Thursday, July 23, 2009

It's never easy... (Part 2)

Okay, back on the road in...

Block play is nearing conclusion. The interesting thing about Aichi is that the seeded teams get not 1 bye, but 2. That is a definite advantage not only in the prefectural qualifiers, but also come the Natsu Koshien as teams aren't worn out.

All the top seeds won their first games and are just 2 games away from the Best 8. More notably, Aikoudai Meiden, Chuukyoudai Chuukyou and Touhou are included in that list.

Sweet 16 play wraps up today.

Oumi has reached the Best 8, but has not shown much offense. Shiga Gakuen, who upset seeded Ayaha, has also made it and will face Moriyama who has needed extra innings the last 2 games and whose largest margin of victory is 2. Today's games include Kita Ootsu who will face Hachiman Kougyou.

Mie's Best 8 include 3 of the 4 seeded teams - Kaisei, Komono and Mie. Ujiyamada Shougyou had been upset by Shiroko, who by the way still remains and will face Kogakkan in one quarterfinal. And Kuwana Kougyou, Yokkaichi Kougyou and Kinkidai Tousen will all look to play the role of spoiler.

It sounds like a broken record, and it kinda is. Prefectures all over are at Sweet 16 play, and Kyoto is no exception. Tounan joins former Koshien participants Kyoto Gaidai Nishi, Higashiyama, and Toba who have punched their ticket to the Best 8.

Fukuchiyama Seibi looks to get theirs today (and they did).

And Toba actually starts Best 8 play against Murasakino.

Block play is just about to complete here in Osaka. 16 blocks total will draw for placing in the Sweet 16 bracket.

Ibaraki became the first entrant yesterday with a 5-0 win over Ootemae. Taisei Gakuindai and Ookanmuri were to determine the 2nd spot. But the final round 2 game which was played earlier in the day between Osaka Touin and Kasugaoka was a slugfest. Osaka Touin built a 6-2 lead after 4, only to see Kasugaoka tie it up in the 5th. Then Kasugaoka pulled ahead by 2, but Touin tied it up in the 7th. Kasugaoka tried again to pull away with 2 in the 8th, but there was no denying the defending champion. They scored 7 in the 8th and won 15-10.

So back to the Ookanmuri-Taisei Gakuindai game. Taisei scores the inning number in the first 3 innings for a 6-0 lead. Ookanmuri decided to repeat that little coincidence... in the 6th. Tie game.

Taisei, a bit perturbed, takes a one run lead in the 7th. Ookanmuri tries to leave Taisei with no time to rally with 2 in the 9th. Doesn't work. Taisei ties it up, and they go into extras.

And after the 10th inning ends with the teams still tied... it becomes too dark to play and the game is called.

Not good - for either team. That means another 9 innings, at least...

2 more teams also will meet the same fate. Well-known Konkou Osaka, down 2-0 to Osaka Gakuindai in the 9th inning, score 2 to tie the game. And they play to an exhaustive draw.

Kansaidai Hokuyou becomes the next team, taking a break after, um... annihiliating Shinamoto 44-0 to defeat Osaka 3-1.

Riseisha defeated Sakuranomiya 7-2 for the 3rd bid. Koukoku, Naniwa and Furitsu Sakai Kouka join the field.

Nara will have their bid this Saturday. Yesterday the final 2 for the Best 4 were determined. Seeded Kooriyama had no problem with Heijyou - winning 8-1. Yamato Kouryou was about to do the same against Unebi, but they had other plans. down 1-0 in the bottom of the 9th, they score 2 to send the shocked Yamato players home.

And what about Chiben Gakuen? Kooriyama had sent them packing earlier. Chiben tried to rally down 10-2, but only got as close as 10-8.

Interestingly enough, Unebi will face Kooriyama for the 2nd time this year. Earlier in a spring tournament, Kooriyama beat them 9-1 in the semis. They'll have to get by them this time if they want their first ever Koshien appearance. Meanwhile, the elephant in the room that is Tenri (yay!) will face Ichijyou in the other semi.

Wakayama is interesting in the fact that although they have just 39 teams in the field, they participate in block play.

Said block play is about to finish. Chiben Wakayama and Ito will clash in block A. Block B has Shiritsu Wakayama meets the home of Binchou-tan, Minabe.

Other schools in the Best 8 will be determined today.

I realized that the dates for the brackets for Hyogo weren't filled in. I'll have to backtrack for that.

Haruhi's school - Nishinomiya Kita, didn't make it past its first game losing 5-1 to Kawanishi Meihou. Can someone tell them that they're supposed to dominate??! (Kidding)

Glossing through block play, many well-known teams still remain. Kakogawa Kita, Houtoku Gakuen are still around.

Toyoudai Himeji though is not. They were surprisingly upset by Shiritsu Amagasaki 4-2 in their first game.

We're about in Best 8 play here. Former participants Yazu, Tottori Shougyou are already there - but they'll have to play each other next.

Tottori Nishi plays Tottori Higashi today.

Sweet 16 starts play today. Schools such as Kanzei and Kurashiki Shougyou are still in it. Top seeds have only played one game so far.

And I peeked ahead to Nagasaki-ken, and noticed that Seihou's offense failed Imamura. They lost 3-1 to Nagasaki Nihon. *cries*

I'm going to bed... I'll update the spreadsheets tomorrow.


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