Monday, October 28, 2013

Aki Taikai Recap-to-Date - All Regions

Now that all Super-Regionals are in play, we can do a full recap from the weekend

Kanto ex Tokyo
Their super-regional was actually supposed to start Saturday, but was postponed due to rain. So only 3 games have been played so far, with the other 4 being played today.

It went fairly scratch with one very surprising upset. In the one game at Hitachi-Naka Municipal Stadium, Kiryuu Dai-ichi (Gunma 2) shutout Chiba Keizaidai Fuzoku (Chiba 2) 3-0. Meanwhile, over at Mito Municipal, Narashino (Chiba 1) was deuces wild against Jyousou Gakuin (Ibaraki 2), putting up 4 2-run innings after falling behind 2-0 to win 8-2. The upset was in the 2nd game where Hakuoudai Ashikaga (Tochigi 2) pulled ahead of Hanasaki Tokuharu (Saitama 1) 6-1, then held off a furious rally in the final 2 innings to win 6-5.

In today's action, Kendai Takasaki (Gunma 1) held off Mito Kougyou (Ibaraki 3) 3-2, while Toukaidai Koufu (Yamanashi 2) couldn't get level with Sano Nichidai (Tochigi 1) falling 3-1. Afternoon action sees Nichidai (Kanagawa 2) prevents the shutout, but loses to Yamanashi Gakuindai Fuzoku (Yamanashi 1) 5-2, and Yokohama (Kanagawa 1) shutting out Shiritsu Kawagoe (Saitama 2) 5-0.

The rainout also affected the Tokyo Super-Regionals and as a result only 2 quarterfinals games have been played. Not surprisingly, Nichidai-san and Kanto Dai-ichi shutout their opponents 8-0 and 7-0 and look poised for a finals matchup.

The other two matchups are Toukaidai Takanawadai vs. Koyamadai and Nittai Ebara vs. Nisshougakushadai Fuzoku.

Mie (Mie 1) has just annihilated their opponents, defeating Shizuoka Shougyou (Shizuoka 2) 10-0 in 6 innings to reach the finals. Their opponent will be... Toyokawa (Aichi 2)!  While they did give up an early 2-0 lead to Shizuoka (Shizuoka 1), ace Tanaka kept his school in the game and they walked off Shizuoka in the bottom of the 9th!

Given Toyokawa's performance in the Super-Regionals, even if they lose to Mie I expect them to get the 2nd bid.

Well, PL Gakuen (Osaka 2) may have made it to the super-regionals finally, but they still have work to do as their triumvirate of pitchers couldn't hold off Fukuchiyama Seibi (Kyoto 1) as they fall 3-2.  Houtoku Gakuen (Hyogo 1) had a surprisingly hard time against Kansaidai Hokuyou (Osaka 3), needing 5 runs late to win 8-6.

Then in the quarterfinals, Ryuukokudai Heian (Kyoto 1) and Chiben Gakuen (Nara 1) were embroiled in a low-scoring affair, but the home cooking couldn't save Chiben Gakuen as could manage just 1 run on 6 hits to lose 2-1.  They will face Riseisha (Osaka 1) as Sanda Shousei (Hyogo 2) just couldn't get any traction managing just 5 hits in a 5-0 loss.

The host prefecture would be completely eliminated on Sunday as Naradai Fuzoku (Nara 2) was completely whitewashed by Chiben Wakayama (Wakayama 1) 10-0 in 5 innings.  They will play a Houtoku Gakuen squad who is probably happy to see a week off.  They and Fukuchiyama Seibi could not generate any offense in their matchup but did push the only run in in the 6th.

Games were rained out on Friday, so the first two rounds would be played on Saturday-Monday.

At Kurashiki Muscat Stadium, upsets were the story of the weekend. Okayama Ridai Fuzoku (Okayama 4) started off with a 7 inning, 3-hit shutout over Izumo Nishi (Shimane 2).  Then, Soushi Gakuen (Okayama 1) got 4 runs on just 4 hits versus Takagawa Gakuen (Yamaguchi 2), but 10 free passes helped precipitate their downfall as they were upset 7-4. On Sunday, it was an upset by seeding only as Kouryou (Hiroshima 3) defeated Tottori Jyouhoku (Tottori 1) 5-1. With Hiroshima Shinjyou's (Hiroshima 1) Yamaoka delivering a 3-hitter against Iwami (Tottori 3), it sets up a rematch of the Hiroshima semifinals.

Across town at Kurashiki Muscat Stadium, it was all scratch seed-wise. Iwakuni (Yamaguchi 1) started off by dominating Tottori Shougyou (Tottori 2) 7-1. Soutoku (Hiroshima 2) then limited Ube Shougyou (Yamaguchi 3) to just 1 run on 5 hits winning 3-1. Kurshiki Shougyou (Okayama 2) let Daitou back in the game with 4 in the 5th, but pulled away late with 5 runs to win 9-5. And Okayama-ken Kyousei made the score respectable late, but was never in it after falling behind 2-1 in the 3rd, losing 6-3.

The quarterfinals just concluded today, and in early action Takagawa Gakuen actually mercy-ruled Okayama Ridai Fuzoku 11-1, and Iwakuni had to use a 4-run 7th to defeat Soutoku 4-0.

In the late games Kouryou was actually mercy-ruled by Hiroshima Shinjyou 9-2 in 7 innings! And Taisha tried to keep up with Kurashiki Shougyou, but would fall 7-5.

Kyushu, unlike the other super-regionals are just running through their brackets with very few days off. So today they're already in the quarterfinals. As of writing the first half of those games have been completed.

On the upper left side part of the bracket, Yaeyama Shoukou (Okinawa 3) started off struggling against Ibusuki Shougyou (Kagoshima 2) finally getting on the board with a pair of runs in the 6th eventually winning 3-0. Next up was Waseda Saga (Saga 1) who has quickly entered their name into the hat in the prefecture. The game would be yet another low-scoring affair, and when they finally pulled ahead 2-1 in the 12th, all seemed well. But Baba couldn't close out the game, Waseda comes back to score 2 and send the home team packing for the winter.

You'd think that they would have faced Kyushu Kokusaidai Fuzoku (Fukuoka 1), but they needed a run in the 9th just to send the game versus Chinzei (Kumamoto 2) into enchousen. And when they though they had the game won with a run in the 11th, Chinzei comes back to tie the game. 3 innings later, the pitching staff would run out of gas and Chinzei would win 3-2. Chinzei would then use a 4-run lucky 7 to defeat Waseda Saga and advance to the semifinals!

On the lower left quadrant, Hasami (Nagasaki 2) was surprisingly involved in a slugfest against Kitsuki (Oita 1) jumping out to a 7-0 lead, watching it shrivel to a 2-run lead before stabilizing for a 12-9 win. They would play an Okinawa Shougaku (Okinawa 2) squad who got by Nichinan Gakuen (Miyazaki 1) 3-1. Hasami however, couldn't get involved with 2 straight sock 'em games as they were mercy ruled 9-1 in 7 innings.

To the other half, and Misato Kougyou (Okinawa 1) really struggled with Oita Shougyou (Oita 2) 1-0. And now they will have even more trouble with Souseikan (Nagasaki 1) who had no problems with Kashima (Saga 2). Kamimura Gakuen (Kagoshima 1) had surprisingly no trouble with Nishi-Nippon Tankidai Fuzoku (Fukuoka 2) 7-3, and will face a Nisshou Gakuen (Miyazaki 2) squad who has defeated both Ginoza (Okinawa 4) and Taragi (Kumamoto 1).

Well, blow me down - Misato Kougyou shuts out Souseikan 1-0, and Nisshou Gakuen tried to rally a 2nd time against Kamimura Gakuen but the 9-3 deficit was too much, falling 10-6.

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