...with my bowling league tonight, I am now behind 3 more games which comes out to about 40% of the tournament. Thankfully, if the video archives go away, I have backup plans. Hopefully.
But a lot seems to have happened in my absence. So for a quick recap while I work on getting caught up...
- Toukaidai Bouyou was no match for Osaka Touin..
- ...while Kawashima gave Oogaki Nichidai all they could handle and then some. I must admit I was mistaken about the 21st century teams this year. Gomen. *bows*.
- And in an absolute shocker, Hifumi Shinta implodes in the 8th inning, yielding 3 runs and losing in the first round 4-2! I'm not sure how this happened other than 2 key walks led to the big inning, but man that is just amazing.
- In the battle of the north, Hokushou wins out over Akita Shougyou 2-0. I wonder when Akita will ever taste success at Koshien. I hope sooner rather than later - those guys deserve it.
- Tsuruga Kehi had no trouble with Hanasaki Tokuharu. Well... almost. SP Ookubo fell apart late in his start, while the bullpen straggled home.
- And for Nichidai-san, it was another 21st century team, but Kouyou fought much harder, as Fujita only gave up 3 runs. However, the offense couldn't get started, and they fell 3-1. Nichidai-san once again gets in the way of Kouyou's road to the championship.
- It was a good ol' fashioned pitchers duel between Miyazaki Kougyou and Kouryou. Arihara looked much better than in his first round game, retiring the side in 5 of the 9 innings and allowing 4 baserunners. As for Hamada, he wasn't as dominant, but had help from all over. In the end though, it would be some timely hitting/tiring of Hamada which would lift Kouryou to victory in the bottom of the 9th.
- Chuukyoudai Chuukyou and Shinkou Gakuen were in progress when I had reached the airport. It was in the late stages and Chuukyou had just taken the lead 2-1 in the 7th. Again, it was another low-scoring affair as Morimoto also got the memo that the tournament had started and Maenaka pitching very well against the summer champions. However, their offense had few good opportunities and was unable to capitalize on them as they fell by that same score.
- I had to hit the hay once I got home, so I didn't see the Chiben Wakayama-Kounan result until this morning. Without seeing the game result, I knew that with Chiben's pitching being average at best with Okuda gone, that the offense would have to find ways to get to Shimabukuro. In game, Chiben held serve with Kounan early on, and even took the lead. But the lack in pitching depth eventually hurt them as Kounan would uncharacteristically score two 3-spots en route to a 7-2 rout. Takashima-kantoku will have to get the staff in shape if they want to challenge this summer.
- I like Deanna and Shini, bless their hearts, but I was brokenhearted to see Mie unable to close out the game against Teikyou. Up 1 with a runner on 2nd and 2 down, Masuda gives up the game tying hit. And once that happened, you knew it was over. Sure enough, one inning later, Masuda has nothing left, allowing the next 4 batters to reach base - ending the game. I root for Mie-ken every year because I've visited there and I loved the people I met while I was there. And I'm really sad to see that their hearts were broken. Lose 10-2? I'd have been more fine with that.
- Oogaki Nichidai-Osaka Touin. On paper a very good matchup. On the field, much different. Oogaki Nichidai controlled the pace early and often, jumping out to a 4-0 lead and never looking back. It's a bit of a surprise coming from Osaka Touin, but the Meiji Jingu Taikai champions sure look the part now.
I'm not sure where I should go now. Proceed with the games currently going on and get back to the games I missed later, or go in chronological order. Part of me wants to do the current games since that is what is going on now, but at the same time going in chronological order might help me analyze the games currently going on.
I think what I will do is finish up Day 4 games today since all games today are in progress, then jump to coverage of the quarterfinals tomorrow. Any information I glean from reviewing the missed days will be added to my reports and denoted as such.
That is all.
(Talked with Westbay-san, was looking at the schedule, and noticed that they are playing all 4 quarterfinal games tomorrow!!! So to be able to blog as many games as possible, I will have to hit the hay now so I can get to work early and get out in time to start blogging the games as soon as they are available. At least I shouldn't fall any further behind now.)