Tag: Shizuoka

89th Haru Koushien – Day 8, Game 3 – Osaka Touin (Osaka) v Shizuoka (Shizuoka)

89th Haru Koushien – Day 8, Game 3 – Osaka Touin (Osaka) v Shizuoka (Shizuoka)

(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?

Osaka Touin

  • 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

Shizuoka

  • 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
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89th Haru Koushien – Day 5, Game 3 – Kozukata (Iwate) v Shizuoka (Shizuoka)

89th Haru Koushien – Day 5, Game 3 – Kozukata (Iwate) v Shizuoka (Shizuoka)

(photo courtesy of at-s)

Last game of Day 5 and we see the famed 10-man squad that was able to be the runner-up of Iwate prefecture and reach the super-regionals.

Was it a great story? Absolutely. Do they realistically have a chance? Probably not. The lack of offensive output once they started facing teams that people were familiar with mean that they should similarly struggle against like competition here.

And they’re getting it in Shizuoka who has supplanted themselves as the top team out of the prefecture. Not to mention the fact they easily took care of Shigakukan and actually played Waseda close.

The red flag for them is that while they handled games against former Koushien teams well, they uncharacteristically struggled against no-name competition at times. But if they need a game to warm up, this game is a perfect matchup for them.

(also, holy crap Kozukata’s kantoku is 30?)

Kozukata

  • SS Takanohashi Reiji
  • 2B Sakurai Ryuutarou
  • C Kikuchi Kouta
  • P Kohiruimaki Keita
  • CF Kikuchi Yuuki
  • 1B Yoshida Keita
  • RF Iwama Tatsuki
  • LF Sugawara Taketo
  • 3B Funayama Jyunpei

Shizuoka

  • 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!

3 pitches, one K. Takanohashi swinging at anything up first.

Sakurai faring a little better, and reaches down and hits the ball off the end of the bat and up the middle past a diving Muramatsu for a base hit. They got that out of the way.

Kouta makes good contact on a slider and flies out to right.

Wait a minute. Kohiruimaki drives a fastball to center, and it’s off the wall! Sakurai scores and Kozukata leads 1-0!!

I… That’s more than other first timers have ever done!

Well, the bottom of the inning comes and Muramatsu comes and singles to center. Maeda bunts to the 1B side, but Kohiruimaki fails to field it cleanly so all safe.

Ooishi lays down the bunt and this time Kohiruimaki doesn’t miss. He goes to 3rd and cuts down the lead runner.

But he hits Naruse to load the bases. Oyama-kantoku calls for time and when Saitou goes out, it truly is a team meeting.

Kohiruimaki gets the ground ball he wants! Mori hits it to short, toss to 2nd for 1, Sakurai’s throw to 1st… just a bit high and late. Run scores and we’re tied at 1-1.

Ah~ Now the offense goes…

  • Fujita doubles of Yuuki’s head. 3-1.
  • Inazumi singles to right. Iwama stops, but overruns ball. 4-1.
  • Ikeya singles back up the middle. 5-1.
  • Koyanagi plunked.
  • Muramatsu flies out to left. Change.

Well, at least Kozukata could say hey had the lead at Koushien, even if ever so brief.

As expected afterwards, Kozukata struggles at the plate. Perhaps not so expected, with the 5-1 lead Shizuoka is playing the small ball game already. But here I think it works. You shorten the game, and practice things you need to for upcoming games (sorry Kozukata, being realistic here). So when in the 4th, after a leadoff walk, they run a bunt. With runners at the corners, they execute a squeeze (it fails thanks to a diving catch by Kouta).

What they can’t prevent is Kohiruimaki walking 2 batters straight to walk in a run. 6-1. I mean they can, but it would build bad habits swinging at bad pitches.

There really isn’t much to say afterwards in terms of score. Shizuoka goes on to win 12-3.

However, a couple of things. First, Shizuoka giving up 3 runs? Don’t really count that in my opinion. They were already in cruise mode after the 1st I think. They did what they needed to do, and more importantly they didn’t over do it.

For Kozukata. They actually had a lead! They got a base hit right off the bat. Yeah they made mistakes, but you could also see them sell out on as many plays as they could, even when being blown out. That means something. Yeah, they were pretty much swinging at all the offspeed junk and striking out but they continued to get base hits and at least tried to score runs. That means something.

It all means something. They impressed me more than other schools that come here and go straight home. Maybe it’ll mean something in future years.

Handicapping the field – Shizuoka (16th appearance, 1st in 2 years)

Handicapping the field – Shizuoka (16th appearance, 1st in 2 years)

(photo courtesy of @lambanekko)

Road to Haru Koushien

Chubu Regionals (scores only)

  • def Shimada 11-1
  • def Shizuoka Shougyou 10-3
  • def Shimada Shousei 3-0
  • def Shimizu Sakuragaoka 9-5
  • def Fujieda Meisei 3-1

Prefecturals

  • def Hiryuu 8-2
  • def Iwata Higashi 4-1
  • lost Seirei (Christopher) 0-1
  • def Toukaidai Shizuoka Shouyou 6-1

Super-Regionals

  • def Sakuragaoka 4-1
  • def Kaisei 8x-1 (8 inn)
  • def Mie 9-2 (8 inn)
  • def Shigakukan (至学館) 5-1

Meiji Jingu Tournament

  • lost Waseda Jitsugyou 3-5

Well, this is certainly a most interesting resume we have here. There is some questionable results early on, especially the loss to Seirei Christopher 1-0. And yet when you look at the super-regionals and the Meiji Jingu tournament, the resume is about as strong as you could realistically ask for a team. So, what gives?

Well, the key man in this situation is generally the ace, and that is Ikeya Souta (池谷 蒼大). If you exclude the probable 4 “intentional” walks to Waseda Jitsugyou’s Nomura, his total lines during that time span look like the following:

36.2 IP, 9 R, 23 H, 40 K, 7 BB

That’s not bad all in all. ~10 K/9 and a 5.9 K/BB ratio. Perhaps you’d be more comfortable with a stronger opponent from Aichi, but with Gifu seemingly cratering it’s not bad. And with 7 Ks against Waseda Jitsugyou, that also seems like a plus. From the ABs against Kiyomiya it looks like he has a fastball sitting in the mid-130s, with a curve(?) in the upper 110s. There’s another pitch that seems to sit around the same speed, but it doesn’t appear to be a slider, and it looks like a fastball still. If it was closer to his fastball I’d say it would be a cut-ball as they call it, but the difference in speed makes it confusing.

The biggest problem with his game is his control. From the highlight video of the game you can see him missing his spots and really in the wrong places. Those pitches that were punished were pitches his C was framing outside and Ikeya missed back over the plate, which you don’t have to be told is a big no-no. It does make one pause a little about his numbers as a whole translating to Koushien, and certainly they’d be revised downwards anyways, but again the Waseda game certainly eases some concerns.

Offensively, the easiest person to point to is cleanup hitter LF Naruse Kazuto (成瀬 和人) who had multiple hits in each of the super-regional and Meiji Jingu games. Otherwise maybe you can throw in C Mori Koutarou (森 康太朗) or 1B Inazumi Rui (稲角 塁), but outside of those no one really stands out. The team doesn’t appear to have clear holes in the lineup though, so there won’t be empty innings.

The Toukai region is rather small, and has a smattering of strong teams. Shizuoka at least is one of the teams that pokes its head above the clouds though finding success once they get there is a different story. I’m not sure they have a team that has a good chance of taking the title, but they should be able to avoid the one-and-done scenario.