The opening game is very interesting. Jyousou Gakuin, making their 4th consecutive appearance - facing the offensive juggernaut that appears to be Kyushu Kokusaidai Fuzoku.
Jyousou Gakuin (Ibaraki)
SS Wada (#16)
Kyushu Kokusaidai Fuzoku (Fukuoka)
LF Miyoshi (#17)
10:21 AM - First pitch!
First pitch from Noutomi is singled back up the middle! Then Kunii lays down a bunt, and Noutomi throws it away! Runners on 1st and 3rd and Jyousou is threatening!
Hatori lines one to center and Jyousou is up 1-0! Then one down, and Terazawa lays down a perfect suicide squeeze and Kunii scores! 2-0 Jyousou!
Then with 2 down, Noutomi walks Yamaoka to load the bases! But he manages to strike out Oguma to end the inning.
Kyukoku's batters work the count, but only manage a 2-out single by Kunieda.
With one down, leadoff batter Takano puts down a perfect safety bunt!
And then 1st year Kunii drives one to deep right center! It's past the defense! Takano scores on a triple by 1st year Kunii!
Hatori hits a fly to center and Kunii looks to score! But Enomoto's throw home is on line and nails him! But Jyousou extends the lead to 3-0!
Kawano lines one into center, and with the defense being lazy makes it into 2nd! But Oguma settles down and retires the next 3 batters!
Kuroda hits a shot to 3rd! Kunieda makes the stop, but his throw is off line! Kuroda advances to 2nd and Jyousou threatens once again!
Terazawa puts down a perfect bunt, but Kunieda shoves the error aside and makes a fine play! But Kuroda advances to 3rd!
And Tanaka puts down a squeeze on a 1-2 count! The pitch is high, but he gets it down! Noutomi gets the ball, has a play, but goes to 1st. Another run scores and Jyousou is starting to run away 4-0!
1st year Miyoshi singles up the middle! Kobayashi looks to bunt, but Oguma doesn't give him a pitch! Everything's inside and he walks him!
Wakao-kantoku puts the bunt on with Wada, then off, then on again, and there's runners on 2nd and 3rd with one down.
And Kunieda chops one up the middle! Miyoshi scores, Kobayashi heads home! Takano with a good throw, but Kobayashi with a great slide beats the tag! 4-2!
Enomoto and Kawano are retired quickly, but Kyukoku has cut the lead in half!
Noutomi finally settles down for a 1-2-3 inning. Can the offense continue the momentum from last inning?
Makimoto works a walk to start the inning. And Amano walks! Oguma suddenly can't find the strike zone! And he still can't find it against Noutomi - and he's trying to bunt! He falls behind 2-0... 3-0! He finally throws a strike, then another and the count runs full. He tries bunting on a full count and fouls out! How fortunate for Oguma!
But 1st year Miyoshi proves he's no rookie! He drives one into the left center field gap! Makimoto scores! Amano rounds 3rd, he's heading home! HE SCORES! 同点!! 4-4!!
And Kobayashi hits a ball to deep left center! That's down! Miyoshi scores on the double!! 逆転!! 5-4!!!!
And that's it for Oguma. He's relieved by #11 Hasegawa...
After getting Wada to ground out to 1st, Kunieda takes a pitch away and lines it back up the middle! Kobayashi rounds 3rd and scores! 6-4!!
Enomoto bloops one over Wada into center for yet another base hit! Kouno's the 9th batter and he singles one past a lunging Yamaoka into left and Kunieda scores! 7-4!!! Runners on 1st and 2nd, and Hasegawa hits Makimoto! Manrui for Kyukoku!
And that's it for Hasegawa... #10 Iino comes in to relieve him... This inning has been a disaster...
Amano up at bat again, the count goes 2-2, and he's fights off a pitch. And reaches down for another. And another out of the zone. And when he finally does try to hold up, he doesn't and strikes out.
But Kyukoku sends up 11 batters, score 5 runs and takes the lead!
Kunii tries to get Jyousou back on track with a single up the middle. Then with one down, Kuroda draws a walk. Jyousou threatens!
But Terazawa grounds back to Noutomi! He starts the 1-6-3 DP and gets out of the jam!
Miyoshi gets a one-out single back up the middle and he's now 3-3! Definitely not fazed by the big stage. Iino shuts down the top of the order and stops the Kyukoku offense, at least here in the 5th.
Iino manages a two out double to left-center. #12 Masuda pinch hits for Wada.
A wild pitch sends Iino to 3rd. Can Jyousou get a run back here?
No! A grounder back to the P ends the inning.
Defensive change for Jyousou. #6 Shibasaki enters at SS while #14 Asari takes over at 2nd.
Iino continues to shut down the Kyukoku offense. Another 1-2-3 inning, but time is beginning to run down for the Ibaraki squad.
Kunii tries once again to rally the troops. A shot back at Noutomi into center means another stop at 1st base! But Noutomi gets the heart of the order out and Kyukoku's lead stays at 3.
Iino walks Makimoto on 4 straight. Amano hits balls deep to left and right, but foul. He eventually strikes out looking.
Noutomi puts down the bunt. Iino double-clutches, goes to 2nd, but pulls Shibasaki off the bag! On replay, I'm not convinced that he didnt' get the foot down in time.
Miyoshi is finally retired as he grounds into a fielder's choice. Runners at the corners for leadoff batter Kobayashi.
He singles up the middle and it's 8-4! Wada walks, and it's manrui for Kunieda! They could really blow it open here!
1-2 pitch, and Iino almost throws it away! Hatori with a great leaping stop! And Yamaoka makes another fine play in foul territory to stop the threat!
But Jyousou finds themselves down 4 now with 6 outs to go.
And Noutomi retires the side in order. It's beginning to seem like a formality now.
More defensive changes. #13 Utano, who pinch-hit for Asari, stays in at 2nd. #17 Kawashima takes in Terazawa's spot in the lineup and goes to right. Kuroda moves to LF.
A 1-2-3 inning again for Iino and it's last-ups for Jyousou!
#7 Yoshioka comes in to relieve Miyoshi in left.
And Kinouchi-kantoku uses his last two bench players, #15 Jin and #18 Shimizu as Jyousou goes down in order and in defeat 8-4.
So, Wakao-kantoku, back at Koshien once again, gives his team a victory.
Kunii (Jyousou) - 3-4, 3B, R (I scored his first bunt an E1)
Miyoshi (Kyukoku) - 3-4, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI
Kunieda (Kyukoku) - 3-5, R, 3 RBI