99th Natsu Koushien – Day 6, Game 1 – Oogaki Nichidai (Gifu) v Tenri (Nara)

99th Natsu Koushien – Day 6, Game 1 – Oogaki Nichidai (Gifu) v Tenri (Nara)

(photo courtesy of Mainichi)

Oogaki Nichidai (4th appearance, 1st in 3 years)

  • Location – Oogaki-shi, Gifu
  • Private school
  • Student Body -1,103 students (546 female)
  • Club Size – 54
  • Kantoku – Sakaguchi Keiszou (阪口 慶三)

Road to Koushien

  • def Yamagata 15-0 (5 inn)
  • def Gifu Sougou Gakuen 2-1
  • def Kamo 6-0
  • def Minokamo 5-1
  • def Shiritsu Gifu Shougyou 1-0
  • def Chuukyou Gakuindai Chuukyou 6-3

Oogaki Nichidai came from nowhere in 2007 to announce their presence. And after reaching the Haru final and the Natsu quarterfinal I thought maybe they would eventually challenge the likes of Osaka Touin and Yokohama and the like.

But that never really happened. They reappeared in Haru 2010 to reach the semifinals, but that’s been it. There’s been some appearances since then, but they’ve never been able to repeat that success.

And I don’t think this iteration of the team will be able to do it either. They narrowly beat Shiritsu Gifu Shougyou and needed a 3-run 8th to beat Chuukyou Gakuindai Chuukyou. 17-61 batting with the pitching just striking out 8 and walking 4. The batting even throughout the lineup, for better or worse.

Tenri (28th appearance, 1st in 2 years)

  • Location – Tenri-shi, Nara
  • Private school
  • Student Body – 349 students (186 female)
  • Club Size – 55
  • Kantoku – Nakamura Ryouji (中村 良二)

Road to Koushien

  • def Kashiba 3-2
  • def Houryouji Kokusai 9-3
  • def Takamado 11-1 (5 inn)
  • def Chiben Gakuen 8-7
  • def Naradai Fuzoku 2-1

Tenri eclipses Chiben Gakuen to take the Nara title, but Tenri hasn’t been able to repeat its performances of the past, reaching the Best 8 in just 2 of 7 attempts. More ofen than not, they are eliminated by the 2nd round.

And I don’t really have any indication from their qualifying that that trend will change.

The final 2 games against the other powerhouses and barely holding on in both cases. They batted a paltry 19-66, while striking out 17 times. Throw in the fact that the pitching staff struck out 6 and walked 4 and there’s not much to be enthused about regarding this team.

Both teams with similar resumes, and in prefectures which have not had success over the past couple of years. I don’t really think that either team has an advantage in the matchup, but from being disappointed by Tenri over and over I wouldn’t be surprised if Oogaki Nichidai wins this game.

Lineups

Oogaki Nichidai

  • SS Okada
  • C Tsudzuki
  • 1B Ishikawa
  • CF Miyasaka
  • LF Naitou
  • RF Numajiri
  • 2B Ootake
  • 3B Kogiso
  • P Shuugyou

Tenri

  • LF Miyazaki
  • CF Sugishita
  • SS Oota
  • RF Jinno
  • C Jyoushita
  • 1B Yasuhara
  • 3B Morimoto
  • 2B Yamaguchi
  • P Sakane (#17)

08:00 – First Pitch

Early impressions from the game was that relief starter Sakane was constantly working deep into counts and balls were being hit hard. 5 of the 9 batters went into 2-2 or 3-2 counts.

On the other side, Tenri was just attacking early in the count, so much so that they gave Shuugyou a 6-pitch 1st inning.

PING.

But then in the 2nd Jinno drives a ball to deep center, Miyasaka goes back but watches it go over the fence for a HR! 1-0 Tenri!

Replays show that he might have left that a tad over the plate more than he would have liked.

Meanwhile, Sakane continues to rack up the pitch count. He does allow base runners, but the defense is playing well behind him.

The game seemingly speeds along until.

PING.

Did he really do it again? We had it yesterday with Taniguchi, but here Jinno does it again! Not only that but he hits a letter-high pitch and takes it out to left for his 2nd HR in as many AB’s! Tenri leads 2-0 here in the 4th!

And now perhaps Shuugyou is rattled a bit because Jyoushita takes he very next pitch and doubles to right. 2 batters later Morimoto singles through the left side and brings him in for a 3-0 lead!

It would appear now that they’re trailing, Oogaki Nichidai has abandoned a bit their patient strategy. But while they continue to get a baserunner each inning, the results for now continue to be the same.

Tenri though continues to push on. One out after a Miyazaki single, Sugishita drives a ball of the drawn in outfield. Miyazaka has to chase it back to the wall and a triple makes the game 4-0. Throw in a sac fly and not only is it a 5-0 lead, but Shuugyou makes way for #10 Sugimoto.

The team adds one more in the 8th to make it 6-0, and that’s where it ends. Tenri dominated from start to finish, this despite the fact that Sakane barely breaks 130 on the radar gun. The infield defense was excellent and makes one a little more optimistic about Tenri’s prospects, but it will not get any easier with Kobe Kokusaidai Fuzoku on the horizon.

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