Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall Taikai Update - Tokai & Kinki

Tokai (2 bids)
Tokai is in the semifinal stages, and we could very well be in the same situation as in the Hokushinestu Super-Regionals!
  • Shizuoka (Shizuoka 1) vs. Winner of Shiritsu Gifu Shougyou (Gifu 2)-Tsu Shougyou (Mie 3)
Tsu Shougyou was probably not very happy to face Shiritsu Gifu Shougyou right off the get-go.  They fought hard, but wound up being shutout 4-0 setting up a matchup with Shizuoka champs Shizuoka. Shizuoka got off to a quick 2-0 lead in the 1st, but couldn't make that lead stick.  Shigifushou would take the 3-2 lead in the 8th before scrambling in the bottom half to level the score.  The game would go to 12 innings before Shigifushou would advance 4-3.
  • Komono (Mie 1) vs. Winner of Toyokawa (Aichi 2)-Hiryuu (Shizuoka 3)
In a battle of unknowns to start, Toyokawa had the better of Hiryuu.  But a 4-run gyakuten 8th inning gave them the 5-3 lead.  They'd hold on to win 5-4. Komono though would put an end to that in their quadrant, mercy-ruling Hiryuu 7-0 in 7.
  • Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou (Gifu 1) vs. Winner of Inabe Sougou Gakuen (Mie 2)-Aichi Keisei (Aichi 3)
Inabe Sougou Gakuen and Aichi Keisei scored a flurry of runs in the first 3 innings capped off by a 3-run 3rd to take a 4-3 lead.  That would end up being the final score.  Unfortunately they had to face the other commercial school from Gifu.  Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou dispatched them 8-0 in 7 innings.
  • Touhou (Aichi 1) vs. Winner of Tokoha Kikugawa (Shizuoka 2)-Oogaki Nichidai (Gifu 3)
This probably was the toughest all-around of the 4 brackets.  Tokoha Kikugawa and Oogaki Nichidai, two schools who are seemingly on the rebound squared off first.  But early on it was all Tokoha as they built a 4-0 lead.  They'd add on two more in the 8th to take a 6-1 lead.  But when Oogaki scored 3 in the bottom half, it was suddenly a new ballgame.  Ace Horita would barely close the game out for a 6-5 win.

Next was a game against Touhou.  A 3-run 2nd inning helped put them into the lead, but Horita would squander the lead making it 3-3 going into the final third of the game.  His offense would have his back scoring 3 runs yet again.  Horita wouldn't give it away again, and Tokoha Kikugawa would win 6-4.

So our semifinal matches are:
  • Shiritsu Gifu Shougyou (Gifu 2) vs. Komono (Mie 1)
  • Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou (Gifu 1) vs. Tokoha Kikugawa (Shizuoka 2)
I think you can see where the problem lies.  If Shigifushou and Kengifushou both win, we have an all Gifu final.  And there's two bids at stake...

The selection committee may full one Super-Regionals with teams from one prefecture - but two?  No way.  Never going to happen.

So if that situation arises, you better bet that both teams will pull out all the stops to win, because that would get them a guaranteed bid while the loser may not be invited at all.

Komono and Tokoha Kikugawa better be prepared for the fight of their lives this Saturday.

Kinki (6 bids)
I'm not sure why all 8 games aren't played all on the same weekend, but oddly enough this will hurt two of the possibly favored teams:
  • Shiga Gakuen (Shiga 2) vs. Yamato Kouryou (Nara 2)
Huh.  I wonder about Yamato Kouryou.  They're a combination of Kouryou and Takada Higashi in 2005.  They held their own (supposedly, who knows if Tenri gave them a break), losing to Tenri 5-1 in the final.  But there has to be something, because their super-rookie, 1st year Tatsuda Shouta gave up just one run in the 1st inning.  His offense would quickly get that run back and more as they advanced 3-1.  Things will get much harder as they will face the winner of...
  • Chiben Wakayama (Wakayama 1) vs. Ryuukokudai Heian (Kyoto 3)
Chiben Wakayama's struggles continue.   Despite winning the prefecture, the offense disappears yet again against Ryuukokudai Heian.  Ace Yoshikawa keeps the team in it holding them to 2 runs, but their offense could only manage 1.
  • Riseisha (Osaka 1) vs. Kansei Gakuin (Hyogo 3)
Kansei Gakuin, much like Tsu Shougyou, didn't exactly draw a great team to start. But they held tough against the Osaka champs, and have nothing to be ashamed about in a 1-0 loss.
  • Kyoto Shouei (Kyoto 1) vs. Kobe Kokusaidai Fuzoku (Hyogo 2)
This has to be the shock of the Kinki taikai so far.  Under another rookie - Enomoto Kazuki, he made 2 runs stick against the former Koushien participants.  He'll have to step up his game even more now with Riseisha up next.
  • Shiritsu Wakayama (Wakayama 2) vs. Osaka Shoudai Sakai (Osaka 3)
In a battle of relative unknowns the "other" team from Wakayama - Shiritsu Wakayama and Osaka Shoudai Sakai fought back-and-forth with the lead changing 3 times - the last one when Daishoudai Sakai scored 1 run 3 of 4 consecutive innings to win 5-4.
  • Houtoku Gakuen (Hyogo 1) vs. Fukuchiyama Seibi (Kyoto 2)
Fukuchiyama Seibi is finally back in the mix after self-imposing sanctions due to violence within the club.  But they still have a long ways to go apparently as they are held to just one run in a 3-1 loss.  They should be the easy favorites to defeat Daishoudai Osaka.

As for the last 2 games, they will be played on Saturday with the winners playing the next day:
  • Tenri (Nara 1) vs. Kouyasan (Wakayama 3)
  • Kousen (Shiga 1) vs. Osaka Touin (Osaka 2)
Tenri and Osaka Touin (should they win) will play on 0 days rest.  Don't know who that will benefit.

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