Friday, July 31, 2009

7.30 Update and Finals

With 3 prefectures left, I figure I might as well roll all of them into one post.

In the first semifinal, Hamana and Shimada Shougyou each put up 5 hits. The difference was in the 6th where Hamana used those to put 2 runs together.

In the 2nd semifinal, Seisei Kougyou built a 3-0 lead against Tokoha Tachibana. Then in the 4th, in what seems to be typical Tokoha form, Tachibana erupts for 6 runs, knocking starting pitcher Oi from the game.

With the big inning done, Tachibana would have to hold on. But ace Shouji would give up 2 runs in the 7th to cut the lead to just 1. And wouldn't you know it, Seisei would tie the game in the 9th.

The game would go into extras, and 0's were put up - until the 11th. Tachibana had been successful in getting baserunners against relief pitcher Gotou, and with only 1 out the bases were loaded for SS Inazumi. He singles to center, and vaults Tokoha Tachibana to the finals.

Both teams are looking for their 1st summer appearance (Hamana did get to the spring tournament in 2003). Hamana ran through the seeded teams in their quadrant (Shimizu Nishi, Shizuoka Gakuen), and will depend on their ace Hirao to shut down Tachibana. Tokoha Tachibana will look to Shouji once again to carry them through. But it may be the Tachibana offense that will need to step to to back up their ace.

Teams had a day off yeterday in preparation of the early 9:30 AM start today. And it's a fitting matchup between the last two schools to represent Hiroshima - 2-time defending champion Kouryou and 2006 winner Jyousuikan.

Outside of their 1st and last game, Kouryou has had little trouble with the opposition. Arihara has done a fine job of keeping opponents off the basepaths, throwing 2 1-hitters along the way. For Jyousuikan another tandem, Kouno and Ikeuchi, have made things easy - well, except for the semifinal game.

I don't expect the offenses to be in play here, but I could be wrong.

The last prefecture to give it's bid, Osaka held their quarterfinal games yesterday.

Starting at Nankou Chuo, Matsumura for Osaka Shougyoudai Sakai had given up only a couple of hits to Kansai Souka, and yet found himself down 3-1. That changed in the top of the 8th when Sakai scored 8 runs against stater Sakamoto, knocking him and Kansai Souka out of the game.

The afternoon game saw Konkou Osaka fall behind to Kansaidai Hokuyou 2-0 after 2 innings. Konkou would eventually tie it up in the 7th, but a run in the 8th for Kansaidai completed the upset.

Meanwhile at Maishima Sports Island (I had Maidzuru on the brain I think from a team I had translated earlier, my bad) Riseisha scored 3 in the 1st inning and left Uenomiya Taishi behind, winning 6-0.

And finally, the matinee was a headliner between the defending summer champions Osaka Touin and this year's spring participant PL Gakuen. But when the curtain was finally raised, the show was one-sided. PL puts up runs in the first 4 innings, leading Osaka Touin 6-1. They would increase that lead to 7 before eventually winning 10-5.

So it'll be Riseisha and PL Gakuen in the first semifinal, while the university schools Osaka Shougyoudai Sakai and Kansaidai Hokuyou will do battle in the 2nd game.


10:24 AM - Jyosuikan and Kouryou are underway. Jyousuikan scores 2 in the 3rd inning and they currently hold the lead as they bat in the top of the 5th.

PL Gakuen continues their merciless march. Riseisha's Hashimoto has given up 3 runs in the top of the 1st and they're at bat again now in the 2nd.


10:49 AM - The Hiroshima final is in the 7th with Jyousuikan still leading 2-0.

Riseisha got on the board with a in the 2nd and they're at bat again in the 3rd.


11:13 AM - It's the end of 8 at Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium. Starter Kouno has given way to Ikeuchi for Jyousuikan and has been just as effective. Kouryou is still down 2-0 now with just 3 outs to go...

Back in Osaka, PL Gakuen and Riseisha have traded runs in the 4th.


11:31 AM - It's a final. Kouryou scores a run in the bottom of the 9th, but that's all as Kouno comes back in to close things out. Jyousuikan returns to Koshien for the first time since 2006 with a 2-1 win.

Top 6 at Maishima. Riseisha will not say die and they come back with a run in the 5th. It's a one-run ball game!


12:00 PM - Riseisha has equalized! They score a run in the bottom of the 7th and we have a new ball game! We're now in the bottom of the 8th and they have a chance to take the lead!!!!!

12:14 PM - Still a tie game going into the 9th inning. PL gets first shot at breaking the deadlock.

12:19 PM - Hashimoto blanks PL in the top of the 9th. Can Riseisha pull the upset?

12:28 PM - No! The game goes into extras and PL is retired quickly in the 10th...

12:33 PM - The game continues on with both teams unable to get any traction.

12:40 PM - Still nothing for PL. Game moves to the bottom of the 11th...

12:48 PM - Nanba and Hashimoto continue to throw up 0's on the board. We move to the 12th.

1:00 PM - PL breaks through! They score 2 in the 12th and the pressure's on Riseisha!!

1:07 PM - As the Shizoka final gets underway, Osaka's 1st semifinal ends. Riseisha could not mount a rally and PL Gakuen survives a scare to win 6-4 in 12.


1:50 PM - Went to grab a bite to eat. The game is in the bottom of the 4th, and it's Hirao on the mound for Hamana and Shouji for Tokoha Tachibana. The only score in the game was a single run by Tachibana in the bottom of the 2nd. A duel as expected.

The 2nd semifinal is starting between Osaka Shougyoudai Sakai and Kandaidai Hokuyou. It's Osaka Shougyoudai's Matsumura vs. Hokuyou's Hatase.


2:05 PM - Tachibana scores 3 more in the 4th against Hirao and could they be pulling away now?

Scoreless top of the 1st for Shougyoudai and Kansaidai comes to bat.


2:25 PM - End of 5 and Tachibana has full control. They put another 3-spot on the board and lead 7-0 over Hamana.

End of 2 in Osaka and the university schools remain tied.


2:38 PM - Shougyoudai gets on the board with a run in the top of the 3rd. We're in the bottom of the inning now.

Shouji throws up yet another donut in the 6th. Tachibana has 3 homeruns this game, 2 by Shouji himself and another by Inazumi.


3:00 PM - Tachibana has just finished the bottom of the 7th and the list of homeruns grows as now both Shouji and Inazumi have hit a pair of homeruns! Tachibana tacks on another 2 runs as Hamana has gone to Yamaguchi, their 3rd pitcher of the game.

The bottom of the 5th has just ended and Kansaidai Hokuyou has tied the game up! The teams are even again as we head to the 2nd half of the game!


3:15 PM - Just 3 outs to go before Tokoha Tachibana secures the 45th bid to Koshien. It's now 10-1.

Shougyoudai Sakai retakes the lead right after Kandaidai ties it up! We're in the bottom of the 6th, 2-2 Sakai!


3:21 PM - Shizuoka has gone final and Tachibana with a dominating performance defeats Hamana 10-0.


3:15 PM - Bottom 7th now for Kansadai... trailing 2-1 and the clock ticking, can they get to Matsumura?

4:02 PM - Kansaidai does it! They rally for 2 in the bottom of the 8th and take a 3-2 lead! Time is short now for Sakai! 3 outs, 1 run. Is there anything left?

4:07 PM - It's over! Kansaidai Hokuyou comes from behind to defeat Osaka Shougyoudai Sakai 3-2! They'll meet up with PL Gakuen for the final bid for Koshien!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

7.29 Prefectural Update

In the last couple of prefectures, we're quickly approaching the finals...

In the first quarterfinal held yesterday, Seisei Kougyou's Oi throws a 3-hit, 11 K shutout to defeat Fujieda Meisei 3-0 and end their dream of going to their 1st Koshien.

Meanwhile, in the matinee game, Tokoha Tachibana's Shouji throws a 2-hitter striking out 10. But they were behind 1-0 to Kakegawa Nishi going into the late innings. Tokoha Tachibana fixed that with a 6-run 7th inning against Ozaki. They advance into the semis with a 6-1 win.

In the only game of the day at Maidzuru PL Gakuen, aided by homeruns from CF Yoshikawa and a pinch-hit grand slam by Hiu, sends Ikuno Kougyou packing with a 12-1 win

Jyousuikan took a 2-0 lead into the late innings against Sanyou. But then 2 runs in the top of the 8th tie the game! It goes into extras, but not for long as Jyousuikan plates the sayonara run in the 10th to advance to tomorrow's final.

Their opponent in the finals will be Kouryou. They score a run in the 2nd and 4th to take a 2-0 lead. Hiroshima Kougyou's ace Kawano tries to make up for it by hitting a homerun in the 5th inning drawing them within 1, but behind Arihara's 12 K's, Kouryou shuts down Hiroshima Shougyou to advance.

7.30 Prefectural Finals

Okay, semifinal games have started and we're going to run through the previews as much as possible to cover them all. After today, the only prefectures left to give their bids are Shizuoka, Osaka and Hiroshima.

The internet at my house has gone awry, prolly thanks to the stupid heatwave. I hate my ISP.

This on paper looks like one of the blockbuster games you'd want to see. Tohoku ace Satou hits a homerun and 4-hits the Rifu squad for a 3-1 victory.

Kesennuma Kougyou's hitters struck out 17 times against Sendai Ikuei as hey were shutout 3-0.

So it's Tohoku and Sendai Ikuei. That's one heck of a matchup to have. These two teams have represented Miyagi 8 of 9 times this decade. You want a good matchup? Head to Kleenex Stadium Miyagi and watch these teams play.

Nishi Tokyo
Hopefully the game here today won't be as cruel as Teikyou's 24-1 win over Toritsu Yukigaya...

But here is an all-Nihon affair. In this matchup though, it's the "younger" brother that has ruled the day. Nihon Dai-san has gone to Koshien 28 times (12 summer, 16 spring), while Nihon Dai-ni has been only 6 (4 summer, 2 spring).

Dai-san has just crushed the opposition... until last game when Hino gave them the biggest scare. Dai-ni has also had the same success, but the margin of victory has narrowed in recent games.

They're all part of the same family, but in this case there's a case of bragging rights to be had. More importantly perhaps, Dai-ni would like to get back some of that honor of being a school of Nihon University from their younger school.

Toyama Dai-ichi looking for their 1st ever title couldn't hold up against the defending champions Takaoka Shougyou. A 2-run 3rd inning is all they needed to advance to the finals.

On the other side, Nanto Sougou Fukuno kept their dream alive. Tied 2-2 after 7, the Himi pitching staff crumbled. Fukuno scores 5 late for a 7-2 win running away.

So now, Nanto Sougyou Fukuno is at the door of Koshien, but to open it they must get past last year's champion. Can they do it?

Like all the others who have faced Chuukyoudai Chuukyou, Aichi Keisei was thrown aside. The 10-2 win continued Chuukyou's run of double digit runs this tournament.

You could almost write in pen their 25th summer (and 54th overall) invitation to Koshien...

Their final opponent will be Kariya. They had a 3-run 6th, and Hayakawa held down the Toyota Nishi squad for a 4-2 upset. They've only been to Koshien once - back in 1978 for the spring tournament.

It's a long-shot, and the odds are stacked against Kariya. How will they face this challenge now?

Yashiro opened the scoring against Ikuei with a run in the 2nd. But Ikuei came back with 4 in the 3rd and went on to a 7-1 win. In the 2nd semifinal Kansai Gakuin's tandem of Arakawa and Yamasaki shut out Takigawa Dai-ni 2-0 for a spot in the finals.

Kansai Gakuin will depend on that tandem to win the title, their 1st since 1939! (They did attend the 1998 spring tournament.). Ikuei will look to it's defense to shut down Kansai for their first title since 2000.

Rained out yesterday...

Where is all this offense coming from??! Imabari Kougyou keeps up with Saijyou in the first inning at 2-2, but then sees Saijyou score every inning thereafter for a 13-2 loss...

In the 2nd semifinal, higher seeded Imabari Nishi build a 4-0 lead early. But Saibi would not go easily. A run in the 5th and 6th against Ooto narrows the margin to 2. They would overtake them the very next inning with 3 runs in the 7th! Finally realizing the gravity of the situation, Imabari Nishi equalizes in the top of the 8th.

It comes too late... Saibi score 5 in the bottom of the 8th for a 10-5 win.

So the spring participant this year gets to face the defending champion. Not a bad matchup I'd say.

Some of you know my stance here, but for those that don't - I like Saijyou's ace Akiyama Takumi. To my untrained eye, he's a solid consistent pitcher. Not a stud per se, but definitely a horse. I'd love to see Saijyou go to Koshien to see him on the mound again.

The semifinals were almost as expected. The top seeds Meitoku Gijyuku and Kochi advanced with ease. Meitoku beat Kochi Nishi 13-0 in 5 innings, while Kochi needed 7 to get past Kochi Ootemae.

The finals have already happened and Kochi's 2 runs in the 5th, which broke a 1-1 tie was enough to hold off Meitoku Gijyuku. They would draw within 1 with a run in the 8th, but that's all they could muster.

The final Kyushu prefecture to give their bid has a good game in store. Kumamoto Kougyou has given up only 1 run the entire tournament behind the pitching of Tsukida and Ikeda. They look for their 19th summer appearance and the 5th this decade.

Their opponent is Kyushu Gakuin. While they were involved in pitching duels the first couple of rounds, the offense has carried the day late. That's not to say that they rely heavily on their ace Tsuda. Kyushu comes in for their 7th summer appearance and first since 2002.


2:28 PM - Thanks to my ISP, all games are more than underway before I can post.

The first thing to note is that Nihon Dai-san is as in as Teikyou was yesterday... They lead Nihon Dai-ni 19-0.... Kawaiso.... It's the bottom of the 8th and Dai-san is up at bat again.

Back up to Miyagi, Tohoku scores 1 in the bottom of the 1st. Sendai Ikuei fires right back with 1 of their own in the 2nd. The score remains that way until the 5th where Tohoku regains the lead plating 2 in the 5th. 3-1 is where we stand heading into the bottom of the 6th

West to Toyama, Takaoka Shougyou scored a run in the first 2 innings to take the early lead. Nanto Sougou Fukuno halves the deficit in the top of the 5th. It's the bottom of the 6th now, and Fukuno has time, but not a whole lot.

Kariya is making a fight of things with Chuukyoudai Chuukyou. Hayakawa has given up only 3 runs so far, including a homerun to 3B Kawai. However, it's the bottom of the 7th, they only have 6 outs left, and they're facing ace Doubayashi.

We have a game in Hyogo! Arakawa has given way to partner Yamasaki, so it's Kansai Gakuin's Yamasaki vs. Ikuei's Horita. The game was scoreless until the 7th when Ikuei breaks through with a run! But Kansai Gakuin also scores a run in the 7th, leaving the score level as we head to Kansai's half of the 8th. Another extra inning game perhaps?

In Yamaguchi, it seemed over before it began, Iwakuni Shougyou's Yanagihara gives up 6 runs to Karyou in the top of the 1st. It's now 11-1 heading to the bottom of the 6th...

Yatta!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Saijyou opens the scoring in the 1st with one run off Saibi's ace Suzuki. Then in the 4th, they begin a 8-run blitz, interrupted by Saibi's 2 runs in the bottom of the 5th. Top 9, and Saijyou leads 9-2!!!!! I get to see Akiyama at Koshien!! *hopes he just didn't jinx them*

And back in Kumamoto, Kumamoto Kougyou takes the early lead with 2 in the 1st. Kyushu Gakuin reponds in the bottom of the 2nd with 3 to take the lead. But in the last couple of innings Kumakou has scored 5 unanswered. It's 7-3 in the top of the 6th.


3:03 PM - This may be my final post of the night depending on my ISP...

Tohoku extends their lead to 4 now with a run in the 8th. Sendai Ikuei can't get anything going against Tohoku ace Satou and Darvish Yu's school goes to Koshien yet again.

Out of mercy perhaps, Dai-ni scores 2 runs in the top of the 9th, but it was all Dai-san 19-2.

Takaoka Shougyou has pulled away from Fukuno scoring a run in the 6th and 7th innings. Nanto Sougou Fukuno also trails by 3 going with 3 outs to go...

Chuukyoudai Chuukyou proves to be too much for Kariya. They shutout the hopefuls 5-0 and punch their ticket.

Hyogo has also gone final! Kansai Gakuin busts open with 3 in the bottom of the 8th! Ikuei can't mount a quick rally and Kansai is Koshien bound!

It's almost a formality in Yamaguchi. Karyou leads 12-1 as Iwakuni bats in the bottom of the 9th.

Saijyou puts the exclamation point on the finals with a 4-run 9th inning. Akiyama and his men are Koshien bound with a 13-2 win!

Finally, Kyushu Gakuin scores a run in the 7th, but still trail 7-4 as they bat in the bottom of the 8th. Time is running short on their dreams...


3:24 PM - I had to stick around outside to post this...

In Toyama, Nanto Sougou Fukuno scores 4 in the top of the 9th against ace Nabeta and now leads Takaoka Shougyou 5-4!!!!! Now it's Takaoka with 3 outs to rally!!

Iwakuni scores 3 in the 9th, but it's far from enough as Karyou wins running away 12-4...

And Kyushu Gakuin will be down to their final 3 outs facing a 3-run deficit. That is assuming they can hold Kumamoto Kougyou scoreless.


3:30 PM - It's final! Nantou Sougou Fukuno down 4-1 against the defending champions, rallies and pulls off the upset!! Fukuno will make their 1st ever trip to Koshien!!!

And they move to the bottom of the 9th in Kumamoto now...


4:57 PM - It was about 3:47 when my laptop died where I was at. At least the internet at home works again...

Kumamoto had just gone final back then. Kyushu Gakuin did indeed mount a rally in the bottom of the 9th. They scored a run, and then another... suddenly it was a one-run game!! But Ikeda was able to record the final out and Kumamoto Kougyou hangs on for the 7-6 win!

44 down, 3 more to go...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

7.29 Prefectural Finals

26 bids have been awarded so far. 21 remain and 10 of those will be awarded today. So, let's review the upcoming matchups today!

(my internet connection died where I was at yesterday, so I was unable to update after reporting that Seibou had succeeded in securing Saitama's bid. I will update the rest of the games later today).

Tsuchiura Nichidai could only manage 3 hits against Jyousou Gakuin's Ogumo. And thanks to errors by Jyousou's defense and the strength of their own staff, they were only down 2-1... until the 8th. Jyousou scored 3 runs and pulled away 5-2.

In the other semi, Mito Sakuranomaki's staff also threw a 3-hitter against Mito Kiryou as they cruised 6-1. They'll look to get their first championship against the defending champions.

Both teams have used a fair number of different pitchers to get here, although Jyousou has relied more heavily on their ace Ogumo. Both teams have done a good job in limiting their opposition's runs. Both teams have been able to score runs regardless of opponents. In that sense, it could be a good game. But looking at the history, it automatically favors Jyousou Gakuin.

Neither offense could really put their offense together in the Seibou Gakuen-Kasukabe Higashi game. But Kasukabe's defense behind Igarashi failed him, committing 4 errors. Seeing that statistic reminded me of the errors committed by Urawa Gakuin in their game against Seibou. So under ace Satou, they reach the finals with a 3-1 win.

As for Kawaguchi Seiryou, they tried to continue their magical run against Saitama Sakae. But sadly, like most cinderella teams, they were rudely awakened. Shimano and Serizawa yield only 3 hits and 2 walks en route to a 2-0 win.

So Seibou will look for their 3rd summer appearance while Saitama Sakae will look for their 2nd.

On the surface, looking at the box scores (and Deanna's accounts), Seibou has been the benefactor of some poor plays by the defense (Holy Hopes indeed!). Saitama Sakae has had strong pitching by their tandem of pitchers, which has kept them in games - especially early on where they had close games. Given that Deanna wasn't overly impressed by Seibou (although she was rooting for Urawa ;p), I imagaine this being a pitching matchup and a low scoring affair.

That is of course, unless the (baseball) gods shine upon Seibou and Saitama Sakae starts throwing errors left and right.

Higashi Tokyo
Meiji Jingu will be home to an interesting matchup. Teikyou, whom I will remember for the absolutely crazy and unbelievable 9th inning in the quarterfinals of the 2006 Koshien against Chiben Wakayama, will look for their 4th bid this decade. Their opponent will be Yukigaya, who made their only appearance ever back in 2003.

If there's one thing I noticed, and perhaps its just because of their compeition, it's that Teikyou has thrown out on the mound a lot of different pitchers. Is it a by-product of 2006? You've got me. In fact, of the 5 runs given up by the pitching staff, 4 was given up by Takeuchi in the last inning of their opening game. He hasn't been seen since.

Yukigaya on the other hand has depended on ace Sakamoto for the entire tournament. He's managed to throw the team past Kokushikan, but is there one more game left in him?

Do you believe in Yohohama Hayato? Because I do!

After Imaoka gives up a run in the top of the 1st to top seed Toukou Gakuen, he shuts the door on their offense. Meanwhile, Hayato's offense scored 3 in the bottom of the 2nd to take the lead and added 2 more in the 8th for a 5-1 win and a spot in the finals!

They'll look for their first apperance against Touin Gakuen, who was involved in a slugfest against top seed Yokohama Sougakukan. After trading a pair of runs in the first inning, Sougakukan scores 4 unanswered to take a 6-2 lead. Touin pulls within 2 in the 5th, and then down 3 in the 6th they score 4 against ace Nakajima! An insurance run in the 8th gives them a 9-7 win. The teams combined for 22 hits and 5 homeruns, 2 by leadoff batter 2B Tabata!!

Hayato will look for their 1st ever apperance, while Sougakukan will looking for their 7th summer appearance.

Championship was rained out yesterday.

Oumi easily clears Hieizan 7-0 in the semifinals and is poised to become a 3-time defending champion.

In the 2nd game, Shiga Gakuen got the jump on Kita Ootsu scoring 2 in the top of the 1st. But Kita Ootsu climbed back and by the 7th, they had a 3-2 lead. They looked poised to reach the finals, that is until the 9th. Shiga bookends the game with 2 runs in the 9th, and relief pitcher Miyagi closes out the the 4-3 win!

So Shiga Gakuen will join the list of schools looking for thei 1st ever prefectural championship, but like all the others will have one heck of a test ahead of them in the finals...

Championship was rained out yesterday.

Chiben Wakayama had one of those weird games against Kihoku Kougyou. They moved on to the finals 4-0, but their ace Okada gave up more hits than Kihoku's ace Tsujimoto (4 to 3)! The difference? Okada gave up no walks. Tsujimoto? 10.

Minabe, in the 2nd semifinal against Wakayama Shougyou score 2 in the 3rd and after Uemura gives way to Iguchi after Wakayama scores a run, they make the lead stick, winning 2-1.

So Chiben Wakayama will look for the 8th title this decade against Minabe looking for their 1st title since 1982.

It's no wonder the makers of Kokoyakyu wanted to film Chiben. Since their 1st title in 1987, they have won 16 more since then. That 16 out of a possible 23!

Kurashiki Shougyou will have the chance to defend their title after beating Sakuyou 5-1 thanks to a 4-run 1st inning.

It looked early on that it might be an all-Kurashiki final as Kurashiki Kougyou led Tamashima Shougyou 2-0. but Tamashou scored 1 in the 3rd and 1 in the 7th to tie it up. But in the 8th, Tamashou blows Kurashiki out of the water with 6 runs and that was that.

Tamashima hopes to use the dual arms of Sasaki and Tsuda to get their first bid since 1974. Kurashiki will look to their ace Oka to push them to victory.

Sadly for Ube and Houfu Shougyou, their runs ended in the semifinals with a thud. Karyou shutout Ube 6-0, while Iwakuni Shougyou beats Houfu Shougyou 5-1.

Karyou looks for their 1st summer appearnce (they do have one spring appearance last year), while Iwakuni Shougyou hasn't been there since 1986.

Can't tell if it's the competition, but Karyou has yet to yield a run so far this tournament. Both teams have shown a good amount of offense, so it may come down to which pitcher can shut the opposition down.

Samukawa delivers on their top seed, scoring 3 in the 1st inning against Jinsei Gakuin en route to a 5-3 semifinal win.

Takamatsu Kougei had held a fragile 1-0 lead, but Takamatsu Shougyou tied it in the 8th. 3 innings later, they'd push through the winning run a a spot in the finals.

Interestingly enough Samukawa, with their top seed, is playing for their 1st trip to Koshien. Takamatsu Shougyou was a dominating force until the early 1980's. But they haven't been to Koshien since 1996. Samukawa has trailed for all of 2 innings in this tournament, while Takashou has had to rally from behind on multiple occasions.


1:25 PM - In Ibaraki, Mito Sakuranomaki and Jyousou Gakuin remain scoreless after 2 innings. It's Yoshikubo vs Oguma on the mound.

Seibou Gakuin scores 3 in the 2nd inning versus Saitama Sakae. Shimano has left and Serizawa has taken the mound. The game is in the bottom of the 6th with Seibou at bat.

Teikyou has dominated the game over Yukigaya. 6 runs in the first equals no chance. Even the ace Hirahara has hit a homerun. The game is in the top of the 6th with Teikyou looking for blood.

At Baystars Stadium, teams are scoring left and right. Touin Gakuen and Yokohama Hayato traded a run in the first and Touin has scored 3 in the top of the 2nd. It's 4-1 Touin for Hayato at the bottom of the 2nd. Are they out of gas?

Yamada homers for Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou in the bottom of the 3rd and they have the 1-0 lead over Kakamigahara in the bottom of the 5th.

Shiga Gakuen jumped early on Oumi with a run in the bottom of the 1st and 3rd, and then exploded for 5 in the 4th. It's 7-0 in the top of the 5th.

In Mie, Mie has scored a run in the 1st and 2nd and they're holding the 2-0 lead as Kaisei bats in the top of the 6th.

Wakayama is already in the 9th inning. Minabe trails 3-0 to Chiben Wakayama with 3 outs to go.

Kurashiki Shougyou just scored 5 in the top of the 3rd and they lead by that score with Tamashima Shougyou batting in the bottom of the 3rd.

And in Kagawa, Samukawa scored 5 in the bottom of the 1st, but Takamatsu Shougyou has scored 3 in the 3rd to pull within 2.


2:04 PM - Mito Sakuranomaki and Jyousou Gakuin remain tied in the middle of the 5th.

Saitama Sakae has scored a run in the 7th and 8th to make it 3-2, but they're now at their final 3 outs.

Have mercy on Yukigaya... It's the top of the 8th and it's 20-0 Teikyou...

Yokohama Hayato scores 3 in the bottom of the 3rd and ties it up against Touin Gakuen! They're up at bat in the bottom of the 4th now.

Gifu Shougyou extends the lead to 2 with a run the bottom of the 5th. They're at bat in the 6th.

The score remains 7-0 Shiga Gakuen over Oumi in the bottom of the 6th.

Kaisei has clawed back a run in the top of the 6th. Mie clings to the one-run lead in the bottom half of the inning.

It's over in Wakayama! Chiben Wakayama has indeed received their 8th bid this decade! Minabe falls 3-0!


2:19 PM - Seibou Gakuen holds up again! Saitama Sakae's run falls short as Seibou wins 3-2!!


So with the internet connection down, I'll just run through the remaining prefectures.

The post I would have done right after had Jyousou Gakuin scoring 2 in the bottom of the 6th to break the stalemate with Mito Sakuranomaki. They added an insurance run in the 8th, and boy did they need it! Sakuranomaki finally gets to Oguma and they draw within one! But the rally would end there and Jyousou earns their 4th consecutive title and 7th this decade!

Higashi Tokyo
都立雪谷かわいそうな... (Poor Toritsu Yukigaya). It must have been great to get to get to the finals, but to lose 24-1 isn't fun no matter how you look at it. Teikyou scored in every inning except the 3rd.

My post that I wasn't able to post b/c of the internet issue had Touin Gakuin pulling ahead with a run in the 5th. Things looked bleak for my Yokohama Hayato squad...

But then in the bottom of the 8th, Hayato ties the game! Neither team could score in the 9th and the game went into extras! And in the 11th, Yokohama Hayato is able to score the winning run and they indeed earn their 1st ever bid! おめでとう!!!!!

(And in looking at the pictures, I find it interesting that Touin's uniforms matched Osaka Touin, while Yokohama Hayato's uniforms and hats basically mirror the Hanshin Tigers!)

It was the all-Yamada show in the Gifu final. He opens the scoring in the 3rd with a homerun, and throws a 5-hit shutout for Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou! They'll once again represent Gifu in less than 2 weeks!

Oumi scores a meaningless run in the 9th as Shiga Gakuen in a dominating performance wins 7-1 for their 1st ever apperance!

Kaisei drew within 1 in the 6th inning right after I had made my last post and I thought they were going to make a game of it! Mie tried to shut the door with 2 of their own in the 6th, but once again Kaisei pulls within 1 yet again in the top of the 7th!

Mie finally pulls away thanks to a 5-run 8th inning and they get their 1st appeance since I saw them live in 2006!

Tamashima Shougyou was just no match for Kurashiki Shougyou. Kurashiki cruises to a 10-1 win to successfully defend their title!

Karyou and Iwakuni Shougyou were washed out. No, not literally (although the weather there has been god awful).

Samukawa finally delivers! They pull away from Takamatsu Shougyou for an 8-4 win and they earn their 1st Koshien appearance!!

7.28 Prefectural Updates

This update thankfully is getting shorter and shorter as prefectures give out their bids or arrive at the finals.

But there's still 11 more that have a little ways to go, so let's see what's going on there...

(I'm kinda busy tonight, so I'll have to catch the rest of the prefectures later)

Day off for rest before semifinal games.

Nishi Tokyo
As I was following the prefectural finals yesterday, I noticed that Toritsu Hino had jumped on Nihon Dai-san in the 1st inning scoring 2. When I checked it later, Nihon Dai-san has scored 2 in the 3rd to tie it up, but that was short lived when Hino regained the two-run lead in the 5th.

And I wondered if an upset was brewing...

But Yoshikawa couldn't hold off Dai-san. He was pulled for Watanabe with one down in the 5th, but before the inning was over, Dai-san had pulled to within 1. The very next inning, they scored two more and just like that they had taken the 7-6 lead. I wonder if that was deflating for Hino or if they fought on, but either way they couldn't push that tying run across. And so their Koshien dreams that once seemed attainable, fell back to the ground at the hands of Nihon Dai-san.

In the second semifinal, Nihon Dai-ni managed just 4 hits, but drew 12 walks en route to a 5-2 win over Toritsu Kodaira. Starter Yamasaki was the main culprit with 7 in his 3-1/3 innings. Yagi, who followed, gave up 3 in his 1/3 of an inning, certainly contributing to the 4-run 4th. Ichinohe fared much better, giving up just 2 the rest of the way, but by then it was too late.

So in Nishi Tokyo we have an all-Nihon final. Nihon Dai-san certainly has had more success, but I'm sure Dai-ni will have something to say about it before it's all said and done.

Day off here before the semifinals and finals.

Rainded out yesterday, the remaining quarterfinals will try to be held today.

"These are not the quarterfinal games that you are looking for..."

Indeed. For these games looked like they could have come from the earlier rounds, not the quarterfinals.

The biggest shocker was the Chuukyoudai Chuukyou-Aikoudai Meiden game. Chuukyou scored every inning and went the minimum winning 15-0!!

Then in the 2nd game at Mizuho, Touhou had absolutely no answer to Aichi Keisei. 4 hits and 7 innings later, they were gone 0-7.

At Okazaki Municipal, Toyota Nishi trailed Kouzouji 4-0 early, but took the lead with 5 in the 4th! They'd hold that lead and win 7-5.

And finally the Kariya-Seishin game saw Seishin take a 1-0 lead in the 3rd. And then Kariya went bonkers. They had a 10-run 5th! 10! And the unseeded team reaches the semifinals with a shocking 10-1 win!

Osaka almost finished up the round of 16 games, with the exception of PL Gakuen and Ikuno Kougyou who play today. Ikuno Kougyou pushed ahead of Koukoku yesterday with 2 runs in the top of the 9th.

In the round of 16, Kansaidai Hokuyou led Naniwa 3-0 early only to have Naniwa tied the game by by the 5th. But 2 runs in the 6th would be the margin of victory. Uenomiya Taishi had no trouble with Kinkidai Fuzoku 11-1 in 6 innings. Kansai Souka held off a charging Hatsushiba Ritsumeikan 3-2. Konkou Osaka made a 3-1 lead in the 3rd inning stick as they and Kansaidai Dai-ichi scored a flurry of runs late in the game to win 7-5. Osaka Shougyoudai Sakai had a similar game against Hirakata Tsuda winning 7-6.

With the draw for the Best 8 determined, should PL win their game today they will have to face Osaka Touin next. That should be a lot of fun. The winner of that will face the Riseisha-Uenomiya Taishi game. Konkou Osaka finds themselves on the other side of the bracket facing Kansaidai Hokuyou.

Day off before the semifinals and finals.

We had the quarterfinals yesterday.

At Shimanami, Eishin took a 2-0 lead into the late innings on Sanyou. But then Sanyou ties the game in the 8th, and wins it in the 9th! And in the 2nd game, Arihara and Fukuda combine for a 1-hitter against Gokou.

At Old Hiroshima Municipal, Jyousuikan took care of Hiroshima Kokusai Gakuin 10-5. The matinee game had Seishikan leading Hiroshima Shougyou 2-1 heading into the bottom of the 9th when Hiroshima Shougyou scores 2 for the sayonara victory!

None of the quarterfinal games were ever in doubt. The early game saw Saijyou with an offensive explosion beating Teikyou Dai-go 8-1. Imabari Nishi dispatched Tanbara by the same score.

In the afternoon session, Saibi had no trouble with Mishima 13-2 while Imabari Kougyou scored 6 quick runs to beat Imabari Kita 6-3.

Day off before semifinal/finals push.

Not much excitement here. Kumamoto Kougyou defeated Hitsuyuukan 3-0 while Kyushu Gakuin used a 4-run 7th inning for a 6-1 win against Kumamoto Kokufu.

One thing I've been wondering...

Is that in general each prefecture gets one school with the exception of Hokkaido (Kita/Minami) and Tokyo (Nishi/Higashi) who get 2. That makes the field of 49.

Yet last year, in celebrating the 90th summer Koshien, several other prefectures received an extra bid:
  • Saitama (Kita/Minami)
  • Chiba (Nishi/Higashi)
  • Kanagawa (Kita/Minami)
  • Aichi (Nishi/Higashi)
  • Osaka (Kita/Minami)
  • Hyogo (Nishi/Higashi)
That created a field of 55.

I understand the need for Hokkaido and Tokyo getting 2 bids. Tokyo, by 4 million people, has the highest population of all the prefectures. Hokkaido is so big that teams would have to travel exorbitant distances for games.

While there are times that I root for the underdog/rural schools, at the same time it seems unfair that a prefecture that has almost 9 million people in Kanagawa gets the same amount of bids that say Kagawa gets with its 1 million people.

Why not give any prefecture that has over 5 million people an extra bid? That way prefectures with a large contingent of teams would be split. There are a lot of good teams that are denied because they only have one bid. Let's look at who participated last year in those prefectures that got another bid:
  • Kita Saitama - Honjyou Dai-ichi
  • Minami Saitama - Urawa Gakuin
  • Nishi Chiba - Chiba Keizaidai Fuzoku
  • Higashi Chiba - Kisaradzu Sougou
  • Kita Kanagawa - Keiou
  • Minami Kanagawa - Yokohama
  • Nishi Aichi - Touhou
  • Higashi Aichi - Oobu
  • Kita Osaka - Osaka Touin
  • Minami Osaka - Kinkidai Fuzoku
  • Nishi Hyogo - Houtoku Gakuen
  • Higashi Hyogo - Kakogawa Kita
There are some good schools on that list.

Now, if we were to use the 5+ million rule, the above prefectures would receive an extra bid along with Fukuoka (although they're barely above 5 million)

So why not do it?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

7.27 Updates

We're finally starting to wind down the tournaments, so there's less and less to update. But there is still games going on, so let's go!

Ibaraki/Saitama/Nishi Tokyo/Kanagawa/Toyama/Aichi/Wakayama
All these prefectures had a day off yesterday.

These prefectures were rained out yesterday.

The last set of quarterfinals saw Sendai Ikuei quickly put the game out of reach against Touyou with 7 runs in the 2nd. The final margin would be exactly that at 13-6.

Miyagi Nougyou had a 2-0 lead in the matinee game against Kesennuma Kougyou. But with 3 outs to go, ace Suzuki couldn't close the deal. Kesennuma scored two to level the score. One inning later, they would push the go-ahead run through.

And so here they sit in the Best 4 looking for their first appearance. Directly ahead of them sits the 3-time consecutive champion Sendai Ikuei. On the other side of the hill sits the 3-time consecutive champion before Sendai Ikuei's run and last years's spring participant in Tohoku, and the 21st century team this year that shocked all by making the quarterfinals - Rifu. If that's not scary, I don't know what is.

Higashi Tokyo
Teikyou's 5-hitter over Nishogakushadai Fuzoku continues their domination of the opposition.

Their opponent for the championship? Toritsu Yukigaya. They give Seiritsu Gakuen no chance in their semifinal, winning 7-1. They'll have their work cut out for them if they want to secure their 1st ever bid.

The quarterfinal matinee games were rained out, but not before one semifinal was determined. And it was all surprises...

Top seed Shizuoka Gakuen spotted Hamana 4 runs in the first 3 innings, but clawed their way back with a run in the 4th, 5th and 6th innings to pull within one. But Hirao would not break and Hamana pulls off the upset!

At Shimada Stadium, there was some home cooking going on. Down 1-0 to Tokoha Kikugawa, Shimada Shougyou scores 4 in the 3rd. Fast forward to the 6th with Shimashou up 4-2 and they score 3 more runs! Panic sets in for Kikukawa and the runs start flying in. They plate 2 in the top of the 7th, but Shimashou matches that. Kikugawa continues on with 1 in the 8th, and then score 1, then 2 then 3 runs in the top of the 9th and Kikugawa is within one at 9-8!

Shimashou's kantoku had seen enough. With only one down, he lifts ace Nishimoto for Matsuura hoping to stop the onslaught. And he does just that, recording the final 2 outs without giving up a hit, and shocking the defending champions!

Osaka almost had the round of 32 games completed yesterday, but rain at Bankoku pospotned the Koukoku-Ikuno Kougyou game. In the first game, Han-ai would use Sasaki and Nagano back in forth throughout the game against Kansaidai Hokuyou. However, Kansaidai would tack a run in the 4th and 5th for a 2-0 lead. Han-ai would come back with a run in the 6th and 7th to equalize. They couldn't push the go-ahead run across and instead watched Kansaidai score 3 in the 8th to win 5-2.

At Nankou Chuo, the Habikino/Futokorofuukan team had many baserunners against PL Gakuen, getting 11 hits and 6 walks. But even with all that, they were shut out 3-0. And in the battle of the university schools, Osaka Sangyoudai Fuzoku shuts out Osaka Shougyoudai 4-0.

Moving along to Maidzuru, the Hatsushiba Ritsumeikan-Izumi matchup was a pitcher's duel. That or a power outage of epic proportions. Both teams combined managed just 4 hits. But Ritsumeikan puts it all together in the 9th for a walkoff victory. There was no such power outage in the 2nd game as Kansaidai Dai-ichi scores 3 in the 1st and 3 in the 2nd en route to a 9-2 victory.

No games today, but the semifinal draw has been determined.

Ikuei, who has many Koshien appearance, but no summer ones since 2000, draws Yashiro who has one total appearance, that being the 2004 spring where they reached the semifinals (before losing to Aikoudai Meiden).

That leaves Takigawa Dai-ni, looking for their 3rd appearance versus Kansai Gakuin, who appeared in the 1998 spring Koshien, but before that was the 1939 summer Koshien!

Quarterfinals were finally head today at Kurashiki Muscat.

Sakuyou's Hanaoka limited Okayama Kyousei to 1 run on 4 hits, but did give up 8 walks. It was enough though as Sakuyou plated the go-ahead run in the 5th for the 2-1 win.

Game 2 saw Kurashiki Shougyou's Oka and Tamano Kounan's Kataoka in a pitcher's duel (probably). Each pitcher gave up only 2 hits, but Kurashiki Shougyou made the most of their opportunites. In the 7th, Oka leads off with a single to left. After two hit batters, the bases were loaded with one down. LF Yoshioka sits a sac fly to right to break the scoreless game. And their 2nd base hit? Well, that too was by Oka... who hit a homerun in the 9th inning!

The first afternoon game was between Kurashiki Kougyou and Kanzei. After they traded a run in the 1st, Kurashiki scored 2 in the 2nd and never looked back winning 7-1.

And in the last quarterfinal, Tamashima Shougyou outdueled Konkou Osaka 3-2.

They've finally started the round of 16, and it will be a grueling march as the winners will have to play 4 games in 5 days.

Shimanami was home to 4 games. Jyousuikan had no trouble with Kure Showa in the opening game winning 8-1. Even the gods of Kamichu! couldn't help Onomichi in the 2nd game as they managed only 4 hits and Nakashita fatigued late, losing 6-0 to Hiroshima Shougyou. Takeda had no reply to Sanyou's early attack falling 9-3. Finally, in the late game, Seishikan's batter struck out 10 times, but put together enough hits in the 4th to overtake Sougou Gijyutsu's 1-0 lead that they held since the 1st. They would go on to win 2-1.

Moving on to Coca Cola West, Hiroshima Kokusai Gakuin scored 5 in the 1st on their way to a 7-0 win over Hiroshima Kanon. Kouryou did one better, scoring 9 in the first versus Mihara for an evenutal 10-0 victory in 5 innnings.

And finally at Old Hiroshima Municipal, Eishin dispatches Hatsukaichi Nishi 12-5 in 5 innings in the opener, while Gokou uses a 3-run first to cruise to a 6-3 win over Hiroshima Kokutaji.

The first 2 games of the quarterfinals were not close. Karyou puts up 12 against Shimonoseki Kokusai while Ube scores 10 on Kumage Minami. That will be your first semifinal.

The afternoon session began with a low scoring affair between Houfu Shougyou and Keishin. Houfu scores one in the 4th, and despite drawing 8 walks, Keishin can't take advantage and thus falls 1-0.

And lastly, Ube Kougyou hung in there early against Iwakuni Shougyou, tying the game up at 2-2 immediately after Iwakuni scored 2 in the bottom of the 1st. But 4 in the 3rd for Iwakuni would be enough as they advance 7-4.

The last 2 quarterfinals were finally held yesterday.

Takamatsu Kougei only managed 6 hits against Sanbonmatsu, but it was enough to plate 2 runs. Minamigawa did the rest, limiting Sanbonmatsu to just 3 hits and a 2-1 victory.

Meanwhile, Takamatsu Shougyou 4 hits Takamatsu for an 8-0 win.

The rain finally let up for Ehime to hold their 2nd set of Sweet 16 games.

The first games at each stadium were pretty close. At Saijyou, Saibi and Uwajima Higashi traded a pair of runs in the 3rd. 2 runs in the 7th for Saibi though would make the difference.

At Bocchan, Imabari Kougyou scored a run in the 2nd to get a jump on Matsuyama Jyounan. They then added an insurance run in the 6th, but it wasn't necessary.

Here, they wrapped up the quarterfinals. The first game was a scoreless draw between Kochi Higashi and Kochi Ootemae. That is, until the bottom of the 8th where Ootemae plated 2 runs. Higashi couldn't mount a quick rally and lost. In the 2nd game Kochi dispatched Kochi Minami 12-1.

Best 8 games were held yesterday. Kumamoto Kougyou's staff throws a 2-hitter against Minimata to advance 6-0.

Shuugakukan held a 3-1 lead over Hitsuyuukan, but couldn't hold it late. Hitsuyuukan scores one in the 7th and then in the 9th to put it into extras. And then the staff just couldn't go on. Yanagida can't get out of the bottom of the 10th. He's pulled with one down for Nakamura, but it's too late. A base hit scores the winning run.

Luther Gakuin's run finally ends at the hands of Kyushu Gakuin 6-2, while Kumamoto Kokufu barely made their 4-run early lead stand against Yashiro, advancing 4-3.

7.28 Prefectural Finals

With postponements due to rain, 13 prefectures are hoping to give out their bids today.

Rained out yesterday.

In the first game yesterday, Jyutoku's ace Oka strikes out 12 and throws a 3-hitter to send his team to the finals with a 2-0 shutout over Shiritsu Maebashi. They'll face Tokyo Noudai Dai-ichi as they defeat Kiryuu Minami thanks to 3B Numazawa's 3-3, 2 RBI day.

Jyutoku's only appearances were back-to-back summers in 1991-2. Tokyo Noudai Dai-ichi has had 4 summer and 3 spring appearances but hasn't been since 1994.

The first semifinal was an interesting one between Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa and Nanao. Nihon Koukuu gets on Nanao's Nakajima scoring 2 runs in the top of the 1st.

Now here's an interesting tidbit. Remember Saga Kita with their dual aces, Baba and Kubo and how they used the tandem to win the title? Well, Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa has not 2, but 3 pitchers they've used up until this game, Kurimoto, Hanada and Nakata.

Kurimoto pitched 3 innings of shutout ball before handing it over to Hanada. He went 2-2/3 before passing it on to Nakata. But then things go awry. Nanao, against the 3rd pitcher of the day, scores 4 runs and takes the lead!

Nihon Koukuu has one more trick up its sleeve though. LF Kitadera is called in to pitch! And he shuts down the Nanao offense!

But they still trailed 4-2 going into the top of the 9th. Desparate, they put a rally together and score 4 in the top of the 9th! And Kitadera sits down the Nanao batters in the bottom of the 9th and they advance with a 6-2 victory!

So, can Nihon Koukuu's plethora of arms get them through one more game for their first ever appearance? Or can Komatsu Kougyou get their 3rd summer bid?

Hokuriku jumped out to a 1-0 lead against Fukui Shougyou in the first semi. It stayed that way until the 6th until Fukusho blew up Takano for 3 runs. He was relieved by Takahashi who got out of the mess.

But Hokuriku would not go quietly. In the bottom half of the frame, they responded against ace Takezawa scoring 3 runs of their own, regaining the slim one-run lead.

Yoshikawa would be brought in to preserve the lead, and he does just that, sending Hokuriku to the finals with a 4-3 win.

Who would Hokuriku play in the finals?

Well, Fukui Koudai Fukui answered with a HR from 3B Nakajima in the 3rd for a 1-0 lead against Tsuruga Kehi. It would not last though as Tsuruga went ahead 2-1 in the 6th. An insurance run in the 8th sealed the finals appearance while ace Yamada struck out 10.

In terms of pitching dominance, the edge may have to go with Tsuruga Kehi and their ace Yamada. But is his arm good for one more game? Or can Hokuriku's pitch-to-contact staff rule the day?

Rained out yesterday.

The semifinal games were a bit anti-climactic. Yonago Shouin does get the lead with a homerun by SS Takahashi in the 2nd. But Tottori Shougyou scores 5 in the bottom of the inning and never looks back, winning 11-1 (no mercy rules here in the semis).

Tottori Jyouhoku's Nakao throws a 3 hitter in a 4-0 victory over Tottori Nishi.

So it'll be Tottori Shougyou looking for their 2nd prefecture title (their only other one was in 2004) versus Tottori Jyouhoku who tries for their 1st ever.

The games here suffered the same fate. Taisha scored 9 unanswered runs to win 10-1 over Izumo Shougyou, while Masuda Higashi managed just 4 hits in a 4-1 loss to Risshoudai Shounan.

Taisha looks for their 9th summer appearance while Risshoudai Shounan looks for the upset and their 1st ever shot on the Koshien grounds.

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day...

Chikuyou Gakuen trailed Shuuyuukan 2-1 but continued to work the count creating multiple opportunities. Then in the 8th, they tied the game up! And 10 walks in a game is too much to give an opponent. Chikuyou pushed through the winning run just 2 innings later.

In the Kyushu Kokusaidai Fuzoku-Jiyuugaoka game, Kokusaidai scored 2 in the 4th only to see Jiyuugaoka plate 2 of their own in the 5th. But in the 8th inning, 2 home runs capped off a 4-run 8th as Kokusaidai advances 6-2.

Imari Nourin breaks a 1-1 tie against Saga Gakuen with 3 runs in the bottom of the 7th for a 4-1 victory. They'll look to secure their 1st ever championship, but will have to face last year's defending champion in Saga Shougyou. Against Kashima Jitsugyou they traded runs in the 1st and 3rd innings before Sasshou scored a run in the bottom of the 4th. Ooda and Kasatsugu combined to shut down Kashima for the 4-3 win.

Meihou looks to return to Koshien and take revenge on Hanamaki Higashi. Ace Noguchi shuts down the Oita offense giving up 4 hits in 8-2/3 innings for a 6-0 victory. They'll match up with the defending champions Hita Rinkou. While they only managed 6 hits, they combined that with 8 walks to defeat Tsukumi 2-0.

Miyakonojyou Shougyou finally knows their opponent in the finals. It will be defending champion Miyzaki Shougyou as their ace Yoshida 3-hits Miyazaki Nichidai 2-0 to advance.


1:52 PM - Middle of the 3rd here, and Oominato holds a 1-0 lead over Aomori Yamada! Already starting pitcher Saitou has been pulled for ace Inoue.

Tokyo Noudai Dai-ni scores a run in the 2nd, just like Oominato, and they lead Jyutoku 1-0 in the top of the 6th!

Komatsu Kougyou gets on the board first against Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa with a run in the top of 2nd, but Ishikawa scores 3 unanswered and leads 3-1 in the middle of the 4th.

Hokuriku and Tsuruga Kehi traded a run in the 1st inning and that is the score heading into the top of the 4th.

Gifu's final has been rained out today. Same with Mie.

Tottori Jyouhoku appears on their way to their first ever appearance! They've jumped out quickly with 2 runs in the top of the1st inning and 3 runs in the 2nd. They lead Tottori Shougyou 5-0 going into the bottom half of the 3rd.

Risshoudai Shounan exploded for 8 in the top of the 2nd against Taisha. They're on their way to securing Shimane's bid as the game enters the 4th inning.

Naruto Dai-ichi and Tokushima Kita are currently in a scoreless draw going into the top of the 4th.

In Fukuoka, RF Amano and C Kouno have hit homeruns for Kyushi Kokusaidai Fuzoku as they take a 3-0 lead over Chikuyou Gakuen in the top of the 5th.

The game is in the middle of the 4th in Saga. Saga Shougyou and Imari Nourin remain scoreless.

Meihou brings out the big guns as they throw out Imamiya for the final. They take the lead in the bottom of the 3rd, but Hita Rinkou immediately tied it up in the 4th. That's where we stand heading into the 6th.

Miyakonojyou Shougyou opens the scoring in the 4th with 2 runs against Miyazaki Shougyou's ace Yoshida. That's the margin right now as they bat in the top of the 6th.


2:52 PM - Aomori Yamada ties it up with Oominato in the bottom of the 5th! The game has just moved into the top of the 7th. Aomori Yamada though bursted for 3 runs in the 6th and the hopes for Oominato may be fading...

It's final in Gunma! Tokyo Noudai Dai-ni shuts out Jyutoku 2-0 for their 5th summer appearance!

Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa scored a run in the 5th to extend the lead to 3 runs. But Komatsu Kougyou strikes for 4 in the 7th and takes the lead! Ishikawa leveled the score in the bottom of the 7th and that's where we stand heading into Komatsu's 8th. Hamada has given way to Kurimoto for Ishikawa.

Tsuruga Kehi puts up a 3-spot in the bottom of the 4th and lead 4-1 over Hokuriku moving into the 6th.

Tottori Jyouhoku now leads 6-0 against Tottori Shougyou in the 8th inning.

Shimane's bid is all but secured. Risshoudai Shounan now leads by 11 over Taisha with 2 innings left to play.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, Naruto Dai-ichi and Tokushima Kita remain deadlocked at 0-0 moving into the 8th inning.

Kyushu Kokusaidai Fuzoku is 3 outs away from their first appearance since 1982! They still lead Chikuyou Gakuen 5-0.

Imari Nourin breaks through against ace Kasatsugu! They score 1 in the bottom of the 5th and hold that lead moving into their half of the 7th.

Meihou is getting to Uratsuka late in the game! They score 2 in the 6th and 1 in the 7th. Hita Rinkou has just been retired in the 8th and they have 3 outs left to stage a rally.

Miyazaki Shougyou drew within 1 with a run in the bottom of the 6th, but gets the door slammed as Miyakonojyou Shougyou scores 3 in the 7th! The game moves to the bottom of the 8th and Miyashou is running out of time.


3:25 PM - Games across the country are going final!

Oominato desperately tries to rally against Aomori Yamada. They draw within 1 in the 9th, but can't bring that tying run home. Aomori Yamada wins its 6th consecutive title!

Tottori Shougyou tries to mount a rally late but can only muster 3 runs. Tottori Jyouhoku can celebrate their 1st ever appearance with their 6-3 win!

Risshoudai Shounan convincingly defeats Taisha 12-3 to claim Shimane's bid and their 1st appearance at Koshien!

In Fukuoka, Kyushu Kokusaidai Fuzoku defeats Chikuyou Gakuen 9-0! Their 27 year wait is over!

Meihou does prevail over Hita Rinkou 4-1 and successfully make the spring/summer Koshien appearance!

Miyakonojyou Shougyou will make their 2nd apperance after defeating Miyazaki Shougyou 5-1!

Komatsu Kougyou has taken the lead in the 10th against Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa! Nihon Koukuu needs one run to stay alive!

Hokuriku fights back! 3 in the top of the 7th ties the game against Tsuruga Kehi heading into the bottom of the frame!

Naruto Dai-ichi and Tokushima Kita remain at 0-0 heading to the 11th!!

Saga Shougyou ties the game in the top of the 8th against Imari Nourin and they're now headed to extra innings!!


3:39 PM - Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa finds a way to tie the game! They move to the 11th and Komatsu Kougyou has been shut down. Does Ishikawa have a run in them?

Naruto Dai-ichi breaks through in the 11th over Sakamoto and Tokushima Kita! They hold a fragile 1-run lead heading into Tokushima half of the inning!


3:47 PM - They keep playing in Ishikawa! Nihon Koukuu can't score and we move to the 12th!

Tsuruga Kehi and Hokuriku remain tied at 4 in the 8th inning.

And in Saga, Imari Nourin's magical run may have fallen short. Saga Shougyou scores 2 in the top of the 10th and appear to have successfully defended their title.


3:47 PM - Tokushima Kita rallies! Down that run to Naruto Dai-ichi they not only tie the game, but score the sayonara run! Tokushima Kita in dramatic fashion earns their 1st ever Koshien appearance!


Sorry for the shorthand, but Saga's gone final! Imari Nourin does it! They somehow rally for 3 runs against Sasshou's Kasatsugu and they defeat Saga Shougyou 4-3!!!!!!!!

I can't believe what I just saw!


4:07 PM - Komatsu Kougyou and Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa move to the 13th inning! Komatsu has relieved Oonishi with Murata, while Nihon Koukuu has relieved Kurimoto with Nakata.

Hokuriku and Tsuruga Kehi move to the 9th inning still tied at 4! Hokuriku is now on their 3rd pitcher, Takano, while Tsuruga Kehi stays with their ace Yamada.


4:13 PM - The games move into the bottom half of the 13th and 9th respectively. Can Nihon Koukuu or Tsuruga Kehi end it here?


4:24 PM - Komatsu Kougyou goes to their 3rd pitcher of the day in Higashide. He shuts down Nihon Koukuu and we're in the 14th. Remember, a tie game after 15 and they have to replay the entire game!!

And Tsuruga Kehi can't push a run across either! They become the 4th extra innning game today!


4:31 PM - Nakata quickly shuts down Komatsu Kougyou. We're reaching the point where teams run up against fatigue. Either they resign to the fate of a replayed game, or one team just capitulates against the tiredness.

No more news yet about the 10th inning in Fukui.


4:35 PM - And that's what I'm talking about! With one inning left to play, Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa gets to Higashide and they score the sayonara run in the bottom of the 14th! They earn their 1st ever bid to Koshien!


4:46 PM - Fukui is the only final left. Hokuriku and Tsuruga Kehi move on to the 11th still tied at 4-4!


4:56 PM - Yamada continues to blank Hokuriku. As we head to the bottom of the 11th, how much longer can he hold out?

He doesn't have to! It goes final! Tsuruga Kehi scores a run in the bottom of the 11th! They did it! They're off to Koshien! Hokuriku try as they could fall short and their dreams of heading to Koshien are crushed...

What a day... Blowouts at first where you had to feel bad for the losing schools, followed by teams desperately trying to make a last stand, to those that just couldn't hold on any longer.

This, this is what kokoyakyu is all about.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Full Hyogo Review

Since I didn't get around to reviewing Hyogo's games until I had dates included, we've missed a lot.

Today the best 4 is being determined. At Akashi Kouen, Kansai Gakuin holds off a late charge by Kobe Kouryou 3-2. The matinee game see Ikuei clear Kagaku Gijyutsu 6-1.

Over at Himeji, Yashiro beats Sumoto 5-1, while Takigawa Dai-ni broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the 6th and held on to win 3-2 over Shinkou Gakuen.

But let's see how we got here...

*flashback* ~~~~~ *waves hands* ~~~~~ *makes noises* ~~~~~

Hyogo is broken up into 16 blocks with several teams having to play an extra game.

On day 1 of the tournament, Tatsuno Jitsugyou held an early and comfortable 6-0 lead. But Itamiki Kita scores 5 in the 6th to cut the margin to 1. However that's as close as they'd get, falling 6-5.

Day 2 saw Kobe Murano Kougyou take a 2-0 lead against Nishinomiya Higashi, lose the lead, only to rally back to win 4-3.

The final day of the 1st round was highlighted by extra inning games. Higashi Harima and Kobe Tousen were stuck in a 1-1 draw until the 14th where Higashi Harima sent Kobe Tousen home. Yoshikawa broke a scoreless tie in the 10th against Amagasaki Nishi. And finally Kagaku Gijyutsu and Hyoko Kougyou threw up donut holes until the bottom of the 12th where Kagaku Gijyutsu scored the sayonara run.

We finally saw the top seeds play in the 2nd round. And of those 16, 4 would fall. In block 1, Amagasaki Oda was blitzed by Miki, 10-2 in 7 innings. Block 4 saw Kenritsu Ashiya unable to overcome an early 3-run deficit against Akashi Kita. Akashi Minami couldn't make a 1-0 lead stick late as Kakogawa Minami ties it in the 7th and breaks it open with 4 in the bottom of the 8th over at Block 10.

But the biggest upset by far was in Block 13. Tied 1-1 in the 7th, Shiritsu Amagasaki scores 3 against Toyodai Himeji. While Himeji gets one back in their half of the frame, that was all they could muster. Amagasaki advanced 4-2.

In other games, Sayo and Sanda Seiryou were tied 1-1 going into extras. When Sayo scored 1 in the 11th, so did Sanda. With time running out for both teams, Sayo comes through with 2 in the 14th to which Sanda Seiryou has no answer. Sayo's next opponent would be the combined team of Kobe Nishi and Masshoufu as they defeated Hikami 2-1.

Ichikawa slid by Tadaradzuka Higashi 1-0 in 12 innings while Hamasaka cried uncle against Kobe Kokusaidai Fuzoku, falling 13-3. Sumoto Jitsugyou faced the same fate versus Rokko Island, losing 13-6.

And finally, my Nishinomiya Kita (home of Haruhi) lost to Kawanishi Meihou 5-1.

As the tournament moved to round 3, all those upset teams managed to continue on into the block finals, with the exception of Miki. But they didn't go down without a fight. Against Amagasaki Sangyou they held the 4-2 lead. But Amagasaki was able to equalize in the 9th, and win in the 11th.

The Kobe Nishi/Masshoufu team moved on in the matchup against Sayo, blanking them 3-0.

After that rough start Kagaku Gijyutsu has quietly contines on its way, this time beating Kita Suma 5-3.

The top seeds continue to march to the block finals, although some had a little bit of a bump including Akou needed 10 to defeat Akashi Shougyou, Sanda Gakuen slid by Takigawa 2-1 and Itamiki Nishi who went 13 against Tsuna.

In the block finals, only one seeded team fell, and that was in block 11. Kakogawa Kita held a 3-2 lead over Kobe Kokusaidai Fuzoku, but then found themselves behind as Kobe scored 3 in the late innings to go ahead 5-3. Down to the final 3 outs, Kakogawa Kita rallies to tie the game! But the rally may have been too much as Kobe Kokusaidai Fuzoku scored in the bottom of the 10th to send the defending champions packing.

But many seeded teams had difficulties. Houtoku Gakuen scored the only run in the game against Kounan in the 7th. Ikuei and Kobe Kouryou followed the same blueprint against Ikawadani and Touban Kougyou. Itamiki Nishi needed 14 innings this time to win, this time against the combined Kobe Nishi/Masshoufu team. Akou needed all nine innings as they said sayonara to Awaji 3-2.

And Kagaku Gijyutsu, who almost didn't even make it past the first round, defeated Akashi Kita 7-0 to win block 4.

That brings us to the draw for the round of 16 and Best 8. And boy were there some interesting games.

Kagaku Gijyutsu continued its cinderella run, defeating Kakogawa Minami 1-0 in 13 innings. In a major upset, Kansai Gakuin held on to beat Houtoku Gakuen 5-4. Akou's run finally ran out of gas as Ikuei shut them out 3-0.

And all the other non-seeded teams remaining were weeded out. Kobe Kokusaidai Fuzoku had no answer to Yashiro losing 4-0. Shouyou held tough against Kobe Kouryou, but too were shut out 2-0. The best challenge was held by Shiritsu Amagasaki against Sumoto. Sumoto took an early 3-0 lead before Amagaski scored 4 in the 2nd to take the advantage. Sumoto ripped that right back with 5 in the 4th. Amagasaki wouldn't give in though, and tied it up 8-8 with 4 of their own in the 5th. But Sumoto would prove to be too much, scoring 4 in the 7th for a 12-8 victory.

And that brought us to today. Whoo hoo!

7.26 Update

So, having covered those with finals today, let's go around the rest of the nation...

Well, the 2nd two semifinals were rained out. The Touyou-Sendai Ikuei game was tied 3-3 going into the bottom of the 5th. They'll try to get them in today. Tohoku and Rifu will have to wait for one more day.

Semifinals are today!
  • Jyutoku vs. Shiritsu Maebashi
  • Tokyo Noudai Dai-ichi vs. Kiryuu Minami

Well, Shimotsuma Dai-ni did indeed fall to Mito Kiryou 5-2. That really opens it up for Jyousou Gakuin who scored 2 in the bottom of the 8th to advance over Oota Dai-ichi 3-1. Jyousou's semifinal opponent will be Tsuchiura Nichidai, who had no trouble with Tsukuba Shuuei 7-2.

It will be a battle of Mito's as the aforementioned Mito Kiryou is Mito Sakuranomaki who mercy ruled Meishuu Hitachi 10-3 in 7 innings. Both teams are looking for their 1st appearance.

But today is a day of rest.

Kawaguchi Seiryou's Nogawa throws a 4-hitter against Urawa Jitsugyou as they advance to the semifinals and a date with Saitama Sakae.

Seibou Gakuen and Kasukabe Higashi will be in the first semifinal tomorrow. The teams will get a chance to rest today before the final push.

Nishi/Higashi Tokyo
At Meiji Jingu Stadium #2, Toritsu Hino finished the job against Toritsu Komae, winning 15-5 in 6 innings.

At Meiji Jingu, Nihon Dai-ni joins its bretheren in the Best 4 upsetting Hachiouji 7-3 while in the late game Toritsu Kodaira makes an early 7-1 lead stick, beating Koku Gakuin Kugayama 9-7.

Nishi Tokyo gives Meiji Jingu over to Higashi Tokyo for their semifinals today.
  • Teikyou vs. Nishogakushadai Fuzoku
  • Seiritsu Gakuen vs. Toritsu Yukigaya

So we know of Yokohama Hayato's upset of Yokohama, but what about the other games?

Well, the 2nd game at Baystars Stadium saw Toukou Gakuen have no trouble with Tourei Fujisawa 12-2.

Over at Hodogaya Stadium, Yokohama Sougakukan made a 3-run 1st inning stick as they beat Koujyou 6-4. In the matinee game, Touin Gakuen scores 2 runs in every inning, blanking Yokohama Shoudai 10-0 in 5 innings.

There's a day off today before the winners at each stadium yesterday face off in the semifinals.

Well, Nanto Sougyou Fukuno did go on to defeat Sakurai 5-4, but the matinee games were rained out and will be played today.

Day off for Ishikawa yesterday with semifinals being played today:
  • Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa vs. Nanao
  • Komatsu Kougyou vs. Seiryou

Semifinal games rained out yesterday hope to be played today:
  • Hokuriku vs. Fukui Shougyou
  • Fukui Koudai Fukui vs. Tsuruga Kehi

Fujieda Meisei kept that slim one run margin stand, beating Shizuoka Shiritsu 2-1. Quarterfinal games will be held today.

In that Block H final, Toyota Nishi pulled away from Atsumi Nougyou to win 8-1 in 8 innings.

With that, the draw for the block winners was done and boy are there some Best 8 games to be had! And the brackets are about as lopsided as you can get.

On one side has Chuukyoudai Chuukyou facing Aikoudai Meiden. And the winner of that game has Touhou facing Aichi Keisei. So that means that all 3 experienced teams are on the same side of the bracket!

The other side sees Toyota Nishi vs Kouzouji and Kariya vs Seishin. Of those 4 schools, Toyota Nishi and Kariya have reached Koshien, and each only once.

It can be said that the winner of the left side of the bracket will be the eventual winner of Aichi's bid.

However, it'll have to wait another day as games today have been postponed due to rain.

Same here. Games are postponed yet again due to rain.

Round of 32's rained out games yesterday hope to be played today.

Rained out semifinal games yesterday are scheduled to play today:
  • Tottori Shougyou vs Yonago Shouin
  • Tottori Nishi vs. Tottori Jyouhoku

With the rain washing out games the past 2 days, all 4 quarterfinals games are being played today.
  • Sakuyou vs. Okayama Kyousei
  • Tamano Kounan vs. Kurashiki Sougyou
  • Kurashiki Kougyou vs. Kanzei
  • Tamashima Shougyou vs. Konkou Gakuen

Semifinal games are being held today:
  • Izumo Shougyou vs. Taisha
  • Masuda Higashi vs. Risshoudai Shounan

Round of 16 games are being held today.

Round of 8 games are to be held today.

Turns out that 2 quarterfinals were held yesterday before the rain won out.

Samukawa and Jinsei Gakuin cruised through their games and will meet up in one semifinal. The other semi will be between the Sanbonmatsu-Takamatsu Kougyou, Takamatsu Shougyou-Takamatsu winners.

Ehime is finally playing their 2nd half of Sweet 16 games today.

The first half of the quarterfinals were finally held yesterday. Meitoku Gijuku soundly defeated Susaki 7-0 while Kochi Nishi used a 3-run first inning to hold off Shimizu 7-5.

Fukuoka, Saga, Kumamoto, Oita Miyazaki
All games rained out yesterday are on schedule for today.