Saturday, July 25, 2009

7.24 (and some 7.25) Update (Part 2)

Ishikawa is holding their Best 8 games today.

With Kanazawa outsed early, the other potential leaders for Ishikawa's bid gain some momentum. Yuugakukan and Seiryou both face an easier road to the final.

That isn't to say there aren't challenges. Kanazawa's ouster, Komatsu Shougyou, is still in the field. And there are other folders such as Kanazawa Gakuin Higashi, Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa and Hakui Kougyou.

As of the writing of this section, Nanao leads Kanazawa Gakuin Higashi 1-0 going into the bottom of the 9th. Yuugakukan leads Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa 1-0 after 6 innings.

It's official. The brackets have now ended up chalk. Hokuyou and Fukui Shougyou will be in semi-final #1 and Fukui Koudai Fukui and Tsuruga Kehi will play in the other semi.

Tsuruga Kehi though almost didn't make it. Up 3-1 over Tsuruga, they let them equalize in the 8th, and then fell behind 4-3 going into the bottom of the 9th. With one out and cleanup batter Yamada on 2nd, Nakao hits a double to tie the game. And then a misplay on a hard grounder by Watanabe allows Nakao to score from 2nd, winning the game.


SCORE ALERT -- In Ishikawa, Nanao has held on to defeat Kanazawa Gakuin Higashi 1-0. Meanwhile, Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa down 1-0 in the 9th, ties the score and they go into extras!


Yamanashi already today has half of their final determined. The Best 4 could have created an all university school matchup in the finals as Toukaidai Koufu was matched up against Koufu Kougyou, while surprise team Minobu squared off against Yamanashi Gakuindai Fuzoku.

However in the first semi today, Koufu Shougyou squashed that idea by beating Toukaidai 10-3 in 7 innings. Minobu would love the chance to do the same to Yamanashi Gakuindai and have a chance at their first ever Koshien appearance.

They are having their Sweet 16 games today. The top 4 seeds are still around - Shizuoka Gakuen, Kakegawa Nishi, Seisei Kougyou and Hamamatsu Shiritsu. The Tokoha schools - Tokoha Kikugawa and Tachibana are still in it too, and you can never sleep on them either.

Gifu has reached their Best 4, but there is a draw to determine semifinal matchups. In Block A, Chuukyou had no trouble with Toki Shougyou winning 7-1. Block B saw Gifu Jyouhoku defeat Oogaki Higashi 9-2. Kakamigahara, who upsed seeded Oogaki Nishi mercies Mizunami to move out of Block C, and finally Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou beat Nagara 6-2 in Block D.


SCORE ALERT -- Back to Ishikawa and Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa's momemtum was too much for Yuugakukan and they wave sayonara to them 2-1!!


Block play would end today... if rain didn't was out games at Toyohashi Municipal for the 2nd time in 3 days. But we will have 6 of our Best 8 participants determined today.

In Block A, Chuukyoudai Chuukyou cruised over Sakuragaoka 13-3 in 6 innings.

Block B, seeded Aichi Keisei beats Shigakukan 5-3 to advance.

And in the first game at Okazaki Municipal seeys Kariya upset Tokyaku 3-1 to take F Block.


SCORE ALERT -- The 4 prefectural finals are underway!

In Kita Hokkaido, Asahigawadai and Obihiro Ootani are scoreless after 2½. Kakita and Sugiura are throwing respectively for their teams.

Moving to Yamagata, Shinjyou Higashi's ace Kasahara gives up 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st to Sakata Minami. Yasui on the other hand has kept Shinjyou's offense off the board. 2-0 moving to the bottom of the 3rd.

Seikou Gakuin and Higashi Nippondai Shouhei are scorless after 2 innings. Yokoyama and Kubo are keeping the offenses at bay.

Finally to the Kinki region and Nara-ken, Kooriyama gets to Tenri's Nakayama in the top of the 1st to lead 1-0. But the score's been stuck at 1-0 going to the bottom of the 1st for a while now. Did Tenri immediately retaliate against Kooriyama's ace Ooe?


Oumi remains as the only seeded team left in the Best 4, but they're not alone. Their semifinal opponent Hieizan is no slouch, but they haven't seen Koshien since 1999.

Kita Ootsu resides in the other semifinal and they've come strong in recent years. They meet up with the Cinderella Shiga Gakuen who defeated seeded Ayaha.


SCORE ALERT -- Okay, I've been a bit distracted by the TV... so the game have progressed quite a bit.

We're in the middle of the 6th now in Kita Hokkaido, and Obihiro Ootani looks like they'll have to wait for another year. Asahigawadai scored 1 in the 4th and 4 in the 5th to take a 5-0 lead.

It looks like 0-2 for teams making their first bid. That 2 run lead for Sakata Minami in Yamagata has turned into 7 after 5½ innings - partially thanks to a homerun by LF Kudou. Shinjyou Higashi too will fall short.

Seikou Gakuin gets on the board 2-0 in the 3rd. They trade a run in the 5th and Higashi Nippondai Shouhei trails by 2 going into the top of the 6th.

Kooriyama and Tenri's game is stuck in the bottom of the 1st. I don't know what's going on anymore.


It's just about chalk here in Mie's Best 4. Top seeded Kaisei had an early scare against Kuwana Nishi but has cruised since. They clash with Komono, who has had to play 2 "games" in 2 days. Up 6-2 against Yokkaichi Kougyou in the quarterfinals, the game gets called after 5½ due to rain. Then in the replay, down 1-0, they tie the game in the 8th. It goes to the 14th inning where Yokkaichi scores 1. This late, a run like that could be fatal. But not for Komono. They comeback with 2 to win. But you have to think they might be worn out now.

In the other semi, Mie looks to reach the final, but there's a hungry Kogakkan looking to get their first bid.

Kyoto is in their Best 4. And even with the number of teams here, 4 seeded teams made the finals. And it's an interesting 4 teams at that.

The first semifinal features Toba and Ryuukokudai Heian.

Toba has the honor of being the first team to win the natsu Koshien tournament back in 1915. They made another appearance in the summer 1946 and spring 1947 tournaments, and made the finals in 1946. And then came back once again in 2000-2001, making the semifinals in the spring 2000 tournament. Perhaps if they win, they'll make another deep run. For their sake, I think they'd like to make the tournament more than a couple of times in several decades.

Ryuukokudai Heian is probably more known as Heian. And they've been to Koshien so many times, I can't make a good count right now. And when they do go, they generally make it to the semifinals. Scary good.

The second semifinal has Kyoto Gaidai Nishi and Fukuchiyama Seibi.

I remember Kyoto Gaidai Nishi for their "closer" #10 Honda Takuto. It was him that made me root for the school. Even when they faced Komadai Tomakomai back in 2005 for the title. Well, they're back and ready to take on all comers.

Fukuchiyama Seibi was an interesting team. I knew nothing of them when I saw them live in 2006. And I remember in their semifinal game against Kagoshima Kougyou. I sat next to a husband and wife behind home plate and we discussed how he was a fan of Fukuchiyama Seibi. They looked good throughout the tournament, and it seems like they were here to stay. And while they haven't made deep runs since, they have proven to be a new power to be reckoned with.


SCORE ALERT -- And we're got 2 more to go.

Try as they might, Higashi Nippondai Shouhei cannot make up any ground against Seikou Gakuin. The 2 runs in the 3rd remain the difference, and they're down to their last 3 outs.

Kooriyama and Tenri's game back online. My guess is a rain delay. In the game, Tenri continues to put runs up each inning and now lead 6-1 going into the 5th inning.


For a big prefectural tournament such as Osaka, rain is not their friend. And it continues to plague the qualifiers. They are only in the round of 32 right now.

And it appears that the Osaka qualifiers are a bit moire detailed than I thought.

1st Level is regional block play at specific stadiums. 32 teams emerge from this level.

Teams then draw for the 2nd Level, which is another "block play" to get the Best 8.

I have to assume from here that they draw for the Best 8 brackets, but I can't be sure.

I need some sleep, but I'll post the brackets first thing tomorrow and begin the review once again with Osaka.

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