Games began at Yokkaichi on the 15th with Tsu Nishi mercy ruling Subaru Gakuen 8-1 in 8. Since then we have reached the round of 16.
After the opening game all teams started play. Hisai Nourin scores 3 runs late to beat Matsusaka Shougyou 4-3. Akatsuki Gakuen scores 6 in the 5th, but needs every run as Yokkaichi Yogou scores 5 in the last 4 innings to barely get beaten 7-6. Tsu Shougyou fights back to tie the game at 5, after being down 3, in the 8th then goes on to beat Hisai in the bottom of the 12th. Yokkaichi scores the sayonara run over Yokkaichi Chuo Kougyou 2-1.
Rain started to impede play on the 18th. Games at Ise and Tsu were cancelled. After Ouka's 7-3 win over Toba, Yokkaichi Minami and Kinan can only get through 4½ before the game is called. Yokkaichi was the only place to play a full slate. And that wound up being fortunate for Kawagoe, not so much for Nabari Kiyougaoka. Nabari held a 7-1 lead through 7 innings. Kawagoe scores 4 in the 8th and 3 in the 9th for the 8-7 sayonara victory. The rained out games would be played on the 21st. Owase scores 3 in the 9th for a 6-4 win over Asake.
Onto the 2nd round, Tsu outlasts Nissei Gakuen Dai-ichi 2-1 in 12. And Tsu Higashi plates the only run in the top of the 9th to beat Kogakkan. Kaisei and Ouka tango for 13 innings, with Kaisei prevailing 3-2. Kawagoe continues its narrow escapes, scoring their runs late to win 2-1 over Minami-Ise.
When we last left Kyoto, they were in the middle of round 2.
Kyoto Kyouei scores late to beat Tanabe 4-3. Kumiyama down 5-1 in the bottom of the 9th scores 5 for the win! Yes, it's heartbreaking for Nantan, but at the same time it's what kokoyakyu is all about.
3rd round and Kyoto Gaidai Nishi defeats Kyoto Gakuen 7-2. Suzaku outlasts Rakutou 5-4 in 12. Yamashiro scores 3 in the 10th to defeat Ayabe. Ryuukokudai Heian scores 1 run in the 1st against Kyoto Kyouei, and surprisingly that's the only run scored!
Round of 16 play and my team - Kyoto Gaidai Nishi gets blitzed by a 5-run 5th from Kyoto Ryouyou 10-5... My more irrational team in Kyoto, Kyoto Subaru, scores in each of the last 5 innings, but can't make up for its pitching. They fall 11-8 to Toba.
In one of the most bizarre games, Ritsumeikan Uji had just scored 3 in the top of the 7th to lead 6-1 when Kumiyama out of nowhere scores 8! Not only that, but Uji comes back with 3 the very next inning to tie the game! The game would only go one more inning as Uji would win 12-9.
The next game that day would also go into extras where Yamashiro scored 3 in the 8th to tie it up. And even though they scored 2 in the 10th, they almost blew that lead.
What those first 2 extra inning games meant though was that Ryuukokudai Heian's game against Higashiyama, which they were winning 7-2 after 5½ was called a no-game expending extra effort. Fortunately for them they had 2 days off due to the rain. When play resumed Ryuukokudai Heian won 8-1 in 7.
The last games finished up with Fukuchiyama Seibi shutting out Doushisha Kokusai, and Nishi-Jyouou mercy ruling Rakuhoku.
Onto quarterfinal action, and Kyoto Ryouyou continues their surprising run with a 5-2 win over Toba. But they'd face their toughest test against Ritsumeikan Uji who handled Fukuchiyama 8-1 in 7. Meanwhile, Ryuukokudai Heian was in trouble versus Yamashiro, but scored 6 in the 8th for a gyakuten win! There'll be a blockbuster game next as they face Fukuchiyama Seibi who themselves had to hold off Nishi-Jyouyou 4-3.
Until I see someone challenge Chiben Gakuen, it's almost pointless covering this prefecture.
But to note some close games:
- Round 2 - Sakurai scores 4 in the 9th to beat Heijyou 7-5.
- The coverage in Nara could be made even more pointless as the only other team to break the Tenri-Chiben Gakuen barrier, Kooriyama, loses in their first game to Unebi 3-1.
- Gose Jitsugyou gets the lead against Yamato Kouryou with 3 in the 8th for a 1 run lead, loses it with 2 in the top of the 9th, then wins it 7-6 with 2 in the bottom of the 9th!
- Ichijyou wins 6-5 in 10 over Kashihara Gakuin.
- Round 3 - Nara Jyouhou Shougyou pulls off the sayonara win after allowing Takatori Kokusai to score 2 in the 9th to tie it up.
- Nara scores 4 in the 8th and achieves the gyakuten win over Ichijyou!
While there are some competitors now to Chiben Wakayama, which include Minoshima and Kouyou, it's still Chiben Wakayama's prefecture.
We advance to coverage of the 3rd round which sees one contender in Minoshima faltering late, giving up the tying and sayonara runs to Shiritsu Wakayama 2-1, and Touin taken to 14 by Hatsushiba Hashimoto but winning 4-2.
Looking at block play we had the following notable games:
- Kantodai Dai-ichi ties the game in the bottom of the 9th against Sakuranomiya, but loses 9-7 in 11.
- Osaka Shougyoudai scores 2 in the bottom of the 9th for the gyakuten sayonara win over Momoyama Gakuin.
- Nougei and Izumi-Ootsu start scoring runs like there's no tomorrow. Nougei leads 5-0, then Izumi-Ootsu leads 6-5, then Nougei leads 8-6. Izumi-Ootsu would try to come back, but Nougei just had one more run, winning 11-10.
- Tondabayashi, just 6 outs away from elimination, rallies to tie the game then wins 5-4 in 10 against Yuuhigaoka.
- Takatsuki Kita scores 3 in the bottom of the 9th to force enchousen, but ultimately falls 6-4 in 12 to Minoo Gakuen.
- Fukui tries repeatedly to put away Settsu even in the 12th inning, but Settsu rallies time and again, eventually winning 5-4 in 13.
- Kishiwada Sangyou scores 3 in the bottom of the 8th for a 8-7 win over Ootsuka.
Block play was going on in Hyogo. Notable games include:
- Block 11 Seed Touban Kougyou looks to be in dire straits against Himeji, but they score 5 in the 8th for a 7-6 gyakuten win.
- Kobe Kita rallies late to send it to extras, then wins in 14 over Koudera.
- Akashi Tousen barely beats out the transition team of Amagasaki Higashi/Amagasaki Sousei 1-0.
- Kenritsu Itami and Amagasaki Kita finally get their game in, and sure enough it goes into extras. Amagasaki Kita forces enchousen, but loses in 10.
- Right before the aforementioned game,Block 4 seed Mukonosou Sougyou looked to have the game in hand scoring 2 in the 9th to go up 3. But Ikawadani rallies for 3 to tie it, then also won in 10.
- Block 12 seed Sanda Shousei with 3 runs in the 7th and 8th innings tie the game at 7 with Himeji Kougyou. They would win in 12.
- In another 8-7 game, Aboshi scores 6 unanswered after Nishinomiya Kabutoyama scored 6 in the 3rd. And in 12, Aboshi would finish the job.
- Block 14 seed Touyoudai Himeji is yet another seeded team that has trouble in their first game. Against Takaradzuka Kita, they were 1-1 going to extras. Not until they scored 5 in the 11th did they finally win the game.
- Kawanishi Midoridai pushes Akashi into enchousen where they win 9-6 in 12.
- In Block 16, seeded Awaji Mihara loses a 3-run lead to Seiryou, giving up 2 in the bottom of the 9th in the process. Seiryou completes the comeback with a run in the 10th.
- Block 7 seed Kobe Murano Kougyou becomes the next seeded team to fall, as Himeji Nishi upsets them 2-0.
- Block 2 seed Kansei Gakuin behind late to Amagasaki Sangyou 7-5 scores 6 in the 8th to win 11-7.
- Mikage scores the sayonara run to beat Higashi-Nada 4-3.
- Kounan and Iwa play the first 9 innings without either scoring a run. It isn't until the 11th before Kounan scores the only run.
- Himeji Higashi tries to rally against Kenritsudai Fuzoku, but falls one run short 8-7.
- And anime-related, Nishinomiya Kita wins a game! They beat Hokuetsu Sanda 8-0 in 7 innings!
- Block semis started on the 17th. Takigawa Dai-ni, seeded team from Block 5, becomes the next to fall, losing 3-2 to Wadayama. Shinkou Gakuen, Block 6 seed, has similar troubled though they defeat Kakogawa Nishi 4-3.
- Sumoto scores 5 runs in the last 3 innings to defeat Kita-Suma 6-4.
- Part of the games on the 18th were rained out, but it wasn't a total loss of games. Sanda Shousei got another score from Aioi Sangyou, but won 4-3. Hyogo Shougyou outlasts Akashi Kita 2-1 in 11. Seiryou continues their run with a 4-3 win over Nagata.
- Ikawadani's run end in the 3rd round as Suma Higashi scores the winning run in the 11th.
- Oh my gosh! Nishinomiya Kita wins a 2nd game! They hold on to beat Kenritsu Itami 4-3 after Itami scores 3 in the 9th!
- Shiritsu Shinkou scores the only run in their game against Sayou. Suma Gakuen wins 1-0 over Kobe Tousen as well.
- Kansei Gakuin's run ends in their 2nd game. They rally, but fall to Himeji Shikisai 4-3.
- Mikage goes 13 against Takaradzuka Higashi winning 2-0.
- Despite there being just 1 day turnaround, Suma Gakuen rises to the occasion to defeat Wadayama 4-3 to win block 5!
- Houtoku Gakuen finishes out strong with a 8-1 win in 8 over Sumoto in Block 1.
- Touban Kougyou survives to win Block 11 with a 1-0 win over Himeji Minami.
- Kakogawa Higashi after defeating seeded Izushi moves on from Block 15 with a 4-3 sayonara win over Akashi Nishi. This inlcuded having to score a run in the 10th to keep the game alive!
- Touyoudai Himeji shuts out Hyogo Shougyou 4-0 to advance out of Block 14.
- Akou upsets Sanda Shousei 2-1 to win Block 12!
- Suma Higashi defeats Shiritsu Shinkou 3-2 to win Block 4.
- Shinkou Gakuen mercy rules Kobe Kouryou Gakuen to win Block 6.
- Himeji Shikisai rallies in the last 2 innings, but falls short against Nigawa Gakuin 4-3 in the Block 3 final. Kawanishi Midoridai survives in Block 2 over Kotogaoka by the same score.
- Oh well, it was good while it lasted. Yashiro advances out of Block 9 with a 7-0 win over Nishinomiya Kita. At least they weren't mercy ruled.
- Block 10, Kakogawa Kita has no problem with Kobe Takatsuka.
- Block 13, Ichikawa was the seeded team, Kobe Kokusaidai Fuzoku was the favorite. They win 8-2.
- Migake suffers whiplash in the Block 7 final. Ono mercy rules them 10-0 in 5.
- Akashi Shougyou calmly advances out of Block 8, defeating Shikama 4-1
- And rounding out things, in Block 16 Seiryou edges out Suma Shoufuu 2-1.