(picture courtesy of Mainichi – Let it out, you deserved it)
Well, we’re here in the quarterfinals or block finals, however you want to look at it. Riseisha and Moriokadai Fuzoku take the field in the first time in what seems like ages, but is really 3 days.
Riseisha is makes itafte defeating Nichidai-san in the opening day. However, their 1-0 win over Shiritsu Kure does put things a little bit into question.
Moriokadai Fuzoku’s performances seem like a tale of two teams, but perhaps put in context it isn’t. There was their ineffective pitching matchup in the first against Takaoka Shougyou, and then their outlasting of former champs Chiben Gakuen.
The results seems contradictory, but in both cases these were battles of teams who were either average, or slightly above average. So in those types of games there is even more of a razor thin margin wherein the pendulum can swing in any direction, so in the first game, both pitchers happen to be ineffective. In the 2nd game the pitching was on early, but then Chiben Gakuen faltered late. So the scores may be strange, but the team is what it is probably. Average.
Sadly, this isn’t going to cut it against someone like Riseisha. We think. Shiritsu Kure made it seem like there’s a chance, but today is their chance to prove that that game was more of a fluke than anything else.
- RF Ishida Ryuuji
- 2B Mizobe Touki
- 3B Yasuda Hisanori
- LF Wakabayashi Shouhei
- 1B (#17) Hamauchi Taiyou
- P Takeda Yuu
- CF Tsutsui Taisei
- C Katayama Yuu
- SS Nishiyama Koutarou
- CF Ueda Taku
- LF Hayashi Kazuki
- 3B Oosato Kousei
- SS Higa Kenshin
- 1B (#13) Sutou Hayate
- C Matsuda Nao
- RF Usui Haruki
- P (#10) Miura Mizuki
- 2B Kobayashi Yoshinobu
08:30 – First Pitch!
Miura was cruising along in the 1st, but that was until he left a fastball for Yasuda who cleared it over Ueda’s head for a 2-out double. But Wakabayashi hits a hard grounder to short and that’s that for now.
As expected Moriokadai Fuzoku is a bit out of it’s level right not against Takeda. They’re making contact, but so far have been routine plays for the Riseisha defense.
Miura is holding his own for now as Riseisha seems to be really attacking early in counts. Though, when Katayama gets a single to right, both base hits for Riseisha have been on 3-1 counts.
Perhaps the other batters are picking up on this as Ishida in his 2nd AB draws a walk. Interestingly, Okada-kantoku calls for a bunt even with 1 out and Mizobe lays it down.
With 1st base open and Yasuda coming up to bat, already with a double, it’s no surprise he’s walked. It’s manrui for cleanup hitter Wakabayashi, but as quickly as he’s up he routinely flies out to right. Inning over, Riseisha wastes a good chance.
In fact Riseisha continues to play this small ball when they do get baserunners. They do so in the 4th when Hamauchi gets a leadoff hit. But they can’t when Mizobe gets a 2-out base hit.
Now, Miura should have gotten out of the inning when Yasuda grounded to short, but with Kobayashi perhaps anticipating the putout too much, lets the ball slip by into right. Things get even more compounded when Miura walks Wakabayashi despite being ahead in the count.
It all culminates with a pitch that goes through the legs of Matsuda. Mizobe scores and Riseisha has the 1-0 lead.
Hamauchi is walked to reload the bases for a force on any base, but again, there is nowhere to put Takeda.
First pitch curve, Takesda lines it past a diving Oosato. 2 runs score and Riseisha has broken the gates open at 3-0.
Tsutsui doubles to deep left center scoring two more, making the game 5-0. Why they were bunting in earlier innings baffles me.
If that weren’t bad enough that an error led to all 5 runs, perhaps the fact that they’re being no-hit by Takeda makes things just a little worse. Ok, a lot.
Yasuda continues to rake at the plate, connecting on another double, this time to right center adding yet another run to the lead. 6-0 and the only question is if Moriokadai Fuzoku can get a base runner.
Well, the answer is yes, kinda. First pitch to Ueda in the 7th we hear the distinctive ping. Wakabayashi barely gives chase, and just like that all the things Takeda could have been going for are gone. 1 pitch, 1 run, 6-1.
That pretty much wraps up any remaining drama in the game. Riseisha tacks on a couple more runs and the final margin stands at 8-1. Takeda dutifully finishes the game, though he probably shouldn’t have.
Riseisha wins going away, but all that bunting with runners on really concerns me. All a team might do is intentionally (unintentionally) put a runner on base with 1 out. If they bunt the runner over, there’s 2 outs. I’d gladly take those chances. What you can’t do is allow a 2-out baserunner because then they don’t have a choice. It’s just bizarre.
Moriokadai Fuzoku was expectedly outmanned in this game, though lucky to get a HR because that might have been the only way they were going to score a run.
Anyways, Riseisha to Best 4. No surprise there.