One week later, and there's been quite a bit of progress that has been made across the country.
So, without further ado, いきますよ!
Prefectural teams have almost been determined. Teams that have qualified since last week:
In Sapporo, Sapporo Shinkawa made it out of Block A with little trouble while Shoushi Gakuen edged out Ritsumeikan Keishou in Block B. Over in Block C, it was a battle of Hokkai schools as Hokkai defeated sister school Hokkai Gakuen Sapporo 5-3, and to round things out Sapporo Dai-ichi advanced with a 6-3 win over Sapporo Kiyota.
Hokkaido Sakae advanced out of Muroran with a 2-0 win over Komadai Kougyou.
Hakodatedai Yuuto continues its regional dominance in Hakodate with a 3-1 win over Hakodate Shougyou.
No surprise in Sorachi as Komadai Iwamizawa had no trouble at all against Takikawa Nishi 8-0.
Asahikawadai's run after losing ace Kakita ended in the Asahikawa regional final losing 7-5 to Asahikawa Jitsugyou.
The last regional final to be determined was in Kushine where Nemuro and Kushiro Kougyou did battle yesterday, but the results aren't in yet.
Tohoku is still wrapping up their prefectural play (by the way, 3 teams from each prefecture qualify):
Aomori is in it's best 4 stage. Before the prefectural finals, the other teams that had qualified were:
- Aomori (4) - Aomori Yamada, Aomori Shougyou, Aomori, Aomori Higashi
- Goshogawara (3) - Goshogawara Kougyou & Goshogawara Nourin (block winners), Goshogawara Shougyou.
- Mutsu (2) - Oominato (Automatic bid from last year's spring tournament), Tanabu
- Towada (3) - Tawada Kougyou, Misawa, Misawa Shougyou
- Hirosaki (4) - Hirosaki Kougyou, Hirosaki Jitsugyou, Hirosaki Minami, Kashiwagi Nougyou
- Hachinohe (5) - Hachinohe Koudai Dai-ichi & Kousei Gakuin (Block winners), Hachinohe Shougyou & Hachinohe Koudai Dai-ni (runner-up), Sannohe
In the prefectural brackets, Aomori Yamada and Kousei Gakuin each had a close game to start, but rebounded in the quarterfinals to cruise. They face each other in one semifinal.
On the other side of the bracket, Hirosaki Kougyou has had two 1-run games to make it to the Best 4, while Hachinohe Koudai Dai-ichi edged Aomori 2-1 in their quarterfinal.
Needless to say, with this draw chances are that the key game will be between Hirosaki Kougyou and Hachinohe Koudai Dai-ichi. Whoever loses that match will have little chance of advancing to the Super-Regionals.
Iwate's prefectural tournament has concluded. Interestingly enough things went almost as normal. Ichinoseki Gakuin, well... they lost in the first round to Oofunato 3-1. Oofunato would actually advance to the semifinals where they would lose to Hanamaki Higashi 4-2. Senshuudai Kitami had no trouble in it's quadrant, but it wasn't Morioka Dai-ichi that waited for them in the semis.
No, instead it was Kuji who had shut out the ballclub 4-0. And then they go out and shutout Senshuudai Kitami 1-0 (and they scored that run in the top of the 9th!).
In the final, Hanamaki Higashi held a slim 1-0 lead against Kuji. But they wouldn't be able to hold it, as Kuji scored 3 in the bottom of the 8th to win by the same margin.
Meanwhile, in the 3rd place game, Oofunato suprised Senshuudai Kitami giving them all they could handle. In the end though, Senshuudai Kitami would eke out a 4-3 win to advance to the Super-regionals.
Akita is in their final games. Of the top 3 mentioned before, only Honjyou couldn't make it to the best 4 as they lost to Oomagari Kougyou 5-2. Kanaashi Nougyou and Akita Shougyou made it to their semifinal match, but the actual game was a bit of a letdown as Akitashou swept Kanaashi 8-1. Akitashou will face Oomagari Kougyou, who broke a 5-5 tie against Yokote with 2 in the top of the 9th to hold on 7-6.
So the key matchup will be the 3rd place Kanaashi Nougyou versus Yokote.
Miyagi is in the Best 4. One side of the bracket was wide open. Shibata had little trouble on their quadrant, and will face Oosaki Chuo who was in a 18-17 barn burner against Miyagi Suisan.
The other side had the quality teams. Sendai Ikuei and Furukawa Gakuen indeed faced off in the quarterfinals but it was all Sendai Ikuei who won 14-3. Rifu lost in their 1st round game, opening the bracket up for Touyou, but barely made it by winning Shiroishi 2-1 in the quarterfinals.
Yamagata's qualifying has been completed. Haguro mercied-ruled Yamagata Minami 12-2 in 6, while Yamagata Chuo bested Tsuruoka Higashi in a late game flurry of scoring.
In the finals, Haguro's scoring in the semis may have hurt them as Yamagata Chuo would plate a couple of runs late in the final to beat Haguro 6-4. And Yamagata Minami would find themselves the odd team out, losing 1-0 to Tsuruoka Higashi in the 3rd place game.
And finally in Fukushima, they're about to finish prefectural play. Nihon Tohoku and Seikou Gakuin collided in the quarterfinals. Seikou Gakuin would prevail 6-2 and cruise into the finals defeating Aidzu Gakuho 20-0. Their opponent will be Higashi Nihon Shouhei, who defeated Futaba 13-3 in the semis.
The Kanto Super-regionals have been completed.
In the quarterfinals, Narashino would get past Nichidai-san 6-5 and had a semifinal match against Yokohama Sougakukan who had no trouble with Tsuchiura Kohoku 7-0. And while Yokohama Sougakukan would take a 2-1 lead on Narashino in the semifinal, Narashino would comeback with 4 unanswered runs to win 5-2.
On the other side, Maebashi Shougyou defeated Nihon Tsurugaoka 6-2 setting up a match with Urawa Gakuin who had no trouble with Hikawa advancing 11-4.
In their semifinal match, Maebashi Shougyou jumped out to a 5-1 lead after 2 innings. Noguchi couldn't hold the lead though, and a 5-1 run in the 5th and 6th innings would tie the game. Urawa Gakuin would put the dagger in the hearts of Maebashi Shougyou as cleanup batter Hara would hit a solo homerun in the top of the 9th to complete the comeback.
The momentum surely carried Urawa Gakuin in the finals, as the tandem of Ogiwara(?) and Minami combined on a 4-hit shutout of Narashino to take the Super-regional title 4-0.
Not much has happened here except that Nagano has completed prefecutral play. In the semifinals, Maruko Shuugakukan scored a quick 2 runs in the 1st against Saku Chousei, and made it stick winning 2-1. In the other semi, it became a offensive display in the 2nd half of the game. Nagano Nichidai held a 4-2 lead over Ueda Nishi after the top of the 5th. After that, 12 runs would be scored, and Ueda Nishi would pull out with the 10-8 win.
And in the finals, Maruko Shuugakukan scored early and often against Ueda Nishi, and while Ueda held on early (they had leads of 1-0 and 4-1 after the top of the 1st and 2nd innings), they couldn't keep up with the pace, losing 11-6.
The 3rd place match would go to Nagano Nichidai who defeated Saku Chousei 7-3.
The Tokai Super-regionals have been completed, and it certainly was an interesting one from top to bottom.
In the quarterfinal games, Kakegawa Nishi could not hold off Ujiyamada Shougyou as they give up 2 runs in the 7th and 7 in the 8th for a 12-2 win. They would meet Oogaki Nichidai as they defeated Touhou 3-1 breaking a 1-1 tie with 2 runs in the 8th. And in the semifinal Oogaki Nichidai held a 3-1 over Ujiyamada Shougyou going into the late innings. But Ujiyamada couldn't hold onto it as Oogaki scored a run in the 8th and 9th innings. In the 12th, they would pull ahead with the 12th with a run, but Ujiyamada Shougyou would rally back with 2 runs to pull off the upset!
On the other side, Shizuoka and Chuukyoudai Chuukyou battled back and forth, and were tied 6-6 going into the 9th. Chuukyoudai Chuukyou looked to have pulled it out in the 9th with a run, but Shizuoka finds one more rally left in them and pulls off the 8-7 victory! Their opponent looked to be Inabe Sougou as they were routing Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou 10-2 after 7 innings. But in one of the more shocking comebacks, Kenritsu Gifushou would score 4 in the 8th and 5 in the 9th to somehow win 11-10!! In their semifinal, the teams would be deadlocked at 2 before Gifushou would score a run in the 11th to win 3-2.
In the super-regional final, it was all Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou as they would defeat Ujiyamada Shougyou 6-1.
In the Nara finals, Tomigaoka was given no favors in the finals against Tenri as they were annihilated 17-3. So Tenri once again advances out of the prefecture. Brackets have been drawn and the matchups are:
- Kashima(Wakayama 2) vs. Riseisha (Osaka)
- Tenri (Nara) vs. Kita-Ootsu (Shiga)
- Kouyou (Wakayama 3) vs. Houtoku Gakuen (Hyogo)
- Chiben Wakayama (Wakayama 1) vs. Kyoto Furitsu Kougyou (Kyoto)
Chuugoku's Super-regional has not started yet, so no update at this time.