Monday, July 22, 2013

7/23 - 4 more tickets to be handed out

With 6 teams down, 4 more are in their final stages.

Aomori - Yet another first timer!

Sadly for Aomori Yamada this will not be their year.  Despite giving up just 6 hits to Seiai, they fell behind 3-0.  Reliever Ichido would close it out taking Seiai to the finals, winning 4-2.

In the second semifinal, Hachinohe Nishi did well early against Hirosaki but for starter Satou he would falter in the 5th inning giving up 4 runs.  Hirosaki wouldn't look back though, though ace Hirakawa did give up 7 runs in a 12-7 win.

Both Seiai and Hirosaki will be fighting for their first Natsu Koushien apperance (Hirosaki did appear in Haru Koushien back in 1971).

Akita - A real David vs. Goliath

In the first semifinal between underdog Kanashi Nougyou and favored Akita Shougyou, despite Kiba striking out 9 batters over 7 innings, he would give up the go-ahead run in the 7th.  So Akita Shougyou will move on to the finals as a "no-seed".

For Oomagari and Kakunodate, aces Shibata and Souma would be involved in a pitcher's affair.  But in the 8th inning with 2 down and a runner on 2nd for Kakunodate a fielding error allowed the runner to score.  That lone run proved to be the difference as Kakunodate would advance to the finals where they will have to slay the powerhouse to reach Koushien for their first time.

Oita - The same old story?
So, Oita had many of the same old teams emerging from the brackets towards the finals regardless of seeding.  When 1-2 seed Jyouhou Kagaku fell in their first game, Oita Shougyou was happy to oblige sweeping through their quadrant.  Same in Kitsuki's quadrant.  Oita, after a narrow victory over Mori, defeated both Hita Rinkou and Beppu Aoyama rather handily.

On the other half, Meihou and Yanagigaura both got through their games to face each other (though Yanagigaura narrowly held on over Oita Nishi 6-5).  In the quarterfinal, Yanagigaura held a 4-1 lead, but when the kantoku pulled starter Baba for Shimoike, the reliever was unable to hold the lead, giving up 4 runs (the final 2 in the top of the 9th) to give Meihou the 5-4 win.

In the other quarterfinal were Saiki Kakujyou and Oita Uenogaoka, both of whom upset the seeeded teams in their quadrant.  Certainly while having appearaed in senbatsu recently as a 21st century team it's not much more experience, they certainly haven't been a bad team in the prefecture and were probably the favorites.

But right off the bat, Saiki scored a run.  That run would stick until the 6th when Anami(?) hit a game-tying HR making it an new ball game.  Forward to the 9th and Tajiri would deliver the sayonara hit sending them to the semifinals.

In the semifinals, Oita Shougyou wound up blowing a 5-1 lead in the later innings to Oita before #9 batter Emoto would deliver the game winning hit to put their team in the finals.  They will face Oita Uenogaoka who used a 6-run 5th to defeat Meihou 8-6.

Kagoshima - The real folk blues...

(Sorry this is abbreviated for now, will update later)

If you not one of the seeded teams for the most part.

In fact all but 2 seeded teams advanced into the Best 8. First was Shoushikan. In their very first game against Kagoshima Chuo, ace Nakano couldn't hold a 2-0 lead, giving up a pair in the 7th. After being replaced by Yoshikuni in the 8th, he couldn't hold the tie. #3 batter Nishi gets the timely hit to put Kagoshima Chuo up 3-2 as Horikiri closes it out in the 9th for the upset.

Two days later was Kajiki Kougyou. They had a 3rd round matchup with Kawauchi Shoukou. Despite ace Fukukura's average outing, the Kajiki kantoku decided to pull him for Tamoto after 5 innings. That would be costly as Kawauchi would score 2 runs immediately after the reliever entered the game. Kajiki Kougyou immediately went into panic mode as they used the lucky 7 to tie the game at 4 then add on one more to take the lead. But Tamoto just couldn't make it to the 9th. He gives up the douten run in the 8th, then the sayonara run in the 9th with 2 outs.

In the end Shounan would best Kagoshima Jyouhou 5-1, while in the other semifinal, Kanoya Kougyou almost pulled off the upset against Kagoshima Jitsugyou, but ace Hashiguchi couldn't close it out. He would be charged with all 3 runs in the 7th as Kajitsu would pull away 9-4.

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