Niigata has fallen slightly behind due to a full rainout on the 13th and a partial one on the 14th. All but 3 9-16 seeded teams though have played. Only seeded upsets so far have occurred on the 9-16 seeds which can be expected. Matsudai, who in their first game scored 3 in the bottom of the 9th for the win after Arai scored 3 in the top of the inning, continued their ぎりぎり run defeating Tookamachi Sougou 2-1 while Mitsuke understandably fell to Teikyou Nagaoka 9-0.
Of the top 4 teams, only #2 Shibata Chuo really breezed through their first game. #1 Murakami Sakuragaoka and #3 Nihon Bunri both won, but not necessarily convincingly.. And #4 Niigata Kenou Kougyou actually trailed Nagaoka Nougyou 2-0 before coming back to win 4-3.
NaganoNagano began play on the 13th with Achi mercy-ruling Toyoshina 10-3 in 7 innings.
Over in Matsumoto the past couple of days we had one of the more uglier scores - Iwamurada annihilating Sonan 35-1 in 5 innings, followed by a nail-biting 3-2 sayonara victory by Suzaka over Matsumoto Misuzugaoka.
In Ueda, Toukai Dai-san overcame a 4-run 3rd from Komoro with a run in 5 of the first 6 innings for the win while Matushiro will look to make a miracle run with a 6-3 win over Koumi.
Meanwhile, over at Suwa-ko, in the battle of agricultural schools, Shimo-Ina Nougyou scores late defeating Minami-Adzumi Nougyou 7-4 while Okaya Minami walks off Shiojiri Shigakukan 2-1 in 11 and Chino's Kishima makes a lone run in the 2nd stick over Nozawa Minami.
And finally, in Olympic Stadium, both Nagano Nishi and Sakaki started the last two days with back and forth games before pulling away late to win 7-4. Shimo-Suwa Kouyou used a run in the top of the 9th to beat Iiyama 3-2.
ToyamaToyama off to a rainy start as games were rained out at Toyama Prefectural and Kurobe Miyano. Of the games that played, all were blowouts except for Kosugi who defeated Yatsuo 3-0.
The first full day of games were mostly close affairs highlighted by Toyama Hokubu who tied the game against Toyama Izumi at 4 in the 9th then broke out with 4 in the 11th for the win. On the other hand, poor Chuo Nougyou was blown out by Uodzu 37-0.
In comparison, the15th was the complete opposite with mostly lopsided games, one of the few exceptions being Fujikoshi Kougyou edging out Kouhou 2-1. Not surprisingly, if I told you that the seeded teams played on the 15th and all advanced, that would probably explain it. Only 5-8 seed Toyama Kokusaidai Fuzoku did not achieve a mercy rule win, though they did play Takaoka Kougyou.
FukuiRain plagued Fukui on opening day. For Asuwa, it sadly delayed the inevitable. For facing Fukui Koudai Fukui who was not a seeded team was rather bad luck. 7 innings later, and they were sent home, losing 8-1. Keishin took all that Kagaku Gijyutsu could give and passed 5-4. There was almost an upset on day 1 of games as Usui fell behind Mikuni by as much as 4 runs, fought back to take the lead, then held off a late charge for the 9-8 win.
What's more surprising than seeing a non-seeded Fukui Koudai Fukui? How about an unseeded Fukui Shougyou? That was the case as Maruoka stepped in the opposing dugout. They lasted 7 innings in an 8-0 loss. Fukushou will face Wakasa who was almost level with Fujishima for the entire game, and though let a 1-run lead slip in the 12th made sure to advance with 6 runs in the 13th inning.
Should Fukui Koudai Fukui upset Tsuruga Kehi, and Fukui Shougyou defeat Wakasa, there will be a semifinal matchup that in most years might be a semifinal matchup or better.
IshikawaIshikawa started on the 13th and had Nonoichi Meirin rout Kanazawa Nisui 11-3 in 8 innings.
5 games on the full docket, and most were yawners except for Kanazawa Nishigaoka getting by Iida 3-1, and Kanazawa Shougyou outlasting Daishouji 3-2 in 11.
The 15th again was mostly the same with the exception of those at Benkei Stadium. There, Kenritsu Kougyou won the battle of industrial schools, defeating Komatsu Kougyou 1-0. Ootori Gakuen followed that up by using a run in the 6th and 7th innings to beat Kanazawa Kouyou 3-1.
ShigaShiga's opening day was cut short. After Rittou blew an early lead and had to scramble to defeat Katata 8-6, the rains postponed Higashi-Ootsu and Youkaichi Minami.
The next day Higashi-Ootsu would win 2-1, though again, the rains would cancel all remaining games at Oujiyama though Moriyama Kita and Kousei would play 1 scoreless inning before the umpires thought better of it. Same over at Hikone with Kousen defeating Ootsu Shougyou 4-1 before games were cancelled.
The 15th was the first full day of games that were actually played, and over at Oujiyama Torahime rallies in the last 2 innings to beat Echiko 3-2, and Minakuchi uses a 2-run 8th for a gyakuten 4-3 win over Nagahama Kita.
YamanashiYamanashi has had no problems with the rain, and my team from this prefecture, Nihon Koukuu (i.e. Japan Aviation Academy) used a 6-run 4th to beat Shirane 7-3, then 2 days later traded huge blows with Ootsuki Tankidai Fuzoku before scoring 6 unanswered runs in the middle innings for a 13-7 win. They will face 5-8 seed Nichidai Meisei next after they beat Koufu Dai-ichi 8-4.
In fact, all seeded teams that have played so far advanced without issue. They include Yamanashi Gakuindai Fuzoku, Toukaidai Koufu and Fuji Gakuen.
In other action, Nirasaki Kougyou finds something in the well with their backs against the wall, scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th to defeat Hokuto 2-1.
GifuWith games pushed back one scheduled game day, Blocks A and B got started on the 13th. All 4 seeded teams within those blocks (Oogaki Nichidai, Teikyoudai Kani, Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou and Minokamo) advanced via mercy rule. In fact of the 16 games played, only 3 were close. Kanou got by Ikeda late 4-3, Gifu Dai-ichi using a 5-run 7th to break the game open late against Nakatsu Shougyou, and Kakamigahara Nishi also with 2 runs late for a gyakuten win over Gujyou Kita.
The games were much more tighter on the 14th in the C & D Blocks. So much so that C Block seed Mashita Seifu lost 1-0 to Gujyou in their first game! It wasn't the only close one in Takayama as Hida-Takayama tied it at 3 with Gifu Jyouhoku in the bottom of the 9th winning 3 innings later 4-3. Over in Seki Municipal, Mugi won a 14-inning marathon over Kamo 5-4. And in other action, a HR by Taniguchi was insufficient for Takayama Kougyou as they fell to Fuwa 2-1, and a 4-run flurry for Kani just fell short as they lost to seeded Nagara 5-4.
Back to Blocks A & B on the 15th and it was status quo for the seeded teams. Kanou gets another mention after surviving another 1-run game, this time 1-0 over Oogaki Kougyou, while Seki Shoukou uses a pair of runs in each of the final 2 innings to beat Ginan Kougyou.
AichiFor Aichi, rounds go at a frenetic pace as each game day means over 20 games across the prefecture.
And with so many games, there are bound to be many interesting games.
Such was the case with Kouyou on the 13th. After scoring 6 runs in the 6th to take a commanding 10-3 lead, Nanzan facing elimination replies with 7 runs in the next two innings to tie the game. Kouyou would win it in the bottom of the 9th 11-10. Sadly, Tokoname would dismiss them 2 days later 12-2 in 6 innings. Toukai Shougyou would just about replicate the feat in the very next game at Atsuta Jingu - but the biggest difference being that they score 6 runs in the final 2 innings, take the lead 8-7 giving Nishin Nishi no chance to reply.
Over in Toyoda, Okazaki Jyousei let an early 5-0 lead slip away versus Gamagoori, but scored 2 in the top of the 9th to save the win. However, their next opponent would be Shigakukan (who isn't a bad team in Aichi) and while they gave them a decent run, they would lose 4-0.
To the 14th and Nagakute bookended a 12 inning affair with Kira with 3 runs for a 6-3 victory. Rather fortunate considering they allowed Kira to tie the game in the 8th. Next up will be Seto Kita Sougou. Ichinomiya Kougyou held off a 9th inning rally by Toyota Ootani just enough to win 3-2. Chigusa is next on the docket. And the alma mater of one of my new friends unfortunately lost as well with Nagoya Minami falling 3-2 to Shinjyou.
No seeded teams have played yet, thanks to Aichi's unique double-bye for those teams.
Shizuoka is much the same, with games from the 13th to 15th representing 1st round play - so no seeded teams as of yet.
Opening day was not kind to Shimada as they were routed by Toukaidai Shouyou 12-2 in 6 innings.
Onto other 1st round action, and Hamamatsu Jyouhoku Kougyou rallied late against Kakagu Gijyutsu then thought to have the game won in the 10th before finally putting it away 8-4 in 12 innings. 5-8 seed Gotenba Nishi is next. Seiryou will move on to face Hamamatsu Gakuin after scoring the only run in the bottom of the 9th versus Fuji Higashi. The same can be said for Kakegawa Nishi and Nichidai Mishima - the only difference being that Nichidai Mishima scored a run in the top of the 9th before Kakegawa Nishi scored 2 to end the game. Itou trailed Shizuoka Shiritsu 5-0 after 2 innings, fought back to tie it in the 8th and would win 8-6 in 11. Ina Sougou down 3 in the 9th would score 4 for the 8-7 win over Fuji.
But perhaps in one of the most heartbreaking games of all qualifying would be Kiga. After tying it up in the 7th with Arai the game would go into extras. In the 14th they would score 2 to take the lead, only to have Arai tie it in the bottom of the 14th. And in the final inning, when all Kiga could play for is a draw, Arai scores one to win the game.