Okinawa (Urasoe Shougyou, 4th appearance - 1st in 4 years)Speaking of Okinawa, I'd like to start there first. All 3 main favorites advances in Okinawa Shougaku, Itoman and Urasoe Shougyou - though the latter two not by as much of a comfortable margin as they'd like.
The 4th game, the one I was interested in, Maehara vs. Chinen turned out to be a great game. Maehara scored their run in the first and it held until the bottom of the 9th when Chinen tied the game up. It would not be until the 13th inning when Maehara would break the deadlock as Yagi closed the door for the win.
That would set themselves up with a tough semifinal matchup against Urashou. Before that though, Okinawa Shougaku and Itoman faced off, and it was a close game until Shougaku scored 5 in the 6th to break it wide open. They'd advance with an 8-2 win.
I'm pretty sure this time around Maehara was fooling no one as they squared off against Urashou. Maehara kept up with Urashou, tying the game each time they scored in the 4th and 5th innings. As a result, Maehara went into their 2nd straight extra inning game. And as the game continued it would seem to be harder for Maehara to win as they had played a long game prior. But as the game got closer to the 15th inning, they might at least be able to force a draw. However, relieve Maetoku in the 14th inning couldn't last any longer and Urashou scored the sayonara run. A great run for Maehara, but they fall short in the semifinals.
And so it's two familiar faces in the finals, Okinawa Shougaku (alma mater of Higashihama) versus Urasoe Shougyou. Okinawa Shougaku looks to be the favorite to win, but it is the championship game, and anything can happen.
And the game was hotly contested from the start. Okinawa Shougaku twice tried to take the lead early, but Urashou rallied both times to tie the game. Another trading of runs in the middle made it 5-5. It wasn't until the bottom of the 8th when Urashou took the lead for the first time - when it mattered.
Round of 16 or further
Kita HokkaidoThe 14th signaled the first games of the prefectural bracket. None of the big names were slated to be first, but that doesn't mean that there may not be something interesting to see. Takikawa Kougyou and Obihiro Nougyou advanced with little issue, but it was Furano's game against Kitami Hakuyou that was eye opening.
You see, they scored 10 in the first en route to an 11-1 win in 5 innings. Now that was with the help of 9 walks from the Kitami pitchers, so that has to be taken into account. However, at this stage it should still be noted. The only problem is that they're not going to see a quality team until arguably the semifinals should Engaru make it. It will be interesting to see how they stack up, because I'm pretty sure they're going to make it there at the least.
Engaru, for their part defeated Kushiro Kougyou 6-0 to advance to the round of 8.
But play yesterday just made the prefecture up for grabs. The two favorites in the field, Komadai Iwamizawa and Shirakaba Gakuen, both lost!! Bushuukan and Obihiro Sanjyou, both above-average teams in the prefecture, led wire-to-wire winning 3-2 and 2-1 opening the door for everyone! The new leaders in the clubhouse have got to be Furano and Engaru given their performances so far.
Minami HokkaidoWith Otaru Suisan receiving the bye, the first day of the prefecturals determined the 1st half of the quartefinalists. No surprises so far as prefectural regulars Sapporo Ryuukoku, Sapporo Nichidai and Hokkaido Sakae all advanced.
IwateHanamaki Higashi is the team to beat, and their first two games, winning 12-0 and 9-1, indicate that they are indeed in form. The question is, who in the rest of the Round of 16 can be a possible challenger?
Well, there's always Ichinoseki Gakuin it seems. Two strong games as well, but they never seem to live up to what I think they should be. Should they face Hanamaki Higashi, it'd be in the semifinals. The only other team that could possibly challenge is Moriokadai Fuzoku. A Koshien veteran, they won't be intimidated by Hanamaki Higashi, but if they do face them, it will be for all the marbles.
GunmaThe same can almost be said of Takasaki Kenkoudai Fukushi. They may have just represented Gunma in the last Senbatsu and Natsu Koushien tournaments, but speed kills - and as long as they continue to press the initiative, they're the one to beat. While the offense doesn't to seem to be as impressive, a 6-0 win over Yoshii and a more importantly, a 4-1 win over Kiryuu Dai-ichi changes nothing and perhaps in fact improve their position.
To note though, there are some teams that are perennial challengers that have made it, so you can't necessarily sleep on teams such as Maebashi Ikuei (who by the way, I met someone from that team the other day at an M's game who is apparently playing baseball here in Washington), Takasaki Shougyou (who hasn't given up a run yet - though it is 2 games), Maebashi Shougyou (who went in 2009), and an odd team in Shiritsu Isesaki whose school is now being reorganized to Yotsuba Gakuen. They've gone to the round of 16 before, but 2 of the last 3 taikais have been stymied by Maebashi Shougyou. And wouldn't you know it, they're facing them once again!
As is with bigger fields, games go on almost all the time here in Tokyo, and Nishi Tokyo is the first to reach the Round of 16.
There are few surprises in the field now. Nichidai Tsurugaoka advanced without issue. They will face Hino - who is no easy shakes themselves (though they've never reached Koushien), but DID defeat Waseda Jitsugyou after giving up the lead in the bottom of the 9th, winning 4-3 in 13!
Deanna's beloved Nichidai-san, despite being unseeded is on the rampage again, and will face Fuchuu Kougyou who will look to score the first run against Sanko (they've currently shutout their opponents 27-0).
Kokugakuin Kugayama, 2011 senbatsu representative and also unseeded, started off well but did have a close game against 3-5 seed Horikoshi 4-2. It should be an interesting matchup against Shouwa Dai-ichi Gakuen, who is definitely an above-average team, but have not been able to get over the hump.
Souka, another Koushien contender and a 3-5 seed finds themselves with an easier opponent than most in Jissen Gakuen, who needed all 9 innings to get by Oberlin in their last game.
Kousei Gakuen, a school mentioned to be a while back with a great ace, now has Isozaki leading the squad. But they'll face an offensive minded Meijidai Nakano-Hachiouji, who ironically enough defeated Meijidai Nakano in their last match!
Nichidai-ni, who certainly is forgotten thanks to their younger brother, will look to make the quarterfinals against a Shouwa squad that needed 14 innings to defeat Machida 3-2.
Another Toukai team in Toukaidai Sugao reaches the round of 16 for the 2nd straight year will face a Katakura squad that in recent years have made a good run in the Natsu taikais. Two 8-1 8-inning wins are a good start, but Toukaidai Sugao will be a tougher challenge.
Finally, 1-2 seed Toua Gakuen, who is looking to break through the ceiling of Nichidai-san to reach Koushien once again, won't have to see them until the finals may have another easy game in Meisei who has needed late innings to advance.
YamanashiYamanashi is also in the Round of 16, but it's one of those cases where they had 38 teams, and after most just played one game, there they were in the round of 16!!
So it's hard to tell who's the front-runner with just one game.
Interestingly, the two teams who have represented Yamanashi in the past 3 years squared off against one another. Yamanashi Gakuindai Fuzoku couldn't pull away from Hikawa until the late innings, winning 5-1.
There are other teams that seem to make a decent run including Fuji Gakuen and Fuji Kawaguchi-ko, but it's still to early to tell (though there isn't much time to discern!).
Play yesterday determine our quarterfinalists. Yamanashi Gakuindai Fuzoku shutout Enzan 4-0. Teikyou Dai-san will be their next opponent. And perhaps the only other competition to them will be Toukaidai Koufu, who easily handled one of my irrational likes in Nihon Koukuu 7-1.
NaganoNagano's play this weekend determined the quarterfinalists. Last year's surprise Tokyo Shidai Shiojiri finds themselves still in it after a convincing 10-0 win over Akaho, a one-hitter against Souzou Gakuen and yet another shutout against Okaya Kougyou. The other surprise, Senbatsu representative Chikyuu Kankyou has recorded 3 mercy rule wins while also shutting out their opposition. These teams find themselves on the opposite sides of the bracket, so if they do meet, it will be in the finals.
There still are roadbumps to the finals, including teams such as Saku Chousei, Nagano Nichidai, and Ueda Chikuma, though Ueda Chikuma will butt heads with Saku Chousei next.
SagaSaga started with 41 teams and now is also in the round of 16. Last year's representative, Karatsu Shougyou without ace Kitakata is a shell of their former selves, losing in their first game 3-1 to Imari Nourin.
Deanna would be happy to know that Saga Kita won it's only game so far, a 3-0 shutout over neighbor Saga Kougyou.
However, there is no clear leader in the clubhouse, especially since the bid has been passed around to different teams and most have played just one game.
Yesterday though started the Round of 16, and Imari Nourin's 9-2 win over Taku may suggest that another Koushien bid is achievable, but without seeing the other teams in action yet, it's still hard to say.
NagasakiNagasaki is pretty much the same way. With just 58 teams, 6 of the 8 seeded teams received a first round bye and as a result needed just one game to reach the Round of 16.
However, there was one casualty - Hasami fell to Shimabara Nougyou 3-1.
In the quarterfinals now, Souseikan is struggling to prove their omission from Senbatsu was a mistake as they gave up a 2-run lead to Kyushu Bunka Gakuen in the bottom of the 9th, winning in 13.
Nagasaki Nichidai will face an above-average Sasebo Jitsugyou, while Kaisei and Seihou will indeed battle in the quarterfinals.
MiyazakiYesterday started the round of 16 in Miyazaki (though for some, this would be just their 2nd game - there are 49 teams this year). Nichinan Gakuen had no problems with Takanabe and is in the quarterfinals. Miyakonojyou Shougyou, a possible contender, got more hits, struck out 15, but still was shutout by Miyazaki Nougyou 2-0. Miyazaki Kougyou was the 3rd to move on.
Notable teams still fighting for a spot include: Nobeoka Gakuen, Miyazaki Shougyou and St. Ursula.
AomoriWith Misawa's 21-0 win over Aomori Higashi Hiranai on the 10th, the Aomori taikai got started.
Without a doubt, the team to beat will be Kousei Gakuin, the runner up in the last Natsu and Senbatsu tournaments. But the biggest question is whether or not they can make a 3rd straight run not only to Koushien, but to the finals.
Because they faced Misawa as their first game just 3 days later and they squeaked by with a 2-1 win in 10 innings! This has to be a wakeup call for them as their next game will be against Aomori Yamada!! If they lose, then the prefecture will be a free-for-all, with Aomori Yamada leading the way.
Games though have been bogged down due to rain.
AkitaAkita's main teams have not started play just yet. Only notable team so far is Meiou, who defeated Gojyoume 9-1 in 7.
YamagataThe same can almost be said for Yamagata where all the seeded teams had a first round bye, Toukaidai Yamagata was the first seeded team to play, defeating Sagae 9-0 in 7 innings.
Haguro advances with a mercy rule win, while some of the lesser known seeded teams such as Yamamoto Gakuen fall. Nichidai Yamagata and Yonezawa Chuo meanwhile, chug right along.
Miyagi76 teams strong, Miyagi looks to show that they're on the rebound. This year however, it may be without Tohoku as they're not a seeded team this year. That's not to say they can't win, but not being seeded sure doesn't help. First game against Kurokawa, they had no problems winning 6-0.
Last year's representative, Furukawa Kougyou, gets through their first game 4-2 against Motoyoshi Hibiki with an easier game yesterday against Kogota Nourin 8-1 in 7 innings.
The two probable front-runners, Sendai Ikuei and Rifu got through their first game easily, and Sendai Ikuei mercy rules Shiogama to take a spot in the round of 16. Tohoku, who has seemed to recede from view in recent years, throws up another bagel against Ishinomaki Kougyou. They'll face Hakuou next.
FukushimaSeikou Gakuin has dominated Fukushima, going to Koushien 7 of the last 8 years. So until I see weakness in them or they are eliminated altogether, it's their bid to lose. A mercy-rule win against Higashi-Nichidai Shouhei does not change my opinion.
TochigiSakushin Gakuin reached the semifinals last year - the first time a team from Tochigi has reached there since 1962 when in fact they won it all. But unlike in Fukushima and Gunma, their position is less than set. They'll set off for their trip on Tuesday.
IbarakiJyousou Gakuin will look to get back to Koushien after missing out the last 2 years and they started off with a 7-0 win over Daigo Seiryuu. Fujishiro's bid for a repeat didn't look too good with a 2-0 win over Ina.
SaitamaFor the life of me, I don't understand why Saitama, who has one of the largest taikais in the country, fails to produce a strong team each year. Perhaps all the good players head south to Tokyo and some of the bigger name schools, but I figure you'd be able to get a good team together in a surprisingly weak prefecture and reach Koushien that way.
Thanks to the internet, I can follow games online, hence my tweets regarding Saitama. So if you hadn't followed, one of 2 "A" seeds - Nanryou, was upset by Sakado Nishi 5-3 in 12 innings. The other "A" seed, Saitama Sakae, survived a 3-1 game against Tokorozawa.
The two "B" seeds, Kawaguchi and Kasukabe Higashi play today. It's not until the "C" seeds that you get teams you've heard of, including Urawa Gakuin - who won 10-0, and Kasukabe Kyouei, who plays today.
Higashi TokyoShuutoku perhaps had the best shot at Teikyou, and when they lost 5-4, Teikyou was free to wail on future opponents. Such was the case when Tokyo-to Shidai Fuzoku lost 18-0. Katsushikano has been called from the ranks to pick up the flag, but a 4-3 sayonara win over Shouwa Dai-ichi means they'll probably be having to pass the flag soon enough.
But there are few legitimate contenders left that could fight toe-to-toe with Teikyou. The biggest one is Kanto Dai-ichi, but their pitching will have to be superb to stifle the Teikyou offense. First things first is a match with Seiritsu Gakuen for a spot in the Round of 16.
Otherwise, there's Yukigaya and Nichidai Sakuragaoka, both who have been strong in the prefecture, both unable to break through in recent years... and both facing each other...
Lastly, there was semifinalist Nisshou Gakushadai Fuzoku, who lost to Kanto Dai-ichi last year. Nichidai Buzan will be their next opponent.
ChibaMy team, Narashino, struggled early in their first game against Urayasu, but wound up pulling away. They had a hard time too against Kimitsu Shougyou, winning 3-0. Next up, Matsudo Mutsumi.
Already, one top seed has fallen in Takushoudai Kouryou as Inage pulled the upset 6-5. Another solid win against Chiba Shoudai Fuzoku now has them one step away from the round of 16, but has to face Tokyo Gakkan Funabashi to advance.
The prefecture won't be wonting for teams though if Narashino loses (which I hope doesn't happen). There's Chiba Keizaidai Fuzoku who mercy ruled Mobara, Matsudo Kokusai, Kisaradzu Sougou, as well as lesser known teams that have done well such as Chiba Eiwa. However, Narita and Narashino have set a high bar for Chiba, so whomever advances will have their work cut out for them.
KanagawaJust over 1 week of games and the 2nd round of games are completed. Yokohama won their only game so far against Kami-Yabe without any issue. Same could be said for the other 3 top seeds in Toukaidai Sagami, Yokohama Hayato and Touin Gakuen.
ShizuokaShizuoka broke through the 4-year run of Tokoha schools going to Koushien last year, and this year they're the top seed to defend the title. A 10-0 win over Yoshiwara is a good place to start.
Meanwhile, Tokoha Kikugawa was awarded a 5-8 seed but struggled in their first game against Hamamatsu Minami, winning 7-2, but not getting to starter Motoki until the 6th inning when they trailed 2-0. Tokoha Tachibana has already taken down #4 seed Toukaidai Shouyou 5-2 thanks to a 3-run 1st inning.
The other team who has been successful in Shizuoka, Seisei needed a 3-run 8th to pull away from Hamamatsu Kaiseikan.
GifuSince 2003, the bid in Gifu has mainly rotated between 3 schools - Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou, Shiritsu Gifu Shougyou and Toki Shougyou. Only Oogaki Nichidai and Seki Shoukou have broken through otherwise.
Of the 5, only Oogaki Nichidai is unseeded going into the tournament. That hasn't stopped them from wining their first two games however.
But since rain pushed back the games by a day, there isn't much to go off of.
AichiWell, given the different structure of the Aichi taikai - 8 blocks, top seed gets double-bye, none of those teams have taken the field just yet. This includes leading favorite Aikoudai Meiden.
However, the past 2 representatives, Shigakukan and Chuukyoudai Chuukyou, both are unseeded. Both have won their games handily so far, but while Chuukyoudai Chuukyou is in the H Block with unknown seed Sakuragaoka, Shigakukan can be just one game away from a matchup with Aikoudai Meiden in A Block.
MieWith 63 teams, one seeded team would luckily draw a first round bye. That went to Kinkidai Tousen.
That meant that Mie, Kaisei and Matsusaka all had to play a game. Mie and Matsusaka won their first game fine. However, despite limiting Matsusaka Shougyou to 4 hits and 18 K's, Kaisei played to a 0-0 draw. Now Kaisei won the replay 2 days later 3-1, but playing an extra game is never good.
ToyamaDespite the feel-good story of Shin-Minato and the fact that they filled up an entire baseline (I mean I could see Shin-Minato fans from almost behind the plate to the actual oen-dan section it was so big!), this year they're relegated to a 5-8 seed. A 9-2 mercy win against Toyama Kokusaidai Fuzoku is a good start.
The top 4 seeded teams, which are no pushovers either (in prefecture at least) did advance, but 1-2 seed Toyama Dai-ichi trailed 3-1 until late against Yatsuo.
IshikawaWith just 50 teams, Ishikawa can afford to take their time with their taikai, even when similar prefectures are condensing their schedule (possibly to simulate what they'd experience in the summer?).
So none of the seeded teams have started play, including Hideki Matsui's Seiryou, my friend's JET assignment in Komatsu Meihou, Yuugakukan and Kanazawa.
ShigaHachiman Shougyou, who rocked the world with a comeback win against Teikyou last year, was relegated back to the ranks of the unknown this year as Hieizan, Hikone Shouyou, Hikone Higashi, and Ayaha received the seeds. A 4-2 win over Kusatsu isn't the best of starts, but it beats losing.
Also missing from the seeded ranks are the deep purple colors of Kita-Ootsu. They started strong with a 10-2 win over Murayama Kita.
KyotoWell, for any school not containing 5 kanji, as long as you're not Ritsumeikan Uji (立命館宇治) or Doushisha Kokusai (同志社国際), you're trying to break through the triumvirate of Ryuukokudai Heian (龍谷大平安), Kyoto Gaidai Nishi (京都外大西) and Fukuchiyama Seibi (福知山成美).
Another irrational like of mine in Kyoto Subaru defeated Ritsumeikan Uji, but lost to Fukuchiyama Seibi... and Ritsumeikan couldn't carry the flag for the university as they fell 3-2 to Kyoto Kokusai.
Ryuukokudai Heian gave itself no help as they actually drew a spot in the first round, thus having to play an extra game. No problem so far, 3 mercy rule wins later and they're in the quarterfinals.
Senbatsu representative Toba also was awarded a seed this time around and has advanced in typical fashion, a 3-1 victory over Kyoto Yawata.
NaraTenri wins 14-1 in 5, Chiben Gakuen plays Saturday. That is all.
WakayamaChiben Wakayama's Oojino and Yoshikawa combine for a 1-hitter against Tanabe, but win 2-0. Their next game is on Sunday. That is all.
HyogoInteresting tidbit, outside of Ikuei in 2000, the only 2 teams out of Hyogo to reach the quarterfinals or beyond are Touyoudai Himeji and Houtoku Gakuen. They are the seeded teams in block 11 and 4 respectively and have won their only game so far with Touyoudai Himeji winning in low scoring fashion once again.
Senbatsu participant Sumoto is the seed in block 15 and had no problems in their first game.
Deanna's darling of 2 years back, Kansei (Kwansei) Gakuin, leads block 2 and will face Haruhi's alma mater, Nishinomiya Kita, who has advanced to the block final once again with a 5-2 win over Hibarigaoka.
Interestingly, the merged Amagasaki Sousei (transitioning from Amagasaki Sangyou and Amagasaki Higashi) is still alive. Not often you see that, but a 6-2 win over Shiritsu Nishinomiya means they're in the block 7 final, not against seeded Ikuei, but against Suma Gakuen instead!
ShimaneNonomura-kantoku for Kaisei has some work to do to make up for losing Shirane and Mori, the heart of his lineup (and on the mound). Unseeded, a 5-2 win over Izumo Nishi isn't a roaring start, but it's something.
The only team to break through, Risshoudai Shounan, who dealt with a depleted roster due to illnesses and was playing for their deceased manager, makes an opening statement with a 14-0 over Tsuwano.
With Kaisei apparently in regrouping mode, is it the return of Iwamichisuikan (fka Gonokawa)? They play on Wednesday.
OkayamaKanzei will be looking to make a repeat run, but without their ace pitcher Mizuhara, it may be too difficult. Their journey will begin on Friday.
Kurashiki Shougyou will play their first game on Wednesday in a bid to return back to Koushien after missing their first year in the last 4.
And with both teams on opposite sides of the bracket, the field will have to eventually try to topple the duo to have a chance at Koushien.
HiroshimaThe field not named Jyosuikan and Kouryou are very happy that the two seeded schools are not only on the same side of the bracket, but in the same quadrant of the bracket! This means that at least only 1 of the 4 schools in the semifinals can be a school that has represented Hiroshima 9 times since 2000.
Who does this benefit the most? Hard to say. The only school that has perennially done well without going to Koushien has been Onomichi. They looked strong in the spring, reaching the Chuugoku final before losing to Kurashiki Kougyou. However, unless both Jyosuikan and Kouryou lose before the semis, they will have to defeat them to reach the finals.
The other possibility is Hiroshima Shinjyou. They were the runner-ups to Onomichi in the spring, and defeated Jyosuikan in the process, so perhaps for them it's possible this year. Then again, it is the spring taikai and it's not connected to anything per se.
YamaguchiYamaguchi hasn't proven to be that strong of a prefecture. But I am still interested in Hayatomo, even though they lost their first game at Senbatsu 5-2 to Chiben Gakuen. As a top 4 seed, they won't play until Saturday and it will be against Shimonoseki Kokusai.
Last year's representative Yanai Gakuen will face Seikou, who despite just 3 hits drew 12 walks and defeated the eventual split team of Houfu Shougyou/Houfu Shoukou 1-0. 2009 representative Nanyou Kougyou also will play on Saturday against Yanai Shoukou.
KagawaThe representative the last 2 years, Eimei, was unseeded and lost in their first game against Takamatsu Kougei 4-3 despite a desperate rally in the bottom of the 9th. That opens the door for prior participants such as Kagawa Nishi, Jinsei Gakuen, and Marugame to punch their ticket.
TokushimaTokushima Shougyou, representative 3 of the past 7 years drew seeded Ikeda and fell 9-4. Ikeda has been a staple for the prefecture until the turn of the 90's. Lately they've done much better, but have still yet to break their drought. Could this be the year? Or perhaps is it Naruto, or Naruto Uzushio (fka Naruto Kougyou)?
EhimeEhime has not has success in the last couple of years, and the team that did has an uphill climb to repeat in Imabari Nishi. They barely got by Matsuyama Higashi 4-3 and will face Imabari Kougyou next.
All the seeded teams will be playing on Wednesday/Thursday.
FukuokaAgain, at an M's game, I wound up meeting even more people on an exchange program. One was from Fukuoka Koudai Jyoutou, who heads up Minami B block. But, despite being the seeded team, despite giving up just 3 hits and Kasahara striking out 11, they lost to Oki Gakuen 3-2 in the semifinal of block play.
Kyushu Kokusaidai Fuzoku, who was shocked by Kanzei last year, is the team to beat in Kita E block. But they barely survive block play with a 4-2 win over Higashi-Chikushi Gakuen.
Nishi-Nippon Tankidai Fuzoku, Minami J block, had no problems advancing out of block play. Iidzuka escaped, just. Oomuta wasn't so lucky.
We'll know more once the draw for the block winners is held.
OitaMeihou has done well to be relevant even after the loss of the key player in their 2009 run Imamiya Kenta. They've posted 2 shutout wins so far, and next up will be Oita Jyouhou Kagaku.
Rain though has delayed progress in the taikai, though one top seed Oita Nishi has managed to get their 1st game in with a mercy-rule 8-0 win over Yufu.
KumamotoI was finally happy that Senshuudaui Tamana made it to Koushien, only to get humiliated 16-1 by Kousei Gakuin. Rain delayed their first match, but they mercy ruled Nanryou 13-2 in 5 innings.
The favorites will probably be Kumamoto Kougyou or Kyushu Gakuin. Both have won their first games. Same goes for 2nd tier school Hitsuyuukan, but can't be said for Luther Gakuin, who lost 2-1 to Amakusa Kougyou.
KagoshimaFor some reason Kagoshima is not affected by the rainouts of other prefectures in Kyushu. Maybe it's good drainage?
Anyways, Kamimura Gakuen's bid for a 2nd consecutive appearance is still alive, but a 2-0 win against Ei doesn't quite inspire confidence. There's Munerin's Kagoshima Kougyou, who is the other seeded team in Kamimura Gakuen's bracket, though they've won their two games by the score of 3-0.
Seeded Kagoshima Jyousai had the unfortunate draw of facing Kagoshima Jitsugyou in their first game, and was ran out 9-2 in 7 innings.
Through 7/16 though, not everyone has played their first games, so for some it's still early.