(photo courtesy of Mainichi)
Matsushou Gakuen (36th appearance, 1st in 9 years)
- Location – Matsumoto-shi, Nagano
- Private school
- Student Body – 1,343 students (746 female)
- Club Size – 104
- Kantoku – Adachi Osamu(?) (足立 修)
Road to Koushien
- def Koumi 12-5
- def Ina Kita 8-0 (7 inn)
- def Nagano Nichidai 9-0 (7 inn)
- def Iiyama 6-3
- def Komoro Shougyou 5-4
- def Iwadamura 10x-3 (8 inn)
- def Saku Chousei 5-4
Matsushou Gakuen were able to beat right now the team of the decade in Nagano prefecture. It wasn’t the cleanest game by far, but Naoe and Aoyagi were able to nurse the team home. But outside of the Nagano Nichidai game, it seems like they were in closely contested matches when playing the better teams from the prefecture. And with Nagano not exactly being one of the powerhouse areas of kokoyakyu it doesn’t really bode well for their prospects.
You can add to that the fact that in that Saku Chousei game, the middle of the lineup (4-5-6) were a combined 1-9 with 4 Ks and 5 BBs. The BBs are nice to see, but if they can’t hit then you aren’t necessarily scared of them either.
|1||P||青柳 真珠||Aoyagi Mashuu||3||R/R||184||84|
|2||C||笠原 拓実||Kasahara Takumi||3||R/R||177||75|
|◎||3||1B||藤井 大地||Fujii (Daichi)||3||R/R||178||83|
|4||2B||渡辺 幹太||Watanabe Kanta||3||R/L||169||58|
|5||3B||森田 哲平||Morita Teppei||3||R/R||170||72|
|6||SS||千野 秀||Chino Shuu||3||R/R||169||68|
|7||LF||北原 拓未||Kitahara Takumi||2||R/L||173||72|
|8||CF||本木 飛雄河||Motogi Hyuuma||2||R/L||167||61|
|9||RF||井領 大輔||Iryou Daisuke||3||R/L||178||72|
|10||BN||波多腰 守||Hatakoshi Mamoru||3||R/R||175||80|
|11||P||直江 大輔||Naoe Daisuke||2||R/R||183||73|
|12||BN||大和久 竣矢||(Oowaku) Shunya||2||R/R||170||60|
|13||BN||肥後 正敬||Higo Masataka||3||R/R||169||69|
|14||BN||大月 涼太||Ootsuki Ryouta||3||R/L||165||60|
|15||IF||青柳 孝輝||Aoyagi Kouki||3||R/R||168||66|
|16||BN||吉川 望月||Yoshikawa (Mizuki)||2||R/L||163||58|
|17||OF||飯塚 潤也||Iidzuka Jyunya||3||R/L||174||73|
|18||BN||百瀬 光太朗||(Hyakuse) Koutarou||3||R/R||167||73|
Tsuchiura Nichidai (3rd appearance, 1st in 31 years)
- Location – Tsuchiura-shi, Ibaraki
- Private school
- Student Body – 1,821 students (813 female)
- Club Size – 79
- Kantoku – Kosuga Isamu(?) (小菅 勲)
Road to Koushien
- def Ose 10-7
- def Ibaraki Higashi 14-0
- def Shimodate Dai-ichi 13-4
- def Mito Keimei 7-5
- def Ryuugasaki Dai-ichi 6-3
- def Fujishiro 3-2
- def Kasumigaura 10-9 (15 inn)
Nothing should be taken away from the fact that they defeated both Fujishiro and Kasumigaura. But the box scores indicate that the pitching isn’t great (they struck out 3 and walked 16 in the Kasumigaura final) and the offense can easily run cold (2 batters account for 7 of the 10 hits in the Fujishiro game, and ace Tomita had 3 of them). They did well for scrapping their way here, but it feels like they needed some luck in their pairings to advance. Matsushou Gakuen might be that team.
|1||P||富田 卓||Tomita Suguru||2||R/R||181||71|
|2||C||小沢 礼嗣||Ozawa Reishi||2||R/R||168||71|
|3||1B/P||井上 莞嗣||Inoue Kanji||2||R/L||185||89|
|◎||4||2B||三村 航平||Mimura Kouhei||3||R/R||167||64|
|5||3B/1B||小菅 康太||Kosuge Kouta||2||R/L||174||78|
|6||SS||星野 舜||Hoshino Shun||3||R/R||168||63|
|7||LF||鈴木 健太||Suzuki Kenta||2||R/L||174||84|
|8||CF||森本 玲委也||Morimoto Reiya||3||R/L||175||71|
|9||RF||関根 一沙||Sekine Issa||3||L/L||170||78|
|10||P||宮下 和真||Miyashita Kazuma||3||L/L||172||70|
|11||P||本間 珠羽||Honma Shuu||2||R/R||170||66|
|12||PH||中川 朋彦||Nakagawa Tomohiko||1||R/R||182||75|
|13||BN||山田 朋和||Yamada Tomokazu||3||R/R||171||70|
|14||IF||石渡 耀||Ishiwata Hikaru||1||R/R||178||67|
|15||IF||有田 京生||Arita Kyou||3||R/R||165||70|
|16||BN||鶴見 恵大||Tsurumi Keita||3||R/R||173||70|
|17||BN||尾崎 巧光||Ozaki Takumi||3||R/L||182||67|
|18||PH||永井 悠大||Nagai Yuudai||3||L/L||176||90|
Like many of the games we’ve had so far, we have two imperfect teams facing each other. No advantage in any aspect for either team and similar results against known competition. I might then prefer Ibaraki due to region, but there’s no confidence in that statement.
- RF Iryou
- 2B Watanabe
- SS Yoshikawa (#16)
- 1B Fujii
- 3B Morita
- CF Motogi
- C Kasahara
- P Aoyagi Mashuu
- LF Kitahara
- CF Morimoto
- 2B Mimura
- RF Sekine
- 1B Inoue
- LF Suzuki
- C Ozawa
- 3B Kosuga
- P Tomita
- SS Hoshino
10:25 – First Pitch!
3 straight singles through the left side from Watanabe, Yoshikawa and Fujii quickly put Matsushou Gakuen on the board. Throw in a walk and it’s 1-0 manrui, but no time out from Kosuga-kantoku.
Tomita bears down after that, striking out Kimoto and getting a routine fly from Kasahara to end the inning. It’s just a 1-run deficit and they’ve still yet to bat.
Speaking of which Morimoto makes good use of the dirt infield and chops a ball over an outstretched Mashuu for a base hit. Mimura looks to bunt, but it’s right back to Mashuu and he starts the 1-6-3 double play. Sekine swings and misses on an outside pitch and just like that they’re back in the dugout.
Matsushou Gakuen continues to put pressure on the basepaths. Last batter Kitahara lines a ball back up the middle. He steals 2nd soon after, in which Iryou puts down a safety bunt and dives into 1st safely.
Runners at the corners, but not for long because Iryou steals 2nd himself. Watanabe gets hit to load the bases which does create a force, but also adds another potential runner on base.
Tomita gets his groundball, but a bobble from Mimura forces the play at 1st, conceding the run. 2-0 Matsushou Gakuen.
Mashuu meanwhile strikes out the side. He smiles, but I’m not really impressed with his control. I’ve seen some spots of good pitching, but his off-speed pitches aren’t always hitting the spots.
After 2 quick outs Kasahara hits a chopper up the middle that just evades the fielders. Mashuu with a grounder to 3rd, but Kosuga airmails the throw over 1st. Kasahara heads to 3rd and continues going. Inoue recovers, throws home and they easily get Kasahara to end the inning. I guess if you want Kitahara to leadoff you do that, otherwise you could have waited and almost guaranteed turning over the lineup.
Down 2 and after the error, Kosuga tries to atone attacking the first pitch and putting it just out of Kitahara’s reach down the LF line for a leadoff double. Tomita’s bunt though is poor and allows Mashuu to throw Kosuga out at 3rd by a wide margin.
Which was about to prove costly when Hoshino hits one to the hole on the right side. That was until Watanabe closes the gap and makes a great diving stop for out number 2.
Morimoto striked out swinging, and Tsuchiura Nichidai is denied their first run.
Tomita was about to get a clean inning, but he walks Watanabe. He immediately steals 2nd, then takes third on a wild pitch. Yoshikawa singles through the left side, and Matsushou Gakuen extends their lead to 3-0!
All the traffic right now is one-way as Matsushou adds yet another run. A leadoff single from Motogi is driven home by a single from Kitahara to center combined with a bobble from Morimoto makes it 4-0 heading to the break.
Tsuchiura Nichidai not only needs to somehow find a way to stop the runners from going wild, but needs to find some offense as well. Mashuu is far from a dominating ace, but their AB’s seems like it is.
A change in P’s provides no respite for Tsuchiura Nichidai and in fact makes things worse. 2 walks, 2 hits and 2 runs extend the lead to 6-0 and this is all but over if it wasn’t before.
Or so I thought. Mashuu, who had been cruising to this point pitches as if he has hit a brick wall. Walks Tomita, gives up a base hit to last batter Hoshino, and then walks Morimoto to load the bases. I wondered if he needed to be relieved.
But after a sac fly from Mimura to make it 6-1, he gets Sekine to hit into a 6-4-3 double play and just like that the damage is minimized. I’d still be concerned about Mashuu next inning though.
May not matter though as Matsushou Gakuen continues to show off its wheels. After leadoff single, Iryou and Watanabe get bunt base hits. Fujii collects his 4th base hit, and 2 more RBI’s and the lead continue to expand, now 8-1.
Rest of game
Both sides put up more runs in the final 2 innings, but all of it is inconsequential (though I would like for those in the lead to close out the game instead because teams who put up large numbers in games generally have a letdown the game after).
Matsushou Gakuen controls the action from start to finish as Tsuchiura Nichidai played from its back foot all game. It’s an easy 12-3 win and a meting with Moriokadai Fuzoku next.