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Hawks open season with split of Orix

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Hawks open season with split of Orix

1 reply. Most recent reply: Apr 15, 2011 12:07 PM by NipponHam11

Only in Pro Yakyu, folks. Yes, you read that right, the Hawks split their season-opening series with the new-look Orix Buffaloes.

On Opening Day, the Hawks played to a 2-2 draw with the Buffs, as two late home runs tied the score. Last year's team leader in wins, Tsuyoshi Wada (ND, 2.00), was great otherwise, as he struck out 10 batters in nine innings. Too bad Hiroshi Kisanuki (ND, 2.00) was just as good over his nine innings. Despite giving up two runs, he pitched well enough to win, striking out six and scattering eight hits while walking two.

SoftBank's offense in Game 1 of 144 came off the bat of Seiichi Uchikawa, who drove in Yuichi Honda with an RBI double in the first. Another of SoftBank's new acquisitions this offseason, Toru Hosokawa, also had and RBI of his own, as he tripled home Hitoshi Tamura.

However, the two home runs from Aarom Baldiris and Mitsutaka Gotoh tied the game. A wild bottom of the 12th almost gave the Buffs the win, as they had 2nd and 3rd with one out, but Brian Falkenborg wiggled out of the jam by striking out Baldiris and getting Hidaka to ground out.

The loss that was pegged on the Hawks in Game 2 was nobody's fault, really. Former Hawk and BayStar Hayato Terahara (1-0, 0.00), acquired via trade in the offseason, was spectacular in this one, getting his first complete game in nearly four years. This one was a five-hit shutout, no less. From the 5th inning on, he was automatic as batters three through six went hitless.

Hawks starter DJ Houlton (0-1, 1.35), trying to fight back from an injury-plagued 2010 campaign, was also very good in his six and two-thirds innings of work. He gave up just one run on seven hits, the run coming from an RBI single off the bat of Tomotaka Sakaguchi. But most importantly, Houlton didn't walk anybody, as he had massive control problems last year. He also got seven strikeouts, hopefully showing his stuff from the 2009 season is back.

The Hawks were in the game...until the bullpen imploded on itself. Left-handed specialist Soichi Fujita was lit up for two runs in just two-thirds of an inning. He gave up a single and hit a batter with a strikeout sandwiched in between before giving way to Teruaki Yoshikawa. He was no better as last year's trade acquisition from Yokohama did not record an out and gave up two runs for an ERA of infinity. The four-run rally was capped on a three-run bomb from Lee Seung-yeop.

In the finale, the Hawks managed to secure the split with a 5-3 victory. All five runs came in the second inning off Orix starter Alfredo Figaro (0-1, 7.50). The first of the runs came from a bases-loaded walk to Kawasaki, three more came home off a bases-loaded double from Honda, and Uchikawa capped the rally with an RBI double of his own.

Hiroki Yamada (1-0, 3.52), last year's ikusei phenom, was very good over seven and two-thirds innings. The young lefty got some seasoning in the Australian Winter Leagues, and gave up three runs in that span, striking out six, walking four, and scattering four hits.

With the Hawks up 5-1 in the 8th, T-Okada made things interesting with a two-run home run that finally chased Yamada, but Morifuku got Kitagawa swinging to end the 8th. With Takahiro Mahara unavailable due to his mother's death, Brian Falkenborg admirably got the save, giving up a hit and striking out one.

With the Hawks at an even 1-1-1 going into the weekend, they head to Saitama to take on the undefeated Lions. Toshiya Sugiuchi (16-7, 3.55) will take on rookie Kazuhisa Makita.
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Re: Hawks open season with split of Orix

[ Author: NipponHam11 | Posted: Apr 15, 2011 12:07 PM | Posts: 532 | From: Boston, MA | SFT Fan | Registered: May, 2007 ]
Correction: This is the Hawks home opener against the Lions.
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