(picture courtesy of Asahi)
Runs, runs and more runs.
Both of these teams come into this game off blowout wins. It meant they weren’t put under pressure, but it also means that we’re not really in the know as to how strong each of these teams are.
You could look at regional success, but what we’ve learned is that even that isn’t a good indicator for a team. I mean, take a look at what Shiritsu Kure did to Riseisha, and then look what Osaka Touin did to Ube Koujyou, and then think about the prefecural semifinal and what Riseisha did to Osaka Touin. Sure, that last game mentioned wasn’t an elimination game, but it forced the loser into one, and I don’t care what you think, you don’t want to have to go there, no matter how good you are.
So then I go back to grades. Shizuoka probably has the edge in pitching, but Osaka Touin has the edge on hitting. Osaka Touin’s pitching isn’t great, but neither is Shizuoka’s offense. In that case, I think the pressure is all on Shizuoka. Can Ikeya stave off the Osaka Touin offense? Can their offense get to Osaka Touin’s pitching?
- CF Fujiwara Kyouta
- LF (#12) Miyazaki Jinto
- 1B (#5) Nakagawa Takuya
- RF Yamamoto Dante Musashi
- SS (#7) Neo Akira
- 3B (#13) Yamada Kenta
- C (#3) Fukui Shougo
- 2B Sakanoshita Haruto
- P (#11) Yokogawa Gai
- SS Muramatsu Kaito
- CF Maeda Yuuta
- 3B Ooishi Teppei
- LF Naruse Kazuto
- C Mori Koutarou
- 2B Fujita Seiya
- 1B Inazumi Rui
- P Ikeya Souta
- RF Koyanagi Ren
14:20 – First Pitch!
Well, any hopes of having a regular game are gone. Even some scoreless innings. But perhaps Osaka Touin is just getting the runs in now so we can get zeroes the rest of the game.
I’m just going to go through what happened, because it was just me looking at the screen shaking my head.
- Fujiwara – Single to center
- Miyazaki – Walk
- Nakagawa – Sac bunt, Ikeya throws it away 2 runs score. 2-0.
- Yamamoto – Walk
- Neo – Sac fly to left. 3-0.
- Yamada – Bloop single down RF line
- Fukui – Single to center, 4-0.
- Sakanoshita – K
- Yokogawa – Slicer over SS for a single, 6-0.
- Fujiwara – K
Well, that’s over.
No? K. Just let me know when the nonsense ends.
Wait, it doesn’t?
So Shizuoka comes to bat and then this happens:
- Muramatsu – Walk
- Maeda – Sac bunt, Yokogawa boots ball near 1B line.
- Ooishi – Sac bunt, Yokogawa picks it up looks to 3B, throw to 1B late.
- Naruse – Double to left, clears bases. 6-3.
- Mori – Passed ball, K
- Fujita – Single through right side, 6-4.
- Inazumi – Wild pitch @ 0-2
- #10 Kagawa replaces Yokogakwa
- Inazumi (cont) – Double to left center, 6-5.
Really? Are we really going there?
- Ikeya – Grounder up middle, great stop and throw by Sakanoshita
- Koyanagi – Single to center, 6-6.
I guess so.
- Muramatsu – Single through left side.
- Maeda – Flyout to left. Change.
So 6 is the new 0, got it.
Ikeya has a 1-2-3 2nd inning, though Yamamoto puts up a fight for the 3rd out.
And then Osaka Touin goes to its ace in Tokuyama to start the 2nd.
Are we really going to go through this again? K.
- Ooishi – Walk
- Naruse – Double over CF to wall.
- Mori – Line single to RF, 7-6.
- Fujita – Walk
- Inazumi – K looking, fastball inside
- Ikeya – Sac bunt, force at home (Sure, I’m already shaking my head, but why? Both pitchers are struggling, just make Tokuyama work)
- Koyanagi – Lineout to right near RF line
So in the end it was 1 run, but why squeeze when both teams are tripping all over themselves is beyond me. It makes the game go faster so there’s that.
After that it takes me a while to reset my mind to the game. The silliness that ensued made me wonder if it was going to continue. It didn’t, but at the same time, nothing really happened at all.
In fact until the break, there was just 1 base hit combined on both sides. Almost like the two teams had a truce.
If they did though, perhaps it was only until the break because then both Yamada and Sakanoshita both collected peculiar base hits. Yamada with a blopper landing on the RF line or close to it, and Sakanoshita with a high chopper that left Ikeya with no play. Ikeya gets out of the inning but perhaps the action will pick up once again.
It does in Shizuoka’s Lucky 7.
Naruse walks, Mori lays down the bunt, but Tokuyama goes to 3rd and Yamada anticipates the tag and doesn’t secure the ball. Runners at the corners, Fujita singles to right and the lead is 2 now at 8-6.
Ikeya fails to bunt and move the runners over, leaving it to Koyanagi. He walks and the lineup turns over. Nishitani-kantoku calls time. He knows that at this point he’s going to his position players. SS Neo was warming up earlier.
But Matsumura chases a high and outside fastball. Side retired and Osaka Touin chasing a not-impossible 2 runs.
Well, there goes that.
Neo singles through the left side. Yamada almost has an identical hit. But then out of nowhere Naruse flubs the ball and that allows Neo to score. 8-7.
Shizuoka maybe getting lax with all these clean innings.
Fukui bunts Yamada along to try and tie the game, which Sakanoshita does with yet another single through the left side. 8-8 and Shizuoka has to really be careful.
18 Nishijima to hit for Tokuyama meaning that Neo will take the mound.
And now Ikeya hangs one ahead 1-2! Nishijima drives it to deep right for an RBI triple and Osaka Touin has their first lead since the 1st, 9-8! Ikeya keeps it there, but now Shizuoka finds themselves on the back foot with precious little time left.
But, they build something in the 8th.
One down, Ooishi gets a walk. Naruse follows that up with a clean single through the left side. A base hit ties the game.
However, instead they try the hit and run, not once, but twice. And on the second attempt, Mori swings and misses at a ball above eye-level for strike 3 and then Nakagawa throws out Ooishi at 3rd for a double play and side retired.
That was completely uncalled for and a sign of panic.
With that Osaka Touin scored 2 in the 9th to lead 11-8 and effectively seals the game away.
The game started completely ridiculous and ended in almost the same fashion. But really no matter the silliness, the cardinal sin was the unnecessary hit-and-run in the 8th which cost them their only chance to come back.
Yet another kantoku who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Today is done. We have 2 replay games tomorrow. Hopefully the silliness will end sometime.
List of kantoku’s who don’t know what they’re doing:
- Hachinohe Gakuin Kousei – Nakai-kantoku
- Shuugakukan – Kajisha-kantoku (on probation)
- Meitoku Gijyuku – Mabuchi-kantoku
- Shizuoka – Kuribayashi-kantoku