Thursday, July 16, 2009

7/15 Update (Hokkaido & Tohoku Prefectures)

Okay! A run through the northern areas. And in some places, it's a whole big mess.

Kita Hokkaido
We're in the sweet 16. Block winners drew once again for brackets. Next games are slated for the 17th. Komadai Iwamizawa faces off against Kushine Kougyou. Asahigawa Kougyou meets Kitami Ryoukuryou, and Asahigawa Jitsugyou draws Kitami Hokuto.

Minami Hokkaido

We're about into the Best 8 here. Rain continues to delay proceedings here.

Komadai Tomakomai eventually dispatches handles Sapporo Kita in 8 innings, 11-0. They'll face Sapporo Dai-ichi who squeaked by Sapporo Sousei 2-1. Little Otaru Kougyou also mercies Hakodate Ootani 10-3 in 8. Hakodate Kougyou will look to exact revenge as they denied Mukawa a chance to return, scoring 5 unanswered runs, erasing a 4-0 deficit, winning 5-4.

Hakodatedai Fuzoku Yuuto will meet the winner of Hokkai Gakuen Sapporo and Sapporo Shinkawa. In progress, Sapporo Shinkawa scores 3 runs in the 6th to take the lead 3-2.

Here, we're getting the field down to 32. Aomori Yamada breezed through Itayanagi, and is currently in a 0-0 battle in the 4th with #2 seed Seiai. The winner will face Takko, who down 1 in the 9th, scored 8 runs against Hachinohe Tousen. Ouch.

At Hachinohe Nagane Stadium, fans were treated to 2 extra inning games in the 15th. In the first game, Namioka scores one in the 11th to pass Goshogawara Shougyou 3-2. In the 2nd game, Tanabu and Hachinohe Higashi took a scoress game into extras. It would be Tanabu that would break through in the 12th for the sayonara run. All the seeded teams that have played so far have advanced.

Akita is a mess. The top seed, Akita Shougyou, was upset in its first game. They gave up 2 runs early and had managed to get one back in the 6th. But Akita Nishi scored one in the 7th and then the wheels just fell off for Akitashou as Nishi scores 5 in the 8th. Yep, they were mercy ruled. Akita Nishi makes it to the Best 8 after coming from behind once again to defeat Kanaashi Nougyou 7-4.

Honjyou survived their first game, literally saying sayonara to Kakunodate 3-2 in 11. They'll face #8 Oomari Kougyou who themselves survived a scare from Yokote Seiryou. Down 4-1, they score a run in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings to go into extras. 2 more in the 10th pushed them into the next round.

#5 Takanosu had their hands full. Facing their agricultural counterpart, Takanosu Nourin, they were down 3-0 late. They pulled within one in the 8th, and then scored 2 in the 9th to take the lead! But relief pitcher Chiba, approaching his 4th inning of work, couldn't hold the lead. With no outs, Nourin scores 2 and sends Takanosu home... Their opponent is Yuzawa Shoukou, who tied the game 2-2 in the 7th against Oodate Kokusai and scored the winning run in the 12th.

This quadrant has no seeded teams left as Araya upset #4 Oodate Kougyou. Everytime Oodate scored a run, Araya would come back with their own - and then some. Oodate Kougyou scored 2 late, but it wasn't enough, falling 9-6. They continue their run into the Best 8, defeating Aikawa 6-4.

#3 Yokote is still in the tournament, but they just as easily couldn't have. In their first game, Omonogawa scores one in the 5th and 6th to get ahead 2-0. But Yokote ties it up in the bottom of the 6th. The score remained tied until the 9th when Yokote gets the sayonara run. #6 Meiou faces Noshiro tomorrow for a place in the Best 8.

#7 Noshiro Shougyou also can't get past their first game, falling to Masuda 7-2. But the highest seed still remaining belongs to #2 Akita Chuo, but they too had a scare against Akita in their first game. Down 7-3(!), they score 4 in the 7th to tie the game. They survive by pusing 2 through in the 11th.


You know when I said that teams will have their work cut out for them against Hanamaki Higashi? Well, it's just been made that much harder because the seeded teams here are dropping like flies.

Let's start with the top 4 seeds outside of Hanamaki Higashi. Looks like the selection committee was right in not selecting Ichinoseki Gakuin. They fell behind 4-0 to Hanakitaseiun before falling 4-2.

The "newcomer" in the top 4, Iwaizumi, had a 2-0 lead against Morioka Dai-yon. But Morioka would score one in the 4th and 5th before breaking it open with 4 in the 6th. Iwaizumi falls 6-3.

Moriokadai Fuzoku is the only other top 4 team left, and they've had no troubles against Morioka Kita and Mizusawa Dai-ichi. Both look to get into the Best 8 tomorrow.

The 2nd 4 seeds fared worse. Hanamaki Minami was shutout by Kamaishi 2-0. Oofunato and Senshuudai Kitakami won their first games, but then fell in the next round. Only Takata remains, and they're on a collision course with Hanamaki Higashi should they defeat Fukuoka Kougyou.

In other games, Miyako Shougyou hope to continue their run against Fukuoka. Down 4-2 in their last game, they score one in the 7th against Mizusawa Kougyou, and then with 3 outs left they tie it up. Mizusawa pulls ahead in the 11th with 2 runs, but somehow Miyashou comes back with 3 runs for the comeback win!

Senmaya looks to take advantage of the weakened bracket as they face off against Ichinoseki Dai-ichi tomorrow.

Yamagata has reached their sweet 16 with games commencing tomorrow.

It's been pretty much chalk for the seeded teams. The lone exception was #4 Tsuruoka Higashi, who was upset by Okitama Nougyou 4-1.

Oh yeah, that Yamagata Higashi vs. Yamagata Shougyou game? Higashi scored once again in the 11th, and Shougyou had no reply this time.

Going around the brackets, Nagai looks to continue it's magical run against #7 Kumori Gakuen. Their first game against Kaminoyama Meishinkan saw runs scored early and often. Down 7-5 in the 8th, they tie it up and then bid Meishinkan sayonara in the 11th. Then against Yamagata Higashi, Higashi took the 1-0 lead. Each team alternated with 2 runs in the next 2 innings leaving Nagai still behind 3-2. 2 runs in the 6th though give them the lead for good.

Yonezawa Koujyoukan is a beneficiary of the Okitama Nougyou upset, facing them in the round of 16. In their first round game though against Yonezawa Shougyou, Yoneshou scored 6 runs in the middle innings to go head 6-3. But then in the 9th, Koujyoukan scores 4 to take the lead! It's never easy though as Yoneshou ties it up in the bottom of the 9th. 2 innings later though, Koujyoukan plates 2 runs and they advance.

Miyagi has only played their opening round games. But there have been some interesting extra-inning games though this early. Oosaki Chuo and Miyagi Hirose battled 14 innings before Oosaki scores a run in the top of the inning and win 3-2. Iwagasaki needed 12 innings to say goodye to Murata 2-1. Natori Kita needed 11 to dispatch Sendai Minami 3-2.

Fukushima has had some crazy games here too. The tone was set in that first game between Toono and Onahama. Since then there have been a lot of close games. Top seeded Seikou Gakuin went into extras in their first game against Futaba Shougyou, but scored 4 in the 11th for the win. They'll have to pick up the pace if they want to advance further. Sukagawa Touyou squeezed out a 5-4 win against Kitakata Touyou. Fukushima Minami was also sent home in the last at-bat by Aidzu 4-3. And Asaka Kaisei plates a run in the 10th to defeat Wakamatsu Shougyou 3-2.

Unfortunately, on the other side of things, Nishi-Aidzu was mercy ruled by Yumoto 21-0 in 5. Iwaki Kouyou beat Funehiki 12-1 in 5, but then lost to Futaba 4-1.

But I think the craziest game I've seen so far was between Aidzu Nourin and Souma. Down 1-0 in the 3rd, Aidzu goes absolutely bonkers. They score 11 runds in the 3rd. 11! Facing the 10-run mercy rule in the 5th inning, they score 2 runs to keep the game alive... but they're still down 11-3. Aidzu Nourin scores one in the 6th, but Souma responds with 3 of its own. The deficit is still 6. In the 7th inning, the unthinkable happens...

Souma, out of nowhere, scores 10 runs! 10!!!!!!

And they're up 16-12! Unfreaking real!

But Aidzu Nourin mounts a late rally. They come back with 2 in the 9th to bring it to 16-14. That's as far as it would go as Souma makes the unbelievable comeback!!

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