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NPB: Ohmichi hits game-tying homer

by on Jun.21, 2008 @ 8:26 am, under NPB

Exciting game going on at Tokyo Dome...

Bottom of the 9th with the score 1-0 in favor of the Softbank Hawks, Noriyoshi Ohmichi in the batter's box. On the mound: 28 year old Toshiya Sugiuchi. Sugiuchi has thrown a great game up until this point, shutting out the Giants on 5 hits (3 by Yoshinobu Takahashi) and 2 walks over 7.2 innings.

Ohmichi is a 39 year old veteran pinch-hitting for the pitcher (he was also with the Hawks for 19 years prior to the 2007 season when he signed on with the Giants). He's got the bat choked up pretty good -- maybe a fist and a half to two fists from the knob.

Sugiuchi starts with a change-up away, but inside the zone, for strike one. The second pitch is a fastball outside for a ball. The third pitch is another fastball, this time up and away. The fourth pitch is a fastball that paints the black for called strike 2. The fifth pitch is a slider low and in for a ball. Suguichi comes back with another slider, this time down the middle. Ohmichi swings and connects, but is too quick and pulls the ball foul. On the 8th pitch, with the count 3 and 2 with 2 outs and the Giants trailing 1-0, Sugiuchi throws a fastball pretty much down the middle of the plate and...

Ohmichi swings...

And drives the ball to DEEEP left field...

Back goes Matsunaka...

Back to the wall...

Back to the track...

Looking up...

Homerun!

The game is in the bottom of the 10th now with a runner on first, Yoshinobu Takahashi in the box, and C. J. Nitkowski on the mound.