A well-timed double that makes his teammates think, “We can do this,” even when he’s 4 points behind.
On the 16th, in the high school division of the 54th Meiji-Jingu Tournament, outfielder Moiseyev Nikita of Aichi Toyokawa (Tokai region representative) made a spectacular “national debut.” In the first game against Kochi (Shikoku region representative), he hit a timely double in the 6th inning when he was behind by 4 runs, increasing the momentum for a counterattack.He had 1 hit in 3 at bats, 1 sacrifice fly, and 2 RBIs. In the end, after an 11-inning tiebreaker, the team won a come-from-behind walk-off 9-8 to advance to the final four.
At first, it seemed like the walls at the national level were too thick. In his first at-bat of the first inning, Moiseev, who played as “No. 3, middle-order,” hit three sliders in a row from the first pitch against Kochi’s starting right-handed pitcher, Shota Tsujii, and struck out three pitches. In his second at-bat in the 4th inning, he got on base with no opponent, but the timing was not right for his slider at all.
However, the score was 0-4 in the 6th inning with one out and the players on first and second base in the third at-bat. He aimed for Tsujii’s slider. While the count was 1-2, the sixth pitch, a slider, floated high up the middle. A hard-hitting liner bounced off the right field line, resulting in a timely double and a one-point return.
Moiseev said, “In my first and second at-bats, I didn’t hit the slider, so I was waiting for the slider in my next at-bat,” he said. Manager Yuki Hasegawa praised Nikita, saying, “In his first at-bat, he was forced to hit a slider that turned into a ball, and he struck out, but in his second and third at-bats he was able to see it off.I think that’s his strength.” “Having that one hit by (Moiseyev) not only gave us a point, but it also gave the team a feeling that we can do this,” he said. After the second out, a timely hit from infielder Makoto Kitada (1st year) to the right field allowed Moiseev to survive from second base, and the lead quickly approached one point.
After that, the match became a see-saw game. Moiseev was one run behind in the 9th inning with one out, first and third base, and hit a sacrifice fly to right field to tie the game. “I had the feeling that I was going to make the score (with the come-from-behind three-run walk-off).It didn’t go well, but I’m glad that I was able to at least get a runner back and tie the game,” he said.
66kg at the time of admission → 82kg with planned build-up
And in the final moment, in the 11th inning of overtime with one run on the clock, there were two outs and players on second and third base. Moiseev watched from the next batter’s circle as No. 2 catcher Ken Takahashi (second year) hit a come-from-behind, walk-off, two-run double over center field with the count 3-2. Manager Hasegawa also said, “They don’t want to compete with the next Nikita, so they’re being soft on pitching (to Takahashi).I think that’s why it was a walk-off hit.I think Nikita’s presence is huge in that aspect as well. ‘ he pointed out.
Moiseyev’s parents are both from Russia, and he was born in Aichi Prefecture. He is bilingual, using Japanese at school and the dormitory and Russian at home. When he first entered high school, he was 179 cm tall and 66 kg tall, with a thin line. Manager Hasegawa said, “Even back then, I knew that he had a smooth swing and could definitely become a good batter if he got stronger.”He came to the school saying he wanted to go pro, so I decided to train him to get in shape. “I worked on improving my body through discussions with other people,” he says.
In addition to eating three meals a day, he has systematically increased his weight by eating supplementary meals, taking protein, and doing strength training, and has now grown to 180 cm and 82 kg. In the Autumn Tokai Tournament, he boasted a batting average of .625, and in the final, his opponent, Aichi/Aiko Daimyoden, implemented a “Moiseev shift” in which the outfield was protected by four players.
Scout Akinori Shimizu of Chunichi, who is also a local team, said, “His biggest charm is his bat control.From a pitcher’s perspective, he is a very difficult batter to hit.His bat trajectory is beautiful, and his body has grown over the past year. “I feel there is room for growth,” he said highly. I am looking forward to not only this tournament but also his Koshien debut at next spring’s selection tournament.