Remember when I said the Daishoudai Sakai-Minoshima game wouldn't be competitive?
Yeah, me neither.
Although the game did start like I thought it might. After just 3 innings, Osaka Shoudai Sakai held a 9-1 lead.
Two innings later though, the score was 10-9!
Minoshima was able to claw to within just 1 run! And every time Daishoudai tried to pull away. Minoshima would get those runs right back!
Problem was, they could never get that one extra run...
And so Daishoudai Sakai does advance thanks to a late drop goal, 13-12. Just kidding. About the drop goal that is.
In the other game of that side of the bracket, after some early scoring that left Ritsumeikan Uji up 2-1 the score remained that way until the 9th where Ritsumeikan scored 4 to seemingly put the game away only to see Osaka Touin roar right back. However, they only managed 3 runs, and thus fell 6-4!
Moving along to the opposite side, Tenri's offense was held at bay by Oumi and ace Ishida limiting them to just 3 runs. However, opposing ace Nishiguchi was one better. Well, 2 actually as Tenri advances to the semis with a 3-1 win.
And in the last matchup between relative unknowns Han-ai and Akashi Shougyou, the Kyoto champions shut down the triumvirate staff of Han-ai 7-2.
Onto the semis and Tenri decided to sit ace Nishiguchi and instead send out Nakatani and Oonishi. No matter though, as Tenri goes to another final with a 4-1 win.
Perhaps the biggest surprise though was the other semifinal. Daishoudai Sakai facing Ritsumeikan Uji opened the game with 6 unanswered runs. Ritsumeikan immediately went into scramble mode to find a way to get back into the game. Slowly but surely they started to get those runs back, yet by the end of the 8th inning they still trailed 6-4.
Daishoudai Sakai would not let this go on any further and responded by putting up a 6-spot in the 9th to put the game out of reach. A 12-4 win later, and the #3 seed from Osaka was in the final!
In the final, Daishoudai looked to continue the theme putting up a run in the top of the 1st. Tenri found the tying run in the 4th, and then the teams traded runs in the 5th. After that though, the bats fell silent as the game got deeper and deeper into regulation. Eventually, the game would go into extras.
But not for long though. The game goes just one more inning as Tenri scores the sayonara run to take their 6th spring title and first in 16 years!