Kita Hokkaido has started their prefectural final. Komadai Iwamizawa dominated Kitami Ryoukuryou 12-2 in 5 innings. Meanwhile, it was not a good day for the Tokachi region, as Obihiro Ootani lost to Wakkanai Ootani 7-4, and Asahikawa Ryuukoku rallied late with a run in the 7th and 8th innings to beat Obihiro Hakuyou.
After Aomori Minami gives up 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th to give Ooma a one run lead, they score 4 in the top of the 9th to win 9-6. Hey, if you want to be dramatic, be my guest - just don't let it bite you later.
#2 Kousei Gakuin has no trouble with Misawa in their 2nd game. They shouldn't have any issue until the semis, where they'll probably face #3 Aomori Yamada who shut out Sannohe.
Over at Hirosaki, Aomori Chuo's magical run ends abruptly at the end of Goshougawara Nourin.
#1 Hachinohe Koudai Dai-ichi stays in the tournament with a 3-1 win over Noheji Nishi.
With the games on the 17th, Aomori reaches the round of 16.
Oominato Kawauchi gets the honor of facing Kousei Gakuin after a 7-3 win over Hirosaki Chuo. Seiai will get to meet #7 Goshogawara Nourin.
#5 Aomori has an easier road to the Best 4 now that they're the only seed left in the quadrant, and will face Aomori Kougyou after they prevailed over Gonohe 4-2 in 12 innings.
Aomori Higashi rallies from down 5-2 to win 8-6 over Hirosaki Jitsugyou. Goshogawara meanwhile, scores 6 in the 8th, then has to hold off a late charging Aomori Kita who tried to come back with 3 in the 9th, but fell short 10-9. Kidzukuri will have to face the vaunted Aomori Yamada - not an easy task.
And #1 Hachinohe Koudai Dai-ichi will face Hirosaki Kougyou. Dai-ichi probably has the easiest road and is the odds on favorite to get to the finals.
They began play on the 15th. Oodate Kokusai scores 2 in the top of the 9th to defeat Akita 5-4.
Meiou began their defense of the title with a 4-3 sayonara win over Nishime in 11 innings. Next up, #6 Akita Tousen.
The top 4 seeds had little trouble with their first games. In other games, Oodate Kougyou needed to rally from 4-1 down late to Akita Kougyou, and then won in the bottom of the 10th.
Rain finally let up so they could get going again. Morioka Shiritsu sent Miyako Shougyou home in the bottom of the 9th 5-4.
Seeded teams finally started on the 16th. #3 Senshuudai Kitami went 11 innings against Mizusawa Kougyou before winning 2-0. #1 Kuji scored the lone run of the ballgame against Daitou on a HR by Kikuchi in the 7th. Hanamaki Higashi and Oofunato had a much easier time in their opening game.
In other games, Fukuoka scored two in the bottom of the 8th to hold off 3-2. Kurosawajiri KitaIchinoseki Dai-ni scores 8 in the 6th to pull within 10-9, but 3 in the top of the 9th for Morioka Chuo seals the deal. Maesawa scores a run in the bottom of the 8th and 9th to defeat Morioka Shougyou 3-2. Hanamaki Nougyou edged Oohasama 3-2 in 10.
Morioka Shiritsu was in the battle of their lives against Ichinoseki Kougyou. After giving up 2 runs in the bottom of the 8th, they found the drive to tie it up. But in the bottom of the 13th, 2 innings away from a tie game, they lose the battle, giving up a base hit to center to end the game.
But in probably the biggest heartbreak of all, Oofunato Higashi's Kimuro, in the top of the 15th innings, hits an inside the park home run to break the 2-2 deadlock and send Hanamaki Kita home.
Yamagata kicked off on the 16th at Yamagata Zao Spa Stadium. On the first full day of the tournament, Yamagata Shougyou sent Sagae Kougyou home in the bottom of the 9th 6-5. Yachi meanwhile scores 3 in the top of the 11th to defeat Oguni 4-1.
Kurokawa used a 3-run bottom of the 8th to win 9-7 over Matsushima.
Tohoku Seikatsu Bunkadai couldn't hold off Tohoku, giving up the winning run in the 8th.
Ishimaki Koubunkan after giving up a 5-3 lead, tied the game against Natori, but would lose in the first inning of extras.
I can't tell if it's bad seeding or lack of depth in Fukushima, but the 17th was not a good day for seeded teams. #2 Higashi Nippon Kokusaidai Shouhei, #3 Nihon Tohoku, #4 Futaba, #5 Aidzu Gakuhou, #7 Yumoto and #8 Fukushima Shougyou all lost! Worse yet, none of them ever had a lead at any point in their games!
At this point, Seikou Gakuin has to be the favorite to win, but even they had issues against Shirakawa Asahi late, winning 6-4.
Gunma started their 3rd round yesterday. Seeded teams here had little issue as they all advanced.
1st round finally wrapped up on the 15th. It ended with a bang as Oyama Nishi bid Sano Shouyou sayonara with an 8-7 win.
2nd round was held on the 16th and 17th and seeded teams, with the exception of Mooka and Yasaka Chuo advanced. In other games, Ooyama Nishi scored 4 in the bottom of the 8th to take a 5-4 lead over Motegi. Oyama Minami just about did the same thing to Tochigi Nougyou except that their 4-run 8th tied the game, and they scored the sayonara run in the 9th.
2nd round for Ibaraki started on the 16th. Hitachi Kita rallied from an early 7-0 deficit against Sowa Kougyou, and would win the game in the 11th. Two seeded teams also were bid adieu. Toride Dai-ni and Tsukuba Shuuei couldn't get past their first games, and Tsukuba was embarrassed by Tsuchiura Nichidai 13-3.
In other games, Mito Dai-ichi scores a sayonara run to defeat Akeno 4-3. Shimodate Dai-ichi outscores Iwai 8-3 in the final 3 innings to win 11-8. Yachiyo outlasted Tamatsukuri Kougyou winning 11-8 in 14 innings.
The stadiums were determined for the 3rd and 4th round games. Seibou Gakuen's run ended with an 8-2 loss to #3 seed Kawagoe Higashi. After a close 1st round match, Hanasaki Tokuharu blew through Oomiya Kita 10-0 in 6 innings.
Kasukabe Kyouei managed to outlast bottom seed Kawagoe Higashi 9-8 in 12 innings.
Former senbatsu participant Awa easily cruised over St. Paul Chiba. At Narashino, Kimitsu Shougyou prevailed, scoring a run after Choushi scored 3 to tie it at 9 in the top of the 8th. Ourin scored 3 in the top of the 9th to defeat Togane Shougyou 5-2 over in Narita. In Aoba no mori, Chuo Gakuin scored 2 in the bottom of the 9th to beat Tousou Kougyou 3-2. And in Funabashi, Shiritsu Kashiwa was able to break away from Funabashi Shibayama in the top og the 9th after Shibayama pulled level in the bottom of the 8th.
Chiba Keiai is out to prove their win over Choushi Shougyou wasn't a fluke. They go out and shutout Chiba Meitoku 3-0. Recent participant Kisaradzu Sougou handles Sawara 6-1, and Kenritsu Funabashi breaks a 0-0 draw against Kisaradzu in the bottom of the 12th.
At Narashino, Hakuryou tried to keep in step with Yachiyo. Tied 1-1 late, they were able to stay level when Yachiyo scored a run in the 8th, 9th and 10th innings. Their determination paid off as they scored the winning run in the bottom of the 12th.
Chiba Gakugei blew a 4-2 run lead against Shibaura Koudai Kashiwa, as Ogawa gave up 3. However, they would come back with 2 in the bottom of the 9th for the win.
And finally on the 16th at Sodegaura, Sawara Hakuyou scored 2 in the top of the 9th to tie the game against Higashi-Katsushika. And then they scored 2 in the 11th to take the lead. But Higashi would somehow score 2 of their own to tie the game... and that's where it ended. A 4-4 draw. Which means a replay game the next day.
And in that game, they would be deadlocked at 1 going into the late innings, but Sawara wanted nothing to do with extra innings. They scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the 8th to win 2-1.
Also on the 17th, one of my favorite teams in Narashino beat Sakura 5-1 to advance to the next round. Their next opponent will be Takushokudai Kouryou, who defeated Kimitsu Aoba 8-1 in 7 innings.
In the 2nd game at Ichihara, #5 seed Chiba Shoudai Fuzoku was upset by Shiritsu Kashiwa 4-3. Moving to Narashino, Shouwa Shuuei scored 2 in the bottom of the 9th to keep their hopes alive against Ichikawa Higashi, but Ichikawa would score the winning run in the 11th.
Awa's run ended at the hands of Seibudai Chiba 5-3 and will face Chiba Kita for the right to be in the Best 8. Chiba Keizaidai Fuzoku is trying for a comeback as they handled Kimitsu Shougyou 8-1 in 7 innings.
We also had our 2nd top seed to fall. Chiba Reimei was locked in a pitcher's duel with Narita. Narita took the 1-0 lead in the 2nd and 1st year(!) Nakagawa was holding Reimei in place. Reimei had one last chance. Bottom 9th, runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 out, Reimei had a chance to tie, or even win. But Nakagawa shuts the door and completes the upset!
And finally, Omigawa scores a run in each of the last 4 innings to say sayonara to Nishou Gakushadai Fuzoku Shounan 7-6.
The team that can claim to have the longest road - Shouwa Dai-ichi Gakuen, continues their run with a 2-1 win over Fuchuu Nishi. If they want to go further, they'll have to beat #9 seed Toua Gakuen.
Nichidai-san began it's run with a combined one-hitter against Komae. But what was strange was that they managed only 2 hits themselves. It was the 9 walks that Morita and Sugimoto gave up that allowed Nichidai to move on.
Moving on to the 16th, Hino struggled against Kodaira, scoring the lone run in the game in the bottom of the 10th. #8 seed Oubirin (i.e. Oberin) had a good showing against Toukaidai Sugao, winning 5-1. #5 Nichidai-ni wins their first game against St. Paul Gakuen and will face Senshuudai Fuzoku.
Time waits for no one, so the 17th goes into the 4th round. Wasedadai Gakuin will try to secure a Best 8 spot after they defeated Kokubunji (who defeated #3 Hachiouji) 3-2. #2 Waseda Jitsugyou was on the ropes against Jissen Gakuen down 3-1 in the top of the 9th. Somehow, Waseda comes through with 4 runs to take a 5-3 come from behind win!
Top seed Nihon Tsuruoka is just rolling towards the final as they mercy rule Kodaira Minami. They'll face Touhou next, as they sent a Teikyou school home in Teikyou Hachiouji. Meanwhile, in that battle of Meiji schools, Meijidai Meiji shutout Meujidai Nakano 7-0. Their opponent in the round of 16 will be Horikoshi, who earlier upset #4 Kokugakuin Kugayama.
We'll get a good matchup in the upcoming round as Kokushikan will face off against Jyoutou at Meiji Jingu-ni stadium.
Teikyou is taking no chances, sending Itou to the mound to lead them to another Koshien appearance. And he dominated his last game against Sumida Kougyou:
7 innings (called), 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 K!!
In fact, even though Itou didn't pitch in the game prior, Teikyou's pitchers have combined for 14 innings of no-hit, no-run ball. That's 14 perfect innings!!!
Their next opponent will be Nichidai Sakuragaoka at Edogawa on the 18th.
Yukigaya is looking to get back to the final as they defeat Komadai 6-2 thanks to a 5-run 8th.
On the 16th, there were two gyakuten comebacks in the top of the 9th. Sundai Gakuen scores 3 in the top of the 9th to defeat Nishogakushadai Fuzoku 4-3. Kaijyou scores 4 to defeat Shinozaki 7-5.
Nagaya find a way to rally against Odawara with a run in the 8th and the sayonara run in the 9th to send them home.
Last year's darlings, Yokohama Hayato started off their campaign with a 9-1 win over Shiritsu Kawasaki in 7 innings.
The other half of the bracket finished their 2nd round on the 17th and 18th. Keiou Gijyuku starts their efforts with an 8-0 win in 7 over Kanazawa.
Sanjyou Higashi walked off with 3 in the 9th to beat Odijya. Naoetsu put together back-to-back 2-run innings to beat Arai 5-4.
Rain still plagued some sites, and for Niigata Minami and Tokyo Gakkan Niigata, their game was called for a 2nd time.
But taking advantage of the off day to catch up on games, they're back on schedule starting the 3rd round on the 17th. The top 4 seeds have their matches first, then the second 4.
Top seed Niigata Meikun continues to cruise with a 10-0, 5 inning win over Niigata Sangyoudai Fuzoku.
At Sanjyou, #2 Tookamachi wins 3-0 over Koushi while managing just 2 hits.
#3 Nihon Bunri did not look all that spectacular, but defeated Niigata Minami 10-6.
And if you take the deteriorating trend, you would expect that #4 Takada would fall, and they did, 1-0 to Nagaoka Oote.
The replay of the Suwa Futaba-Hotaka Shougyou game was decisive this time around with Hotaka taking a 5-3 win.
Seeded Matsushou Gakuen needed a run in the 9th to defeat Anan. Fellow seed Matsumoto Kougyou surprisingly needed 11 innings to defeat Ina Kita.
In a barnburner, Shinonoi led wire to wire against Matsumoto Agatagaoka by a score of 14-10!
Nagano finally got back on schedule with games on the 16th, although Ueda Chikuma tried to derail that with a 3-2 win in 12 over Iiyama at Iida, while over at Suwako Iwamurada did the same thing against Akashina.
Seeded teams got back on the field Saturday, Maruko Shuugakukan needed runs late to beat Ueda 3-1, But Ueda Nishi fell to Nagano 5-3 in 13. Matsumoto Gakuen and Matsumoto Kougyou had little trouble at their home field.
Over in Suwako, Toukai Dai-san mercied ruled Tagawa, but apparently Suwa Seiryou couldn't handle a Chikyuu Kankyou squad who had just played the day prior.
And in Nagano, Saku Chousei only needed 5 innings against Minami-Adzumi Nougyou, but Nagano Nichidai needed one late to beat Komoro Shougyou.
Toyama was one of the last prefectures to kick off play, starting on Saturday.
Last year's representative Nanto Sougou Fukuno, started their repeat campaign with a 4-0 shutout over Daimon.
Probably the game of the day was between Toyama Chubu and Isurugi. Up 8-4, Isurugi was 3 outs away from advancing to the next round. But Toyama miraculously scores 7 in the top of the 9th to take an 11-8 lead. But when it seemed all but over, Isurugi comes back with 4 in the bottom of the 9th to win 12-11!
Fukui also started on the 17th. Takefu Shougyou and Harue Kougyou both advance on the opening day of competition.
Ishikawa Ishikawa opened their tournament with Daishouji Jitsugyou defeating Kanazawadai Fuzoku 8-5, while Komatsu used a 4-run 9th to defeat Nanao 5-3.
Shiga finally got underway as Moriyama defeated Kokusai Jyouhou 10-0 in 5 innings while Hikone Shouyou got past Maibara 5-3.
Shiga is furiously trying to get back on schedule, and by the end of the games of the 17th, is less than a day behind now.
Adogawa scored 3 in the bottom of the 8th against Nagahama, then scored the sayonara run in the 13th to win 8-7.
Yamanashi is back on track having finished the 2nd round with all 8 seeded teams intact. Unfortunately, it also seems that the Teikyou schools (outside of Teikyou itself) are beginning to fall, the latest being Teikyou Dai-san who lost to Koufu Jyousai 6-5.
After a week off, Gifu looks to catch up on games, and that was what the 17th was for. Did not affect Gifu Jyouhoku as they defeated Motosu Shouyou 6-2.
The job is tougher in Aichi where they held 28 games on Saturday.
Over at Kariya, Zuiryou scored 2 in the bottom of the 9th against Chiryuu to send it into extras, and then won it in the bottom of the 10th.
At Mizuho, Toukai scored a sayonara run in the bottom of the 10th to defeat Toyota Tousen 4-3.
At Toyohashi, Aichi scores 3 in the bottom of the 8th to take the lead over Toyohashi Minami. They would win 4-2.
And over at Toyota, after Nagoya scores a run in the top of the 9th to take a 6-2 lead, Seijyou wrestles it out of their hands with 4 in the 9th. In the 13th, they would push across the winning run.
The other half of the bracket finally kicked off their games.
Seikei gave up a 5-0 lead over Jyounan Shizuoka but won in 12. Ogasa scores a run in the 8th and 9th innings to defeat Itou Shougyou 5-4. Gotenba Minami outlasted Fugakukan 1-0 in 11 innings (although Fugakukan only had one hit), and Hamamatsu Kita beat Shizuoka Higashi 5-4 in 12.
Numadzu Higashi sent Shizuoka Nougyou home after Nougyou managed to level the score in the top of the 9th. Shimizu Higashi did the same thing to Hamamatsu Minami after Hamamatsu scored 2 in the 9th. Fukuroi Shougyou bid adieu to Hamamatsu Kaiseikan with a run in the bottom of the 9th.
Mie got off to an exciting start on Friday as Kanbe scores two in the bottom of the 9th to defeat Takada.
And then in a shocker, Uji-Yamada Shougyou did not get past their first game! Kinkidai Tousen actually led Ujiyamada late before they scored 2 in the 8th to tie, but they scored the go-ahead run in the 10th!
Kyoto is hopelessly behind on their games. Games on the 12th are being held on the 15th, and even then games were rained out at Wakasa Stadium.
And if that weren't enough, Shuuchi and Kouyou play to a 7-7 draw! Kouyou scored 3 in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game, and the game spiraled to the 15th. In the replay, Shuuchi left nothing to chance as they win 8-0 in 7 innings.
Earlier at Wakasa, Kyoto Gaidai Nishi needed 2 runs late to defeat Higashi-Uji 3-2. Nishi-Jyouyou scores 6 in the top of the 9th to defeat Fukuchiyama 6-1.
That reminds me, If I didn't mention it earlier, Fukuchiyama Seibi is not in the tournament this year due to violations within the club.
And over at Maidzuru, Kyoto Bunkyou had a 3-0 lead over Rakunan. Then Rakunan scored 4 in the bottom of the 8th. And then Bunkyou decided to score 10 in the top of the 9th. To be honest, if I were Rakunan, I think I might have preferred going quietly 3-0 than getting destroyed 13-4.
Doushisha defeated Kameoka 7-0 in 7 innings, but what was interesting was that all 7 runs were scored in the 7th.
Kyoto has resorted to running 4 games over at Wakasa to try and catch up.
Sukazu survives a 4-run 9th by Ouki to win 7-6. Looks like those 2 insurance runs in the bottom of the 8th were necessary after all.
Ryuukokudai Heian shows no mercy as they try to repeat, defeating Ooe 11-1 in 6 innings.
Nara is about a day behind on their games, which is better than most.
Unabi defeated Nara Jyouhou Shougyou on their last AB 4-3 to start games on the 15th. Seeded Tomigaoka scored late to beat Heijyou 8-5, and Kashihara also rallied from 4-0 down to defeat Kansai Chuo 5-4.
The Chiben Gakuen-Tenri final is still possible as Chiben handles Takamado 9-0 in 7. Seeded Takada Shougyou defeated Kashihara Gakuin 3-0.
Wakayama's tournament has been pushed back 3 days thanks to the rain.
Taikyuu's 5-4 win over Hashimoto was interesting in that all 9 runs were scored in 2 half-innings.
Minoshima, who had recently made their first Koshien appearance in 18 years, started off with a 2-0 win over Kumano.
And in the final game of the 15th, Kihoku Kougyou defeated Minabe Ryuujin 5-4 in the bottom of the 10th.
We had three more walkoffs on the 16th. Touin defeated Wakayama Tousen 10-0 in 5 innings. Hidaka scored the only run against Kihoku Nougei in the bottom of the 10th. Finally, after Tanabe Kougyou blew a 8-2 lead against Arida Chuo highlighted by a 3-run top of the 9th, Tanabe gets the sayonara run in the bottom of the 9th.
On the 17th , Hidaka Nakatsu couldn't quite push the tying run across against Kinkidai Shinguu, losing 5-4. Minabe scored 1 in the top of the 9th against Wakayama Kougyou to tie the game, then 3 in the 10 for the win.
Chiben Wakayama started their bid for their 6th consecutive Wakayama bid with an 11-0, 6 inning win against Wakayama Higashi.
There was heartbreak for the boys from Minato. Against Waseda Setsuryou, they were down 4-0 in the top of the 9th. They then score 6 to take the lead. But Waseda would come back to score 3 and win the game.
Meanwhile, Midori Seihou rallied from down 5-0 to Nisshin with 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th to win 7-6.
Osaka apparently is the home of the hard luck team. Momoyama Gakuin and Sakai Nishi were tied going into extras. Momoyama scores 2 in the top of the 11th, but could not find a way to hold it. Sakai comes back with 3 runs in the bottom of the 11th for the win. And later Yamamoto would score a run in the bottom of the 10th to beat Ikuno 7-6. Hirakata Tsuda did the same thing to Kourigaoka.
Meanwhile, Osaka Touin finally took the field, defeating Osaka Furtisu Tousen 12-0 in 5 innings. Konkou Osaka played on the 17th and defeated Osaka Denki Tsuushindai 11-0 in 5.
In other games, Kinkidai Senshuu scores a run in the bottom of the 11th to defeat Izumi-Ootsu 6-5.
Before I go with regular coverage, I'd like to say that Haruhi's Nishinomiya Kita managed to win their first game over Iwa 5-3 by rallying with runs in the 6th, 7th and 8th innings! Yatta!
But then they lost to Murano Kougyou 6-0... Boo....
Back to the main coverage, Hyogo is working on catching up on it's games, moving teams to different stadiums to get back on track. Some seeded teams have been upset in the meantime. Himeji Minami lost to Himeji Nishi 2-1 in 12 innings. The combined Suma Shoufuu squad defeated Takigawa Dai-ni. Meanwhile, Yanagi Gakuen gives up the tying run in the top of the 9th to Akashi Minami and loses in 10 and Tatsuno loses to Takasago Minami 2-1. Finally, Takigawa is actually mercy ruled by Himeji Kougyou 7-0 in 7 innings!
Tottori started on the 17th with both Yonago and Yonago Nishi winning their games at home.
Acorn Stadium was home to two extra inning games as Tamashima Shougyou scores 3 in the 11th to beat Bizen Ryokuyou 7-4 while Kurayoshi Kojyoike and Wakeshizutani play to a 2-2 draw! And that was after Wakeshizutani scored a run in the bottom of the 9th to level the score at 2. They would not have as much luck the next day though as Kojyoike wins 6-3.
Shimane started play on the 15th with Masuda Higashi defeating Mitoya 7-4. Of note, last year's participant Risshoudai Shounan rallied to defeat Matsue Shougyou 5-3.
In what perhaps is a damning indicator of the quality of teams, #2 seed Izumo was upset by Yasugi 4-1.
Kaisei, for the first time without manager Nonomura, has no trouble defeating Goutsu Kougyou 8-0 in 7.
(for now, I'll just have to focus on updating brackets. Sorry.)