Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Spring Taikais Update - May 22

Since games are generally played during the weekends, I'll post an update after weekend play.

Starting in the Kinki region, Chiben Wakayama does win the tournament, but again not as dominating with a 10-5 win over Wakayama Shougyou.  Osaka Touin is in the finals against Osaka Shoudai Sakai, but they had to survive a 5-4 game over Riseisha to get there.  Again, it underscores the importance of their other pitchers to hold games as I doubt Fujinami will be able to last in the summer heat.

Tenri and Chiben Gakuen did meet in the Nara semis, though oddly Chiben Gakuen struggled in a 9-8 win over Heijyou.  But they annihiliated Tenri 13-4 and then struggled again versus Naradai Fuzoku, winning 2-1 in the final.

And in Kyoto, Kita-Kuwada joined a familiar cast of Toba, Fukuchiyama Seibi and Ryuukokudai Heian in the best 4.  Toba would cruise to the title, defeating Fukuchiyama Seibi 9-1.

Shizuoka finally wrapped up Tokai prefectural play as the namesake school defeated Seisei 5-1.

Hokushinetsu prefectural play is also completed.  Nihon Bunri did indeed reach the finals, and did play Niigata Meikun, and won handily.  Seiryou edged out Yuugakukan 6-5, and had no issues in the finals against Kanazawa Shougyou.  And in Nagano, Chikyuu Kankyou defeated Matsushou Gakuen 4-2 in the first round game.  And with no other competition on their side of the bracket, reached the finals.  They played Saku Chousei, who had a much harder path, defeating Tokyo Shidai Shiojiri and Nagano Nichidai.  The game was all knotted up at 2 before Saku Chousei scored 9 in the 8th to blow it wide open.

I did forget to mention the representatives for host prefecture Saitama for the Kanto taikais, and much like Fukui, all the seeded teams lost.  Nanryou wins their first ever spring title (and first ever bid to the spring super-regional) in a contested battle with Saitama Sakae.  Kasukabe Higashi and Kawaguchi rounded out the bids.  Right now, they're in the best 4.

Teikyou's only competition in their quadrant was a matchup with upstart Takasaki Kenkoudai Fukushi.  Their defense and pitching limited Teikyou to just one run, which was amazing in and of itself.  But they managed to score the equalizer in the 9th and win 3-1 in the 10th.  They'll face Saitama Sakae, who found an answer to Yokohama Hayato when teams like Yokohama and Keiou couldn't.    Speaking of Yokohama, they couldn't stop Sakushin Gakuin, losing 5-1 in the quarterfinals.  And finally, Kanto Dai-ichi continued their low-scoring ways, defeating Maebashi Ikuei and Matsudo Kokusai 2-1 and 4-1 respectively.

Outside of Akita, who had started play back on the 10th, all other prefectures except for Iwate started prefectural play last Thursday.  Starting with Akita, their prefectural draw is out, and former Koushien participants Meiou and Akita are on the opposite sides of the bracket.  Honjyou, who have had rather bad luck at Koushien, will have to get past Yokote Jyounan to setup a matchup with Meiou.

In other play, Seikou Gakuin still has to play their first game, but they're probably the favorites to advance out of the prefecture.  In Miyagi, there was a fairly big upset as Tohoku lost to Tohoku Koudai 7-5.  That opens the door for Rifu and Sendai Ikuei to challenge for the title.  Yamagata's draw saw Nichidai Yamagata and Sakata Minami on the same side of the bracket.  Don't be surprised if the winner will face Yonezawa Chuo in the final.  Finally, in Aomori, Kousei Gakuin is cruising to the finals.

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