Monday, August 17, 2009

Whither Canada? Or Searching for Senichi Hoshino, Part Two

Continuing my quest to find Senichi Hoshino in Aberdeen, MD at the Cal Ripken World Series...

Sunday evening, Team Japan took on Team Canada at the Camden Yards replica known as Cal Senior's Yard. This is a beautiful little ballpark with real seats in the infield, a grassy berm in the outfield, outfield walls with padding and a hotel in right field that looks a little like the B&O Warehouse at Camden Yards. I've been to minor league games at ballparks that weren't as nice as this.

Japan, of course, was coming off of their squeaker of a victory over Mexico on Saturday afternoon. Canada was reeling from being blown out by Korea at the same time. Unfortunately for Canada, this game was almost identical to their game against Korea.

It was obvious from the start of the game how it was going to go. The leadoff hitter for Japan, Atsushi Takahashi singled to center.

On the first pitch to the second batter, Kazumi Doi, Takahashi stole second without a throw.

On the second pitch to Doi, Takahashi stole third without a throw.

Doi took the third pitch for a strike. On the fourth pitch, the Canadian pitcher balked and Takahashi scored.

The final score of the game was Japan 16, Canada 0. And not to denigrate the Canadians, it wasn't even that close. The game was called after four innings due to the slaughter rule. The Canadians were no-hit, getting only two base runners on walks in the third and fourth innings. Nine of the twelve outs the Canadians made were strikeouts.

The Japanese team scored more runs (16) than the Canadians had plate appearances (14).

You have to feel bad for the Canadians. They are the champions of their country and they lost their first two games by a combined score of 33 to 0. (And as I write this, I see that they are losing to Australia by a score of 6 to 0).

While once again, I failed to find Hoshino, I did actually talk to a couple of the people from Japan watching the game and verified that he is actually around. Unfortunately, Japan's remaining games are scheduled for during the day this week and I won't be able to go. If they end up as the number one seed in the international bracket, they'll play Thursday at five and I should be able to make that. I'm hoping Hoshino will as well.

I took some more pictures. Here's one of the coaches hitting fly balls to the outfielders in the pregame fielding warmups:

The team lined up and bowed both to the field and to their fans before the game.

Both teams lined up for the National Anthems:

First pitch of the game:

The Oendan section:

Banner on the dugout roof:

Random player shots:

They had these between innings huddles that would always end with a cheer:

The lone Canadian base runner to get to second:

Final score:

Bowing to their fans after the game:

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