Friday, July 31, 2009

7.30 Update and Finals

With 3 prefectures left, I figure I might as well roll all of them into one post.

In the first semifinal, Hamana and Shimada Shougyou each put up 5 hits. The difference was in the 6th where Hamana used those to put 2 runs together.

In the 2nd semifinal, Seisei Kougyou built a 3-0 lead against Tokoha Tachibana. Then in the 4th, in what seems to be typical Tokoha form, Tachibana erupts for 6 runs, knocking starting pitcher Oi from the game.

With the big inning done, Tachibana would have to hold on. But ace Shouji would give up 2 runs in the 7th to cut the lead to just 1. And wouldn't you know it, Seisei would tie the game in the 9th.

The game would go into extras, and 0's were put up - until the 11th. Tachibana had been successful in getting baserunners against relief pitcher Gotou, and with only 1 out the bases were loaded for SS Inazumi. He singles to center, and vaults Tokoha Tachibana to the finals.

Both teams are looking for their 1st summer appearance (Hamana did get to the spring tournament in 2003). Hamana ran through the seeded teams in their quadrant (Shimizu Nishi, Shizuoka Gakuen), and will depend on their ace Hirao to shut down Tachibana. Tokoha Tachibana will look to Shouji once again to carry them through. But it may be the Tachibana offense that will need to step to to back up their ace.

Teams had a day off yeterday in preparation of the early 9:30 AM start today. And it's a fitting matchup between the last two schools to represent Hiroshima - 2-time defending champion Kouryou and 2006 winner Jyousuikan.

Outside of their 1st and last game, Kouryou has had little trouble with the opposition. Arihara has done a fine job of keeping opponents off the basepaths, throwing 2 1-hitters along the way. For Jyousuikan another tandem, Kouno and Ikeuchi, have made things easy - well, except for the semifinal game.

I don't expect the offenses to be in play here, but I could be wrong.

The last prefecture to give it's bid, Osaka held their quarterfinal games yesterday.

Starting at Nankou Chuo, Matsumura for Osaka Shougyoudai Sakai had given up only a couple of hits to Kansai Souka, and yet found himself down 3-1. That changed in the top of the 8th when Sakai scored 8 runs against stater Sakamoto, knocking him and Kansai Souka out of the game.

The afternoon game saw Konkou Osaka fall behind to Kansaidai Hokuyou 2-0 after 2 innings. Konkou would eventually tie it up in the 7th, but a run in the 8th for Kansaidai completed the upset.

Meanwhile at Maishima Sports Island (I had Maidzuru on the brain I think from a team I had translated earlier, my bad) Riseisha scored 3 in the 1st inning and left Uenomiya Taishi behind, winning 6-0.

And finally, the matinee was a headliner between the defending summer champions Osaka Touin and this year's spring participant PL Gakuen. But when the curtain was finally raised, the show was one-sided. PL puts up runs in the first 4 innings, leading Osaka Touin 6-1. They would increase that lead to 7 before eventually winning 10-5.

So it'll be Riseisha and PL Gakuen in the first semifinal, while the university schools Osaka Shougyoudai Sakai and Kansaidai Hokuyou will do battle in the 2nd game.


10:24 AM - Jyosuikan and Kouryou are underway. Jyousuikan scores 2 in the 3rd inning and they currently hold the lead as they bat in the top of the 5th.

PL Gakuen continues their merciless march. Riseisha's Hashimoto has given up 3 runs in the top of the 1st and they're at bat again now in the 2nd.


10:49 AM - The Hiroshima final is in the 7th with Jyousuikan still leading 2-0.

Riseisha got on the board with a in the 2nd and they're at bat again in the 3rd.


11:13 AM - It's the end of 8 at Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium. Starter Kouno has given way to Ikeuchi for Jyousuikan and has been just as effective. Kouryou is still down 2-0 now with just 3 outs to go...

Back in Osaka, PL Gakuen and Riseisha have traded runs in the 4th.


11:31 AM - It's a final. Kouryou scores a run in the bottom of the 9th, but that's all as Kouno comes back in to close things out. Jyousuikan returns to Koshien for the first time since 2006 with a 2-1 win.

Top 6 at Maishima. Riseisha will not say die and they come back with a run in the 5th. It's a one-run ball game!


12:00 PM - Riseisha has equalized! They score a run in the bottom of the 7th and we have a new ball game! We're now in the bottom of the 8th and they have a chance to take the lead!!!!!

12:14 PM - Still a tie game going into the 9th inning. PL gets first shot at breaking the deadlock.

12:19 PM - Hashimoto blanks PL in the top of the 9th. Can Riseisha pull the upset?

12:28 PM - No! The game goes into extras and PL is retired quickly in the 10th...

12:33 PM - The game continues on with both teams unable to get any traction.

12:40 PM - Still nothing for PL. Game moves to the bottom of the 11th...

12:48 PM - Nanba and Hashimoto continue to throw up 0's on the board. We move to the 12th.

1:00 PM - PL breaks through! They score 2 in the 12th and the pressure's on Riseisha!!

1:07 PM - As the Shizoka final gets underway, Osaka's 1st semifinal ends. Riseisha could not mount a rally and PL Gakuen survives a scare to win 6-4 in 12.


1:50 PM - Went to grab a bite to eat. The game is in the bottom of the 4th, and it's Hirao on the mound for Hamana and Shouji for Tokoha Tachibana. The only score in the game was a single run by Tachibana in the bottom of the 2nd. A duel as expected.

The 2nd semifinal is starting between Osaka Shougyoudai Sakai and Kandaidai Hokuyou. It's Osaka Shougyoudai's Matsumura vs. Hokuyou's Hatase.


2:05 PM - Tachibana scores 3 more in the 4th against Hirao and could they be pulling away now?

Scoreless top of the 1st for Shougyoudai and Kansaidai comes to bat.


2:25 PM - End of 5 and Tachibana has full control. They put another 3-spot on the board and lead 7-0 over Hamana.

End of 2 in Osaka and the university schools remain tied.


2:38 PM - Shougyoudai gets on the board with a run in the top of the 3rd. We're in the bottom of the inning now.

Shouji throws up yet another donut in the 6th. Tachibana has 3 homeruns this game, 2 by Shouji himself and another by Inazumi.


3:00 PM - Tachibana has just finished the bottom of the 7th and the list of homeruns grows as now both Shouji and Inazumi have hit a pair of homeruns! Tachibana tacks on another 2 runs as Hamana has gone to Yamaguchi, their 3rd pitcher of the game.

The bottom of the 5th has just ended and Kansaidai Hokuyou has tied the game up! The teams are even again as we head to the 2nd half of the game!


3:15 PM - Just 3 outs to go before Tokoha Tachibana secures the 45th bid to Koshien. It's now 10-1.

Shougyoudai Sakai retakes the lead right after Kandaidai ties it up! We're in the bottom of the 6th, 2-2 Sakai!


3:21 PM - Shizuoka has gone final and Tachibana with a dominating performance defeats Hamana 10-0.


3:15 PM - Bottom 7th now for Kansadai... trailing 2-1 and the clock ticking, can they get to Matsumura?

4:02 PM - Kansaidai does it! They rally for 2 in the bottom of the 8th and take a 3-2 lead! Time is short now for Sakai! 3 outs, 1 run. Is there anything left?

4:07 PM - It's over! Kansaidai Hokuyou comes from behind to defeat Osaka Shougyoudai Sakai 3-2! They'll meet up with PL Gakuen for the final bid for Koshien!

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