Yazu seemed to have the game in control after scoring 4 in the 3rd. But they had other opportunities to extend the lead and was not able to. That would hurt them in the end as Sakai would score a pair of runs in the 7th and 8th for a gyakuten 5-4 victory!
Sakai's opponent in the championship would be Tottori Shougyou as ace Hashimoto throws a 4-hit shutout over Tottori Ikuei.
In the finals, Sakai would have to play catchup, not once, but twice. Right after Tottori Shougyou scored their 2nd run in the 5th, Sakai scored a pair of their own. Same thing happened right after Tottori Shougyou scored a run in the bottom of the 6th. While it gave them the tie once again, they were unable to take the outright lead.
And Tottori Shougyou would ensure Sakai would have no time to rally. They score the sayonara run for the win and only their 2nd title - the first being 7 years ago.
Kanzei and Okayama Rikaidai Fuzoku was easily the most competitive game of the 4 quarterfinal games. Both teams struggled to get hits, though Rikaidai did get the opening run in the 1st on a HR by Fujioka. Kanzei tried fighting back throughout the game, and finally broke through in the 8th scoring the douten run. In the 9th, they would get to reliever Fujioka and score the gyakuten run. Rikaidai was not able to mount a 9th inning rally and fell 2-1.
Outside of that game, Okayama Gakugeikan, Sakuyou and Konkou Gakuen all advanced with little difficulty.
And the semifinals were actually much of the same. Okayama Gakugeikan got mercy ruled in 5 by Okayama 12-2, and while Sakuyou managed to get a 2-0 lead early, a 10-1 run by Konkou Gakuen in the 3rd-6th innings made the game out of reach.
So it'll be Kanzei and Konkou Gakuen for the final.
It seemed to be getting easier for top seed Iwamichisuikan. In the quarterfinals they won 11-0 over Iinan in 5 innings. Their opponent would be #4 Taisha, though it didn't seem that way at first. Masuda Higashi scored 7 unanswered to take a 8-1 lead going into the 5th. Then suddenly Taisha went on their own run the next two innings, scoring 10 unanswered!! Masuda wouldn't give it up that easily as they scored 3 to tie the game at 11! Taisha would finally put Masuda Higashi away with 2 in the 9th for the 13-11 win!
On the other half of the bracket, 2 seed Kaisei under the managing of Nonomura-kantoku again helped rally the troops against Yasugi. 3 runs in the 5th would tie the game, and a pair of runs in the 7th and 8th gave them the win. 3 seed Matsue Shougyou would make it a scratch bracket as they used a 4-run 5th to defeat Izumo 7-5.
The semis have been postponed to today due to rain.
Our 3rd seeded team in Hiroshima was to fall in the 4th round. Hiroshima Kokusaidai Gakuin after building a 4-1 lead on Shiritsu Kure, saw that lead turn into a one-run deficit before tying it at 6 in the 8th. But it would be Kure who would have the final laugh, scoring the sayonara run in the 11th.
Kinkidai Fukuyama who had beaten Kouryou, got mercy ruled by Hiroshima Kougyou 11-0 after they scored 10(!) in the 5th.
Hiroshima Sougyou Gijyutsu for the 2nd game in the tournament showed offense, scoring 10 runs in a 10-5 win over Miyajima Kougyou. They did give up the runs late which could be worrysome against harder competition.
Miyoshi, who had upset Hiroshima Shougyou was soundly defeated by Hiroshima Shinjyou 13-5.
Soutoku went from mercy rule to enchousen back to mercy rule as took take care of Aki Minami 10-0 in 6.
Onomichi Shougyou would be the next to fall by the wayside. They trailed 2-1 to Hatsukaichi Nishi in the bottom of the 9th when they were able to force extras. Yet they still had trouble getting to ace Nakai. And in the 13th it would be Hatsukaichi who would get to ace Maeda, scoring a run in the 13th. With no response from Onomichi they would fall 3-2.
And finally Jyousuikan advances with a 4-2 win over Onomichi Higashi.
So moving onto the quarterfinals at Shimanami Stadium, Soutoku stayed with Hiroshima Sougou Gijyutsu responding to each score that they put on the board. But when Sougou Gijyutsu scored a run in the 6th to take the lead, not only did they tie it in the 7th, they scored again in the 8th to take their first lead! Down 1 with just 3 outs to go, Sougou Gijyutsu was unable to plate the tying run.
In the matinee game, Jyousuikan and Hiroshima Kougyou battled it out in the middle innings, with Jyousuikan maintaining the one-run lead they held in the first. An insurance run in the 7th to make it 6-4 is enough for a ticket to the semis.
Over at Kure Nikou, Sanyou completely had their way with Hatsukaichi Nishi, getting their 4th mercy win in as many games, 15-0!
The field would be rounded out by Hiroshima Shinjyou who only trailed 0-1 in the 1st inning. 7 innings later, they had a 15-8 mercy win.
The round of 16 was predominantly dominated by low-scoring affairs.
Yanai Gakuen woke up to find themselves in a pitchers' battle with Suou-Ooshima. Making things worse was that Suou-Ooshima tied the game at 1 in the 8th. In the end though they would pull it out, but not until the bottom of the 9th. Fellow B seed Onoda had the same issue with Ube Kougyou, except for the fact they were actually down 1! They won the game by scoring a run in the final 2 innings.
We would have an upset though, Shimonoseki Kougyou ace Matsumoto would limit A seed Shimonoseki Shougyou to just 1 run on 8 hits in a 4-1 win.
And despite getting just 2 hits, Shimonoseki Kokusai makes those count as LF Fujita hits a home run in the 7th to give them a 1-0 win over Hayatomo!
The quarterfinals would see every single favorite lose save for one.
- Yanai Gakuen would limit Ube Koujyou to just one run in a 2-1 win.
- Nanyou Kougyou and Shimonoseki Kokusai are in a close game until Nanyou gives up 4 in the 8th for the upset!
- Iwakuni never takes the lead over Onoda and falls 5-2!
- The only favored team to win is Sakuragaoka, who defeats Shimonoseki Kougyou 12-1 in 8.
After blowing a 6-1 lead to Miki in the 3rd round, Sakaide Shougyou scores more runs in the 13th inning then they did the entire game. They win 15-6.
Shoudoshima, down 1 in the 9th ties the game then wins it in 12 against Takamatsu.
Onto the quarterfinals and Eimei, though unseeded, advances with at 5-1 win over Takamatsu Shougyou. Sakaide Shougyou comes from behind against Shoudoshima to win 7-6 in the bottom of the 9th. Marugame uses a 5-run 5th and uses it to hold onto a 6-5 win over Sangawa. And finally, Kanonji Dai-ichi just takes Marugame Jyousei to task, mercy ruling them 8-0 in 7!
After rain washes out a couple of days, play get back on track on the 21st. Tomioka Nishi allows Anan Nishi to tie the game in the 9th, but it only extends it for one more inning.
In the quarterfinals, Jyounan gets shocked by Seikou Gakuen (no, not Seikou Gakuin) who despite getting just 4 hits, scores the one and only run in the ballgame!
Naruto Kougyou's bid gets derailed by Komatsushima as they score a run in the bottom of the 8th and 9th for the win.
And the remaining seeded teams, Naruto and Tokushima Shougyou advance with ease.
Let's see, what to note...
Matsuyama Kougyou gets its 2nd close game in as many played. Up 6-1 after 1 they allow Niihama Minami to tie the game, the after taking the lead, they give it up. Down 10-8, they score 3 to take the lead this time for good.
Teikyou Dai-go scores just 1, which is enough to beat Yawatahama, though it's not a great start.
Tanbara not only upsets #2 Kawanoe, they mercy rule them in 8 innings 9-2!
Either Nitta likes the score 7-5, or they like the game close. Up 6-0, they allow Saijyou (albeit a good team) to score 5 in the last two innings. An insurance run in the 9th gives them their 2nd 7-5 win.
Saibi ends Teikyou Dai-go's season early yet again with a 6-2 win. And Uwajima Higashi will be their next opponent as they defeat Matsuyama Kougyou 2-1.
Well, things were pretty much going as planned, with games not really being a tug of war so to speak. Meitoku Gijyuku advances to the semis, though they did have a bit of a scare against Kochi Chuo. They didn't win that game until the bottom of the 8th.
Okou and Tosa played to a scoreless draw in regulation, and it wouldn't be until the 11th when Kakehi would drive in the sayonara run for Tosa and send their team to the semis.
Joining them would be Kochi and Kochi Shougyou. That should setup to be an amazing game.
But as is the case during this time of year, rain gets in the way again.