Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Shikoku Super-Regional Recap

You know when I mentioned that 2 prefectures were eliminated in the first round over in the Chuugoku super-regionals?

Well, over in Shikoku not only are 2 prefectures remaining in the Best 4, but they are also rematches of the semifinals in the respective prefectures!!

So Jinsei Gakuin and Takamatsu Shougyou had their quarterfinal match-up, but Jinsei dominated the game winning 5-1. Indeed, they would meet Sangawa in the semifinals who blanked Tonoshou 8-0.

Certainly these 2 would probably get the 1st and 3rd seeds, so it would be a matter of who would be runner-up. Takamatsu and Takamatsu Kougei slid by their quarterfinals matchups 4-3 and would meet for the right to probably finish 2nd.

Sangawa asserted itself in the 3rd inning plating 4. The teams traded a run 1 inning later, and it seemed like they would cruise. But then Jinsei scored 2 runs in back-to-back innings tying it up and sending it into extras. Eventually though Sangawa would be victorious, scoring the sayonara run in the 12th. In the other semi, Takamatsu scored 2 runs in the top of the 1st to take the early lead. While Kougei would pull within 1 in the 3rd, Takamatsu would pull away late to win 6-3.

And sure enough, Sangawa and Jinsei Gakuin would win their respective games by a combined 11-1 to secure the 1st and 3rd seeds respectively with Takamatsu taking the 2nd.

Well, Tokushima Kita's plans blew up in smoke after I posted the recap earlier. Anan Tousen avenged Anan Kougyou's loss, defeating them 4-2. That opened the door for Naruto Kougyou... except they lost to Naruto in a barnburner 9-8.

At least one team though delivered, and that was Komatsushima. They just flew through the brackets, scoring double digits in the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals.

So yeah... they won the prefecture and earned the #1 seed. Naruto earned the #2 seed after defeating Anan Tousen in 8 innings and Kawashima, after giving up 9 runs in the 1st to Komatsushima en route to a 11-1 loss in 5 innings, edged Anan Tousen 3-2 for the last bid.

Well, there were a lot of good teams in the prefectural bracket, but when the draw came out, it was going to be a bloodbath. Imabari Nishi and Teikyou Dai-go were to meet in the first round. The winner of that game could face Saijyou, and then after that Saibi.

So what happened in the bracket of death?

Teikyou Dai-go couldn't keep up with Imabari Nishi, falling 10-3. Saijyou couldn't get out of the first round to face Imabari Nishi losing to Matsuyama Kougyou 8-1. But Matsuyama was no match and was mercied 11-1. Saibi fulfilled it's part by defeating Niita 7-0 and Tanbara 14-4 to make the anticipated semifinal matchup. In that game, Imabari Nishi's 3 runs in the 5th inning was sufficient enough to hold off Saibi 3-2 and advance to the finals.

Of course with the bracket of death that meant that for any team on the other side, a guaranteed bid was to be had. Matsuyama Seiryou, Nomura and Kawanoe all advanced easily while Uwajima Higashi needed all 7 runs to beat Matsuyama Shougyou. Eventually, Nomura and Uwajima Higashi would meet in the semifinals, and it was anything but a pitcher's duel. After Nomura fell behind 7-2, they rallied back to tie the game in the 6th. But Uwajima Higashi would go on a 6-0 run in the next 3 innings to win 13-7.

Imabari Nishi was expected to run away with it, but Uwajima more than held it's own and in fact scored 2 runs in the 6th to take a 3-2 lead! But ace Akamatsu couldn't hold the lead and Imabari equalized in the 8th and it went into extras. And the experience of Imabari Nishi seemed to make the difference as they scored the winning run in the 11th.

Saibi also had its hands full against Nomura as well, but they too won their game by a score of 3-2.

Well, the triumvirate of Kochi, Kochi Shougyou and Meitoku Gijuku was broken up in the Best 8 when Kochi Shougyou lost to Tosa 6-2. And with that, it meant Tosa and Okou's probable consolation game would be of great importance.

Okou didn't seem to get that memo (or do the TPS reports either), as behind ace Tanouchi(?) they held Kochi scoreless in their semifinal. But they couldn't push a run in either and it went into extras scoreless. While it was certainly to Okou's advantage that they were still in the game, Kochi might regain it the longer the game went into extras. Sure enough in the 13th, Kochi would breakthrough with the sayonara run.

Kochi would win the top seed pulling ahead in the late innings against Meitoku Gijuku for an 8-4 win.

As for Okou, they didn't let the 13 inning affair get to them as they handled Tosa easily 8-1 to take that final spot.

The brackets for the super-regionals are pretty neat and clean as all the top seeds get a first-round bye.

For the aforementioned Okou they were in yet another battle, this time with Uwajima Higashi (Ehime #2), but they pulled ahead in the 8th inning for a 2-1 win. Then against Komatsushima (Tokushima #1), they were even more impressive winning 7-0 in 8 innings!

And their opponent in the semifinals? It's none other than their semifinal opponent in the prefecturals Kochi. They had to rally after falling behind 2-0 to Kawashima (Tokushima #3)! They tied it up in the 6th, then broke Kawashima's heart by scoring the sayonara run in the 9th.

On the other side, Saibi (Ehime #3) dealt with Naruto (Tokushima #2) 4-1, then slaughtered Kagawa's #1 seed Sangawa 12-2.

Their opponent? None other than their prefectural semifinal opponent Imabari Nishi!!

First Meitoku Gijuku (Kochi #2) and Jinsei Gakuin (Kagawa #3) had to play their game, and it was interesting for sure! After trading a run in the 1st, Meitoku would score 4 in the 3rd. But that lead didn't last as Jinsei would score 4 in the 5th! Meitoku would retake the lead in the 6th, but Jinsei would once again tie it up in the 7th! It wouldn't be until the top of the 9th where Meitoku would put it away with 2 runs to win 8-6.

Then came Meitoku's game against Imabari Nishi. This time it was Meitoku who would be rallying from behind. Imabari pinged Meitoku for a run in the 2nd and the 3rd for a 2-0 lead. Meitoku fired right back with runs in the 4th and 6th, but with an Imabari run sandwiched in the middle, they still led 3-2.

That was until the 9th where Meitoku would equalize. Trying to hold on for extras, ace Yamaguchi couldn't do it as Imabari Nishi would win it with a sayonara run.

So we have 2 prefectural semifinal rematches in the super-regionals. I wonder if those teams that lost earlier will have revenge on their minds here.

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