Monday, August 1, 2011

93rd Koushien Qualifying - Shikoku/Kyushu Update

So the Kagawa semis outside of last year's representative Eimei had some former participants, though it was a while ago. As a result, Eimei advanced from one semi, and Marugame from the other would meet up.

But it was all Eimei in the final as they won 8-0 for their 2nd consecutive title.

We almost had 2 upsets in the semifinals. First, Seikou Gakuen shocked seeded Naruto scoring 3 runs on just 4 hits. Naruto only had 2 hits and still managed to score 1 run.

In the other semi, Komatsushima was leading seeded Tokushima Shougyou 1-0. But Tokushou scored a run in the 8th and one in the 9th for a gyakuten sayonara win.

In the final, Tokushima Shougyou led 2-1 heading into the 9th when Seikou Gakuen tied the game! The game would be sent into extras, and while Seikou was able to hold on for a while, reliever Okigaki finally folded in the 13th, giving up the sayonara run giving Tokushou their 23rd title and their first appearance since 2007.

As Ehime passed onto the semis, most of the expected teams made it such as Imabari Nishi, last years winner Uwajima Higashi. They'd have to face Touon and Nitta respectively.

And while Imabari Nishi did their job, seeded Nitta did theirs by defeating last year's representative 2-1 on the strength of a 3-hitter by the tandem of Hino and Nakagawa.

In the finals though Nitta decided to go Hino then Yuyama then Nakagawa. Whether or not it proved to be fatal is unknown, but righter after tying the game at 1 in the 6th, Yuyama gives up 2 runs with prove to be the final margin.

So looking at the matchups, you had to figure it would be Meitoku Gijyuku versus either Kochi school (which would be a challenge).

Meitoku Gijyuku did make it to the finals, but they did it with the benefit of just 1 hit (and 7 free passes). Ace Omatsu would only give up 2 hits to Tosa himself. They would face Kochi, though only because they scored 7 in the 8th to win 7-3 over Kochi Shougyou.

In the final, Omatsu once again shut the door on Kochi's offense! He once again limited them to just 1 hit, though striking out just 3 giving Meitoku Gijyuku their 13th title and 2nd consecutive.

Just to show how good Kyushu Kokusaidai Fuzoku (aka Kyukoku) is, they used backup pitcher Ooe in the semifinals against Oomuta for 8 innings before turning to Miyoshi, and he gave up just 5 hits. Miyoshi completed the shutout.

In the other semi, Touchiku surprised Fukuoka Koudai Jyoutou with 3 in the bottom of the 8th for the gyakuten 4-3 win.

The finals was all Kyukoku, who won 11-2 for their 4th title, and their first appearance since 2009.

The final was a pitchers' duel as the teams only combine for 9 hits. Senshuudai Tamana makse the most of their 4 hits and plates a run - the only one scored in the game. Kumamoto Kougyou falls 1-0 and Senshuudai Tamana finally gets their first appearance at Koushien!

One could have argued that this was Meihou's tournament. Except for the fact that in the semifinals against Oita Shougyou, they fell behind 4-0 before scoring in the 2nd half of the game to win 10-5. Nihon Bunridai Fuzoku seemed to be the better team coming out of the semis with a 4-0 win over Hita Rinkou.

Yet in the finals, Meihou's ace Takao throws a CG 1-hitter giving them their 4th title as well and first since 2009.

In the finals between Nobeoka Gakuen and Nichinan Gakuen, Nichinan Gakuen would get the better of the matchup, winning 4-3 and earning their 6th title and first in 4 years.

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