Well, after the rain delay, this game will be played under the lights.
Kurashiki Shougyou honestly looked dead to rights against Matsusaka. Even though they were down 3-2 heading into the 8th, they hadn't been able to do a whole lot against ace Takeuchi. But when CF Manabe let that ball drop allowing the douten run to score, it all collapsed. It'll be hard to expect being ineffective like that again and advancing to the Best 8.
Though I suppose that if you have a team that it might be able to work against, it would be Akita Shougyou. They were basically given gifts by Fukui Koudai Fukui in the form of walks in which they used to turn into runs. 7 to be exact enroute to an 8-3 win. They certainly can't expect gift horses like that as well.
So which team will perform better under normal circumstances? Well, outside of the damp field. My bet will be Kurshiki Shougyou.
Kurashiki Shougyou (Okayama)
LF Kataoka Hiroyuki (#17)
Akita Shougyou (Akita)
C Miura Kentarou
RF Satou Sou
17:45 - First Pitch!
Fujii with a hit to deep left. Sugiya running back towards the foul pole...
Wow, so two leadoff homeruns in the same day?? Kurashou takes the 1-0 lead!
Kondou settles down after that, getting 3 straight groundouts. The defense is still a bit tentative playing on the diamond-dry filled infield, but no big issues.
Yanagida with a drive to deep center! Sakada running back! Are we going to have another leadoff homerun??
No! The ball bounces off the fence as Yanagida is in with a leadoff double!
Oozeki bunts him over for Sugiya and a one-chance.
But Oota-kantoku calls for a three bunt when Sugiya falls behind 1-2! He fouls it off and is down on strikes. 2 down.
That leaves it up to Kondou... who singles right back between Nishi's legs into center! We're tied at 1-1!
Wada grounds to 1st, but Akita Shougyou's found a way to level the score!
The cooler and less humid weather may benefit Akita Shougyou though as they certainly don't have to worry as much about fatigue as much starting at 5:45 PM.
Okada with a foul fly to the right side. Sakaya makes the catch right at the fence.
Shimizu looks to get the lead back as he singles just fair down the right field line. Sou mishandles the ball , allowing Shimizu to advance to 2nd.
Hiroyuki with a foul fly, Miura right at the back screen, makes the catch! 2 foul flies caught at the fence and the side is retired!
Ootomo gives Akitashou antoher leadoff runner with a single to left center (Sakada runs the ball down very quickly). So Sakaya bunts him into scoring position. Bunts will also die sooner on the ground, which may or may not be a good thing.
After falling behind Kentarou 2-0, he manages to level the count before getting him to swing on a slider down and away for the 2nd out.
So it'll be up to last batter Sou to try and give Akitashou the lead.
But he flies out to right and the inning is over.
After a groundout by Nishi, it's back to the top of the lineup and Fujii.
Kondou wins this battle as Fujii grounds to Yanagida for the 2nd out. But just when he thinks he'll have a 1-2-3 inning, he hits Harukawa.
Sakada with a hard shot down the 3rd base line! Ootomo knocks it down, but has no play! But it's still a good stop to prevent extra bases.
Still, it brings up Michishita.
He takes a pitch outside and singles to center! Harukawa comes around to score and it's 2-1 in favor of Kurashou!
Okada continues to struggle at the plate as he flies out to left to end the inning, but a 2-out rally sparked by a hit batter gives Kurashou the lead!
It's a 1-2-3 inning for Nishi as he gets a groundout from Yanagida, and two flyouts from Oozeki and Sugiya.
Shimizu swings early but keep the bat in the zone enough to hit a ball back up the middle past a diving Yanagida into center. Katayama bunts him along to 2nd.
Hiroyuki witha single through the right side! Shimizu will score without a throw and it's 3-1 Kurashou!
Oota-kantoku goes with a pitching change after that. #10 Abe comes in for Sou and takes over on the mound which Kondou goes to right.
Nishi lays down the bunt looking for a one-timer from Fujii.
Abe is careful with him, but Fujii singles through the gap into left! Sugiya up with the throw, but it's not in time. Miura fires to 2nd where Fujii is tagged out easily. But Kurashiki doubles their run total and now lead 4-1.
Kondou leads off the inning with his 2nd hit of the game a single to shallow center. After a sac bunt, Ootomo hits a hard grounder to the left side. Katayama dives and makes a great stop. Looks to 1st, determines he has no play, then tosses to 3rd, though it's way too late.
So now Akitashou has a chance here to cut into the deficit with Sakaya up.
But he goes down swinging on a sinker and there's 2 down! And Kentarou swings on the first pitch and hits a comebacker to Nishi! He has trouble fielding it from the mound, but eventually makes the play at 1st for the 3rd out. And Akitashou can't chip into that 3-run deficit.
Abe finally gets a 1-2-3 inning for Akitashou, with two quick groundouts to 2nd, and a flyout to right from cleanup batter Michishita.
One down for Akitashou and leadoff batter Yanagida gets his 2nd hit, a single through the left side.
Oozeki swings on the first pitch and makes good contact, but flies out to center.
Sugiya hits a hard ball to the right side, but Shimizu makes a great diving stop and throws to first to retire the side.
Kurashiki Shougyou as expected leads Akita Shougyou 4-1. And without help from opposing ace Nishi, it'll be hard to make a comeback.
It's another quick inning for Abe as Kurashou's batters appear to be hacking away at everything. He just needs 8 pitches to retire the side.
Unfortunately for Akitashou, their bad offense has reared its head again, as not even Kondou now is impervious to the K. In fact, all three batters in the inning strike out.
One down and last batter Nishi singles to left.
Abe gets his first K as he strikes out, of all people, top batter Fujii on a high and ouside fastball!
2 down, but not out of the woods yet as he wasks Harukawa. Oota-kantoki calls for time.
Sakata with a chopper down the first base line, and Sakaya can't field it! The ball seems to elude his attempts and Sakata's safe on the error!
From the replays it looke like the ball hit the bag, and that was where all the trouble started.
Abe gets out of the jam though as Michishita grounds to 3rd, and Ootomo takes it to the bag to retire the side!
Akitashou's lucky 7 goes without much fanfare as try as they might, taking pitches, swinging early, nothing can get their offense going.
This time it's Abe's turn to strike out the side, getting 2 of the 3 to watch the fastball go by them.
But Nishi goes to his sinker time and time again because he knows that none of the Akitashou's batters can hit it. He racks up two more K's while Fukumori makes a great running catch in left.
One down, and Nishi gets his 2nd base hit, and once again it's to left. Fujii lays down the bunt, Abe goes to 2nd, but the throw is high and pulls Yanagida off the base!
Harukawa with a base hit to left! Nishi has to hold off at 3rd.
Sakata with a fly to left! Sugiya makes the catch and Nishi comes in to make it 5-1.
Fujii is picked off 2nd to end the inning, but the Best 8 is in sight for Meitoku Gijyuku.
Two quick outs in the last ups for Akitashou as Kondou lines out to short and Wada goes down on 3 straight sinkers.
Ootomo gets his 3rd base hit with a drive over Harukawa's head for a double.
Nishi finally finishes the game as Sakaya hits a comebacker to him for the 3rd out.