Friday, July 24, 2009

It's never easy... (Part 3)

Back to finish the recaps. These will include games concluded on 7.23

I though Shimane is would be wide open now since Kaisei was upset earlier in the tournament. But it turns out that many past participants are still in the Best 8. Masuda Higashi and Hamada are playing each other.

And I was looking around for Gonokawa, but couldn't find them. That is until I noticed that Gonokawa changed their name to Iwamichisuikan. And to top it all off, they were the ones that upset Kaisei!

Oy. Not a good round for seeded teams. 3 of the top 4 seeded teams did not make it past the round of 32.

Onomichi upset Hiroshima Kougyou 2-0...
Eishin outlasts Soutoku 8-6 in 14 innings...
Gokou ties the game up in the 9th inning and scores 3 in the 1ith to defeat Setouchi 7-5.

The only top seeded team left is Jyousuikan, who got by Onomichi Higashi 2-0. And the only seeded team left along with Jyousuikan is Hiroshima Kokusai Gakuin - and they're on a collision course with Jyousuikan.

Kouryou finds themselves on the other side of the bracket and with a clear path to the finals. First step will be against Mihara in the round of 16.

Boy, the Chuugoku region is full of upsets the last couple of days...

Ube Koujyou? Lost to Ube Kougyou 3-0 in its first game.
Iwakuni? Lost to Kumage Minami 3-2 in its 2nd game.
Shimonoseki Shougyou? Shimonoseki Kokusai pulled away in the late innings to win 9-3.
Nanyou Kougyou, the spring participant who made a deep run? Houfu Shougyou uses a 4-run 5th to defeat them 5-4.

The immediate beneficiaries are Iwakuni Shougyou and Karyou. But the Best 8 field is still wide open.

Kagawa Nishi won't be returning to Koshien this year. Top seeded Samukawa held on to beat them 5-4.

Jinsei Gakuen joins Samukawa in the Best 8 with a 4-0 win over Sakaide and will now meet hopeful Tonoshou. Marugame Jyousei faces Takamatsu today for a ticket to the Best 8.

We've reached the Best 4. Naruto Kougyou remains as the only top seeded team left and appears to be the front-runner to Koshien. Tokushima Kita beat Komatsushima 5-2 and now faces that same Naruto Kougyou. Komatsushima Nishi exacts revenge by upsetting Seikou Gakuin 5-3. But don't forget Naruto Dai-ichi - they've gone through the brackets with relative ease.

Rain has slowed play down here in Ehime. They've just reached the Sweet 16. Seeded teams have only played one game so far and Akiyama's Saijyou - as well as Saibi and Imabari Nishi cruised throught their first game.

After 2 days of rainouts, the 1st round finally concluded (and subsequently the 2nd round has started).

Kochi Kougyou and Kochi Shougyou were shown the door in the first round, both on sayonara runs in the 9th inning. Ootemae scoring 3 to defeat Shougyou, and Shimizu rallying from 3 down, scoring the winning run in the 9th.

So now the eyes are turned to Meitoku Gijuku, who dominated the early part of the decade and Kochi, who have gone in recent years. Kochi won their game 10-0 in 5 over Kochi Odzu. Meitoku, the only team with a 1st round bye, finally got their game in, defeating Kochi Chuo 4-0.

Fukuoka has gone from the 18 block winners down to the Best 4.

And out of the 4 participants, they have a combined 4 Koshien appearances. I wondered about how random the representatives have been given how big of a prefecture it is. At least there should be one or two teams that have some dominance - and I suppose Yanagigawa might count, but it either speaks to the parity or weakness of the prefecture.

And our semi's are:
  • Chikuyou Gakuen (1 summer appearance, 2005 - lost in 1st round to Tohoku... and Darvish!) vs. Shuuyuukan (no apperances)
  • Jiyuugaoka (no appearances) vs. Kyushu Kokusaidai Fuzoku (2 summer, 1 spring, last appearance in 1982)
As close as these teams are, they'll have a day off to think about it before these matches begin.

Saga too is in their final 4. The magic of Saga Kita seems to be short-lived. But it was one heck of a run nonetheless.

Saga Shougyou has shown up once again and is making a good bid for the title. Saga Gakuen is looking for their 6th appearance.

But here too there are 2 schools looking for their first bid - Imari Nourin and Kashima Jitsugyou. Imari was a top 4 seed and has played well, Kashima defeated top 4 Ogi and has played consistently as well.

Do I have to go here? After I saw that Seihou lost to Nagasaki Nichidai?

Oh, all right...

If there was one prefecture that seemed to get the top teams right, it might be here in Nagasaki. The Best 4 teams were all seeded teams.

Nagasaki Nichidai has played good defensive ball winning low scoring affairs.

Keihou has had to survive a couple of game, especially one against Kaisei where they blew a 4-0 lead in the 8th only to score 2 in the 9th. This would be their first appearance since 1991.

Souseikan had a scare against Nagasaki Nishi but has had no trouble otherwise. They're playing for their first appeance ever.

Finally, Hasami is looking for its 3rd appearance and first since 2001. They've shown a lot of offensive output so far in the tournament.

Kumamoto is running a bit slower than the rest here, finishing up the Sweet 16 matchups.

Last year's participant and one of the top seeds Jyouhoku was put to shame by Hitsuyuukan 7-0. Kumamoto Kougyou, Shuugakukan and Kyushu Gakuin are still alive. Luther Gakuin has proven their worth as a top seed. And Minamata, who upset Yatsushiro Higashi, continues to plug along their part of the bracket (although they face Kumamoto Kougyou next).

Oita is in the Best 8. Meihou and P/3B Imamiya survived a 1-0 game against Oita Tousen to make it. Hita Rinkou continues it's title defense. Tsukumi, who dominated Oita from the 60's-80's looks to make their first appearance since 1988. Yoshikan, who made it into the Best 8 just 2 years ago looks to return to make another run.

And finally, there's Miyazaki. They are in a day off before the semifinals begin.

All 4 teams that remain were seeded by the committee.

St. Ursula's run finally ends at the hands of top seed Miyakonojyou Shougyou. They're looking for their 2nd ever apperance. Their only other one was in 1981.

Miyazaki Nougyou has never made it to Koshien and looks to be an agricultural school to make it.

Miyazaki Shougyou, riding on the back of Akagawa's success, looks to defend its title.

And Miyazaki Nichidai is trying to make their 2nd appearance. They last came in 1997.

And you're caught up! Well, kinda. But at least you have coverage on all the prefectures! Brackets should be updated in the next hour.

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