Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tokai Super-Regional Recap

So now we're going to the small Tokai region consisting of Gifu, Aichi, Shizuoka and Mie.

Shiritsu Gifu Shougyou couldn't get past Gifu Sougou in the quarterfinals, losing 2-0. That opened the door for Oogaki Nichidai to reach the finals routing the aforementioned Gifu Sougou 7-1.

Meanwhile Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou was ready to cruise into the finals, but Chuukyou had other plans. The teams traded a 3-spot in the first inning, then couldn't score again in regulation. And then they couldn't score in extras! Approaching the 15 inning limit, the teams were certainly desperate to end it before it reached a tie.

Kenritsu Gifusho managed to end it by plating a run in the top of the 14th inning and holding off Chuukyou to advance to the championship. Of course, that left them pretty tired for the finals the next day, and they were shellacked 13-3 by Oogaki Nichidai.

And for the last bid, Chuukyou stood up to the challenge and routed Gifu Sougou 11-1.

Chuukyoudai Chuukyou pretty much marched to the finals, although Toyogawa (not Oobu) did give them a good game in the semifinals. And sure enough, Touhou would be their opponent. But in their semifinal game, Nagoya Kokusai tied the game at 2 with 2 runs in the 8th and it was only when they scored 3 in the bottom of the 8th where they put the game away.

Interestingly enough, neither team started their ace pitcher in the finals. Even more interesting is that it was a low scoring affair. Chuukyoudai Chuukyou pushed in the only run in the 6th for the 1-0 win!

In the consolation game, Toyogawa earned the last bid with a 5-3 win over Nagoya Kokusai.

Tokoha Tachibana's bid to be the dominant team in the prefecture is still in progress as they couldn't get past Shizuoka Shougyou, falling behind 3-0 in the 3rd and was never able to recover. They had to play Seisei Kougyou, who was upset by Toukaidai Shouyou 2-1 in 10 innings, in the consolation game! And they survived a high-scoring affair 8-6.

With Seisei Kougyou out of the way, Shizuoka Shougyou could cruise to the top seed defeating Shouyou 6-1.

Admittedly, I'm not familar with any other strong teams out of Mie other than Mie and Ujiyamada Shougyou (who was upset in the first round by Matsusaka).

And that said, it wasn't surprising that Mie made it to the finals without much trouble. The question was who their opponent would be. Matsusaka was defeated by Inabe Sougou 6-1 and Inabe Sougou then used a 4-run 6th inning to hold on against Shiroko 4-3 to set up the finals.

Mie started out with 3 runs in the 2nd, but by the 5th Inabe managed to tie the game. Mie once again re-took the lead with 2 in the bottom of the 5th, but Inabe made a late rally with a run in the 8th and 9th innings to tie it once more. However Inabe Sougou could never take the lead outright in the game and in the 10th Mie scored the sayonara run to take the #1 seed and a first round bye.

The team that would be joining them in the super-regionals would be Tsuda Gakuen, who denied Shiroko the bid with a 6-3 win in the 3rd place game.

So looking to the super-regionals, all the prefectural winners get a first round bye. But that doesn't mean they have an easy road. Oogaki Nichidai gets either Touhou or Tokoha Tachibana. Mie will probably see Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou.

Meanwhile, Shizuoka Shougyou and Chuukyoudai Chuukyou look to be able to win their game into the Best 4 with little trouble.

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