With the super-regionals over and the majority of the bids determined, the champions of each super-regional get to compete in one last major tournament of the year at Meiji Jingu.
And it's definitely an interesting field.
I'm not exactly sure how they determine the field, whether it's by draw or the weaker teams are pushed into the early rounds. From the last couple of years it seems like it's the latter.
The "play-in" games are a matchup between commericial schools as Takaoka Shougyou out of the Hokushinetsu region versus Akita Shougyou out of the Tohoku region, and the upstarts of Kobe Kokusaidai Fuzoku from the Kinki region versus well-known Imabari Nishi out of Shikoku.
Now the winner of the commercial school matchup gets a meeting with my new favorite pitcher Hifumi Shinta (一二三 慎太) from Toukaidai Sagami (Kanto). Along with them is Teikyou (Tokyo) and new phenom ace Itou Takuro versus Hokushou (Hokkaido) and offensive ace Matano Tomoya.
On the other side, the winner of the Kinki-Shikoku matchup gets Kaisei (Chuugoku) who has certainly flexed its muscles as of late. The other matchup is Kyushu surprise winner Kadena versus Oogaki Nichidai out of Tokai.
This will be a good test for some of the teams in this tournament, but with all the paranoia regarding giving information away, I wonder how much the teams will show here.
Next up... Spring Koshien team reviews!