Tuesday, July 28, 2009

7.28 Prefectural Finals

With postponements due to rain, 13 prefectures are hoping to give out their bids today.

Rained out yesterday.

In the first game yesterday, Jyutoku's ace Oka strikes out 12 and throws a 3-hitter to send his team to the finals with a 2-0 shutout over Shiritsu Maebashi. They'll face Tokyo Noudai Dai-ichi as they defeat Kiryuu Minami thanks to 3B Numazawa's 3-3, 2 RBI day.

Jyutoku's only appearances were back-to-back summers in 1991-2. Tokyo Noudai Dai-ichi has had 4 summer and 3 spring appearances but hasn't been since 1994.

The first semifinal was an interesting one between Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa and Nanao. Nihon Koukuu gets on Nanao's Nakajima scoring 2 runs in the top of the 1st.

Now here's an interesting tidbit. Remember Saga Kita with their dual aces, Baba and Kubo and how they used the tandem to win the title? Well, Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa has not 2, but 3 pitchers they've used up until this game, Kurimoto, Hanada and Nakata.

Kurimoto pitched 3 innings of shutout ball before handing it over to Hanada. He went 2-2/3 before passing it on to Nakata. But then things go awry. Nanao, against the 3rd pitcher of the day, scores 4 runs and takes the lead!

Nihon Koukuu has one more trick up its sleeve though. LF Kitadera is called in to pitch! And he shuts down the Nanao offense!

But they still trailed 4-2 going into the top of the 9th. Desparate, they put a rally together and score 4 in the top of the 9th! And Kitadera sits down the Nanao batters in the bottom of the 9th and they advance with a 6-2 victory!

So, can Nihon Koukuu's plethora of arms get them through one more game for their first ever appearance? Or can Komatsu Kougyou get their 3rd summer bid?

Hokuriku jumped out to a 1-0 lead against Fukui Shougyou in the first semi. It stayed that way until the 6th until Fukusho blew up Takano for 3 runs. He was relieved by Takahashi who got out of the mess.

But Hokuriku would not go quietly. In the bottom half of the frame, they responded against ace Takezawa scoring 3 runs of their own, regaining the slim one-run lead.

Yoshikawa would be brought in to preserve the lead, and he does just that, sending Hokuriku to the finals with a 4-3 win.

Who would Hokuriku play in the finals?

Well, Fukui Koudai Fukui answered with a HR from 3B Nakajima in the 3rd for a 1-0 lead against Tsuruga Kehi. It would not last though as Tsuruga went ahead 2-1 in the 6th. An insurance run in the 8th sealed the finals appearance while ace Yamada struck out 10.

In terms of pitching dominance, the edge may have to go with Tsuruga Kehi and their ace Yamada. But is his arm good for one more game? Or can Hokuriku's pitch-to-contact staff rule the day?

Rained out yesterday.

The semifinal games were a bit anti-climactic. Yonago Shouin does get the lead with a homerun by SS Takahashi in the 2nd. But Tottori Shougyou scores 5 in the bottom of the inning and never looks back, winning 11-1 (no mercy rules here in the semis).

Tottori Jyouhoku's Nakao throws a 3 hitter in a 4-0 victory over Tottori Nishi.

So it'll be Tottori Shougyou looking for their 2nd prefecture title (their only other one was in 2004) versus Tottori Jyouhoku who tries for their 1st ever.

The games here suffered the same fate. Taisha scored 9 unanswered runs to win 10-1 over Izumo Shougyou, while Masuda Higashi managed just 4 hits in a 4-1 loss to Risshoudai Shounan.

Taisha looks for their 9th summer appearance while Risshoudai Shounan looks for the upset and their 1st ever shot on the Koshien grounds.

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day...

Chikuyou Gakuen trailed Shuuyuukan 2-1 but continued to work the count creating multiple opportunities. Then in the 8th, they tied the game up! And 10 walks in a game is too much to give an opponent. Chikuyou pushed through the winning run just 2 innings later.

In the Kyushu Kokusaidai Fuzoku-Jiyuugaoka game, Kokusaidai scored 2 in the 4th only to see Jiyuugaoka plate 2 of their own in the 5th. But in the 8th inning, 2 home runs capped off a 4-run 8th as Kokusaidai advances 6-2.

Imari Nourin breaks a 1-1 tie against Saga Gakuen with 3 runs in the bottom of the 7th for a 4-1 victory. They'll look to secure their 1st ever championship, but will have to face last year's defending champion in Saga Shougyou. Against Kashima Jitsugyou they traded runs in the 1st and 3rd innings before Sasshou scored a run in the bottom of the 4th. Ooda and Kasatsugu combined to shut down Kashima for the 4-3 win.

Meihou looks to return to Koshien and take revenge on Hanamaki Higashi. Ace Noguchi shuts down the Oita offense giving up 4 hits in 8-2/3 innings for a 6-0 victory. They'll match up with the defending champions Hita Rinkou. While they only managed 6 hits, they combined that with 8 walks to defeat Tsukumi 2-0.

Miyakonojyou Shougyou finally knows their opponent in the finals. It will be defending champion Miyzaki Shougyou as their ace Yoshida 3-hits Miyazaki Nichidai 2-0 to advance.


1:52 PM - Middle of the 3rd here, and Oominato holds a 1-0 lead over Aomori Yamada! Already starting pitcher Saitou has been pulled for ace Inoue.

Tokyo Noudai Dai-ni scores a run in the 2nd, just like Oominato, and they lead Jyutoku 1-0 in the top of the 6th!

Komatsu Kougyou gets on the board first against Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa with a run in the top of 2nd, but Ishikawa scores 3 unanswered and leads 3-1 in the middle of the 4th.

Hokuriku and Tsuruga Kehi traded a run in the 1st inning and that is the score heading into the top of the 4th.

Gifu's final has been rained out today. Same with Mie.

Tottori Jyouhoku appears on their way to their first ever appearance! They've jumped out quickly with 2 runs in the top of the1st inning and 3 runs in the 2nd. They lead Tottori Shougyou 5-0 going into the bottom half of the 3rd.

Risshoudai Shounan exploded for 8 in the top of the 2nd against Taisha. They're on their way to securing Shimane's bid as the game enters the 4th inning.

Naruto Dai-ichi and Tokushima Kita are currently in a scoreless draw going into the top of the 4th.

In Fukuoka, RF Amano and C Kouno have hit homeruns for Kyushi Kokusaidai Fuzoku as they take a 3-0 lead over Chikuyou Gakuen in the top of the 5th.

The game is in the middle of the 4th in Saga. Saga Shougyou and Imari Nourin remain scoreless.

Meihou brings out the big guns as they throw out Imamiya for the final. They take the lead in the bottom of the 3rd, but Hita Rinkou immediately tied it up in the 4th. That's where we stand heading into the 6th.

Miyakonojyou Shougyou opens the scoring in the 4th with 2 runs against Miyazaki Shougyou's ace Yoshida. That's the margin right now as they bat in the top of the 6th.


2:52 PM - Aomori Yamada ties it up with Oominato in the bottom of the 5th! The game has just moved into the top of the 7th. Aomori Yamada though bursted for 3 runs in the 6th and the hopes for Oominato may be fading...

It's final in Gunma! Tokyo Noudai Dai-ni shuts out Jyutoku 2-0 for their 5th summer appearance!

Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa scored a run in the 5th to extend the lead to 3 runs. But Komatsu Kougyou strikes for 4 in the 7th and takes the lead! Ishikawa leveled the score in the bottom of the 7th and that's where we stand heading into Komatsu's 8th. Hamada has given way to Kurimoto for Ishikawa.

Tsuruga Kehi puts up a 3-spot in the bottom of the 4th and lead 4-1 over Hokuriku moving into the 6th.

Tottori Jyouhoku now leads 6-0 against Tottori Shougyou in the 8th inning.

Shimane's bid is all but secured. Risshoudai Shounan now leads by 11 over Taisha with 2 innings left to play.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, Naruto Dai-ichi and Tokushima Kita remain deadlocked at 0-0 moving into the 8th inning.

Kyushu Kokusaidai Fuzoku is 3 outs away from their first appearance since 1982! They still lead Chikuyou Gakuen 5-0.

Imari Nourin breaks through against ace Kasatsugu! They score 1 in the bottom of the 5th and hold that lead moving into their half of the 7th.

Meihou is getting to Uratsuka late in the game! They score 2 in the 6th and 1 in the 7th. Hita Rinkou has just been retired in the 8th and they have 3 outs left to stage a rally.

Miyazaki Shougyou drew within 1 with a run in the bottom of the 6th, but gets the door slammed as Miyakonojyou Shougyou scores 3 in the 7th! The game moves to the bottom of the 8th and Miyashou is running out of time.


3:25 PM - Games across the country are going final!

Oominato desperately tries to rally against Aomori Yamada. They draw within 1 in the 9th, but can't bring that tying run home. Aomori Yamada wins its 6th consecutive title!

Tottori Shougyou tries to mount a rally late but can only muster 3 runs. Tottori Jyouhoku can celebrate their 1st ever appearance with their 6-3 win!

Risshoudai Shounan convincingly defeats Taisha 12-3 to claim Shimane's bid and their 1st appearance at Koshien!

In Fukuoka, Kyushu Kokusaidai Fuzoku defeats Chikuyou Gakuen 9-0! Their 27 year wait is over!

Meihou does prevail over Hita Rinkou 4-1 and successfully make the spring/summer Koshien appearance!

Miyakonojyou Shougyou will make their 2nd apperance after defeating Miyazaki Shougyou 5-1!

Komatsu Kougyou has taken the lead in the 10th against Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa! Nihon Koukuu needs one run to stay alive!

Hokuriku fights back! 3 in the top of the 7th ties the game against Tsuruga Kehi heading into the bottom of the frame!

Naruto Dai-ichi and Tokushima Kita remain at 0-0 heading to the 11th!!

Saga Shougyou ties the game in the top of the 8th against Imari Nourin and they're now headed to extra innings!!


3:39 PM - Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa finds a way to tie the game! They move to the 11th and Komatsu Kougyou has been shut down. Does Ishikawa have a run in them?

Naruto Dai-ichi breaks through in the 11th over Sakamoto and Tokushima Kita! They hold a fragile 1-run lead heading into Tokushima half of the inning!


3:47 PM - They keep playing in Ishikawa! Nihon Koukuu can't score and we move to the 12th!

Tsuruga Kehi and Hokuriku remain tied at 4 in the 8th inning.

And in Saga, Imari Nourin's magical run may have fallen short. Saga Shougyou scores 2 in the top of the 10th and appear to have successfully defended their title.


3:47 PM - Tokushima Kita rallies! Down that run to Naruto Dai-ichi they not only tie the game, but score the sayonara run! Tokushima Kita in dramatic fashion earns their 1st ever Koshien appearance!


Sorry for the shorthand, but Saga's gone final! Imari Nourin does it! They somehow rally for 3 runs against Sasshou's Kasatsugu and they defeat Saga Shougyou 4-3!!!!!!!!

I can't believe what I just saw!


4:07 PM - Komatsu Kougyou and Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa move to the 13th inning! Komatsu has relieved Oonishi with Murata, while Nihon Koukuu has relieved Kurimoto with Nakata.

Hokuriku and Tsuruga Kehi move to the 9th inning still tied at 4! Hokuriku is now on their 3rd pitcher, Takano, while Tsuruga Kehi stays with their ace Yamada.


4:13 PM - The games move into the bottom half of the 13th and 9th respectively. Can Nihon Koukuu or Tsuruga Kehi end it here?


4:24 PM - Komatsu Kougyou goes to their 3rd pitcher of the day in Higashide. He shuts down Nihon Koukuu and we're in the 14th. Remember, a tie game after 15 and they have to replay the entire game!!

And Tsuruga Kehi can't push a run across either! They become the 4th extra innning game today!


4:31 PM - Nakata quickly shuts down Komatsu Kougyou. We're reaching the point where teams run up against fatigue. Either they resign to the fate of a replayed game, or one team just capitulates against the tiredness.

No more news yet about the 10th inning in Fukui.


4:35 PM - And that's what I'm talking about! With one inning left to play, Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa gets to Higashide and they score the sayonara run in the bottom of the 14th! They earn their 1st ever bid to Koshien!


4:46 PM - Fukui is the only final left. Hokuriku and Tsuruga Kehi move on to the 11th still tied at 4-4!


4:56 PM - Yamada continues to blank Hokuriku. As we head to the bottom of the 11th, how much longer can he hold out?

He doesn't have to! It goes final! Tsuruga Kehi scores a run in the bottom of the 11th! They did it! They're off to Koshien! Hokuriku try as they could fall short and their dreams of heading to Koshien are crushed...

What a day... Blowouts at first where you had to feel bad for the losing schools, followed by teams desperately trying to make a last stand, to those that just couldn't hold on any longer.

This, this is what kokoyakyu is all about.


radioclash22 said...

Wow! What action! Underdogs and first-timers have ruled the day. Hopefully it will mean a wide-open Finals, although the newcomers might equal easy pickings for the stronger teams. But let's hope not, as they have provided some stunners so far!

Goro Shigeno said...

It won't be wide open as there are a lot of returning teams. It may mean a weaker field, but it's always good to have new teams show up.

And the action isn't over yet today!

radioclash22 said...

And we'll do it again tomorrow!

Goro Shigeno said...

Yes we will. I almost thought that Nihon Dai-san was going to fall to Hino, but when I went back to check the game, it was not to be. Both Nihon schools advanced.

But the big positive is that I get to see a JAA Team at Koshien! It may not be the one from Yamanashi, but hey, it counts!