Halli SM review - Tahko v Tampere (01.02.2020)
|Tampere stun Tahko in a much anticipated opening match for both teams|
Photograph from Tampere Facebook (c) Tampere Manse PP 2020
Hyvinkään Tahko v Tampere Manse PP
0-2 (5-7, 0-3)
It was almost 3 weeks since Joensuu beat Siilinjärvi to open the Halli SM tournament; however the teams have continued to play practice matches ahead of their opening games. Tampere’s promotion to Superpesis at the close of 2019 was much anticipated and the moves they made in the offseason to bolster their chances of success made it all the more exciting to see them play this match. Tahko struggled to get the results they deserved in 2019 despite having a decent run difference in the league. Never the less, Tahko came to the game as clear favourites, finishing 5th in the 2019 regular season, against last year’s Ykköspesis champions, Tampere. There are no previous matches between these 2 teams, save for Tampere’s previous incarnation (Mansen Pesäpallo) leading up to 1991.
In the first jakso Tampere took to the plate first. The 1st inning was an exceptional start for Tampere with 4 runs being scored. The inning started with leadoff man Tuomas Tuohisaari walking to 1st base off the first pitch and things started to get worse from there for Tahko. Tampere’s first run came from Tommi Malinen’s hit that saw Kimmo Carlson reach home. Mikko Haukkala made it 0-2 as runs 3 and 4 flowed shortly after thanks to Jasperi Luoma and Tuomas Tuhisaari bringing home Jukka Tuomisto and Mikko Haukkala respectively. Tampere looked slick, determined and very competitive right from the beginning and now they gave Tahko a score to chase. Tahko’s Juha Korhonen brought home Patrik Vartama early in the inning in an attempt to steady the team’s nerves. Tahko gained an extra boost of confidence when Lukkari Taneli Lassila walked Teemu Nikkanen to 3rd and then to home. In the 2nd inning Tampere added to their lead after Juha Niemi’s double set up Taneli Lassila on 3rd base, who then reached home off Tommi Malinen’s hit to deep centre field, which was mishandled by pitcher. Tahko’s response in the bottom of the 2nd inning came when Juha Korhonen’s shallow line drive across the midfield line is thrown to home with not enough pace and rolled to the pitcher as Patrik Vartama scores. Next at the plate, Joshua Rättö knocks a short hit towards the centre midfield line, allowing Lauri Vierimaa time to race down to home base, beating the throw. Tampere lead Tahko 4-5.
In the 3rd inning Tampere found there stride once again as Tuomas Tuohisaari’s double zipped passed the Tahko fielder’s outstretched arm and became the start of the set up for Tampere’s 6th and 7th runs. Ville Hotakainen’s line drive into left field sailed beautifully between Tahko’s fielders for a ground rule double, bringing Tuomas Tuohisaari and Juuso Myllyniemi home to restore Tampere’s 3 run lead. In the bottom of the 3rd inning Tahko had to dig deep to stare down the 3 run deficit. An opportunity came as a mishandle picking up the ball lead to Lauri Vierimaa reaching 3rd base safely and threatened to reduce Tampere’s lead once more. Juha Korhonen stepped up to bat and split the infield with a line drive, allowing Lauri Vierimaa time to score. The inning however was soon over and Tahko still trailed by 2 runs. Despite Jere Vikström reaching 3rd base in the 4th inning on a close call, Tahko were unable to get much else in terms of offence and the score remained 7-5 to Tampere.
|Photograph from Tahko Facebook (c) Hyvinkään Tahko 2020|
Tampere’s win announces their arrival amongst the elite. Whilst there were occasional moments of errors (such as consecutive walks), their performance was overall dynamic and effective. Tampere will be looking with one eye to KPL and hoping this tournament can deliver a great platform for their 2020 season. Tahko are left scratching their heads, as they are all but certain to fall out of contention to win the tournament. Tahko’s next opponent is KPL and would be a must win game for them, as well as relying on Tampere losing to KPL the following week. For Tahko, they will need to do some soul-searching and look back at how they were held scoreless in the second jakso.
Kouvolan Pallonlyöjat v Hyvinkään Tahko 08.02.2020
Tampere Manse PP v Kouvolan Pallonlyöjat 15.02.2020
pj:Pasi Kokkonen Juuso Kerola
3-tilanteet:12, harhat:0, vapaat:1
pj:Matti Iivainen Sampo Pasanen
3-tilanteet:14, harhat:0, vapaat:0