Sunday, July 11, 2010

Heaven help me, here we go!

Okay, as of this weekend 32 tournaments are underway. So now comes the hard part... getting all 4700-odd games into the spreadsheets that don't work as well as I'd like.

(Any ideas on how to get Excel 2007 files showing correctly, which in my case include merged cells, is welcome.)

So, here we go! (This post will cover games up to the 11th)

Kita/Minami Hokkaido
The draws for both have been determined.

In Kita Hokkaido, favorites Asahikawa Jitsugyou and Komadai Iwamizawa are on the same side of the bracket, but won't face each other until the semifinals, if at all. Ashikawa Minami has the whole other side to themselves, so long as they can get past Bushuukan in the opening game.

In Minami Hokkaido, with one favorite Hokkai eliminated, the field opens just a little.

It opens up even more as Komadai Tomakomai and Sapporo Dai-ichi face off in the first round. Hopeful Hakodatedai Yuuto may have a ticket to the semifinal to face either of them. On the other side sits Hokkai's ouster Sapporo Kousei, but could have a matchup against Hokkai Gakuen Sapporo in the 2nd round, and then Hokushou in the semifinals.

Aomori begins play today with the opening game between Aomori Chuo and Aomori Higashi Hiranai. And unfortunately for Aomori Higashi Hiranai, they lose 11-1 in 6 innings.

Opening day at Kleenex Stadium Miyagi was one heck of a show. Kesennuma squared off against Tagajyou. Tagajyou scored one in the top of the 1st only to see Kesennuma score 7 in the 1st. And while Tagajyou scored 2 in the next couple of innings, Kesennuma scored 2 of their own to re-establish the 6 run margin.

All seemed lost for Tagajyou, but in the late innings they score 2-1-and 3 in the 9th and before you knew it, they had tied it up. The comeback would be complete as Tagajyou would score one in the 11th and reliever Iwami closed the door.

Things were more tamer at Kleenex on day 2. After Furukawa Reimei had a small scare against Igu - prevailing 4-2, Shidzugawa and Sendai Minami advanced via the mercy rule.

Over at Sendai Municipal, the lead changed all but 2 times between Miyagi Suisan and Seiwa Gakuen. Miyagi scored 2 in the 5th, Seiwa takes the lead with 3 in the 7th, and Miyagi Suisan closed the door shut with 5 in the 9th. In the 2nd game, Matsushima holds off a late charge against Kashimadai Shougyou. Kashimadai scored 2 in the 9th to pull within one at 4-3, but that was it.

Other highlights included Kesennuma Kouyou scores the only run against Furukawa Gakuen to advance at at Kashimadai Chuo, Kogota Nourin slides past Ishimaki Shougyou 3-2 at Ishimaki Municipal, and at Nattori Sports Park Medeshima, last year's representative Tohoku needed all 9 innings to defeat Naka-Niita 8-4, Kakuda put together 4 consecutive scoring innings to beat Sendai Tousen Hirose 6-4, and Miyagi Nougyou had no trouble with Sendai Nishi.

Opening day seems to be full of fireworks. Kooriyama Kita Kougyou took a 3-0 lead on Tamura only to see them charge right back to tie. Then they took the lead with a run in the 8th, only to see Kooriyama tie it up in the 9th, but sent them home with a sayonara run in the 9th.

Day 2 opened at 5 stadiums across Fukushima. At Shirakawa Green Stadium, Sukagawa handled Fukushima Tousen with no problem, Gakkouhoujin Ishikawa and Asaka Kaisei were scoring runs left and right, but 8 runs in the final 3 innings separated Ishikawa, and in the final game of the day, Shirakawa scores in the bottom of the 8th to break the scoreless draw against Shirakawa Jitsugyou for the win.

In other games, at Prefectural Adzuma Stadium, Shirakawa Asahi scored the only run against Onahama, and Hobara used a 4-run 3rd and 4th inning to get past a scrappy Aidzu Nourin squad at Kooriyama.

July 11th saw the first round conclude while the 2nd round games kicked off.

The key game at Shirakawa Green Stadium was the 2nd game between Naganuma and Seiryou Jyouhou. After trading runs, Seiryou scored 3 in the 7th to pull away. But Naganuma would reel them back in with 1 in the 8th and 2 in the 9th. The game would be decided in the 12th when Naganuma would send them home with a sayonara run.

At Adzuma, we finally see the seeded teams kick off their campaign. Seikou Gakuin has no trouble against Kooriyama Shougyou, but only after breaking them down in the late innings.

Moving on to Kooriyama, it doesn't matter where you are, if you are a Teikyou school, you have to be good at baseball. Teikyou Asaka dispatched Shoushi 10-0 in 6 innings. And another seeded school in Nihon Tohoku sent Souma Higashi back home with a 5-0 win.

At Iwaki Green, #4 seed Futaba struggled against Shuumei scoring the winning run in the bottom of the 9th for a 5-4 win.

And at Aidzu, there was a lot of home cooking as #5 and #6 seeds Aidzu Gakuhou and Aidzu advance with little trouble.

Opening day on the 10th? More opening fireworks.

At Takasaki Jyounan, Kiryuu Kougyou takes a 2-0 lead late only to see Takasaki Kita score one in the 8th and tie it in the 9th. Kiryuu would prevail with a run in the top of the 10th.

Then in the 2nd game, Kiryuu Minami was nursing a 3-2 lead late, then scored 2 to extend the lead. But Takasaki Kougyou would have none of it, getting back the two runs in the 8th and then scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th to send Kiryuu home.

And at Shikishima, the opening day ended with Jyutoku scoring 6 runs in the bottom of the 8th to take a 10-7 lead and eventually prevailed 10-8 over Takasaki.

On the 11th, the place to be was at Takasaki Jyounan. First, Maebashi Kougyou and ace Hirai shutout the #2 seed Kiryuu Dai-ichi 3-0 for the first shocker of the tournament. Then Haruna and Kanto Gakendai Fuzoku were scoreless through 9 before Haruna breaks through with 2 in the 10th. And finally, a flurry of runs were scored late, but Takasaki Higashi led wire to wire against Meiwa Chuo 10-6.

With Kiryuu Dai-ichi gone, the bracket now heavily favors Maebashi Shougyou who defeated Numata 7-0 in 7. And in the late game, Kiryuu Nishi wins 5-4 despite 2 HR's from Kamino.

Last year's representative and #7 seed Tokyo Noudai Dai-ni bows out against Kiryuu 6-4 at Maebashi.

Tochigi's opening game at Tochigi Prefectural had Kokugakuin Tochigi shutting out Kuroiso Minami 6-0.

Day 2 saw Yasaka Minami score 3 in the top of the 9th against Takanezawa for the 4-1 win at Utsunomiya Kiyohara Stadium. Also at Kiyohara, Ashikaga Seifu prevailed late against Nasu 5-2.

And in Tochigi Prefectural, Utsunomiya Hakuyou scored in the last 5 innings to beat Nasu Kaijyou 11-3.

The opening game on the 10th had Jyouhoku giving up 16 runs in the 1st against Oota Dai-ichi en route to a 21-0 win.

First full game schedule saw Seishin Gakuen get a run late against Hokota Dai-ni for a 2-1 win at Hitachi Naka. Hitachi Kougyou held on against Nakaminato Dai-ichi 5-4 at Hitachi Municipal. At Ibaraki, Isohara Kyouei scored 2 in the top of the 9th to defeat Sakai 3-1. Home field advantage helped Tsuchiura Nichidai and Tsuchiura Kougyou advance with no trouble. The game at Kasama between Ushiku Eishin and Kinu Shougyou was bookended by a bunch of runs as they go 5-5 after two innings, and Kinu Shougyou outscores Ushiku 4-3, but 3 runs in the 6th from Ushiku was the difference.

Opening game at Oomiya had Washimiya shutout Niiza Yanase 5-0.

Then you had the first full day of games with 24 total in 8 stadiums. You know you're in full swing when pinging is heard across the prefecture.

At Iwatsuki Shiroato, Shuumei Eiko used a 5-run 8th to defeat Hanyuu Jitsugyou 7-4.

Returning to Oomiya, all seeded teams advanced without issue.

It's not a good year for the Tokyo Noudai schools as Dai-san can't hold a 5-4 lead late as Kasukabe scores one in the 8th and one in the 9th to rally for the win. In the late game, Oomiya Higashi hits 4 HR's, 2 by Takayama in a 12-2 win over Yorii Jyouhoku.

At Kawagoe Hatsukari, Seibou Gakuen's march to Koshien starts off with a stumble as they need a run in the 7th to defeat Oomiya Musashino 2-1.

And in Asaka Chuo, Sakado and Yashio Minami go into extras where Sakado scores 2 in the top of the 10th. Yashio comes back with one in the bottom of the frame, but it's not enough.

Games on the 11th included the following:

Koshigaya Higashi scores 2 runs late to defeat Kuki Kougyou 2-1. Honjyou Dai-ichi needed 13 innings to defeat Kawagoe 2-1 at Kumagaya. At Oomiya, #9 Oomiya Nishi pushed in the go-ahead run in the 7th against Kumagaya to win 3-2.

At Omiya Municipal, #1 seed Hanasaki Tokuharu got a scare against Shiritsu Kawaguchi as 2 runs in the 7th pulled them within one at 5-4. Thankfully, that's as close as they would get.

And in Asaka, Shiki scores 2 runs in the 7th to take a 3-2 lead over Koshigaya Minami, but Koshigaya would tie it up in the bottom of the 7th and re-take the lead in the bottom of the 8th for a 4-3 win.

Nishi Tokyo
Recaps are going to have to be condensed as there are just too many games to go through. In Nishi Tokyo there was an interesting game between Nagayama and Oume Sougou. After Oume Sougou had a 4-2 lead after 5 innings, Nagayama outscores Oume 8-6 in the next two innings to tie the game. Then they proceeded to take the lead with 2 in the 9th. But Oume would roar right back with 3 runs to win 13-12.

Higashi Tokyo
One again, I'll have time to cover just the games involving notable teams or interesting games.

At Meiji Jingu-ni Stadium, Jyuuten had taken a 4-2 lead on Higashi after a 3-run 6th. But Higashi would find a way to re-take the lead with a 3-run 8th. Unfazed, Jyuuten would tie it in the 9th, only to have ace Inoue unable to keep it level, giving up the sayonara run in the bottom of the 9th.

At Oota Stadium, it was perhaps an unfair draw as somehow Tsukubadai Fuzoku had to face their sister campus Tsukubadai Fuzoku Komaba.

After a rather uneventful first 4 innings where Komaba held a 1-0 lead, in the next 4 innings runs were scored in all but 2 half innings. When it was over, it was tied at 7 all. It would stay that way until the 11th where Fuzoku would score a run. Sano would hold Komaba off and send his team to the next round.

In Kanagawa, Shiroyama saw a 4-1 lead evaporate in the bottom of the 7th against Higashi. The game would go into extras where they would score 3 in the 11th. Higashi would score one, but that was it.

On the 11th, apparently the chic thing to do was to win 5-4 in 10 innings.

And all these games were happening at the same time!

At Shibata Ijimino, Murakami rallied from a 3-1 deficit to Shibata with 3 in the bottom of the 8th, but Murakami would tie the game in the top of the 9th. They would tack one in the top of the 10th for the win.

At Toyano Kouen, Maki Sougou held a slim 2-1 lead on Niigata Higashi, but Niigata would level the score in the top of the 8th. And since you know the final score, you know that Niigata would score 3 in the top of the 10th, and Maki would rally for 2, but fall short.

And over in Satogaike, Niigata Sangyoudai Fuzoku scored two in the top of the 9th to take a 4-3 lead over Kashiwazaki Kougyou. Down to their last 3 outs, Kashiwazaki would tie it up. But Matsuo couldn't hold down the fort and Niigata would push the winning run in the 10th.

Day 1 in Aichi had some interesting games.

In Block G Yatomi had a 2-0 lead over Toukai Shougyou at Agui Stadium. But Toukai would score one in the 7th, and then tie it up in the bottom of the 9th. The game started to march to a tie when Toukai would score the sayonara run in the bottom of the 13th.

Also in Block G, Nagoya Shiritsu Kougyou held a comfortable 4-0 lead on Seto Kita at Kasugai. But then Seto scores one in the 8th, and had 2 in the 9th, but again, that's as close as they would get.

In Block E at Toyohashi, Shinshiro rallied for 4 runs in the top of the 9th to defeat Chita Shouyou.

Moving on to the 11th, there was just a nutty game between Moriyama and Kaiyou Gakuen at Okazaki Municipal. The game went innocently enough as a 3-3 tie after 5. Kaiyou would score 2 in the bottom of the 6th to take the lead. Moriyama responded with 3 in the 7th to take it right back, only to see Kaiyou score 4 in the bottom of the frame to hold a 9-6 lead. But then Moriyama would score 11 unanswered runs to take a 17-9 lead and win 17-10!

At Kariya, there were two walkoffs. Tenpaku broke a 3-3 tie in the 11th on Kariya Kita. In the next game Toyota Kita ties their game against Chigusa with a run in the 9th only to give it up in the bottom of the 9th.

In Kasugai, Tougou trailed 6-2 to Kakujyougaoka. They would score 5 unanswered runs to win 7-6 in 10 innings.

At Toyohashi, Anjyou Gakuen played catch-up the entire game against Shinshiro Higashi. Every time Shinshiro would score 2, Anjyou would score 2 the next half inning. But then Shinshiro would score 2 in the 7th and 3 in the 8th for a 5 run lead. Anjyou would then score 6 in the top of the 9th to take their 1st lead of the game - and win.

And in Toyota, Yutakano couldn't hold a 5-1 lead and a 6-5 lead to Shouin. But they would eventually prevail with a sayonara run in the 11th.

Opening day at Shimada had Shimada Shousei sending Fujieda Kita home in the bottom of the 10th after Fujieda tied the game in the 9th. Then on the 11th, Shimada does the same thing to Shimada Kougyou (except in the bottom of the 9th).

At Iwata, Mikkabi breaks a scoreless draw against Iwata Nishi with a run in the bottom of the 11th.

And in Fuji Sougou Endou Kouen, Yoshihara Shougyou ties the game against Yoshihara Kougyou in the bottom of the 9th and plates the winning run in the bottom of the 10th to win 2-1.

Kyoto's been plagued by rain as some games from the 11th (and from the 12th - I know, I was only going to cover up to the 11th) have been rained out.

And that really hurts teams that were rained out before the conclusion of their games.

At Wakasa, Doushisha Kokusai and Kiyoto Yawata were tied at 8-8 when the game was called with one down in the top of the 10th. They'll have to replay that game.

Over in Taiyougaoka, Kyoto Seishou led Rakuyou Kougyou 7-0 after 5½ innings, but that game too was called and will have to be replayed.

If you don't think rained out games matter, just ask Jyousuikan. They were rained out twice against Kochi at last year's Koshien, and in both cases were winning. In the 3rd play of the game, Kochi would go on to win.

Maidzuru was the only stadium to hold their games on the 11th, and it opened with Higashi-Maidzuru defeating Nantan with a sayonara run in the 10th after tying the game in the 8th.

Nara has started play, and while no notable teams have started yet, Ikoma did rally from a 4-0 deficit to tie the game against Ooyodo and push the sayonara run through in the 13th.

Wakayama started play on the 11th, and while Wakayama Shougyou and Shiritsu Wakayama advanced, really the bracket is all about Chiben Wakayama and Kouyou.

Ok, I don't care if your team is good or not, how cool would it be to play at a major league stadium? Miyagi gets that in Kleenex stadium, and here in Osaka, they have the Kyocera Dome.

Seishou defeated Ichioka Shougyou 11-2 in 7 innings, while Kishiwada Sangyou defeated Tomioka 8-0 in 7 innings. Even for Ichioka and Tomioka, I think they'll look back and enjoy the experience even though they lost in the first round.

Onto other games - at Nankou Chuo Ootori came back from down 2-0 to Sano Kouka to win 3-2 in 11 innings, while Kongou defeated the combined team of Kaifuukan and Habikino 1-0 in the bottom of the 9th. If you're wondering about combined teams, it generally results from a merger of schools. In this case Kaifuukan is a merger of Habikino and Nishiura. Merger teams generally mean that there were players from the old school that are competitive enough to form a team. And since it's a merger, they're allowed to play for the new school. This is because school closures happen gradually. What happens is that at a certain year, the old schools do not take new students while the new school begins taking in students. The old schools then close officially when the last class graduates.

Hyogo opened to a 14-inning thriller where Shikama Kougyou defeated Kamigoori 2-1 in 14 innings.

Then on the 11th, Takasago held 2 more extra-inning games. Kotogaoka survived after Takaradzuka Nishi tied it up at 1-1 in the bottom of the 9th, winning 2-1 in 10. Sanda Gakuen broke a 2-2 deadlock against Ikawadani in the bottom of the 15th and final inning.

At Awajisano, the combined team of Suma Shoufuu, Kobe Nishi and Suma shutout Shiritsu Himeji 5-0.

Hiroshima opened play on the 10th at Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium. And in the late game, Miyajima Kougyou defeated Hiroshima Kokutaiji 2-1 in 11 innings.

Games have been rained out on the 11th and 12th.

Kagawa has only gotten one days worth of games in as games on the 12th have been rained out. But in that first day, Takamatsu Minami rallied to within 1 after being down 5 against Sanbonmatsu although they weren't able to finish the deal.

In Tokushima, one of the top seeds in Komatsushima actually started off the festivities with a 6-1 over Kaifu. Kawashima rallied from 5-1 down to win 6-5 over Wakimachi.

On Day 2, Jyounan sent Tokushima Kita home with a sayonara run in the 10th.

Games were rained out on the 12th.

Ehime's games have been for the most part lopsided. Two exceptions were the Niihama Minami-Tsushima game where Niihama led wire to wire but Tsushima make the game interesting in the 2nd half, and the Imabari Minami-Matsuyama Chuo game where Imabari came back after losing a 3-0 lead with 7 unanswered runs to win 10-6.

Fukuoka is well on their way to the championships, which makes sense since they have the most schools in the Kyushu region.

Opening day was held in Kitakyushu Municipal and in the late game Kokura Nishi had a 3 run lead evaporate as Seihou scored 4 in the 3rd. They traded runs in the 5th, and in the 8th Kokura Nishi would take the lead with 2 in the 8th. Seihou would draw level with a run in the bottom of the inning and the game would go into extras. Seihou would score the winning run in the 11th and advance in Kita Block A.

Rain on the 4th would postpone a fair amount of games.

Out of the games that were played, at Ogoori Musashidai used a 5-run 5th to beat Fukushima 6-5.

The weather cleared up for games on the 5th. After taking an early 3-0 lead, Ariake Tousen saw Fukuoka Kourinkan score 2 in the 3rd and 4th to take the lead. But they would level the score in the 7th and push the sayonara run home in the 9th.

Fast forwarding to the 6th, Asakura Kouyou used a 6-run 9th to defeat Genyou 6-3.

On the 7th Chikushi Chuo used a 3-run 6th to tie the game at 4 versus Kurume Gakuen, then scored two in the bottom of the 8th for the win. In Minami Block C, seeded Higashi-Fukuoka got a scare versus Hakata Kougyou. Behind 2-1 and 3-2 they would rally to tie, then send Hakata home in the bottom of the 9th. Kasuga was not so fortunate in Minami Block J. Kyushu Sangyoudai Kyushu would rout them 10-3 in 7 innings.

One thing about postponed games, sometimes you move stadiums. That was the case for Sawara-Jyounan who went from Hibaru to Kasuga. The game would actually be scoreless through regulation. But in the first inning of extras, Sawara would score 3! Jyounan would not go quietly and got within 1 - but couldn't put through the douten run...

At Nakama Municipal, Touchiku down 4-2 in the bottom of the 9th, scored 3 against Ikutokukan for the ultimate come-from-behind win.

Over in Kitakyushu Momozono, Kibougaoka gave up a 4-2 lead late to Seirin, but broke through big in the 11th with 6 runs for the win.

In the 8th, Minami Block F's seed Fukuoka Kougyou couldn't get past their first game, getting shutout against Kurume Shougyou. It wasn't a good day to be a seeded team at Kasuga as Block H's Oki Gakuen faced off against Itoshima. Down 2-1 after the 3rd, they gave up 4 more runs to Itoshima, but rallied with 5 to tie the game. They then scored a run in the 5th and 6th to take a 2-run lead. But Itoshima scored 3 in the 7th to reclaim the lead. Oki Gakuen didn't have another rally left in them and lost 10-9.

Actually, it wasn't necessarily a good day to be a seeded team. Kita Block F's Yahata couldn't hold a 6-2 lead as Tagawa would score 2 in the 7th, 1 in the 8th, and the sayonara 2 runs in the 9th.

More seeded teams would fall the next day. Minami Block E's Nanchiku never led against Chikushi losing 2-1 in their opening game.

The 9th also awarded teams their bid into the prefectural finals. In Kita Block A, seeded Kokura Higashi used a 6-run 7th to take a 6-2 lead over Keisei. Keisei, undaunted, scored 4 to level the score. And just when all seemed lost, Keisei down 7-6 in the bottom of the 9th, managed to put together 2 runs to send Kokura Higashi home and advance to the prefectural finals.

Last year's representative, Kyushu Kokusaidai Fuzoku barely punched their ticked with a 1-0 win over Touchiku to win Kita Block B.

The 10th marked where a good chunk of tickets were punched to the prefectural finals. In Minami Block A, Fukushou prevailed 5-4 over Yuusei thanks to a 5-run 6th. Nishi Nippon Tankidai Fuzoku advanced out of Minami Block I with a 7-3 win over Fukuoka Chuo.

At Kasuga, Higashi-Fukuoka advanced out of Minami Block C with a 10-2 win in 7 over Fukuoka Maidzuru. In Minami Block J, Kyushu Sangyoudai Kyushu completed it's run by defeating Fukuokadai Oohori 5-1. And finally Kyushu Sangyoudai Kyushu Sangyou advanced out of Minami Block F with a 6-3 win over Kurume Shougyou.

In Momozono, possible favorite Jiyuugaoka lost the Kita Block D final to Inatsuki Shikoukan soundly 8-3. Kita Block E's winner was Kurate who defeated Nakama 3-1.

Moving to Kitakyushu Municipal, the Kita Block C final saw Tobata blow a 3-0 lead to Kitakyushu in the top of the 9th. Tobata somehow managed to find the strength to rally and tie the game in the bottom of the 9th. That momentum carried them to a win in the bottom of the 10th.

The same could not be said in the Kita Block F final. Tagawa broke a scoreless draw against Kaho Higashi with a run in the bottom of the 8th. The favorite was about to advance when Kaho would level it in the 9th. 6 innings later, neither team could score the winning run - and thus the game ended in a 1-1 draw, the first in the qualfiers. They'll have to do it all over again tomorrow... er... 2 days from then as the committee would give them a day off.

The final spots would go to:
  • Minami Block B - Seeded Yanagigawa def. Musashidai 10-0 in 6 innings.
  • Minami Block D - Seeded Chikuyou Gakuen def. Ariake Tousen 10-0 in 6 innings.
  • Minami Block E - Chikushi def. Asakura Kouyou 7-3.
  • Minami Block H - Itoshima def. Denshuukan 4-0.
  • Minami Block G - Seeded Toukaidai Dai-go def. Yame 9-0
  • Minami Block K - Fukuoka Koudai Jyoutou def. Chikushidai 6-0.
  • Kita Block G - Kokura def. Seeded Kokura Kougyou 4-0!
  • Kita Block H - Seeded Iidzuka def. Houkoku Gakuen 6-0.
And in the replay of the Tagawa-Kaho Higashi game, both aces came out again, and they again went into extra innings!! But this time there was a winner. Kaho Higashi would pull off the upset with a sayonara run in the 10th inning!

Over in Saga, weather has pushed back the schedule a bit. After the opener where Tosu Shougyou and Karatsu Shougyou went 13 innings, including a 10th where each team scored a run, the 2nd game was rained out after just 2 innings of play with Ogi leading Imari Shougyou 3-1.

Next day, Imari goes on to win 4-2.

Later that day, Karatsu Kougyou would score 3 runs late to defeat Tara 4-3.

Over at Saga Blue Stadium, last year's representative Imari Nourin could not advance past the first round, losing to Arita Kougyou 2-1.

They got back on schedule on the 12th as Saga Kougyou jumped out to a 11-0 lead. Waseda Saga made it interesting with 8 runs, but lost 13-8.

Opening day was shortened due to rain, but before it rained on their parade, Naka-Gotou rallied with 4 runs in the 7th to win 7-6 over Sasebo Nishi.

None of the games have been close otherwise.

Notable games so far from Kumamoto was Minamata outlasting Chiharadai 5-4 in 13 innings after scoring 3 in the bottom of the 8th to tie, and a run in the 10th to continue the game. Luther Gakuin scored the only run in the bottom of the 8th to beat Kumumoto Gakuendai Fuzoku.

Senshuudai Tamana is the first seeded team to start their campaign, and they defeated Yatsushiro 7-0 in 8 innings.

Oita opened with the combined Nakatsu team (Kougyou/Higashi) defeating Saiki Kakujyou 6-1. And then Oita Tsurusaki, down 8-0 after 5½ innings, score 9 unanswered runs to win 9-8.

Games were rained out on the 12th.

Kagoshima is well underway. Notable games include:

Meioukan defeating Kouryou 4-3 with a sayonara run after Kouryou scores 2 to tie the game in the top of the inning.

On the 6th, Kirishima scored a run in the 7th and 3 in the 8th to take a 4-2 lead over Yakushima. Yakushima would then reply with a run in the 8th and 9th to send it into extras. The momentum stayed with them as they would score the winning run in the bottom of the 11th.

Shounan started the seeded teams off well with a 7-0 win over Kagoshima Minami in 7 innings.

The next day, Seeded Makurazaki started their trek stumbling a bit but sent Satsuma Chuo home in the bottom of the 9th. Seeded Kamimura Gakuen routed Kanoya 16-4 in 8 innings.

Seeded Kagoshima Jyousei fell behind 3-0 to Kagoshima Kougyou, but scored 6 unanswered to win 6-3. Ibusuki Shougyou scored 8 runs late to defeat Kagoshima Dai-ichi 11-8.

Kagoshima Jitsugyou really stuggled against Ei to open their run. They won 3-0, but managed just 4 hits.

Kagoshima Minami had a solid start, defeating Ookuchi 8-0 in 7.

Ibusuki becomes the first seeded team to fall, losing to Kagoshima Jyouhou 4-1 after giving up 4 runs in the last 3 innings.

Some games were rained out on the 10th, and the schedule was pushed back by a full day to get the rained out games in. This is different than in other prefectures where they just push the schedule back by the number of games missed.

Shounan and Makurazaki didn't need the extra day, cruising into the round of 16. Kanoya Chuo, the last seeded team to play defeated Ariake 14-1 in 5.

Ok, after getting the stadium and time info for part of the 2nd round going forward, here's the recap.

(By the way, they're in the best 4! They'll have their champion this weekend!)

July 3rd finished the 2nd round. And in it, Yokatsu played the role of spoiler as they scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 11th to send Shouwa Yakkadai Fuzoku home 4-3.

As for Kounan, Shimabukuro Yousuke finally showed his face, pitching a complete game shutout against Urasoe.

The round of 16 began with a matchup of Koshien schools in Okinawa Shougaku and Okinawa Suisan at Chatan. Okinawa Shogaku fought back to tie the game in the 8th to send it into extras. But in the 13th, they would just break down, giving up 4 runs - almost an insurmountable margin. They got one back, but their bid would fall short.

Over at Naha, the seeded teams faced off. Oroku would be the first team to fall as Haebaru shocked the bracket. Haebaru jumped out with 2 in the top of the 1st. Oroku would tie it up in the bottom of the 1st, then take the lead with a run in the 5th. They trade a run in the 7th, and then Haebaru jumps with 3 runs in the 8th to take the lead for good.

As for Itoman, they dispatched Yaeyama Shoukou handily 10-2 in 8 innings, and could be Kounan's opponent in the finals.

Then, this past Saturday, we had the other half of the round of 16. At Chatan, Kadena continued to prove their Senbatsu appearance was no fluke by defeating Urasoe Shougyou 5-2. Ginoza held on to defeat Mawashi 2-1 to earn the dubious honor of facing Kounan. They tried to save Shimabukuro, but had to call on him when Yokatsu didn't want to go away. Eventually Kounan would pull away to a 7-2 win, but they certainly have the target on their backs.

In the other game at Naha, Naha couldn't use the home field to their advantage as Yaeyama scored 3 in the 4th and 6 in the 6th for a 9-5 win.

So that brought us to our quarterfinal matches. At Naha, Haebaru's run ended at the hands of Okinawa Suisan by a score of 6-1. In the 2nd game, Kounan was able to sit Shimabukuro as they routed Ginoza 8-0 in 7.

Who would their opponents be? Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, Okinawa Suisan will face Itoman, who shutout Chuubu Shougyou 3-0. I said fortunately because Suisan's last two losses in prefecture have been to Chuubu Shougyou. As for Kounan, their opponent will not be Kadena. Yaeyama scores the go-ahead run in the bottom of the 7th inning, and made it stick.

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