As you go through the matchups for today, all the matchups figure to be competitive games.
For the matinee game we have Seisei - who is attending Senbatsu for the first time, versus Kyoto Seishou - who has only been here once before.
Kyoto Seishou suffered a loss to Momoyama in the block final, but won the loser's bracket to advance. In the prefecturals, they lost to Kyoto Gaidai Nishi in the semis, but earned a quality win against Fukuchiyma Seibi winning 2-1 to take the last bid from Kyoto.
They got the most of their opportunity, defeated top seeded Chiben Gakuen from Nara, and holding a solid lead against Houtoku Gakuen before faltering late. The tournament committee determined that their performance was worthy enough to earn one of the final 2 bids from the Kinki super-region.
For Seisei, they had to go through a rigorous (and/or perhaps lucky) Shizuoka tournament structure. They needed 4 games to win their block, then 2 more to win their region, then 4 more to win the prefectural! Oddly though they only faced one quality opponent in Tokoha Kikugawa in the quarterfinals winning 4-2.
From there, they had to face Mie #3 Komono, and then Mie #1 Mie. It was a bit of a down year for the region considering the teams involved, but Seisei did face Oogaki Nichidai in the finals but lost 11-6 and didn't quite compete.
This game will be hard to gauge as Seisei did finish 2nd, but in a weaker field than usual. Kyoto Seishou did have a couple of quality games, but the late game collapse against Houtoku Gakuen is of concern. It should be a competitive game regardless of who advances.
Kyoto Seishou (Kyoto) - Kinki 5th-8th Place
3B Miyamoto Atsushi
CF Tamura Daisuke
1B Takita Kouhei
LF Okada Kouta
RF Yanao Ryouya (#10)
SS Yanao Takuya
C Kashiwagi Shouta
P Nishino Kentarou
2B Takeuchi Tsubasa
Seisei (Shizuoka) - Tokai Runner-up
CF Kumagai Shougo
RF MasudaRyuusuke (#17)
3B Matsuda Shouji
P Nomura Ryousuke
C Katou Shou
SS Tsuge Ryousuke
LF Sasaki Kazunori
1B Ishibashiri Naoki
2B Minami Shunya
11:51 - Game start!
The siren doesn't finish blaring when Miyamoto hits the 141 kph pitch back at Nomura who records the out.
Tamura spends a bit more time at the plate, running the count full, then taking a couple of pitches the opposite way foul.
Nomura has a fastball in the low 140s with a slider in the mid 120s and a curve.
And the persistence pays off as Tamura earns a 10 pitch walk. Matsui-kantoku elects for the bunt and a one timer from Kouta.
But Nomura gets him to pop it up! Katou over at the 1st base batters circle for the 3rd out to retire the side.
Good start for Nishino as he K's Kumagai to start the inning.
Masuda with a blooper down the right field line. Yanao running in dives, but the ball falls in just fair! He's in with a double!
Matsuda up looking to give Seisei the quick lead. He hits a soft liner to left! Kouta charging in, makes a shoestring catch! Masuda is caught off the bag and he's doubled off to end the inning! A bit of a baserunning mistake there by Seisei.
Ryouya with a hit to right center, but Kuamgai sprints over to make a nice catch.
Takuya with a grounder to the right side, but Ishibashiri makes a great diving stop and tosses to Nishino for the out.
Nishino gets Kashiwagi to hit a nubber, but Katou's throw is high!
It doesn't matter though, as Nishino strikes out looking on a 141 kph fastball to retire the side.
One down, and Katou hits a grounder to Miyamoto. His throw to 1st is high!! It goes in the camera well and Katou takes 2nd! Seisei immediately in scoring position!
Tsuge with a grounder back up the middle. Takeuchi dives, but can't come up with it! Katou rounds 3rd and scores giving Seisei the 1-0 lead!
Matsui-kantoku calling for a conference early...
Sasaki with another grounder up the middle. Takuya gets it, but can't flip it to Takeuchi in time! All safe!!! Nishino in a big pinch now.
Nishino not helping himself, falling behind Ishibashiri 3-1. Works the count full.
Liner by Ishibashiri! Takeuchi leaping up and he can't get that one! The runners take off as Tamura overruns the ball!! Tsuge scores, Sasaki is now waved in and he scores as the throw is cut off! It's 3-0 Seisei!
Asaga with a drive down the left field line! Kouta playing in can't scramble back to get the ball! That goes to the wall as Asaga is in with an RBI double making it now 4-0 Seisei!
Back to the top of the order as #11 Ogino warms up in the bullpen.
Kumagai hits a ball to 3rd. Miyamoto with the pick, tags a running Asaga for the 2nd out.
Masuda with a sharp liner, but Miyamoto picks it to end the inning. But not before Seisei explodes for 4 runs!
Nomura doing work on the mound, retires the top of the order with no trouble at all. Only the 3rd inning and Kyoto Seishou looks to be in trouble.
Nishino continues to struggle. Matsuda lines one over Takita! That goes all the way to the wall for a double. Cleanup batter Nomura lays down the bunt and Seisei threatens to extend the lead.
Katou backs away, but lays down the squeeze! Nishino looks at the ball, but has to pick it up! Throws to 1st and Matsuda comes in to score making it 5-0 Seisei!
Nishino hangs a curve and Shige drives it to right center! That's past the drawn in outfield and Tsuge is in with a stand-up triple.
あ！！！ Kashiwagi is crossed up and the pitch goes wild! Tsuge comes in to score and it's now 6-0.
Sasaki grounds out to 2nd to end the inning, but Seisei is in full control right now.
One down for Kyoto Seishou and Kouta drives a ball to deep left. Sasaki running over, and it's off the pole!! Kouta with a line drive homerun putting Kyoto Seishou on the board at 6-1!
Nomura retires the Yanaos to end the inning, but a surprise blast from Kouta lifts the team a little.
A lot of Nishino's problems have been a result of his not getting the ball down in the zone. He's left many of his pitches up and as a result has been pounded. The offerings are standard fare, he just hasn't been locating
This inning though it seems to be better. He gets his first true 1-2-3 inning, retiring Ishibashiri, Asaga and Kumagai all on ground balls.
But while it's better, unless the batters can get the sticks going, it'll be too late.
Kashiwagi with a chopper to short. Tsuge charges in, but the ball glances off his glove! He recovers but has no play!
E6, and now Matsui-kantoku will play for the one run. Nishino move the runner over into scoring position.
Takeuchi though, goes down swinging on an outside fastball. It'll be up to Miyamoto now.
He grounds out to 2nd though, and Kyoto Seishou leaves with nothing.
Nishino in his groove now. Has to defend himself on a comebacker, and got a good play from Takuya to end the inning, but he now has recorded 7 straight groundball outs.
Heading into the break Kyoto Seishou's ace has settled down, but can they take the break to turn things around?
That's a start. Tamura loops one over Asaga's head into center. Matsui-kantoku calls for the bunt to start, but has him swing away afterwards.
お。 Nomura hits Takita! Runners on 1st and 2nd now for Kyoto Seishou, and Mitsuoka-kantoku calls a quick conference to stop the momentum now.
Kouta, who hit the HR earlier, is asked to bunt the runners along, and does so. They'll go to Ryouya to deliver the timely hit.
Ryouya with a grounder to 3rd! Matsuda with the ball and Seisei elects to concede the run. It's 6-2.
Takuya sends a flyball to left, but Sasaki is there to make the catch and retire the side. Seisei avoids the big inning and maintains a good lead.
Katou is able to break the trend of groundballs, but instead only hits a pop fly to Takeuchi.
But the groundball parade continues. Tsuge grounds out to short, while Sasai grounds back to Nishino to end the inning.
Kashiwagi gets caught looking on a fastball that hits the outside corner.
Nishino suffers the same fate, going down on 3 pitches.
And Takeuchi hits a sharp liner, but right at Matsuda to quickly end the inning.
After yet another groundball out by Nishino, Asaga finally breaks through with a single to center.
Nishino leaves another ball up and Kumagai hits that to left center. He's in with a double and Matsui-kantoku calls a conference while getting the bullpen going again.
Masuda with a fly ball down the left field line. Kouta heading towards the fence??
That ball from Masuda must've carried as it didn't look like it had the trajectory to go, but it did, it's a 3-run homerun, and it's 9-2 Seisei. This pretty much seals Kyoto Seishou's fate.
Matsui-kantoku makes a pitching change now. Ogino comes in for Takita and takes over on the mound. Nishino goes to right, and Ryouya goes to 1st.
And immediately, he is effective. Ogino strikes out Matsuda looking, then gets Nomura to strike out swinging (except that the ball gets away from Kashiwagi and Nomura reaches 1st), and Katou flies out to center.
One down for Kyoto Seishou and Tamura hits a chopper to 3rd. Matsuda makes a leaping snag, but his throw to 1st is high and goes in the camera well. Tamura heads to 2nd.
#13 Fukui comes in to hit for Ogino which means his relief stint is over.
And he does his job. He manages to check up on a full count and draws a walk.
But Kouta grounds to Asaga who starts the 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
#10 Ryouya takes over on the mound as Fukui stays in the game to play 1st. Also, #9 Konishi comes in to replace Nishino in RF.
Tsuge with a grounder that goes off the glove of a diving Miyamoto for a base hit. Sasaki moves him along.
#18 Ishikawa comes in to hit for Ishibashiri. He lines one to Takeuchi. Not realizing that he caught it, Tsuge is caught off the bag and is doubled off.
#13 Kawano comes into the game for Ishikawa and takes over at 1B.
One down Takuya singles down the left field line. Kashiwagi chops one over Kawano down the right field line for a double.
Konishi up for his first AB, and he grounds out to 2nd. Seisei concedes a run and it's 9-3.
Takeuchi the last chance for Kyoto Seishou, but he can't check his swing and the game is over.
Seisei turned Nishino's troubles into a bunch of runs early and was able to cruise thereafter. Nomura kept the Kyoto Seishou batters relatively at bay. This certainly wasn't the game I was expecting from these teams, but it's understandable.
Outside of the 3rd and 4th innings, Seisei managed very little in offense save for the 7th when Nishino may have run out of gas anyways. That could be troublesome against Nichidai-san in the next round.
For Kyoto Seishou, there is certainly something there to build on, but they'll either need Nishino to keep those pitches down, or lean more on their relief staff to succeed.
Okada Kouta - 1-3, HR, R, RBI
Kashiwagi Shouta - 1-4, 2B
Masuda Ryuusuke - 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI
Tsuge Ryousuke - 3-4, 3B, 2R, RBI
Asaga Daiki - 2-3, 2B, R, RBI
Nomura Ryousuke - W, CG, 3 ER, 4 H, 7 K, 2 BB, HBP