First up is Riseisha (Kinki 3/4) vs. Aikoudai Meiden (Tokai Champs).
Riseisha received a challenge from Chikyuu Kankyou in the first 5 innings, but managed to pull away late in part perhaps due to Urushido's tiring on the mound. They won 5-2, but was not terribly impressive.
As for their pitching, I don't know if using a triumvirate of pitchers is what they will be using going forward, but each of them brought something different and perhaps were used in an effective manner to prevent fatigue and perhaps prevent getting hard hit as some of them weren't as effective as others.
Aikoudai Meiden had no trouble with Miyazaki Nishi, winning 8-0 thanks in part to a 14K effort by ace Hamada. That certainly won't continue, but seeing the hits spread around the players in the lineup is promising for future games. Other than that, there's little to take away from the game.
I would say that Aikoudai Meiden has the advantage in the matchup, but we've seen before that a combination of pitchers can be effective (darn you Saga Kita!)
Aikoudai Meiden (Aichi)2B Kimura Toshiki
CF Matsubara Fumiya
LF Araki Yuuto
SS Satou Daisuke
RF Matsuoka Daisuke
1B Torii Tatsunori
3B Nakano Yoshiki
P Hamada Tatsurou
C Nakamura Yuutarou
2B Miyazaki Shin
3B Shouno Yuuto
RF Harada Ryouhei
1B Kobone Makoto
SS Kumamoto Hayato
LF Okita Katsutoshi
CF Hasegawa Seiya (#15)
C Inui Hayato
P Higashino Ryuuji (#17)
09:00 - First Pitch!
Kimura with a ringing double down the left field line to start the game against starter Higashino!
Matsubara with the bunt, Higashino fields, throw to 1st is not in time! Runners at the corners immediately for Meiden!
Araki looking to cash in. But he goes down swinging on a slider and there's one down.
Kurano-kantoku decides to get the running game going and sends Matsubara! Throw to 2nd by Inui not in time!
Higashino gets Satou to pop it up! Okita with the catch and the runners have to hold. 2 down!
All he needs now is to retire Matsuoka and he's out of the jam. He gets ahead 1-2, check swing? 2-2.
Meiden can't capitalize on the early runners and Riseisha will look to take advantage in their half of the inning!
Miyazaki with a ball up the middle. Satou dives, but can't quite field it. Shouno sends him along to 2nd.
However, Harada and Kobone are retired quickly and the opportunity fizzles.
Higashino having a much better 2nd. Retires the first two batters before Hamada just about sneaks one through the right side. Miyazaki is there to field it, but can't quite get a handle on it.
Nakamura though goes down swinging and he's settled down for now.
Hamada gets two quick groundouts before Hasegawa singles through the left side.
Inui with a grounder that gets past Torii, but Kimura is there and makes the play to Hamada covering for the 3rd out.
Back to the top of the order and Kimura blasts one to left again! Okita running back and it bounces to the wall! Kimura with his 2nd double of the game!
Matsubara lays down the bunt again, and though he's out at first, Kimura advances to 3rd once again. Can someone get him in this time?
Araki tries for the safety squeeze, but he pops it up! Shouno charging in makes the diving catch and there's two outs.
Against Higashino I would have expected them to still be aggressive instead of choosing for the traditional path.
The Riseisha battery elects to unintentionally intentionally walk Satou to get to Matsuoka who K'd in his last opportunity just like this in the 1st.
This time Matsuoka delivers, driving one to right and scoring Kimura! 1-0 Meiden!
Torii reaches down and gets a ball at the end of the bat, and Okita is running back?! He's still running back??!
That's over his head!!??
It bounces to the wall! Satou scores! Matsuoka easily scores as Torii has a stand up triple! How the heck did that ball go all the way to the wall??! Either way, it's 3-0 Meiden!
Nakano with a grounder to the right side. Somehow that gets by a diving Miyazaki and goes into right scoring Torii! It's 4-0 Meiden!
And this time Higashino doesn't make it to the end of the 3rd. Okada-kantoku sends in #11, RHP Sakamoto.
Sakamoto gets out of the inning when Nakano tries to steal 2nd and is thrown out by Inui. But Meiden with 3 timely hits take a 4-0 lead over Riseisha!
Hamada looking very good early, hitting the catcher's spots fairly close if not hitting it exactly. Sakamoto falls victim to a fastball on the inside corner.
Not afraid to back down either, as on a full count to Miyazaki he goes inside, but misses to issue his 1st walk.
Shouno chases a ball outside for the 2nd out. And Harada suffers the same fate as he is fooled on a ball high and away. 3 Ks for the inning for Hamada.
He turns around now and picks up the bat and is frozen on a change down the middle.
After retiring Nakamura, Kimura fists a ball to the left side. Shouno takes it in front of Kumamoto, but bobbles the ball! Kimura on again with an infield hit!
Matsubara goes down on a fastball down the middle to end the inning.
Huh, must be a new thing to mimic Chiben's "C". Riseisha has a yellow R on a blue background whose size actually rivals that of Chiben's.
Kobone takes a pitch away through the right side for a leadoff single. Kumamoto appears to show bunt as Okada-kantoku may play for 1 at a time. Though I'm immediately proven wrong as he swings away and fouls one off.
Kumamoto with a great eye takes a couple of pitches inside, working the count full.
Hamada gives in with a fastball down the middle and Kumamoto blasts it to center! Matsubara stops as to play it off the wall, and it lands at the base! Kobone scores on the double and it's 4-1 Meiden!
More importantly, no one down!
Okita grounds out to 2nd, allowing Kumamoto to advance to 3rd.
Hasegawa lines one to right! Matsuoka there for the catch and his throw catches too much air. Hamada cuts it off and Kumamoto scores easily to make it 4-2 Meiden!
Inui flies out to right and the inning is over. But Riseisha cuts the deficit in half!
One down and Satou gets his 2nd walk. Matsuoka with a chopper up the 1st base line and Kobone goes to Miyazaki at 1B for the 2nd out.
And Sakamoto gets Torii looking on a fastball down the middle for the 3rd out! Sakamoto holds serve right after they gets 2 runs back!
Now can Riseisha close the gap further before the break?
Miyazaki with a slow chopper up the 3rd base side. Nakano charges in, but can't handle the bounce! Miyazaki with an infield single! (Though the scorers charge an error)
Shouno bunts him over as Okada-kantoku will look for a one-timer to cut the deficit to 1.
But Hamada falls behind Harada 3-0 with Kobone on deck.
And he loses him! Hamada will have to deal with Riseisha's cleanup batter! Kurano-kantoku calls for time.
Hamada jams Kobone! Torii under it for the catch and Hamada preserves the lead at 2 as we head to the break.
Nakano leads off the 6th with a double to left center. As expected, Hamada is showing bunt, but fouls his first attempt.
He pulls it back and swings on the next ball, but pops up to Kumamoto in shallow center, though the catch is a bit scary.
Nakamura tries to bunt, but he fails and falls behind 0-2. And so he fouls off a couple before reaching down and putting one just over the infield to right for a base hit!
Runners at the corners for top batter Kimura!
Nakamura takes off for 2nd and he's in there safely with a delayed throw!
SQUEEZE! Kimura lays down the squeeze! Sakamoto's only play is to 1st! One run scores!
Miyazaki at 1st fires home! They were sending Nakamura! The throw is in plenty of time to get Nakamura at home. They were trying for the 2-run bunt! However, Riseisha is prepared for it and gets the trailing runner to end the inning.
But Meiden tacks one back on to lead 5-2.
Kumamoto with a comebacker that Hamada doesn't field! Satou charges late, but makes the play at first for the out.
Okita gets on the board with his first hit, lining one to center.
Hasegawa follows that up with a liner to left and Riseisha's got 2 runners on.
Okada-kantoku tries the hit-and-run, but Inui pops it up! Satou on the outfield grass in center makes the catch.
#13 Uji pinch hits for Sakamoto as Higashi will as planned enter the game for the final 3 innings.
He falls behind 2-2, and fouls off a couple of hard pitches before working the count full.
But Hamada gets him to ground to 3rd! Nakano goes to 1st and the inning is over!
Ace Higashi does enter the game to hold the fort while the offense regroups.
One down, and right before Araki grounds out to 1st, I notice that Meiden's oen-dan has a small golden "M" on a purple background. It's much smaller than Riseisha's, that despite Meiden having more students (though Riseisha IS closer to Koushien than Meiden).
And Satou with a defensive swings on a ball inside lines out to 2nd for Riseisha's first 1-2-3 inning!
Why is Riseisha playing the graduation song at most graduations here??!
Miyazaki with good contact, but gets under it and Matsubara can camp under it in deep center for the out.
#14 Miyamoto comes in to hit for Shouno, but goes down on 3 straight pitches.
Hamada gets his first 1-2-3 inning as Harada hits a high fly to right to end the inning.
Miyamoto stays in the game at 3B.
Higashi issues his first walk to Matsuoka. Torii bunts him to 2nd.
Nakano with an opposite field drive! Okita running back and that's over his head again! Matsuoka coes to score on the double and Meiden regains their 4-run margin. It's 6-2!
Hamada pops one out to new 3B Miyamoto for the 2nd out. And Nakamura lines out to Miyazaki to end the inning. But the gap widens with just 2 innings left to go!
Kobone gives a good fight, fouling off 4 pitches before missing on a high fastball for the first out.
Kumamoto with a grounder that hops over the glove of Nakano into left for a base hit. Now, Hamada grazes Okita and Riseisha has two runners on!
Hasegawa hits a short fly down the right field line! Matsuoka running in strafes the line and makes the catch for the 2nd out!
Hamada perhaps laboring a bit falls behind Inui 3-0 before filling up the count. Runners will take off, but Inui flies out to right! Matsuoka there for the catch and Riseisha is retired!
Kimura with his 4th hit of the day, a single through the right side!
And he takes off for 2nd! Throw by Inui, and he's safe! (Dunno about that one. Looks like Kumamoto may have had the tag there)
Compounding things is that Matsubara works a 9-pitch walk!
Araki with a grounder to 3rd. Miyamoto's throw to 1st is high! It goes over Kobone and into foul territory! Kimura scores! Matsubara being waved home! Throw in and Matsubara gets around the swipe tag! 2-run error makes it 8-2 Meiden!
Okada-kantoku pulls Higashi and brings in #10 Suzuki to finish the inning.
Full count to Satou and he's hit right on the knee. Runners on 1st and 2nd as Okada-kantoku calls time.
Passed ball by Inui advances the runners.
Matsuoka crushes a liner to right! Harada with the catch and Araki scores to make it 9-2.
Nakano collects his 4th hit with a single past a diving Kobone. Runners at the corners for Hamada, though I'd just take him out at this point.
But he grounds out to short and the inning is over. Meiden adds 3 more runs to what is now a mere formality.
#18 Oosuka takes over for Matsuoka in RF.
#8 Fujiyama in to get his hacks as he PH for Suzuki. Instead he goes down looking on 3 straight.
Miyazaki flies to right, and #16 Ueda grounds to 3rd to end the game.
A fairly dominating performance by the Meiji Jingu runner-ups as they rout Riseisha 9-2. The battery of pitchers were unable to hold back the Meiden offense, and while they made it close in the middle innings, they couldn't keep it up.
Perhaps given some more time with their pitching, Riseisha may have something for the summer. For now, they'll head home and continue to build on their Koushien experience.
As for Meiden, we have the Meiji Jingu rematch in the quarterfinals! While revenge is not necessarily a Japanese trait, I don't think they'd mind giving one back to Kousei Gakuin here at senbatsu.
We'll get that game in 2 days time!