(photo courtesy of Mainichi)
Kisaradzu Sougou (6th appearance, 2nd consecutive)
- Location – Kisaradzu-shi, Chiba
- Private school
- Student Body – 2,108 students (1,133 female)
- Club Size – 66
- Kantoku – Gojima Takadou (五島 卓道)
Road to Koushien
- def Nagareyama Ootaka no Mori 4-2
- def Chiba Nishi 26-0 (5 inn)
- def Makhari Sougou 10x-0 (6 inn)
- def Tokyo Gakkan Urayasu 4-0
- def Shiritsu Funabashi 7-0
- def Toukaidai Ichihara Bouyou 6-2
- def Narashino 4-3
|1||P||山下 輝||Yamashita Hikaru||3||L/L||187||87|
|2||C||芦名 望||Ashina Nozumu||3||R/R||179||78|
|3||1B||山中 稜真||Yamanaka Ryouma||2||R/L||176||72|
|4||2B||小池 柊稀||Koike Shuuki||1||R/R||174||64|
|5||3B||野尻 幸輝||Nojiri Kouki||2||R/L||178||78|
|◎||6||SS||峯村 貴希||Minemura Takagi||3||R/L||186||82|
|7||LF||綿田 将也||Watada Masaya||3||L/L||176||65|
|8||CF||大木 巴哉||Ooki Tomoya||3||R/R||173||72|
|9||RF||細田 悠貴||Hosoda Yuuki||3||R/L||177||72|
|10||BN||高佐 太紀||(Takasa) Taiki||3||R/R||176||74|
|11||BN||熊谷 竣平||Kumagai Shunpei||3||L/L||175||68|
|12||PH||峯村 誉範||Minemura (Takanori)||2||R/R||183||78|
|13||BN||前田 和希||Maeda (Kazuki)||3||R/L||175||75|
|14||BN||比護 涼真||Higo Ryouma||2||R/R||171||60|
|15||PR/IF||伊藤 龍||Itou Ryuu||3||R/R||175||66|
|16||3B||橋本 康生||Hashimoto (Kouki)||3||R/R||170||64|
|17||OF||東 智弥||Azuma Tomoya||2||R/R||172||70|
|18||BN||久保田 望||Kubota (Nozomi)||2||R/R||173||72|
The title did not come cheap for Kisaradzu Sougou, having to play 4 known schools in the final 4 rounds. Ace Yamashita was up to the task, though one couldn’t fault him for perhaps being less effective in the final 2 games since it was 4 games in 5 days. Even still during that span he was still hitting low-mid 140s on the gun, while striking out 37 and only walking 11. On full rest it’s possible he can help sustain a deeper run if those numbers translate over, which it might.
The only problem might be their offense, which seems a bit uneven and is prone to running cold, especially at the top of the lineup.
Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa (2nd appearance, 1st in 8 years)
- Location – Wajima-shi, Ishikawa
- Private school
- Student Body – 719 students (212 female)
- Club Size – 130
- Kantoku – Nakamura Takashi (中村 隆)
Road to Koushien
- def Ootori Gakuen 3-0
- def Kanazawa Nishi 6-0
- def Komatsu Ootani 7-4
- def Seiryou 8x-7 (11 in)
- def Yuugakukan 5-2
|1||P||佐渡 裕次郎||Sado Yuujirou||3||R/R||173||75|
|2||C||山上 祐大||Yamagami Yuudai||3||R/L||178||72|
|3||1B||小板 慎之介||Koita Shinnosuke||2||R/L||180||86|
|4||2B||兼田 鳴海||Kaneda Narumi||3||R/L||170||65|
|5||3B||原田 竜聖||Harada Ryuusei||2||R/R||180||75|
|6||SS||尾畑 秀侍||Obata Shuuji||3||R/L||175||73|
|7||LF||上田 優弥||Ueda Yuuki||2||L/L||185||97|
|◎||8||CF||三桝 春樹||Mimasu Haruki||3||R/R||172||64|
|9||RF||安保 治哉||Abo Haruchika||3||R/L||173||68|
|10||P||杉本 壮志||Sugimoto Soushi||3||R/R||169||63|
|11||BN||大橋 修人||Oohashi Shuuto||2||R/R||176||73|
|12||BN||井岡 啓吾||Imoto Keigo||2||R/R||179||72|
|13||BN||長谷川 拳伸||Hasegawa Kenshin||3||R/R||178||78|
|14||IF||浅野 悠冴||Asano Yuuga||3||R/R||172||63|
|15||PH/OF||小坂 敏輝||Kosaka Toshiki||2||L/L||174||75|
|16||IF||関 慧斗||Seki Keito||3||R/R||174||71|
|17||PR/OF||谷 京太郎||Tani Kyoutarou||3||L/L||166||58|
|18||PH||安東 凌太||Andou Ryouta||3||R/L||172||72|
Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa could make the same claim, having to play Komatsu Ootani, Seiryou and Yuugakukan – the 3 main players of the prefecture.
Of course you don’t beat them without an ace, and filling that role is Sado Yuujirou. He doesn’t have the same following draft-wise, but from the video it appears that his fastball does have some giddy-up as it were and he did strike out 13 versus Seiryou. But in backing up that game he walked 7 against Yuugakukan. Won’t be an issue here since it’s his opening game, but will be a concern should they continue to move forward.
What is of concern is that the top of the lineup seemed to struggle in those games while the bottom thrived. It’s odd to see it inverted like that and it may not be a good thing.
Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa
- RF Abo
- CF Mimasu
- 3B Harada
- LF Ueda
- 1B Koita
- SS Obata
- 2B Kaneda
- C Yamagami
- P Sado
- 1B Yamanaka
- RF Hosoda
- SS Minemura Takagi
- C Ashina
- 3B Nojiri
- CF Ooki
- P Yamashita
- LF Watada
- 2B Koike
08:00 – First Pitch!
Well, that was quick. More 1st inning scoring at Koushien. Abo on the siren singles back up the middle. After a sac bunt, Harada just gets enough of an outside pitch and singles through the left side, Abo is sent home on the base hit and the throw is high allowing Harada to take 2nd. 1-0 Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa.
Yamashita strikes out the next 2 batters, but his team will need to chase 1 run.
As for Sado, he too gives up a leadoff base runner, but despite Yamanaka reaching 3rd, and a walk to Ashina, he gets Nojiri to fly out to right to retire the side.
Chance for Kisaradzu Sougou as the 7-8-9 batters all hit singles to the shallow part of the outfield. And they weren’t bad pitches either it seemed. Even still it’s manrui with one out.
Back to the top of the order and Yamanaka and he goes down and drives a ball to right over the head of Abo for a 2-run double! Kisaradzu Sougou leads 2-1, just like that!
Chances for both sides in the 3rd. Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa gets 2 runners on with 2 out thanks to a Mimasu slicer down the LF line and a HBP, but nothing comes of it.
For Kisaradzu Sougou it’s 2 batters on via being hit by pitch, and it’s a scary moment when Aoki is hit on the back of the batting helmet. He needs to be helped off and an injury runner takes his place. Thankfully Sado doesn’t throw that hard.
Despite the 2 HBPs though Sado gets 2 groundouts to get out of the inning.
Kisaradzu Sougou’s infield defense tested. Koita’s hit to short handcuffs Minemura, and then after a fielder’s choice, Kaneda’s scorcher to 3rd goes off Nojiri and leaks into foul territory for a base hit. With runners on 1st and 2nd, this is Nihon Koukuu’s best opportunity since the 1st.
But instead Yamagami rolls over an outside fastball and grounds into a 4-6-3 double play.
And with 2 outs in the bottom of the 4th, Kisaradzu jumps on Sado. First a simple single to left. But then after a wild pitch, Minemura singles to center bringing in 1 to make it 3-1. On the very next pitch Sado leaves one over the plate and deposits it into the stands in left center for a 2-run HR. 5-1 Kisaradzu Sougou and Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa has their work cut out for them now.
With nothing happening in the 5th the teams head into the break. Kisaradzu’s scoring has come in quick bunches with little response from the Nihon Koukuu offense.
It really feels like Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa has already waved the white flag and are making preparations for their return trip home.
There’s a little life from Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa. Abo, Mimasu and Harada all single through the left side bringing in a run to make it 5-2. However while the douten run is at the plate, I’d want to see another run come across before I actually get interested.
And the reason is because Ueda hits into a 4-6-3 double play, effectively stalling the rally.
Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa trying one more time. Obata double to left and a single by Kaneda put runners at the corners. But with Yamagami and PH Hasegawa striking out the game seems all but over.
Even with Abo hitting a single through the right side making it 5-3. Abo is still far away from scoring.
But then when Mimasu hits a grounder to the right side and Yamanaka makes a great pick, Yamashita is late to cover the base. Suddenly the douten runner is in scoring position.
And then it happens! Harada singles through the right side! Kaneda scores! Abo comes around and he scores! WE HAVE A TIE BALLGAME! 5-5!!
And then the unthinkable! Ueda singles past an outstretched Hashimoto!! Mimasu scores and somehow Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa has the 6-5 lead!!
With the PH for Sado, #10 Sugimoto comes in to close the game.
Ashina, asked to come through one more time, watches strike 3 on the outside edge! 1 down.
#12 Minemura comes in to hit for Hashimoto. But he goes down swinging for the 2nd out!
It looks like that’s going to be it.
But then Ooki hits a single. And Yamashita hits a single. And suddenly the douten run is just 90 feet away!
#17 Azuma comes in for Watada as the last chance…
But he strikes out swinging and the comeback is complete! Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa finds life late to shock Kisaradzu Sougou 6-5!!
I’d have to admit that I had basically read Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa their last rites. There was nothing that indicated that they had any fight left in them, but whether it was them making one last push or perhaps Yamashita running out of gas, the comeback happened and the Chiba champions are sent home in shock.