Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Aki Taikai Recap-to-date - Hokushinetsu

Most of the participants for the Super-Regional have already been determined, with the exception of Nagano - check that, they just completed today.

Mostly because they go probably though one of the most convoluted processes out there.

First, during Natsu Koushien, all teams are playing in "qualifiers" which only determines seeded teams. Then the actual qualifications start with a certain quantity advancing from each region into the prefecturals.

Sadly, Ueda Nishi's time in the sun has already passed. They couldn't get past the first game against Ueda, getting mercy-ruled 7-0.

Interestingly, while many of the familiar names advanced through the prefecturals, they all seemed to fall in the quarterfinals thus ensuring mostly newcomers would be advancing to the Super-Regionals.

First it was Matsushou Gakuen falling 3-1 to Toukai Dai-san. Then after Iiyama beat Nanshin top seed Okaya Minami, Chikyuu Kankyou upset Nagano Nichidai 4-2 and Nagano Nishi topping Saku Chousei 1-0!

But while the quarterfinals were close, the semifinals were anything but with Toukai Dai-san mercy-ruling Iiyama, and Chikyuu Kankyou holding Nagano Nishi to just 1 run in a 6-1 victory.

Nagano Nishi and Iiyama had one last chance, and it was all Nagano Nishi, leading wire-to-wire 8-3.

I don't have any score, but through twitter it appears that Toukai Dai-san has won their first fall title defeated Chikyuu Kankyou.

It seemed to be the status quo for the 2 main powerhouses of the prefecture, though Niigata Meikun had the easier time of it getting to the finals with only a 4-1 win over Chuuetsu being the only main challenge.  Nihon Bunri on the other hand had to go sayonara against Hokuetsu and followed that up with another nailbiter against Sanjyou.

Nihon Bunri would have to play the cardiac kids again rallying with 3 in the 8th to defeat Niigata Meikun 4-3 to claim their 18th title.  Joining them would be Chuuetsu who edged Sanjyou 3-2 and made it seemingly an all-scratch representation.

Eager to show their Koushien run wasn't a fluke, Toyama Dai-ichi blew through the early parts of the Toyama prefectural. But the last two steps were the most difficult, but in both cases they just passed the test - first with a 4-3 win over Shin-Minato, then a 2-1 win over Toyama Shougyou.

Shin-Minato would join the duo in the Super-regionals after defeating Toyama Kokusaidai Fuzoku 6-1 in the 3rd place game.

The school responsible for sending home my friend's JET school (Komatsu Meihou) home this past summer, wound up being a one-school wrecking crew in the fall. Komatsu Ootani was single-handedly defeated Kanazawa and Seiryou... and still didn't make the finals! They wound up falling to Ishikawa-ken Kougyou 2-1 in the semifnals!

But that allowed them to demolish another team shutting out Yuugakukan 3-0 to take the final spot!

Question was, who was that other team who sent Yuugakukan to the last chance game anyways?

That school would be Tsubata, who basically survived on just 2 runs in 3 straight games versus Kanazawa Shougyou and Hakui before doing the same to Yuugakukan.

In the final, they would continue do just enough to defeat Ishikawa-ken Kougyou 4-3 to claim the title.

Fukui is hosing the Super-regional this year and as a result will qualify 4 teams.

And the tournament went fairly scratch with one exception. Fukui Shougyou wound up being upset in the quarterfinals by Hokuriku 10-6.  Not only that, but they'd go on to upset Tsuruga Kehi as well actually mercy-ruling them 7-0!

They would almost pull off the full upset as they lead Fukui Koudai Fukui 5-1 heading into the final 3 innings, but could not close it out as they would score in each of the frames forcing enchousen and winning one inning later 7-6.

It would be more insult to injury for Tsuruga Kehi as they would lose the 3rd place game 6-4 to Harue Kougyou.  They'll still make it to the Super-regionals, but it's not a good way to enter it.

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