99th Natsu Koushien – Day 6, Game 3 – Nishougakushadai Fuzoku (Higashi Tokyo) v Meiou (Akita)

99th Natsu Koushien – Day 6, Game 3 – Nishougakushadai Fuzoku (Higashi Tokyo) v Meiou (Akita)

(photo courtesy of Mainichi)

Meiou (9th appearance, 1st in 8 years)

  • Location – Akita-shi, Akita
  • Private school
  • Student Body – 1,054 students (352 female)
  • Club Size – 73
  • Kantoku – Koshiishi Shigehiro (輿石 重弘)

Road to Koushien

  • def Yokote Seiryou 6-2
  • def Yuzawa Shouhoku 9-2
  • def Akita Chuo 3-2
  • def Oomagari Kougyou 6-0
  • def Kanaashi Nougyou 5-1

Last time Meiou was here, they were walked off on a wild pickoff throw to 3rd base of all things. They come back trying to avenge that loss, but what are their prospects?

Unfortunately, coming out of Akita the prospects are not good.  Since as far back as 1998 only 3 teams from Akita have won 1 game at the tournament. Fortunately, all 3 have come since 2010. In their favor they finished strong their final 2 games, thanks to relief starter Yamaguchi Kouki (山口 航輝) who struck out 30 while walking just 4 in 25.2 innings of work (how is he not the ace?).

Offensively, not bad as they went 31-93 in the final 3 games, and production is spread out, but uneven from top-to-bottom.

It’s possible then that this team could take a game…

Nishogakusadai Fuzoku (2nd appearance, 1st in 3 years)

  • Location – Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
  • Private school
  • Student Body – 718 students (378 female)
  • Club Size – 67
  • Kantoku – Ichihara Kazuhito (市原 勝人)

Road to Koushien

  • def Tamadai Meguro 7-4
  • def Aoyama 7x-0 (7 inn)
  • def Dokkyo 19-0 (5 inn)
  • def Ueno Gakuen 6-1
  • def Kanto Dai-ichi 8-1 (7 inn)
  • def Toukaidai Takanawadai 9-1

… If Meiou wasn’t playing Nishougakushadai Fuzoku. They completely blitzed the field, with the only close game their first. They completely annihilated rivals Kanto Dai-ichi and the offense hit a staggering 0.435, and were 13-29 against Kanto Dai-ichi.

As for the pitching, ace Ichihara in the Kanto Dai-ichi game struck out 4 while walking 1, which is not great, but not bad either. In the final he struck out 9, walking 4, but only gave up 3 hits on the day.

I think they might have a good chance to make a deep run, provided Ichihara’s walks don’t come home to roost.

Lineups

Nishougakushadai Fuzoku

  • 2B Horikawa
  • CF Toba
  • 3B Hirama
  • LF Nagai
  • RF Hatakeyama
  • 1B Akihiro
  • P Ichikawa
  • C Matsue
  • SS Nagano

Meiou

  • SS Ogawa
  • 2B Hayakawa
  • CF Kodama
  • RF Yamaguchi (#11)
  • 1B Matsumoto
  • C Iwaki
  • P Satou
  • LF Ikemoto
  • 3B Kudou

12:45 – First Pitch!

It takes until the 2nd inning, but Nishougakushadai Fuzoku starts hitting Satou hard.

Nagai singles, and after a sac Akihiro singles to make it 1-0. Ichikawa hits it to the padding in center for a triple (the CF collides and is slow to recover). Nagano’s triple makes it a 3-0 ballgame.

There just isn’t much to write regarding this game. Meiou has no offense to counteract Nishogakushadai Fuzoku, while their defense throws the ball around like they did in the 5th leading to another run. Combine that with the run in the 4th, and it’s a 5-0 lead at the break with no visions of anything different.

And post-break it just craters. Nishougakushadai Fuzoku puts up a run each inning, and no thanks to the defense making errors left and right. In fact at one point Meiou had 6 errors, and 5 hits…

The game feels in my opinion worse for Meiou than that game 9 years ago. That was one mistake. This to them probably feels embarrassing. They at least salvage getting more hits than errors but a HR from Matsumoto, but it’s a 14-2 loss in the end.

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