After that exciting game to start the day, what will the next game give us? Osaka Touin, a regular at Koshien, faces upstart Oogaki Nichidai who won it all last fall.
Osaka Touin had no trouble in the first round against Toukaidai Bouyou leading wire-to-wire in a 9-2 victory. The offense made contact, drew walks and had timely hitting. However, the pitching as usual for this team is not as sharp, and could pose a problem against Oogaki Nichidai.
Oogaki Nichidai had one heck of a time against Kawashima. They could only muster 7 hits against Higashitani and had the benefit of two walks in the 10th inning to advance.
Kassai looked good against Kawashima, but will face a stern test in Osaka Touin.
Still, it seems odd to have Osaka Touin as an underdog, but it's true.
Osaka Touin (Osaka) - Kinki Runner-up
CF Ichikawa Ryouta
2B Hirohata Minoru
SS Yamaguchi Takuya
3B Kawahara Ukyou
C Emura Naoya
1B Nishida Naoto
RF Fujita Hiromasa
LF Yamaashi Tatsuya
P Fukumoto Tsubasa
Oogaki Nichidai (Gifu) - Tokai Champions
CF Morita Shouken
SS Kojima Takuya
RF Gotou Kenta
1B Takada Naohiro
3B Koo Takudai
LF Andou Yoshirou
2B Nagaoka Yoshiki
C Tokimoto Ryou
P Kassai Yukiya
11:33 - First pitch!
Kassai off to a good start. He gets Ichikawa and Hirohata on groundouts, then strikes out Yamaguchi swinging on a slider for a 1-2-3 inning.
Fukumoto also off to a clean inning. Induces a comebacker from Morita, gets Kojima to ground out to first, and Gotou to foul out to Kawahara near the camera well.
Still, Nishitani-kantoku as #16 Nakano throwing in the bullpen.
Kassai still in control on the mound. Strikes out Kawahara, then retires Emura and Nishida on flyouts.
Fukumoto gets a grounder from Takada to short.
Koo with a hit to left center. Ichikawa goes over to field it and slips! Koo continues on to 2nd for a double!
Andou then draws a walk! Developing situation for Oogaki Nichidai!
Nagaoka with a fly to deep right. Hiromasa there for the catch, but Koo tags up to 3rd.
And Tokimoto take the first pitch to center! Koo rounds third and scores! Andou digging for 3rd! Ichikawa with the throw...
...and it gets by Kawahara and goes into the dugout!! Andou comes in to score and Oogaki takes a 2-0 lead on the RBI single by Tokimoto and error on Kawahara!!
Tokimoto on 3rd for pitcher Kassai, but he strikes out looking to end the inning.
Oogaki Nichidai though jumps out to a 2-0 lead on Osaka Touin!
Hiromasa starts off with a single to center as they try to strike back.
And Nishitani-kantoku sends Hiromasa! Tokimoto with the throw, it's high! Nagaoka jumps, comes down with the ball, makes the tag, and gets the out!!
Yamaashi grounds out to short and Fukumoto reaches down for a ball, bu hits it right at Kojima for the 3rd out.
Ow? Morita has a curve bounce off his head after 6 pitches and takes 1st base.
But even though he's fine, the umpires have him go to the bench temporarily. Nagaoka comes out to run in his place this time around.
Kojima trying to put a surprise bunt down, but pops it up! Emura loses it and can't make the catch. He eventually flies out to left.
Sakaguchi putting on the hit-and-run, but Gotou pops it up! Hirohata under it for the 2nd out.
Takada collects his first hit as he lines a fastball to left. But Yamaashi bobbles the ball and allows Nagaoka to advance to 3rd! Runner at the corners with 2 down for Koo.
But he hits a popup! Yamaguchi under it for the 3rd out.
Kassai gets leadoff batter Ichikawa looking, then Hirahata swinging for his 3rd and 4th K's.
Yamaguchi with a hard grounder up the 3rd base line that just gets by Koo! Andou up with it quickly and Yamaguchi has to hold at 1st.
Now Kawahara walks to put runners on 1st and 2nd!
But Emura gets under a high fastball and pops it up! Koo under it and makes the catch to end the inning.
After a groundout by Andou, Nagaoka draws a walk.
And then Nagaoka takes off for 2nd! Emura goes to throw, but loses the ball! Nagaoka slides in with the stolen base!
Tokimoto with a drive to deep right!! Hiromasa running towards the foul pole hits the wall!!
The #8 batter Tokimoto comes through again, this time a 2-run homerun to right! It's 4-0 Oogaki Nichidai!!
Kassai with a falling liner to center. Ichikawa runs in, and makes a great sliding catch!!
Morita hits a comebacker to Fukumoto to end the inning, but Oogaki seems to be taking control of this game here in the 4th!
Nishida hit in his left arm and Osaka Touin has the leadoff batter on. Masahiro bunts the runner along for Yamaashi.
But Yamaashi is caught looking on a fastball outside, and there's 2 down.
Eh? #14 Yamanaka Tsukasa is in to pinch hit for Fukumoto meaning his day is done. #16 Nakano is warming up in the bullpen, so he's probably the next pitcher.
But Tsukasa is no help. He too goes down swinging on a slider for Kassai's 6th K.
Nakano indeed comes into the game, but comes in for Hiromasa. Yamaashi head over to the other corner outfield position (RF), while Tsukasa stays in to play LF.
No problems for Nakano in relief so far. He strikes out Kojima, then gets Gotou to hit a comebacker and Takada a grounder to 3rd.
But his team still trails by 4 going into the break,
#15 Fujita Genki comes in to pinch hit for Ichikawa. But he has little luck as well, grounding out to 2nd.
Hirahata fouls out to Takada for the 2nd out.
Yamaguchi with a hard hit to center, Morita sprinting back towards right center reaches out and makes the catch on a dead run to retire the side!
Genki stays in the game to play CF.
Well, that's a small world. Koo steps in to face Nakano, and the announcers mention that both went to the same middle school - with Koo being the senior of the two.
Nakano at least for this AB doesn't care has he strikes out Koo looking.
Andou with a opposite field drive to left. Tsukasa running back towards the foul pole. Looks up?!
Well, I'd be more excited if I weren't surprised. It didn't look like a homerun, and he hit it opposite field, but nevertheless it's a homerun!! 5-0 Oogaki Nichidai!
Nagaoka grounds out to short, and Nishida makes a nice pick to complete the play.
Nakano's control doesn't seem all there right now.
Ow.... Kawahara chases a foul ball from Tokimoto, but doesn't realize he's approaching the camera well, and well... tumbles into it.
Tokimoto with a drive down the right field line again!! Yamaashi running over to the foul pole! Stands right in front of the fence, and makes the catch! Tokimoto just missing his 2nd homerun by a couple of feet!
Kawahara with a hard hit to the right side! Nagaoka makes the diving stop and throws to first to retire Kawahara!
Emura gets his first hit of the game as he lines one into center.
Nishida with a hard hit to center! Morita running back towards the wall, makes the catch near the "warning track" for the 2nd out!
Nakano with a grounder to the right side! Nagaoka ranging to his left makes the diving stop right on the outfield grass! Throw to first, not in time! But not by a whole lot! Runners on 1st and 2nd for Yamaashi.
But Yamaashi hits a high fly to left! Andou under it and makes the catch to retire the side.
Outside of the homerun, Nakano has looked good. He retires Kassai Morita and Kojiima with relatively little trouble, but down 5 runs with 6 outs to go, it's not good enough.
Some defensive changes for Oogaki Nichidai. #13 Tomida comes in for Gotou and takes over in right, while #14 Tanigawa comes in for Andou and plays left.
Tsukasa with a drive to deep left center!! Tanigawa playing in, sprints back towards the wall. Pulls up!
Tsukasa getting Osaka Touin on the board in a big manner with a homerun! That's the third one today between the two teams!! It's 5-1!
Sakaguchi -kantoku calls a conference. Game certainly isn't in jeopardy, but probably wants to calm him down a little.
And now Genki hits a grounder just out of the reach of a diving Koo for a single!
Hirahata reaches down and hits a soft liner to the right side. Nagaoka has to play it on the hop, and gets the force on Genki as he wasn't sure if that was going to be caught or not.
Yamaguchi with a liner back at Kassai! He makes the catch, throws to 1st and doubles off Hirahata to end the inning!
Osaka Touin prevents the shutout, but still trails by 4 runs.
New RF Tomida flies out to center for the 1st out.
Takada also flies out to center for the 2nd out.
Koo with a hard shot at 3rd, AH!!
The ball deflects off of Kawahara and goes right into the dugout! Time is immediately called and Kawahara is down on the ground!
Nishitani-kantoku comes out immediately. It looks like he was hit on the head after the bounce. The stretcher comes out for him, but he actually stands up! The doctors convince him that discretion is the better part of valor and he lies back down on the stretcher and is carried off.
EH? Kawahara actually comes out of the dugout and returns to play 3rd!
Tanigawa fouls one off on the 3rd base side, Kawahara does charge in, so it seems like he's ok, but still...
Tanigawa singles back up the middle! Koo, who was awarded a double on that hit, is being sent home! Throw from Genki, not in time! Oogaki extends the lead back to 5! 6-1!
And Sakaguchi sends Tanigawa to 2nd! Throw is high, but Genki backs up the play.
Time is called, and I think Nishitani-kantoku is also thinking that discretion is the better part of valor and pulls Kawahara. #13 Koyama comes in for him and goes to 1st while Nishida goes across the diamond to 3rd.
And immediately, Sakaguchi-kantoku tests them by sending Tanigawa to 3rd! But there's no throw from Emura!
Nagaoka grounds back to Nakano for the 3rd out.
Camera pans over to the Osaka Touin dugout where Kawahara is being led by staffers out of the dugout as his team prepares to take the sticks in the 9th.
New 1B Koyama singles to left to start the 9th!
Emura with a liner over Koo's head for back-to-back hits! Runners at 1st and 2nd for Osaka Toin!
Nishida hits a grounder to 2nd. Nagaoka goes to Kojima for one, throw to 1st - not in time.
#17 Takamiya comes in to pinch hit for Nakano.
He hits a fly to right. Tomida is there to make the catch and Koyama tags up and scores from 3rd to make it 6-2.
Last chance in Yamaashi, but he grounds out to short. Kojima goes to 2nd for the force and that's the game!
Oogaki Nichidai continues it's run to the spring Koshien title, although the win is tempered by the injury to Osaka Touin 3B Kawahara. Hopefully everything is okay with him. While Osaka is always a competetive prefecture, you can be sure Osaka Touin will be in the mix to return to Koshien.
(Note: Turns out that Kawahara was looked at and was diagnosed with a light concussion. A concussion is never good, but at least it wasn't more serious. - Thanks to Yakyu Baka for that update)