(photo courtesy of Asahi. Nishitani didn’t want to even shake hands. Kidding. They did.)
Last game of the first round and they leave the best for last. No, not really, but they leave a headliner for last in Osaka Touin.
It’s not like the Osaka Touin we’ve seen in prior years though. Yeah, they’re still strong, but not the dominating force anymore. Perhaps Riseisha has replaced PL Gakuen as their competition.
There are uncharacteristic cracks in their resume – the close game against Osaka Kaisei, the loss to Riseisha in a high scoring game, the close game against Chiben Gakuen, and the loss to Kobe Kokusaidai Fuzoku that while perhaps not in jeopardy, pushed them down to the 5th and 6th slots from the region. The pitching as usual is spotty but I don’t think it’s Waseda bad, and the hitting doesn’t instill as much fear as it normally does.
Ube Koujyou probably has their work cut out for them. The Soushi Gakuen game is the only good game on their resume, as Sapporo Dai-ichi being routed doesn’t help them one bit, yet Soushi Gakuen has already been eliminated.
I won’t harbour much hope for Ube Koujyou. Yes, Osaka Touin is not as strong, but they prolly don’t need to be for this game.
- LF Furutani Shingo
- CF (#18) Tateishi Yoshinori
- RF Hyakutome Yuusuke
- SS Shimatani Shouhei
- 1B Aratake Yuudai
- 3B Uchida Hironobu
- C Masaki Yuuta
- P Waseda Reo
- 2B Naraki Yuuma
- CF Fujiwara Kyouta
- LF (#12) Miyazaki Jinto
- 1B (#5) Nakagawa Takuya
- RF Yamamoto Dante Musashi
- SS (#7) Neo Akira
- 3B (#13) Yamada Kenta
- C (#3) Fukui Shougo
- 2B Sakanoshita Haruto
- P Tokuyama Souma
09:00 – First Pitch!
It’s just the first inning and things are already bad. While Ube Koujyou goes down in order, Waseda cannot record a single out before being pulled 5 batters into the game. He winds up having all 5 batters he faced come home to score as Aratake does his best to manage the situation, but allows all inherited baserunners to score. 5-0 Osaka Touin after the 1st inning and the rout is on.
Only a couple of notes as the game moved to the break. Aratake tried to hold down the fort as best he could, but a run in the 2nd, a 2-run HR by Yamada in the 4th and multiple errors by his 2B (when it rains it pours), meant that they trailed 10-0.
Both pitchers appear to be benefiting from a larger strike zone, especially inside. Tokuyama’s control is about what I thought it was, which was not very good – especially in the 5th where he walked and hit a batter to load the bases. And as for Osaka Touin’s batters it’s always harder to gauge when on the right side of a blowout, but they are getting fooled at times as well as freezing on those inside pitches.
In the end, the score is 11-0. The only further thing to report is that we see 2 other people take the mound in #10 Kagawa and #2 (!) Iwamoto. Both pitchers can throw hard, but as is generally the case the control isn’t there so the problem remains for their staff.
So first things first, Ube Koujyou really disappointed me. Based upon the other games from the region, I thought they could at least be respectable, but the game was anything but. Bad start on the mound, poor fielding and hitting just let them down.
Osaka Touin was pretty much what I thought. They’re going to need some work over the next couple of months to beat Riseisha. Perhaps the pieces are there, but not right now.