Day 5Game 1 - Nichidai-san (Nishi Tokyo) vs. Nihon Bunri (Niigata)
Nihon Bunri outside of the magical year of 2009 had not done a whole lot, much like many of the teams out of Niigata.
And they had about a tough of a first round as you could get in Nichidai-san.
But it was them that opened the scoring in the 2nd with 2 extra base hits and an error from the Sanko defense.
It felt like it might actually be competitive...
...and then it wasn't.
14 runs later and well, we know who was the better team.
Game 2 - Yanai Gakuen (Yamaguchi) vs. Kaisei (Shimane)
I thought it unfortunate that two Chuugoku schools had to play each other. I'd like to see these teams advance, but not through cannibalizing each other.
But when Yanai Gakuen manages just 3 hits off of Shirane... Well, never mind...
Game 3 - Shin-Minato (Toyama) vs. Ryuukokudai Heian (Kyoto)
This on paper seemed like a yawner. Heian who defeated both Fukuchiyama Seibi and Ritsumeikan Uji versus a rural prefecture team.
Let me say this... I will never doubt the power of an oen-dan ever again.
Shin-Minato's oen-dan extended past the designation section. It was like the whole 3rd base side was from Shin-Minato. I had retreated to the upper sections of the 3rd base side and it seemed there there was supporters as far as the eye could see.
And in this case the oen-dan didn't necessarily stop the Heian offense per se. Instead it seemed to help them primarily get out of pinches throughout the game. Which meant that they hung in there until they finally got timely hitting to put runs on the board. And when they took the lead in the 8th 3-1, the place went nuts and I couldn't believe my eyes that Heian was losing.
In fact Heian had runners in scoring position in 7 of the 9 innings, and in one of those innings they didn't, Takahashi hit a home run.
And when the last out was recorded, the place just went nuts. I don't blame them - they did in fact defeat a well-known team from a powerful prefecture.
Little did I know that this upset would be one of more to come...