With Saibi falling the field breathes a sigh of relief, but now must focus to take advantage...
Now for the 2nd Shikoku team at risk, though they're not the story:
Osaka Touin takes the field with the Koushien landscape a just a bit different. Sendai Ikuei is also gone now and the list of teams to challenge them grows even smaller.
Thing is, they got a good scare of their own on Day 7 as Hikawa would rally in the final 2 innings to force enchousen. Now they would win 1 inning later, but it certainly showed more flaws. For Kuzukawa wasn't missing the strike zone, instead he was getting too much of the zone allowing the batters to square them up and get on base.
Offensively the team didn't get on track until the 5th inning against relief starter Saigusa. That's gotta be concerning for them as well.
In Meitoku Gijyuku's only game, they had to face Setouchi phenom Yamaoka. As expected Yamaoka and Meitoku ace Kishi would play a tight low-scoring ballgame where a HR and an error would give them just enough to move on.
Osaka Touin's ace Kuzukawa is probably nothing on that level, but I'm sure they'll still have their work cut out for them as Kishi will look to do what Saigusa did before. Remember, he was called into action in their loss and struck out 3 in 2.1 innings of work.
Osaka Touin (Osaka)
LF Minemoto Takumi (#4)
CF Takagi Toshiki
C Mori Tomoya
1B Kinden Takuya
2B Katsuki Kazuya (#14)
RF Fukumori Hiroto (#7)
3B Kasamatsu Yuuya
SS Mizutani Yukiya
P Kuzukawa Tomoya
Meitoku Gijyuku (Kochi)
CF Yano Masao
2B Hata Hikaru
3B Ituzaki Tomonari
P Kishi Jyunichirou
1B Nishioka Takashige
RF Son Ho Kyun
LF Oonishi Kazumasa
C Baba Yuudai
SS Iwami Takashi
11:10 - First Pitch
Minemoto with a ball to left center! Yano running over dives... Misses it! It goes to the wall!!
Minemoto flying to 3rd! Oonishi's throw from the oufileld... Where is it going??!!
Minemoto coming home!!! RUNNING HR!! WHAT?!!!
1-0 Osaka Touin on a bizarre opening play!!
One down and Mori takes one twisted violent swing
It bloops in right for a base hit.
And now Mori takes off for 2nd! Baba loses the handle on the transfer and he's in safely!
Mori goes for 3rd! Baba fires down there... and he's out! Got a little too greedy there...
Ikeda with a blooper to right! Hata running back, dives... can't get it! Son fires it to 2nd, but Ikeda in with a bloop double!
Katsuki with a drive to left! Oonishi backpedals, backpedals... makes a stretching catch for the 3rd out (whoo~)!
Side retired, but a it's a running HR that opens the scoring!
Meanwhile for Kuzukawa it's a quiet inning. Yano and Hata both pop out, and then Itsuzaki strikes out looking on a fastball inside.
Well, it looks like the circus of last game has finally gone away because Kishi gets a really easy 1-2-3 inning. Fukumori and Kasamatsu fly out to the outfield, and then Mizukani rolls over one to short and it's a 1-2-3 inning for him.
Oh? Kuzukawa plunks Kishi to start off the inning. Nishioka not bunting...
Singles through short! Kishi to 2nd and we have a situation brewing!
Son laying down the bunt! Kinden charging has it, looks to 3rd, but turns around and goes to 1st for the out, 1ne down.
Oonishi though can't bring home the gyakuten run as he grounds to 3rd.
Baba up, and Kuzukawa walks him on 4 straight! Runners at the corners now for #9 batter Iwami...
Drive to left!! Fukumori running back, running back!
Over his head!!
Nishioka scores! Baba being waved home!!! Throw in... Not in time!
Baba with 2-run triple gives Meitoku Gijyuku the 3-1 lead!! Back to the top of the order and Yano!
Liner to left! But Minemoto is right there for the out. 3 down, but 3 in for Meitoku Gijyuku!
Kuzukawa quickly retired w/groundout to 2nd.
Minemoto just as aggressive at the plate, fouls off several pitches but flies out to Oonishi.
Kishi back in groove seemingly as he locates a fastball inside to freeze Takaki for the 3rd out
Hata hit in the elbow by a running fastball and he's on base.
Kuzukawa having control issues as he falls behind 3-0. Manages to pump in a strike.
But instead of perhaps drawing walk, he bunts Hata over to 2nd.
Kishi up, takes borderline 2-2 pitch... ball 3... 3-2 also close.... ball 4!!
Oh, this isn't looking good at all.
Nishioka drive to left! Minemoto backing up, backing up, turns around!! It's over his head!! Hata scores! Kishi being waved around! Throw home... not in time! 2-run double for Nishioka and it's 5-1 Meitoku Gijyuku!!
Son and Oonishi are both quickly retired thereafter, but I think many at the stadium are in shock as Osaka Touin finds themselves down 4 runs!
Mori with a grounder to short, Iwami makes the stop, throws, but not in time to get Mori.
No bunting from Kinden, he's obviously swinging away.
But Kishi, strikes him out with the slider away! Katsuki going on the first pitch flies out to center!
Fukumori checks in with a single to right, though Mori has to hold at 2nd.
Kasamatsu grounds out to short though and Osaka Touin is spinning their wheels offensively!
Kuzukawa needing a short inning to get back on track, does just that. Bookends a grounder with two well placed fastballs for K's.
Mizutani unable to do anything versus Kishi's well placed fastballs, flies out to center.
And Kuzukawa's day is done. #15 Mori Shinnosuke comes in to hit for him. However, he feels the futility experienced by rest of team can't catch up to fastball inside and goes down.
Minemoto attacks a slider left in the zone, but rolls it to Hata for the 3rd out.
#10 Amimoto to take Shinnosuke's place in the lineup and take the hill.
Nice start as he gets Hata on 3 straight.
Itsuzaki sensing 1st pitch strike, pulls one through the left side for a base hit.
Amimoto working up in the zone to Kishi, gets him to swing under one and fly out to right.
Switches it up on Nishioka going down and away.
Mabuchi-kantoku sends Itsuzaki! Mori hesitates on the throw and it's late!
Nishioka with a drive to left, Minemoto running towards the foul pole, still running... makes the catch right at the corner for the 3rd out!
Side retired, but as we hit the break, Osaka Touin has yet to really figure out Kishi - who has exhibited really good control so far.
There's still 4 innings to go though.
Kishi doing an excellent job changing eye level and working in and out on the batters. Takaki and Mori both ground out.
Kinden though goes after the first pitch and drives it deep down the right field line. Son plays it off the wall and Kinden is in with a double.
Once again though, Kishi wins the battle, going up and in on Katsuki. He gets around on it, but it's a hard ball right to Nishioka who takes it to the bag for the 3rd out.
Amimoto shutting things down in relief. Son with goes after a slider outside and grounds to 2nd.
#12 Isaka hits for Oonishi. But he too goes after a slider outside though he flies out to left.
And it's a 1-2-3 inning for Amimoto as Baba grounds to Katsuki as well.
#15 Ozaki comes in for PH Isaka and take over in RF. Son moves to LF.
And Kishi is in full cruise control. Only Kasamatsu can make real hard contact in the inning, and he hits it right to Hata.
You want an ace? Kishi might be it.
Amimoto gives up just 2nd hit in relief as Yano hits a grounder to the gap in short. Mizutani makes great stop but the throw is late to 1st.
After a sac bunt, Itsuzaki flies out to center and another donut is put on board.
#9 Tamura up to hit for Amimoto, first pitch swings, drives one to deep right, but Ozaki is there in front of the wall for the catch.
Two down for Osaka Touin now and Takaki booms one to left center. It splits the defense in front of the wall and he's in with a double.
Mori with a hard ball to the right side, but Hata is playing deep at 2nd and ranges over in shallow right! Throws to first and all Mori can do is have that chagrined smile as he heads back to the dugout.
#11 Takanishi in now for PH Tamura to take the hill.
Kishi after a first pitch slider, weakly pulls it to Mizutani for the 1st out.
Takanishi now firing 140 fastball after another, freeze Nishioka for the 2nd out.
He does give up a walk to Son, but comes back to get a lazy fly from Ozaki for the 3rd out.
I only realize now that it's the 9th inning, I've been that impressed with Kishi's pitching.
Kinden to start the 9th, swinging away falls behind 0-2...
Skies one to right! Ozaki there for the 1st out!
Katsuki next up to try and kickstart the rally.
Gets his bat around a fastball and drives it to right center! Yano over, but it falls in front of him! Katsuki digging for 2 gets there.
Fukumori taking his hacks at the plate.... chases the slider away for out #2!
Last chance for Osaka Touin in Kasamatsu...
Quickly down 0-2... takes one outside... ball... another.... ball 2! Man, those were close..
Fly ball to center! Yano under it... caught!!
Kishi and Meitoku Gijyuku does it! They revenge the defending champs 5-1!!
Aw... but the Osaka Touin side is in tears... A generally strong club, even Mori can't help but cry after the loss for his summer has officially ended. Katsuki, even though he's a 2nd year, is inconsolable.
For the second straight game, we have a team exiting much earlier than what everyone thought they would be. Kuzukawa didn't look like that strong of an ace, but you figured with people like Mori and Kinden they might be able to overcome that. Sadly that wasn't the case.
But hats off to 2nd year ace Kishi Jyunichirou. He spins a gem against the defending champs, and revenges their loss in the quarterfinals last year. He worked both sides of the plate, and changed eye levels to confuse the opposition.
And so they move on to the quarterfinals where their opponent is yet to be determined, looking for a better result.
Kishi Jyunichiryou (Meitoku Gijyuku) - CG, ER, 8 H, 5 K, 0 BB
Nishoka Takashige (Meitoku Gijyuku) - 2-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI
Iwami Takashi (Meitoku Gijyuku) - 1-3, 3B, 2 RBI
Kinden Takuya - 2-4, 2 2B
Mori Tomoya (Osaka Touin) - 2-4, SB
Minemoto Takumi (Osaka Touin) - 1-4, HR, R, RBI