3rd out.  Still, he doesn't look sharp at all as Kengifushou gets the upper hand.

Bottom 4th
Anraku up to start the 4th and perhaps he's pressing because of his pitching because he waves on two straight sliders away and he's down on 3 pitches.

Oota comes back though and shoots one past a diving Azuma into left.

Morita up now, and Fujita can't find the zone at all.  He walks him on 5 pitches and now it's Fujita who looks a bit shaky.

Goudouji with the bunt up the 3rd base side.  Fujita takes it ahead of Kouyama, fires to 1st, but it's not in time!  Everyone's safe and now Fujita in a manrui pinch!

Kaneko stepping in, struck out in his last AB - how well is he?

Fujita quickly gets ahead of him 0-2, and Kaneko sends one to left center!  But it's shallow, and Oota can't advance as Aoki takes it for the 2nd out.

Machida the last chance here to extend the inning for Saibi and Fujita is giving him nothing in the zone and no fastballs.


Machida chases a 2-2 pitch in the dirt!  Kouyama coolly steps on home for the force and Fujita holds on to the slim 1 run lead!

Top 5th
After a quick comebacker by Fujita for the 1st out, it's back to the top and Kawamura.

Anraku hangs one and Kawamura drives it to deep center!  Ueda sprinting back to the fence, slides, but it falls right in front of the fence!  The ball is fired back in quickly, but Kawamura just slides in with a 1-out triple!  Anraku is back in the fire once again!

Noda looking to bring the run in and extend the lead.

Grounder to short!  Usagawa fires it home, but it short hops Kaneko and he can't field it cleanly!  It bounces away as Kawamura scores to give Kengifushou the 3-1 lead!!

Azuma up looking to put more pressure on Anraku.  But he lines one right to Morita!  Morita then walks over to 1st doubling off Noda for the 3-unassisted double play to end the inning.

Anraku and Saibi though look to be in a bit of trouble...

Bottom 5th
Top batter Ueda to lead off the 5th, and Fujita goes and plunks him on the first pitch.

Yamashita lays down the bunt, but it's right to Azuma.  He fires to Noda at 2nd, but the throw is down the 2nd base side!  Noda fields it, but Ueda runs full speed into him and they collide!  Both players are down as Ueda is called out.  Man, that looked hard.

Ueda is the first to get up and walk back to the dugout, but Noda stays down.  He gets looked at, but says he's fine and stays in the game.

Usagawa takes advantage of the break and drives the first pitch from Fujita to deep right!  Hayashi running back to the fence, slides, and it too falls in front of the fence!  Yamashita flying around the bases, scores all the way from 1st on the RBI triple by Usagawa!  Saibi pulls within 1 at 3-2 and threatens to tie the game with Anraku stepping in!

But once again Fujita goes slider away on Anraku.  And while he lays off the first two sliders, both are called for strikes.  Down 1-2, Anraku swings and misses on the 3rd slider and goes down swinging for the 3rd time today.

That leaves it up to Oota, who's 1-3 with 2 K's, to get the timely hit.

Fujita again not giving in, throwing a bunch of off-speed pitches down in the zone to Oota.  Down 1-2, Oota manages to hold off on a couple to fill up the count.


But Fujita wins the battle yet again!  Oota, on appeal, cannot check his swing and Fujita strands the douten run at 3rd!

We head to the break with Kengifushou, injured battery and all, leading a rather mortal-looking Anraku who does not appear to have his best stuff today.  Has the pitch count finally taken it's toll?

Top 6th
Takenaka off the break with a grounder to short.  Usagawa double clutches then throws it short to 1st getting by Morita for an E6.  Kouyama bunts him to 2nd as Kengifushou looks to add on as many runs as possible.

Aoki with a liner to right, over a leaping Machida!  Yamashita quickly gets it back in as Takenaka has to hold at 3rd.  Once again though Anraku in trouble...

Hayashi up and Fujita-kantoku tries the hit-and-run!  But the pitch is outside and Hayashi can only defensively foul it off!

2 strikes and again Fujita-kantoku sends Aoki!  Hayashi swings and misses, but the ball is in the dirt and Kaneko has no throw to 2nd.  A base hit here could put Saibi in a world of trouble.


Anraku buckles down though and gets Okimoto to chase a slider away for out #3!  His team trails by just 1.

Bottom 6th
Possible injury change for Kengifushou (as if things weren't bad enough).  #15 Nagao comes in for SS Noda who probably was hurt in the collision earlier.

And Fujita is all over the place to Morita.  Pitches are slow and not even close as he walks him to put the douten runner on.  That gets Fujita-kantoku's attention as he sends Touyama out to calm his team (especially his son) down.

Meanwhile, the gears are turning for Jyoukou-kantoku as he sends in #3 Fujiwara to hit for Goudouji.

And he comes in to sac the runner along.  Interesting.

Fujita continues to struggle and the velocity stays down to Kaneko.  And Kaneko lines one... past a diving Nagao into center!  But Morita had to hold to wait for the ball to clear the infield and thus couldn't advance!  So runners on 1st and 2nd only for Saibi!

Machida steps in and swings on the first pitch and pops it up!  Okimoto under it as the infield fly rule is called and that's 2 outs now for Saibi.

And Fujita gets out of the inning!  Ueda pops it up!  Nagao goes out to shallow left and secures the ball for the 3rd out!  He's certainly laboring more now but he hangs up another bagel on Saibi!

Top 7th
Fujiwara comes in the game to play 1B.  Morita shifts to 3B and Oota goes out to LF.

Fujita quickly out on a first pitch fly to center.  Anraku then comes back to shut down Kawamura and Nagao for just his 2nd 1-2-3 inning this game.

Bottom 7th
Fujita's day is done now.  His dad has seen enough and will rely on the bullpen to finish out the last 3 innings.  Coming in is #10 Kuzuya.

Yamashita rudely greets him with a liner to left to start the lucky 7.

After an Usagawa flyout to center, that brings up cleanup batter Anraku - who has been held in check to the tune of 0-3 with 3 K's.

And this is worse!!  Anraku hits one back to Kuzuya who goes to 2nd for one, relay from Nagao to 1st... beats Anraku for the inning-ending double play!!!

Top 8th
Anraku back to struggling here in the 8th.  He falls behind Azuma 3-1 before getting him to ground to 3rd.  Takenaka and Kouyama run the count deep against him as well, but Anraku somehow manages to slide off the hook once again.

However, time is running out for his team.  Just 6 outs to go else their run is over.

Bottom 8th
That's interesting.  Despite not looking all that bad, Fujita-kantoku relieves Kuzuya and sends in #5 Gotou Masato.  Masato has had just 2 innings of work last fall, even less than Kuzuya.

Oota welcomes him as well with a liner to left.  Jyoukou-kantoku playing for the douten run as Morita bunts him along.

Uh oh.  Masato going to the slider repeatedly trying to get Fujiwara to chase, but he can't get him to bite and he can't find the zone!  He walks him and that gets Fujita-kantoku to send out #18 Hashimoto to calm down Masato.

And it's doing the opposite!  Masato was throwing his fastball up in the low-mid 130's but now is sitting in the high 120's as he's still not hitting the strike zone!!  He's definitely rattled as he walks Kaneko to load the bases!!

Fujita-kantoku in full scramble mode as #11 Touyama (who earlier went to the mound during a timeout), now takes the hill...

Jyoukou-kantoku, sensing a ripe opportunity, sends in #14 Hayashi Kanya in to hit for Machida as Kengifushou plays the infield in for a play at the plate.

First pitch Kanya hits it to 3rd!  It's off the glove of Azuma!  Everyone's safe and Kanya with the timely hit has tied the game at 3-3!!

Back to the top of the order and Ueda as Kengifushou looks to be reeling.


Ueda tries the squeeze, but fouls it off!

But he does one better!  He singles through the drawn in infield and Fujiwara scores to give Saibi their first lead since the 2nd inning!  It's 4-3 Saibi!!!!!

Yamashita to try and extend the lead, but he pops it up!  Takenaka settles under it as the infield fly is called for the 2nd out.  Touyama almost out of the jam.

But Touyama struggles against the lefty Usagawa!  He walks him and walks in a run to make it 5-3!

That brings up the always dangerous, though not today, Usagawa.

And now Touyama is ramping it up.  Fastballs in the mid-upper 130's, but he's all over the place.  He somehow manages to get 2 strikes as Anraku continues to flail.  But then he suddenly becomes more patient and works the count full....

And Touyama walks him!  He throws his first slider and it's high as he walks in another run to make it 6-3 Saibi!

That's it for Touyama.  Hayashi comes in from RF to pitch as #16 Niwa comes in for Touyama to take over in right.

Hayashi gets Oota to swing on the first pitch and fly to left.  The inning is mercifully over for Kengifushou, but not before a complete collapse here in the 8th...

Top 9th
So despite Anraku struggling all game, it's Kengifushou's bullpen that has collapsed.

Hayashi will stay in the game at 2nd as Anraku looks to close it out.

Aoki though will not make it that easy.  He hits one past a diving Morita into left for a base hit.

But Aoki presses too far when he tries to take 2nd on a ball that gets away from Kaneko!  He throws to 2nd and is thrown out!  Not a smart move considering his run doesn't matter (it does, but really it doesnt).

And now with no one on base Anraku has the clear position of advantage as Hayashi chases a slider for the 2nd out!

Last chance for Kengifushou as #12 Banno comes in to hit for Okimoto.  Anraku gets ahead 0-2, but then tries to get him to chase with no luck - filling up the count.

Banno then singles to left!  There's still a faint light for Kengifushou!  #13 Iwata comes in to run for Banno.

Niwa up for his first AB, and what a time to have it...

And Kaneko loses track of another ball!  This time he can't find it and Iwata takes 2nd!

Anraku comes back to get ahead 1-2 as Niwa fouls one off...

Niwa with a ball to the right side... that gets past a diving Hayashi!!  Iwata holds at 3rd and Kengifuhsou is able to send the douten runner to the plate!

Moreover, the lineup for Kengifushou flips back to the top and Kawamura.


Fujita-kantoku sends Niwa on the first pitch!  Throw from Kaneko... not in time!!  That was a very risky call by Fujita-kantoku there.  His run still doesn't matter - only Kawamura.

Despite Kawamura representing the douten run, with 1st open Anraku can afford to pitch defensively to Kawamura as he falls behind 3-1.  Yet he goes inside with a fastball for strike 2!

Payoff pitch... grounder to 3rd!!  Morita with it, goes to 1st... Beats a diving Kawamura and Saibi comes from behind to defeat Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou 6-3!!

So despite Anraku looking rather shaky on the mound, they are bailed out by an obviously shorthanded Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou and advance to the semifinals!

But really you have to wonder what might have been for Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou.  If Fujita wasn't injured from last game, would Fujita have gone longer and held the lead?  Because up until the 6th, he had done a superb job on the mound.  We'll never know, but it certainly is a shame that we'll never really know - because they really looked like a contender in that Osaka Toin game, and even with the injuries looked good outside the bullpen.

Alas, that isn't the case.  Instead Saibi is the team that manages to survive and advance into an all-Shikoku matchup with rival Kochi!  Interestingly, Kochi and Saibi didn't play in the super-regionals so it should be interesting.

Notable Players
Anraku Tomohiro (Saibi) - W, CG, 3 ER, 9 H, 8 K, 2 BB
Yamashita Takuma (Saibi) - 2-4, 3B, 2 RBI, BB
Oota Yuuya (Saibi) - 2-5, R, 2 K
Fujita Ryouji (Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou) - ND, 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 H, 8 K, 2 BB, HBP
Takenaka Hiroki (Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou) - 2-4, 2B, R
Aoki Shouya (Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou) - 2-3, BB

Day 11, Quarterfinal #3 - Kochi (Kochi) vs. Sendai Ikuei (Miyagi)

It's crunch time now for these schools as the schedule shrink considerably and teams start playing with less rest.  In this battle of champions, Sendai Ikuei is fortunate to get an extra day of rest, while Kochi gets just 1 full day.

Kochi has reached the quarterfinals riding their pitching tandem of Sakai and Sakamoto.  The upset over Kanzei was not a fluke striking out 13 of the 27 possible outs against Tokoha Kikugawa while the middle of the order helped lift the team to victory.

The offense isn't going to overpower you though, especially at the bottom of the lineup, and that can become an issue if they need to score runs in a quick manner. 

Sendai Ikuei, after an easy win over Souseikan struggled to rally against Waseda Jitsugyou for the victory.  Up until the final 2 innings they had just managed 3 hits and a walk against Soujitsu ace Niyama.  That is a surprise considering they won the fall tournament, and it puts into question their chances going forward - especially now considering what Kochi has done so far.

I still like Sendai Ikuei in this matchup, but I am certainly not as confident in their prospects as I was before Koushien started.

Kochi (Kochi) - Shikoku Champions
2B Wada Yoshito
SS Doi Kouyou
3B Wada Ren
1B Ichikawa Gou
LF Matagawa Ryouyuu
CF Ueta Shunya
RF Sugimoto Daiki
C Maeda Ryuusei (#12)
P Sakai Yuuya (#10)

Sendai Ikuei (Miyagi) - Tohoku Champions (Meiji Jingu Champions)
SS Kumagai Takahiro
2B Kikuna Yuuka
LF Hasegawa Hiro
CF Uebayashi Seiji
1B Mizuma Toshiki
C Kobayashi Ryou
3B Katou Naoya
RF Satou Seiya
P Suzuki Takato


11:01 - First pitch!

Top 1st
Suzuki looking good to start, locating his pitches in the zone with some fair amount of accuracy.  So while he goes full on Yoshito, he puts one in the bottom of the zone for a K.

Doi quickly grounds to 3rd, with a nice pick from Katou.

But before Suzuki can get his 1-2-3 inning, Ren puts one into the gap on the left side.  Kumagai makes a great effort to not only run it down, but make a quick throw.  Despite it being down the 1st base line and Ren being safe, it was still a nice try.

Shimada-kantoku decides to push the action with Ren, having him take off for 2nd on an 0-2 count to Ichikawa.  Kobayashi tries to fire to 2nd, but the throw is a bit wide and Kumagai's attempt to swipe tag back towards 2nd winds up missing.

No matter though as Suzuki gets Ichikawa to chase an offspeed pitch down in the zone to end the inning.

Bottom 1st
Whoa, Sakai's control does not look good early.  One ball goes inside and almost hits Kumagai, and the next one makes Kumagai duck as the ball flies over his head.

Kumagai though gets the green light at 3-1 and grounds out to Doi.

Kikuna goes after the first pitch and it looks to just get over the infield.  Doi scampers back and towards the left field line and indeed it falls just out of his reach for a base hit.

Hasegawa taking a patient approach to Sakai to start, and while he makes good contact, he lines out to right to Sugimoto for the 2nd out.

It looks like despite Sakai's early control issues, Sasaki-kantoku is having their batters go after the first strike, which I wonder about considering that if his control is off Sakai could be walking batters.

And in fact, Uebayashi does indeed draw a walk.

I think they heard me as Mizuma takes 2 straight balls to start his AB.  But again swings on the first ball near the zone and fouls it off.

Well, I thought they heard me anyways.  Mizuma swings on the next pitch and it's a comebacker to Sakai.  But it deflects off his glove and goes towards Doi who was backing up.  He throws to 1st and the inning is over.

Top 2nd
Suzuki continues to look good on the mound starting this game.  After a routine fly to left by Matagawa, Ueta swings and misses on a change inside, and Sugimoto becomes Suzuki's 3rd K chasing a ball down and away.

Bottom 2nd
Meanwhile, the Ikuei batters continue to swing away at balls near the zone.  As a result, Sakai records 2 quick outs as Kobayashi flies out to left, and Katou fouls out to Maeda near the back netting.

This despite Sakai still having some issues - as evidenced by Satou being hit.

Still, last batter ace Suzuki swings away, falls behind 0-2 then gets frozen for the 3rd out.  Outside of the HBP, I think Ikuei is making it easy for Sakai to get back on track.

Top 3rd
Kochi's bottom of the lineup, battery mates Maeda and Sakai on the other hand take a couple.  Given, both are still retired - Maeda on a comebacker to Suzuki and Sakai on a grounder to 1st, but they still don't let Suzuki make it a total cake walk.

And apparently Suzuki doesn't like them himself as he inexplicably walks leadoff batter Yoshito on 4 straight.

Doi feigns the running safety bunt twice, and all it gets him is a 1-1 count.

But Shimada-kantoku undaunted sends Yoshito to 2nd again on a 2-strike count and Kobayashi's throw gets there, but takes a hop that Kumagai has to field such that Yoshito slides in!  So both of the Wada twins now have a SB in the game!

 It's all for naught though as Doi chases another ball in the dirt for Suzuki's 4th K.

Bottom 3rd
I do not like the way that Sendai Ikuei is approaching the game.  It reminds me of Seiritsu Gakuen last summer where it felt like they wanted to get the game over with as soon as possible so they could make their train ride home.  Their batters are swinging at anything close and are not getting any results other than a quick inning for a struggling Sakai.

In fact, it takes him just 7 pitches to retire the top of Sendai Ikuei's order - and with no balls leaving the infield either.

Top 4th
Despite the Ikuei offense being rather non-existent, Suzuki is doing his best to buy his team time to get it together.  Starts off the 4th by retiring Ren 6-3.

Ichikawa though takes a ball the other way for a base hit.

Matagawa gets around on a ball inside and flies to right.  Satou ranging back, looks to have it...

But he makes a last second jump and the ball actually falls behind him!!

Despite appearing to get there in time Satou misjudges the ball and it falls in!  Ichikawa thinking it would be caught had to hold up and only reaches 3rd on the double by Matagawa and Kochi is threatening here in the 4th! That's a pretty bad misplay by Satou.


Wild pitch from Suzuki gets away from Kobayashi!  Ichikawa running in and is safe!  It's another error by the Sendai Ikuei defense allowing Kochi to take the 1-0 lead!

Sasaki-kantoku calls for time to try and settle his team down.

Suzuki does that, though in a roundabout way, by falling behind 3-0 then working the count full on Ueta before getting him to whiff on a changeup for the 2nd out.

Against Sugimoto though he falls behind 3-0 again but loses him to a walk.  And after Kobayashi can't cleanly field a ball in the dirt, Sugimoto alertly takes 2nd giving the chance for Kochi to break it open with a base hit.

Maeda with a ball up the 3rd base line, fair!!  Katou can't field it cleanly!  Throws to 1st... SAFE!!

Maeda just dives in just ahead of the throw and is safe!  Matagawa scores to make it a 2-0 Kochi lead!!

Shimada-kantoku continuing to press Sendai Ikuei!  Maeda is sent to 2nd and takes it without even an acknowledgement by the Ikuei battery!!  I know about the delay steal of home that some teams use, but to not even to try and do anything about stealing 2nd is beyond me.

Sakai with a high bounder to 3rd.  Katou fields and throws to 1st finally ending the inning, but not before Kochi takes a fairly large 2-0 lead!

Bottom 4th
Sendai Ikuei's Uebayashi is one of the few players in the order who is taking pitches and earns his 2nd walk.  Perhaps Kochi's battery is also trying to avoid him?

Mizuma also taking some pitches and getting ahead of Sakai, but goes after a ball inside and pops it up!  Maeda running over to the Sendai Ikuei dugout and makes the catch for the first out.

Kobayashi with a ball to the right side, Ichikawa playing in fields it, goes to 2nd for one, relay back by Doi and Sakai is there to cover for the 3-6-1 double play to end the inning!!

Sendai Ikuei a bit more patient, but perhaps not enough yet as a leadoff walk by Uebayashi goes for naught!

Top 5th
Hm, Suzuki seems to be struggling now as he throws at Yoshito's feet and puts him on to start the inning.

And when Doi attempts to bunt, Suzuki throws inside and hits him!  Two runners on for Kochi with the always dangerous Ren up!

Suzuki still having control issues, falling behind Ren 3-1 before coming back to get him to swing and miss for the first out.

And then he gets Ichikawa to swing and miss on a change for the 2nd out!

But just when he looks to get out of the jam, he falls behind Matagawa 3-0 and eventually issues his 3rd free base of the inning to load the bases for Ueta!

Ueta hits a ball up the 3rd base line, Katou playing it behind the bag goes the long way to 1st but gets the 3rd out to get Suzuki out of his self-imposed pinch.

Bottom 5th
Katou's day is over at 3B with #13 Watanabe coming in to PH for him.

Once again though, Sendai Ikuei is swinging away early and often.  Watanabe and Satou both swing on the 2nd pitch and fly out to Matagawa in left center.

Suzuki's day is done as well, and given last inning I don't blame Sasaki-kantoku at all.  #16 Onodera comes in to hit.

Onodera actually takes a couple of pitches, and hits a comebacker back to Sakai.  It glances off his glove but to Doi who goes to 1st for the 3rd out.

So as we hit the break it's the team from Shikoku who leads the game over a team that just seems to be swinging away on anything hittable.

Top 6thSo #15 Abe comes in for PH Watanabe and takes over at 3B.  #10 Baba comes in for Onodera and takes the hill.

Baba is laboring a bit on the mound as well.  Sugimoto and Maeda test him out, and run a long AB before being retired.

Sakai feebly waves at a ball down for the 3rd out, and Baba survives his 1st inning of relief.

Bottom 6th
Kumagai once again going early, hits a hard ball to Yoshito and while the throw is a bit wide, Ichikawa stretches for the first out.

Kikuna actually works the count and gets ahead 3-1 before fouling several pitches off.  And several more...

And then he gives it a ride to right!  Sugimoto going back, still going back, at the wall!

But he makes the catch as he softly collides with the padding for the 2nd out!  Kikuna did not miss that ball by much.

Hasegawa up and he quickly hits a slow roller to the right side.  Yoshito charges, but his throw to 1st is high and forces Ichikawa off the bag.

Uebayashi this time around hacks away!  He give it a good rip, but Ueta is there for the catch to retire the side.

Top 7th
After a quick out by Yoshito, Baba continues Suzuki's control issues by hitting Doi.  That's Doi's 2nd HBP this game.

Ren with a ball up the 3rd base line.  And now Abe can't field the ball cleanly and his throw to 1st pulls Mizuma off the bag!

Once again Sasaki-kantoku has to call time.

Baba comes back and jams Ichikawa who flies out to center for the 2nd out.

And he finally gets out of the inning by getting Matagawa to chase a ball buried.  He's keeping Kochi at bat, but the offense is quickly (and given their disposition at the dish - very quickly) running out.

Bottom 7th
Looks like Sakai's day is done as ace Yuuta comes in for a 3-inning save.

And it's one pitch, one out as Mizuma flies out to right.

Kobayashi gets Sendai Ikuei's 2nd hit of the game as he laces one to center!  Perhaps that will get the offense started in their lucky 7!

Abe up for his first AB, swings at a 1-0 fastball and flies out to Sugimoto for the 2nd out.

Yuuta lets one get away in the dirt that Maeda has to chase down.  Kobayashi advances into scoring position.  Base hit here can pull the fall champs within 1.

And now Yuuta falls behind Satou 3-0!  He comes right back throw and fires in 2 strikes to fill up the count.

Now Satou lines one into left for a base hit!  Kobayashi is held up at 3rd as Matagawa fires the ball back in.

Shimada-kantoku calls for time as Baba comes up for his first AB.  He's 1-2 so far here at Koushien.

But Yuuta ties him up on a ball inside and the side is retired!  Sendai Ikuei's best chance is left begging and with only 6 outs to go!

Top 8th
Kochi is fine to play at Sendai Ikuei's pace now this late in the game.  They go down 1-2-3 on just 10 pitches and retake the field.

Bottom 8th
Top of the order and Kumagai swings on the first pitch and flies out to center.  Kikuna soon follows with one to left.

Hasegawa lets 3 balls go by as none of them are close.  But after taking one down the middle, he hits a laser to right - but right to Sugimoto for the 3rd out.

Top 9th
After Baba retires the first 2 batters of the inning, he loses Doi on a 3-2 pitch way inside.  That means that he'll have to face Ren one more time.

And now a timely steal of 2nd on a ball bounced to Kobayashi means that Doi is in scoring position hoping he can add yet another insurance run.  Meanwhile, Ren keeps his AB alive.

But this time Ren chases that same fastball to Doi up and in to end the inning.

Bottom 9th
Baba's done his part, but can the offense show any sign of life this late?

Well, if any person could start the inning, Uebayashi is probably your best option.

And like most of his AB's he gets ahead 3-1 but gets the green light and whiffs on a ball inside for strike 2.

Uebayashi this time takes it upon himself to get on base and shoots one back up the middle for a leadoff single!  Now can the people following him build on this?

YES!  Sorta.

Mizuma gets hit on a ball that gets away from Yuuta and while he's smarting a bit from that, there are runners on 1st and 2nd now with no out for Sendai Ikuei!!

We're getting deeper into the lineup though as Kobayashi steps in.  If they're going to score, it'll be up to the bottom of the order...

Kobayashi goes after the 1-0 pitch and sends it to right.  Sugimoto backing up, still backing up, still backing up... and makes the catch deep in right.  Uebayshi advances to 3rd, but the douten run still remains at 1st base.

Interestingly it's only now that Shimada-kantoku calls time.  Perhaps it's because now he can remind them that really the person to be worried about is Mizuma at 1st.  Uebayashi's run doesn't matter in the sense that it would still leave Kochi with the lead.

But Abe hits a grounder to short!  Doi flips to 2nd for one, relay from Yoshito is in time!  Double play and Kochi has upset the Meiji Jingu Champions!!  They advance to the semifinals for the first time in 38 years!

Kochi wouldn't have been able to do it without the pitching tandem of Sakai and Sakamoto.  Sakai spun 6 innings of 2 hit ball before handing it over to the ace who while a bit shaky finished off the game.

But while Kochi should get their share of credit for the game, you cannot overlook the fact that Sendai Ikuei was just as culpable if not more for their loss here today.  I couldn't get over the fact that they were just hacking away at the plate and basically in many ways assisting the Kochi pitchers by keeping their pitch counts low as well as perhaps not taking advantage of when the opposition was faltering on the mound.

And so the last representative of the Tohoku region is eliminated while a team from Shikoku moves on.

Notable Players
Sakai Yuuya (Kochi) - W, 6 IP, 2 H, K, 2 BB, HBP
Sakamoto Yuuta (Kochi) - SV, 3 IP, 3 H, K, HBP
Matagawa Ryouyuu (Kochi) - 1-3, 2B, R, BB
Maeda Ryuusei (Kochi) - 1-4, RBI, SB
Doi Kouyou (Kochi) - 0-2, K, BB, 2 HBP
Suzuki Takato (Sendai Ikuei) - L, 5 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 8 K, 3 BB, 2 HBP
Baba Kousuke (Sendai Ikuei) - 4 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 3 K, BB, HBP
Uebayashi Seiji (Sendai Ikuei) - 1-2, 2 BB
Kobayashi Ryou (Sendai Ikuei) - 1-4