(photo courtesy of Daily Sports)
Saibi (5th appearance, 1st in 4 years)
- Location – Matsuyama-shi, Ehime
- Private school
- Student Body – 1,567 students (976 female)
- Club Size – 47
- Kantoku – Nakaya Takashi(?) (中矢 太)
Road to Koushien
- def Nitta 8-5
- def Matsuyama Chuo 8-4
- def Oozu 7-0 (7 inn)
- def Matsuyama Seiryou 5-2
- def Teikyou Dai-go 10-3
Saibi is back after a small hiatus, but not necessarily on a hot streak that one might like. The team did beat Matsuyama Seiryou and Teikyou Dai-go, but they gave up some runs and allowed quite a few baserunners. The team uses a trio of pitchers as indicated below by their positions. and the good part is that the main two of Yatsudzuka and Kageyama appear to be at least stingy on the walks which generally translates over. Yatsudzuka from the video has average velocity.
The promising bit about the team is that the bottom of the lineup isn’t a black hole. While they may not get hits, they can draw a walk which to me indicates that they’re trying to get the most out of their ABs.
|◎||1||P||八塚 凌二||Yatsudzuka Ryouji||3||R/R||175||77|
|2||C||橋本 圭介||Hashimoto Keisuke||3||R/R||174||82|
|3||1B||宇都宮 佑弥||Utsunomiya Yuuya||3||R/R||163||90|
|4||2B||脇田 怜和||Wakita Reo||3||R/R||170||70|
|5||3B||亀岡 京平||Kameoka Kyouhei||3||R/R||172||87|
|6||SS||矢野 功一郎||Yano Kouichirou||3||R/L||171||63|
|7||LF||吉岡 秀太朗||Yoshioka Shuutarou||3||R/R||179||82|
|8||CF||渡辺 大誠||Watanabe Taisei||3||R/L||178||70|
|9||RF||白石 晃大||Shiraishi Koudai||3||L/L||176||74|
|10||P||影山 尭紀||Kageyama Takanori||3||L/L||173||77|
|11||P||栗田 智輝||Kurita Tomoki||3||R/L||174||68|
|12||BN||政吉 完哉||Masayoshi Kanya||2||R/R||167||62|
|13||PH/OF||篠浦 颯斗||Shinooura Hayato||3||R/R||177||77|
|14||IF||伊藤 駿吾||Itou Shungo||2||R/R||171||67|
|15||OF||池内 優一||Ikeuchi Yuuichi||2||R/R||180||81|
|16||IF||井上 悠平||Inoue Yuuhei||3||R/R||164||63|
|17||BN||須賀 皓稀||Suga Hiroki||3||R/L||163||62|
|18||BN||中村 琉星||Nakamura Ryuusei||3||R/L||170||70|
Touchiku (6th appearance, 1st in 21 years)
- Location – Kita-Kyushu-shi, Fukuoka
- Public school
- Student Body – 958 students (495 female)
- Club Size – 63
- Kantoku – Aono Hirohiko (青野 浩彦)
Road to Koushien
- def Yamato Seiran 9-1 (7 inn)
- def Tobata 4-1
- def Yahata Kougyou 5-3
- def Kyushu Sangyoudai Kyushu 1-0
- def Fukuoka Koudai Jyoutou 4-3
- def Nishi-Nippon Tankidai Fuzoku 7-3
- def Fukuokadai Oohori 3-2
Touchiku could be excused for having some close games against some of the best teams in the prefecure given they were almost on back-to-back-to-back days. That includes the final against Fukuokadai Oohori and their ace Miura Ginji who is on the Japan U-18 roster.
However, their ace Ishida doesn’t seem to have much upside. He’s a sidearmer who doesn’t strike out a lot of batters, and will make his defense work. And they’ll need to work as his offense won’t give him a ton of run support, but might give him enough to not feel like he’s got no margin of error.
|1||P||石田 旭昇||Ishida Akinori||2||R/R||173||67|
|2||C||北村 謙介||Kitamura Kensuke||2||R/L||177||78|
|3||1B||水上 尚||Mizukami Nao||3||L/L||181||86|
|4||2B||田中 将悟||Tanaka Shougo||2||R/R||173||74|
|5||3B||坂口 慶太||Sakaguchi Keita||3||R/L||182||79|
|◎||6||SS||安部 滉平||Abe Yuuhei||3||R/R||173||75|
|7||LF||盛田 秀||Morita Shuu||3||R/R||178||71|
|8||CF||阿部 泰晟||Abe Taisei||2||L/L||170||63|
|9||RF||菊池 聡太||Kikuchi Souta||2||R/R||176||69|
|10||BN||山本 悠可||Yamamoto Yuuga||3||R/R||181||77|
|11||C/IF||小田 貴一||Oda Kiichi||3||R/R||167||67|
|12||BN||野口 皓生||Noguchi Kouki||2||R/R||171||79|
|13||IF||石橋 和希||Ishibashi Kazuki||3||R/L||172||72|
|14||OF||別府 洸太朗||Beppu Koutarou||3||R/L||174||72|
|15||PH||山田 航||Yamada Wataru||3||L/L||171||72|
|16||PR||竹下 瑞貴||Takeshita Mizuki||3||R/R||179||71|
|17||BN||升田 由太郎||Masuda Yuutarou||3||R/L||191||78|
|18||BN||新開 飛雅||Shinkai Hyuuga||3||R/R||173||73|
The key to the game will be how Ishida fares. If he struggles, there may be no recovery. Even just one bad inning might be enough depending on the severity. If he handles this game with no issues, they might have a chance at surprising a team or two.
- CF Abe Taisei
- 2B Tanaka
- 3B Sakaguchi
- 1B Mizukami
- LF Morita
- RF Kikuchi
- SS Abe Yuuhei
- C Kitamura
- P Ishida
- CF Watanabe
- 1B Utsunomiya
- 3B Kameoka
- P Yatsudzuka
- LF Yoshioka
- RF Shiraishi
- C Hashimoto
- SS Yano
- 2B Itou (#14)
13:15 – First Pitch!
Yatsudzuka showing average velocity (mid-130s). Control pretty good as he’s hitting the glove and getting the early batters to roll over. Doesn’t even make a bad pitch to Sakaguchi, but he sneaks it past Itou for a base hit.
Touchiku not doing too much with the ball. Mizukami dumps a ball just into the outfield in left for their 2nd hit. Morita rolls over another ball though as Yano goes the short way for the 3rd out.
Bottom 1 and maybe some nerves for Ishida as he walks the first batter. Kitamura comes right out to talk to him.
Now he hits Utsunomiya and Aono-kantoku calls for time.
Kameoka is almost hit by another pitch, but goes off the knob instead.
He hits a grounder to short, taking it himself, but then flips to 2nd and he drops it! Why? WHY ARE YOU MAKING THAT TOSS? It’s a tailor made 6-3 double play! But instead it’s manrui no out!
AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING YATSUDZUKA? Ishida’s walked and hit batters and you go up there swinging away?? He strikes out on 3 pitches and deserves to go back to the bench.
Ishida then puts a ball behind Yoshioka, and behind the RHB batters box. Watanabe comes come, 1-0.
Shiraishi pops out and Hashimoto strikes out swinging, and I’m completely flabbergasted as Saibi lets Ishida off the hook giving up just 1 run and not because Saibi got a base hit.
Goes without much of anything, but Saibi for some reason is continuing to swing despite Ishida continuing to have control issues.
Ishida taking my advice and works a leadoff walk, immediately bunted to 2nd.
Tanaka with a scorcher up the 3B line, but Kameoka makes a great diving stop and robs him of a base hit! Ishida does move to 3rd.
Sakaguchi gets ahead 3-0 and tries to find a pitch to hit, but at 3-2 is jammed and rolls a ball to 2nd.
Ishida’s woes continues as he hits Utsunomiya. Saibi still playing it’s game and giving Ishida outs. Yatsudzuka still swinging away, drives one to LF. Morita going back, settling, and it’s off his glove! Not only that but Kouhei flubs the throw and Utsunomiya comes home to make it 2-0!
Now Yoshioka with a drive to center. Taisei goes back, goes back.. leaps! Crashes into the wall! And makes the catch!
Taisei somehow hold on after going full speed into the wall and there’s 2 out as Yatsudzuka has to scamper back to 2nd.
Shiriaishi flies out to end the inning, but once again Ishida perhaps fortunate to have given up just 1 run.
That was Morita making up for his error with a screamer over the wall in left! Like that it’s 2-1.
Kikuchi with a double over Yoshioka’s head. And now Kouhei singles past Yatsudzuka into center bringing Kikuchi home! It’s 2-2!
Kitamura clobbering a ball left over by Yatsudzuka and it gets by the drawn in outfield! He’s in with a RBI triple and Touchiku on 4 hits goes from down 0-2 to up 3-2!!
Yatsudzuka gets 2 outs afterwards, but the missed opportunities for Saibi loom large as they now trail!
With one on in the bottom of the 4th, a torrential downpour comes and the teams are called in at around 14:06. The rain lasts for about half an hour, and it takes another 45 minutes to get the ground ready as they start at 15:21.
The break has done Ishida good as he retires the next 3 batters and flips the script on the game.
And so it seems to go as Sakaguchi takes a ball the other way, splitting the defense again for a double. Mizukami gets a friendly bounce as a chopper to the left side can’t be picked by Kameoka.
2 out now and Kikuchi singles up the middle! Sakaguchi is waved home as the throw comes in… Hashimoto goes for the tag and… SAFE! Sakaguchi ぐるぐる’s past the plate and Touchiku now leads 4-2!
Mizukami takes a bridge too far and is easily out at 3rd to end the inning, but Saibi needs a response and quickly.
Kameoka tries to start something with a one-out first pitch single zinging through the infield. No bunt for Yatsudzuka but an early swing puts him behind in the count. But he fouls off pitch after pitch until Ishida misses on a pitch over the plate and Yatsudzuka puts it out of Kikuchi’s reach down the RF line. It’s a double and a base hit can tie the game.
Yoshioka lines out to left, but that gets the job done to bring one in to make it 4-3.
2 down now and Shiraishi hits a hot shot to short and Kouhei makes a great stop. But the throw is high right off the bat and Mizukami doesn’t have a play. All safe and the inning continues.
OH DEAR. Ishida misses over the plate again and this Hashimoto’s drive to left goes over the wall for a gyakuten 3-run HR giving his team the 6-4 lead heading into the break! Now it’s Touchiku’s time to regroup and find a response.
Kouhei with a leadoff single to left that turns into 2 after Yoshioka whiffs on the ball. Throw in a walk and things are getting interesting yet again…
After a sac bunt, Taisei gambles on a squeeze on 2-1 but pushes it foul. Count goes full and Yatsudzuka puts in a slider on the outside edge for strike 3! 2 out!
Yatsudzuka gets out of the jam! He gets Tanaka in on the hands and he fouls out to Utsunomiya to end the threat!
With that, Touchiku risks this game getting out of hand.
After a 2-out walk, Kameoka drills a ball over the fence in right center. 8-4 and you can call it now.
#10 Kageyama comes in to pitch as Yatsudzuka gets some rest in RF.
Touchiku flailing at this point, Sakaguchi, Mizukami and Morita strikeout. Touchiku has waved the white flag.
Rest of Game
Well, the rest of the game went pretty much without much else significant happening. Ishida was going to finish the game, but after Saibi tacks on 2 more runs, he’s relieved for #17 Masuda at 145 pitches.
Touchiku empties the bench to the extent it can with PHs in for the first 3 batters. and Mizukami is allowed to bat and make the last out. A token dive into 1st seals a 10-4 win for Saibi.
Ishida was just off from the get go, and while the rain delay seemed to provide some help, it was fleeting at best as Saibi jumped all over him. Not much else to say here.
Though in the final moments, we see Ishida crying uncontrollably as he picks up the dirt from the ground. His summer is over and in a crushing manner as he is unable to help bring his team a victory. The cameramen take pictures to capture the sorrow of the end of another player’s summer.
And so it goes…