Saturday, June 29, 2013

6/28 Update - To the ends of Japan!

(FYI, all updates on the brackets can be found in the opening Natsu Koushien qualifying post.)

Ok, so here's where the ends of Japan stand.  And just for kicks we'll start from the south in Okinawa.

Only one of the seeded teams played on opening weekend, and it didn't look good.  Koza may be no slouch, but they almost upset Yaeyama falling 3-2.  Yaeyama Shoukou looked good in their opening game while Urasoe Shougyou did not edging Ginowan 4-2.

We've had really exciting games as Naha scores a run in the 8th, 9th and 10th innings to bid Nanbu Nougyou sayonara 7-6.  Gushikawa looked to be in the clear with 2 in the 12th over Urasoe Kogyou but almost gave it up winning 3-2.  And in a compete barn-burner, Miyako Kougyou led Yaeyama Nougyou 11-0 after 3, then held on for dear life as they won 12-10!

Moving on to Minami Hokkaido, and there was a shocker early.  At Sapporo Maruyama, Sapporo Ryuukoku upset Hokkai thanks to a 6-run 6th and are still alive with one more game against Sapporo Okudama before reaching the 2nd stage.  Elsewhere Sapporo Dai-ichi and Sapporo Nichidai got off to a good start in their first game.

In Otaru, only Hokushou really is relevant, and they just finished their first game with no issues in a 10-0, 5 inning win over Kucchan Nougyou.

Moving south to the Muroran region, Komadai Tomakomai has advanced to their block final, but have not looked impressive and will need to get past Tomakomai Higashi to reach the 2nd stage.  Hokkaido Sakae also looks poised to advance as well.

And in Hakodate, the two top seeds - Hakodatedai Hakuryou and Hakodate LaSalle will play tomorrow to advance out of their respective blocks.  LaSalle though is in more jeopardy having survived a 3-2 14-inning game against Hakodate Shougyou, then surviving 12-7 over Hakodate Tousen.  And in the final block, both of the secondary seeds have lost, though you can't blame Hakodate Ootani as they lost to a surprisingly unseeded Hakodatedai Yuuto.

Finally, in Kita Hokkaido realistically won't begin until the 2nd stage.  Yet, you still have to get there, and Komadai Iwamizawa almost got tripped up in their very first game. Against Takigawa Kougyou, they went into extras and fell behind 4-2 in the 13th inning.  It could have been the pressure of beating a well known team but whatever the case they couldn't hold it and Komadai came back for the 5-4 win.

In the Asahikawa regionals, Asahikawa Ryuukoku breezed through their first game, while Asahikawa Jitsugyou as a seeded team were blanked in their first game 6-0.    Kitami has gone rather normally with Engaru and Kitami Hokuto looking solid to start.  And Shirakaba Gakuen just needs to get past Obihiro Sanjyou to get out of Tokachi into the 2nd stage.

So nothing really of note there I guess for the major teams.  But for those who toil and probably are longshots, winning games and getting as far as they can means something.  Furano Ryokuhou led Rumoi 5-0 after the top of the 7th.  But Rumoi found a second gear and scored 4 in the 7th, 2 in the 8th and the sayonara run in the 9th to win 7-6.  Nakashibetsu was 3 outs away from the block final but gave up 4 runs to Kushiro Koryou to lose 5-3.  Kami-Furano looked to upset Asahikawadai, but fell apart in the 12th to lose 7-3.  Shiranuka led Kushiro Hokuyou 4-3 going into the bottom of the 9th but ace Sakimoto couldn't close it out and lost 5-4.

And finally, Komadai Iwamizawa's block final opponent, Sunagawa, trailed 4-1 going into the bottom of the 9th against Iwamizawa Higashi, found a way to tie it up and then won it in the 10th.

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