Sunday, June 12, 2011

2011 Haru Taikai - Chuugoku Taikai Final

In the first round of the Chuugoku Taikai, it was a massacre for almost any team not from Okayama. Well, the teams didn't lose by a wide margin, but they lost nonetheless.

The only Okayama team to not advance was actually Soushi Gakuen. They lost to the Yamaguchi representative Ube Koujyou 1-0. Remember, if you're a low scoring offense highly dependent on your defense, you're bound to have games like this (see Seattle Mariners).

And because Okayama Gakugeikan won the consolation game against Kurashiki Shougyou, there were no rematches in the semis.

So it was that 1st place Sakuyou had to face 4th place Kurashiki Shougyou. While Sakuyou had won the prefecturals, it was Kurashou that had the experience. And boy did it ever show. Kurashou took the reins early and never let go, mercy ruling the boys from Tsuyama 9-0.

Okayama Gakugeikan looked to make it a rematch in the final, but first had to get past the rogue team in the semifinals. But Ube Koujyou was persistent. While Gakugeikan had the 1-0 lead, they continued to fight and eventually broke through, scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the 8th to steal the lead away and send the Okayaman boys home.

In the finals, it would be Ube Koujyou that would strike first with a pair of runs in the 4th. However, they couldn't make that lead stick. Kurashou would score a run in bottom of the inning, then explode for 4 in the next. That would be all they needed as they win just their 2nd title with their first being 2 years ago.

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