Sunday, January 11, 2009

第39回明治神宮野球大会 (39th Meiji Jingu Tournament)

And finally, we have the national fall tournament featuring the winners of each region.

It was a star-studded field - but it looked like there would be an eventual collision between Tenri and Keio in the finals. While Saijyou gave Tenri a run in the semifinals, falling 4-3 in 12 innings, nothing was able to stop the match-up.

The championship game featured offense, and lots of it as the teams scored in just about every inning. However, Tenri would play catch-up the entire game, coming back from a 4-run deficit early and a 2-run deficit later to tie. But they couldn't push the go-ahead run through and when Keio retook the 2-run lead in the 8th inning, Tenri could not respond. Keio would go on to win 8-6 showing that it's recent run is no fluke.

There were stories outside of Tenri and Keio however. The aforementioned Saijyou as well as Mukawa came from the furthest parts of the bracket to make it to the semi-finals. One may want to take a peek at these teams come senbatsu time.

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