Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tokyo Big 6: Week 7, the rest of the wrapup

As for Week 7, well, it sounds like Todai fought valiantly but fell 2-0 to Rikkio as expected, so Keio has to win Soukeisen for the league championship, which seems likely.

Meiji and Hosei were basically battling for 3rd place, as both went into the weekend with 2 Series Points, meaning they weren't going to catch Keio and probably not Rikkio.

Game 1

Saturday was Hosei's Tomoya Mikami against Meiji's Yusuke Nomura. It was broadcast on Sky A, and the usual suspect rebroadcast it on I watched it about 3 hours after the game actually happened, but kept myself from checking Big 6 scores until I got home, so it was "live" to me, which was fantastic.

The game itself was pretty good, too, for the first half at least. Meiji took first blood in the 2nd inning when Hiroki Nakashima hit a home run into the leftfield bleachers to make it 1-0. Hosei evened that up in the top of the 3rd when Mikami led off with an infield single, he moved up on a sac bunt, and then Kento Tatebe hit a double that scored him, 1-1. Meiji came back in the bottom of the 3rd when Takashi Uemoto led off with a single, stole second, moved to third when captain Ikuhiro Takeda reached base on an error by second baseman Junpei Morimoto (aww), and then Uemoto scored on a single by Hiroaki Shimauchi, 2-1. Hosei evened it up in THEIR top of the 4th inning when freshman Ryosuke Itoh hit a HUGE homer to right field, 2-2.

Itoh, for the record, hit 94 home runs as a high schooler at Shinko Gakuen, and is one of these "golden freshman" types; I saw him play at Koshien, and then when I went to Hosei's ground in the preseason, they were already making it clear he'd be cracking the real lineup ASAP.

Also, Shimauchi got injured running during the May 7th game; as a friend described it, "he ran to 1st base and when he got there, his leg kinda gave out and he stumbled." After the game they saw him going to the hospital in a taxi, and he sat out the rest of the Todai series. But I guess it wasn't too bad, because he played the weekend after that.

Anyway, the tie game didn't last long; in the bottom of the 4th, Yusuke Nomura led off with a single (BOTH pitchers got singles in their first 2 at-bats!), Yosuke Kobayashi bunted him up, he went to 3rd on a single by Masataka Nakamura, and then scored on an RBI single by Takeda. 3-2.

Hosei would never actually score any more for the rest of the game. Mikami only pitched 4 innings before sophomore Hirohisa Umeda took the mound in the 5th. Umeda pitched one decent inning, but then gave up 2 runs in the 6th, hitting Kobayashi with a pitch and walking Nakamura; Uemoto sac bunted them up and then Takeda got two more RBIs on a blooper fly kind of single to the infield which landed behind second base. 5-2. Kazuki Mishima finished out the last 2 innings with 3 strikeouts and no runs, though, so that was good.

Nomura only pitched the first 7 innings, while Takayuki Morita pitched the last 2 for Meiji, and he also got 3 strikeouts and no runs.

Game 2

Amidst a bunch of light rain, Hosei and Meiji met for their second game, with Kazuki Mishima taking the mound for Hosei and Gota Nanba for Meiji. All was normal through 7 innings; Meiji was up 1-0 on an RBI single by Nakamura. Kazuki Funamoto took over to pitch in the top of the 8th, and THEN in the bottom of the 8th, suddenly Hosei surged for 3 runs. Junpei Morimoto singled, and Taki hit a popout, but then Hasegawa got a single to center that put runners at the corners. During Naoki Harada's at-bat, a wild pitch scored Morimoto to make it 1-1, and Harada struck out. It was, of course, at that moment that Ryosuke Itoh hit his second homerun against Meiji, a 2-run shot to right, that scored Hasegawa and him, and made it 3-1. Shogo Shibata and Tomoya Kumabe (!) got the next 3 batters out to end the threat.

But they couldn't account for the WEATHER.

Meiji had 2 on and 2 out in the top of the 9th and the game got called due to rain, with Hosei winning 3-1.

So the series was tied at 1 game each.

Game 3

As mentioned in the short post before this one, Game 3 was where Mikami and Nomura had a rematch against each other. Meiji couldn't do anything against Mikami, amazingly, and Nomura gave up 2 runs in the 7th to Shohei Doi, a 2-RBI single. So Hosei won 2-0, and Nomura didn't get his 6th win of the year, but he DID get his 301th college career strikeout!

It's possible that he could get 6 wins in the spring and get to 30 wins, but kind of unlikely as he's never gotten that many in a semester before.

(BTW, in the time it took me to write up Week 7, Week 8 happened, and Keio did infact win the league! Hooray for Daisuke and Fukutani and Itoh!)

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