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Nippon Ham Fighters Take Pacific League Title

by on Oct.07, 2009 @ 4:00 am, under Game Summaries, NPB

2009 Pacific League Champions

Fighters Win the Pacific League Title

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  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E
Seibu Lions 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 4 7 2
Nippon Ham Fighters 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1x 5 10 1

Sapporo Dome | Attendance: 35,442 | Time: 4h 14m | Lions lead series, 12-11-0

A somewhat bittersweet victory as the Fighters ended up clinching the title before they beat the Lions in extra innings, 5-4.

An RBI double by Shinya Tsuruoka (1-for-3, HBP, 2B, R, RBI) with a runner on third and 2 out in the bottom of the second  gave the Fighters a 1-0 lead.  In the bottom of the third, they tacked on another run on an RBI single into left by Shinji Takahashi (1-for-6, RBI) with a runner on third and 1 out.

Two more runs crossed the plate for the Fighters in the bottom of the 4th when Tsuruoka was hit by a pitch with 1 out and came around to score on Makoto Kaneko's (1-for-4, BB, HR, R, 3 RBI) 14th home run of the season.

On pitching, Keisaku Itokazu was working on a 2-hit shut-out through 4 when he suddenly hit a speed bump and issued 3 walks to load the bases.  Yasuyuki Kataoka (1-for-6, 3 RBI) then followed with a single into left that killed the shut out and made it 4-2.

In the top of the 7th, Kataoka drove in another run when he hit a grounder to third with runners on second and third and 1 out.  And the Lions tied it in the top of the 9th when Yutaro Ohsaki (1-for-1, RBI) drove in a run with a single into left with a runner on second and 2 out.

The game headed into extra innings.  The Lions didn't put up much of any fight over the last 3 innings while the Fighters kept on applying the pressure.  Their persistence finally paid off in the bottom of the 12th: Eiichi Koyano (1-for-4, 2B) led off with a double and replaced by pinch runner Kazuya Murata; Toshimasa Konta (0-for-1, IBB) intentionally walked, runners on first and second; pinch hitter Yuji Iiyama hit a sac bunt, runners on second and third; and M. Kaneko hit a walk-off sac hit into center to give the Fighters a 5-4 lead.

Missed Opportunities
Lions
5th: runners on first and third, 2 out > Akada grounded out
7th: runner on third, 2 out > Akada struck out

Fighters
1st: runners on first and second, 1 out > Takahashi GIDP
2nd: runners on first and second, 2 out > Tanaka grounded out
3rd: runners on first and second, 1 out > Koyano GIDP
4th: runners on first and second, 2 out > Takahashi grounded out
10th: runner on second, 1 out > Konta fouled out to left, pinch hitter Itoi IBB, M. Kaneko grounded out
11th: runners on first and third, 1 out > Takahashi flied out, runner on first and third, runner on first stole second, runners on second and third, Inada fouled out to third

Lions: 6 LOB, 1 DP
Fighters: 14 LOB, 1 DP

News
The Fighters outhit the Lions, 10-7. ... The Eagles' loss came before the Fighters' victory over the Lions.  That meant the result of this game really no longer had any meaning. ... The Fighters picked up their third PL title since moving to Hokkaido in 2004.

Seibu Lions

Name G W L S IP NP BF AB H HR K BB HBP SHF WP BK R ER ERA
Hsu, Ming-Chieh 16 1 2 0 4 75 22 14 5 1 2 5 1 2 0 0 4 3 3.793
Onodera, Chikara 47 3 5 16 1 1/3 19 5 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.975
Doi, Yoshihiro 12 0 1 0 1 2/3 29 5 5 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5.063
Bayliss, Jonah 19 0 0 1 1 1/3 22 6 5 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.214
Fujita, Taiyo H 25 2 0 3 1 2/3 26 7 5 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2.000
Nishiguchi, Fumiya L 25 4 4 0 1 2/3 25 9 5 2 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 1 1 5.111

Nippon Ham Fighters

Name G W L S IP NP BF AB H HR K BB HBP SHF WP BK R ER ERA
Itokazu, Keisaku 13 4 5 0 7 104 29 24 5 0 4 4 0 1 0 0 3 3 4.563
Kanamori, Takayuki H 16 0 0 0 1 9 3 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.931
Takeda, Hisashi 55 3 0 34 2 35 8 7 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1.200
Miyanishi, Naoki H 58 7 2 0 1/3 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.893
Ejiri, Shintaro H 45 2 1 0 2/3 6 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.200
Tateyama, Yoshinori W 46 5 7 0 1 11 3 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.776

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...The Fighters held their press conference on the field.

The Fighters celebrate on the field (Sanspo)

The Fighters celebrate on the field (Sanspo)

...Over 1,000 bottles of beer 1,200 bottles of beer and 240 cans of beer were sprayed around during their celebration party in the underground parking lot.  All of it was gone in about 20 minutes.

...Nippon Ham will begin nationwide specials (price reductions, increases in volume) on 30 of their meat products, starting on the 7th.

...A recent survey said that 91.8% of all Fighters' fans were fans because the team was from Hokkaido.  According to the same survey, about 55% percent of the people that come out to Fighters' games are women.