(photo courtesy of Mainichi)
Maebashi Ikuei (3rd appearance, 2nd consecutive)
- Location – Maebashi-shi, Gunma
- Private school
- Student Body – 1,700 students (975 female)
- Club Size – 69
- Kantoku – Arai Naoki (荒井 直樹)
Road to Koushien
- def Takasaki Keizaidai Fuzoku 3-1
- def Nitta Akatsuki 8-1 (7 inn)
- def Takasaki Shoudai Fuzoku 8-0 (7 inn)
- def Tokiwa 4-0
- def Meiwa Kenou 10x-3 (8 inn)
- def Kendai Takasaki 6-4
|1||P/CF||皆川 喬涼||Minagawa Kyousuke||3||R/R||178||79|
|2||C||戸部 魁人||Tobe Kaito||3||R/R||181||77|
|3||1B||小池 悠平||Koike Yuuhei||2||R/R||176||76|
|4||2B||堀口 優河||Hochiguchi Yuuga||3||R/R||174||68|
|◎||5||3B||飯島 大夢||Iijima Hiromu||3||R/R||185||82|
|6||SS||黒沢 駿太||Kurosawa Shunta||3||R/L||173||60|
|7||LF||吉沢 悠||Yoshizawa Yuu||3||R/R||174||65|
|8||CF/P||丸山 和郁||Maruyama Kazuya||3||L/L||171||72|
|9||RF||飯塚 剛己||Iidzuka Gouki||3||R/L||180||69|
|10||P||根岸 崇裕||Negishi Takahiro||3||R/R||193||96|
|11||P||木島 佑起||Kijima Yuuki||3||R/R||173||75|
|12||C||市川 龍之信||Ichikawa Ryuunoshin||3||R/R||171||66|
|13||IF||原田 捷敏||Harada Katsutoshi||3||R/R||167||60|
|14||IF||深川 理来||Fukagawa Riku||3||R/R||180||69|
|15||IF||市川 直之||Ichikawa Naoyuki||3||R/L||176||79|
|16||IF||北原 翔||Kitahara Shou||2||R/R||178||65|
|17||OF||川端 優希||Kawabata Yuuki||3||R/L||165||63|
|18||IF||田中 宏樹||Tanaka Hiroki||3||R/R||178||70|
Maebashi Ikuei might be trying to copy Shuugakukan in that they’re carrying multiple fireballers (4 to be exact). I’ve said that the powerhouses should try to create a structure of a major-league pitching staff with multiple aces who would be interchangeable. I’m not sure this team has it quite right as their current levels don’t seem to be on the same level as Shuugakukan last year. However, as we’ve seen it doesn’t matter how much talent you have if you don’t use it correctly. It will be interesting to see if Arai-kantoku can do more with seemingly less.
Yamanashi Gakuin (7th appearance, 2nd consecutive)
- Location – Koufu-shi, Yamanashi
- Private school
- Student Body – 1,104 students (504 female)
- Club Size – 66
- Kantoku – Yoshida Kouji (吉田 洸二)
Road to Koushien
- def Koufu Minami 13-4 (7 inn)
- def Nichidai Meisei 3-1
- def Koufu Kougyou 5-4
- def Nihon Koukuu 4-2
- def Toukaidai Koufu 14-3
|1||P||吉松 塁||Yoshimatsu Rui||3||L/L||178||78|
|2||C||五十嵐 寛人||Igarashi Hiroto||3||R/R||178||83|
|◎||3||1B||栗尾 勇摩||Kurio Yuma||3||R/R||185||82|
|4||2B||小林 侃汰||Kobayashi Kanta||3||R/R||175||82|
|5||3B||清水 玄司||Shimizu Kenji||3||R/L||177||73|
|6||SS||広瀬 巧真||Hirose Takuma||3||R/L||174||69|
|7||LF||中尾 勇介||Nakao Yuusuke||3||R/R||175||78|
|8||CF||松尾 孝太||Matsuo Kouta||2||L/L||174||72|
|9||RF||丹沢 海輝||Tanzawa Kaiki||3||R/R||179||76|
|10||P||石井 友樹||Ishii Yuuki||3||R/R||173||68|
|11||BN||宮内 大河||Miyauchi Taiga||3||L/L||180||75|
|12||PH||山本 瑞基||Yamamoto Mizuki||3||R/L||181||86|
|13||BN||相沢 利俊||Aizawa Kazutoshi||1||L/R||175||72|
|14||BN||佐藤 颯||Satou Riku||3||R/R||173||72|
|15||OF||村田 海斗||Murata Kaito||3||R/L||163||62|
|16||BN||勝又 功徳||Katsumata Koutoku||3||R/L||180||82|
|17||PH/OF||関口 俊哉||Sekiguchi Shunya||3||R/L||169||69|
|18||BN||垣越 建伸||Kakikoshi Kenshin||2||L/L||182||92|
Yamanashi Gakuin basically repeated the same story from last year defeating Nihon Koukuu and Toukaidai Koufu to once again claim the title.
Ace Yoshimatsu Rui hopefully will have made strides for the team from last year where he did well at Natsu Koushien, but wasn’t even able to reach 6 innings which hurt the team. Offensive output was also a bugaboo, but there is some hope from the Nihon Koukuu semifinal where the bottom third of the lineup was able to drive in half the runs.
This game all depends on the pitching staffs. Has Maebashi Ikuei’s deep staff has improved enough to become a legitimate threat? Indications from their last two games might suggest they haven’t. Has Yoshimatsu been able to lengthen out to pitch a full game? Maybe, but not for back to back games. That part won’t matter for a one-game snapshot, so that might go in their favor.
- CF Maruyama
- 2B Horiguchi
- C Tobe
- 3B Iijima
- P Minagawa
- LF Yoshizawa
- 1B Koike
- RF Iidzuka
- SS Kurosawa
- C Igarashi
- 1B Kurio
- LF Nakao
- 2B Kobayashi
- RF Sekiguchi (#17)
- 3B Shimizu
- CF Matsuo
- P Yoshimatsu
- SS Hirose
13:21 – First Pitch!
That was quick. Maruyama is hit to leadoff the game, bunted to 2nd. And then goes to steal 3rd! He’s in safely, which means Iijima’s single to left makes it a 1-0 game just like that for Maebashi Ikuei.
Minagawa isn’t lighting the world on fire either. He gives a free pass to leadoff batter Ishibashi, and then with 2 outs walks Kobayashi. He prevents a run when he blocks, but can’t field Sekiguchi’s comebacker.
He rears back though and blows a 144 kph fastball past Shimizu to end the inning.
Yamanashi Gakuin threatening again. Minagawa gives up a leadoff walk, and on the very next pitch Matsuo steals 2nd. But despite being bunted over, Hirose is caught looking on a slider on the outside edge, and Igarashi given the green light on 3-0 fouls out to Tobe at the back screen. Inning over.
Any break Yoshimatsu got in the 2nd is gone. In almost a carbon copy of the first, Maruyama gets on base, is bunted over, steals 3rd (though it’s close this time) and scores when Iijima gets a base hit. 2-0.
That’s where the similarities end though. Yoshimatsu starts leaving balls over the plate and they get progressively more punished:
- Minagawa doubles to right center, 3-0
- Yoshizawa doubles to almost the exact same place, 4-0
- Koike homers down LF line, 6-0
A walk to Iidzuka ends Yoshimatsu’s day, but way too late.
Despite being up 6 runs, and the directive generally to throw strikes, Minagawa walks Shimizu, Matsuo and then Hirose to load the bases. Those 3 makes a total of 6 walks already.
And when he finally throws a strike Igarashi drives it out of Maruyama’s reach at the wall. That will clear the bases and it’s 6-3 when it really didn’t need to be.
Ishii, Yamanashi Gakuin’s 3rd P of the game, just needed to hold serve to keep momentum on their side. He just misses on a ball to Iiduzka who then steals 2nd, and then 3rd. But Igarashi’s throw to 3rd is wide and goes into left, allowing Iidzuka to score. 7-3 and their gains are ground to a halt.
What’s worse, Arai-kantoku goes to #7 Yoshizawa to pitch. Such is the case when you have multiple options. An error prevents a clean inning, but otherwise Yamanashi Gakuin is back in trouble again.
Having burned through their ace and one other, Yamanashi Gakuin perhaps not in a position to lock things down. Ishii hits Tobe, and after a sac bunt, Minagawa dumps a ball to center allowing Tobe to score making it 8-3.
You can almost close the book on this game now.
3 batters later and Iidzuka hits a rare HR to right. 11-3 and we can close the book on this game for good.
Rest of game
The rest of the game again became inconsequential. However, it seems that Maebashi Ikuei’s pitching staff, while they have 4 pitchers who can throw over 140 like Shuugakukan, aren’t as dominating as Shuugakukan. It was a good try, but in the end it’s a poor-man’s version of it.