Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hokushinetsu Super-Regional Recap

Over to the Hokushinetsu Region, and things didn't quite turn out the way people expected...

But first the recap of the remainder of the prefectural qualifiers from the last update.

Sadly, the draw was not favorable to the well-known teams. Matsushou Gakuen and Nagano Nichidai faced off right off the bat. So did Matsushiro and Maruko Shuugakukan.

Nagano Nichidai won it's battle, but then fell to Saku Chousei 8-1. Matsushiro won a barnburner 9-7, but then lost to Iida Fuuetsu 2-1.

That blew the field wide open.

Saku Chousei faced off against Ueda Nishi in one semi, with Saku Chousei winning 7-0 in 7 innings. Nagano met Iida Fuuetsu and also won convincingly 7-1 setting up a final of relative unknowns.

In the final, Nagano jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Saku Chousei tied it in the 5th, but Nagano scored 7 in the 7th and 3 more in the 9th to win 12-2. In the consolation game, Ueda Nishi advanced over Iida Fuuetsu 7-2 to the Super-Regionals.

Nanto Sougou Fukuno couldn't make it out of the 2nd round, losing to Takaoka 8-4.

Interestingly enough, the brackets were pretty much chalk. By the time we reached the semifinals, we had Sakurai and Tonami Kougyou in one, and Fujikoshi Kougyou and Takaoka Shougyou in another. Tonami jumped out to a 4-0 lead after 2 en route to a 8-4 win while Takaoka Shougyou dispatched Fujikoshi 13-4 in 7 innings.

In the finals, Takaoka Shougyou scored 3 in the 1st and didn't look back winning 4-2. And in the more important 3rd place game, Fujikoshi Kougyou had no trouble with Sakurai 9-1.

Tsuruga Kehi and Fukui Shougyou had an early clash in the 2nd round. While Fukusho was the seeded team, it was Tsuruga Kehi that prevailed 6-0! And with that momentum they marched to the finals.

Fukui Kodai Fukui had no trouble through its side of the bracket making the finals without yielding a single run!

That changed in the finals when Tsuruga Kehi scored 4 in the 5th inning against ace Teraoka and held on for a 4-2 win.

Kagaku Gijyutsu edged by Asuwa 5-4 to take Fukui's final bid for the super-regionals.

Out of the 4 teams I had mentioned in my last comprehensive review - Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa, Kanazawa, Nanao and Seiryou - only 1 didn't make the Best 4. Nanao fell to Yuugakukan 7-6 in the quarterfinals.

And with 4 teams qualifying out of Ishikawa, all that was to be determined was the seeding. I kind of discount the seeding as while a #1 seed doesn't play a #1 seed in the first round, it doesn't mean you're playing a weaker team.

Apparently though, the 4 teams were equally matched.

Yuugakukan and Seiryou would go into extras as Yuugakukan scored a run in the bottom of the 9th to tie it up at 2. It wouldn't be until the 12th when the tie would be broken by Yuugakukan.

Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa was 6 outs away from defeating Kanazawa, but lost the lead forcing extra innings. It didn't last long as Nihon Koukuu scored the sayonara run in the 10th.

With the teams surely suffering from some fatigue, it was another low scoring affair between Yuugakukan and Nihon Koukuu. Once again, Nihon Koukuu couldn't hold a slim lead late as Yuugakukan scores a run in the 8th to tie it at 1, then took the lead in the 9th with 2 runs to win 3-1.

As for the 3rd place match, Kanazawa was just out of gas and was blanked 11-0.

So we hit the super-regionals...

And so much for the home field advantage... All of the Ishikawa schools lost in the first round.
  • Yuugakukan managed to tie the game 3-3 against Bunsui only to see them score 2 in the top of the 9th.
  • Seiryou was routed by Tsuruga Kehi 8-0 in 7 innings.
  • Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa was blanked by Fukui Kodai Fukui 3-0
  • And 4th seed Kanazawa fared the best, although they blew a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the 9th, they lasted until the 13th where Takaoka Shougyou scored the sayonara run.
In the quarterfinals, Saku Chousei and Tsuruga Kehi advanced with little trouble while Fukui Kodai Fukui and Takaoka Shougyou needed an 8th inning run to pull ahead just in time. This meant a semifinal with powerhouses Takaoka Shougyou and Fukui Kodai Fukui, and Tsuruga Kehi perhaps with an easy matchagainst Saku Chousei.

Takasho scored 2 runs in the 2nd inning, and it managed to hold up winning 2-1. Meanwhile, Tsuruga Kehi took the 3-0 lead after 2, only to see Saku Chousei tie it in the top of the 3rd. When Tsuruga scored a run in the 5th, Saku once again tied the game in the 6th! Their persistance seemed to pay off as Saku took the lead in the top of the 9th 5-4! Only needing 3 outs, ace Kouno couldn't hold the lead as Tsuruga Kehi scored 2 runs to win 6-5!

This pretty much guarantees that Takaoka Shougyou and Tsuruga Kehi will get a spot in the finals. But bragging rights would eventually go to Takaoka Shougyou as they shutout Tsuruga Kehi 5-0.

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