Well, it wound up being an all-Oumi final as both Oumi and Oumi Kyoudaisha shutout their opponents soundly to reach the final. And in the final, Oumi Kyoudaisha claimed their first fall title defeating Oumi yet again 5-3!
What was the stunner was that Youkaichi claimed the 3rd spot, defeating Hikone Higashi 3-2 in an upset!
Nishi-Jyouyou indeed was the odd team out as they were mercy-ruled 11-1 by Ryuukokudai Heian in 6 innings. The other semifinal wound up not being competitive either as Fukuchiayama Seibi eliminated Ritsumeikan Uji 7-2.
And in the final, Fukuchiyama Seibi seemed to take control with a 5-run 5th to take a 5-1 lead, but Heian just completely wiped that out with 9 unanswered runs in the 7th & 8th innings to win 10-5 and claim their 24th title and first in 6 years.
I wonder if Chiben Gakuen read my remarks, because after I mentioned that they seemed to be struggling, they outscored their opponents 19-0 to reach the finals. On the other side, Naradai Fuzoku also had no problems mercy-ruling Heijyou before holding on to defeat Kashihara Gakuin 4-2 to reach the finals as well.
Naradai Fuzoku appears to be making a solid bid to be the 3rd team in the prefecture, and held in there against the favorites. Not until a 3-run 8th for Chiben Gakuen did they finally seal their title, winning 11-7.
Kashihara Gakuin at least got into the Super-regionals as they ran circles around Kashiba 9-3.
Looks like winning the first tournament does mean something it seems as only Kinkidai Shinguu was the only one who advanced from the teams that played the 2nd tournament, holding off a charge from Shinguu to win 6-4.
Shiritsu Wakayama and Kainan had no problems with their opponents, but Chiben Wakayama struggled with Arita Chuo, using a 3-run 7th to finally separate themselves for the 6-3 win.
Chiben Wakayama continued to struggle, but basically outlast their opponents. Against Shiritsu Wakayama, they need 3 in the 9th to win 6-3 to advance to the finals. And against Kainan (who traded runs every half-inning until the winning margin of 3-2 over Kinkidai Shinguu), they scored 4 runs in the 6-7-8th innings to overcome a 5-2 deficit to claim the title.
PL Gakuen and Riseisha continued to run roughshot over the field, though both teams had a hiccup along the way. PL's game was against Uenomiya Taishi where they survived a 1-0 win, while Riseisha in the semifinals only defeated Kansai Hokuryou 4-1.
The final was pretty much as advertized. Riseisha broke a 1-1 tie with 3 in the 4th, then clung on to the lead as PL launched a 9th inning rally that fell just short as they lost 4-3.
In the 3rd place game. the narrow loss by Kansai Hokuryou was not a fluke as they pulled away from the other semifinal loser Osaka Kaisei Gakuen (fka as Konohana Gakuin until 2013) outscoring them 9-3 in the final trimester to win 11-4.
Yeah, Ichikawa had no chance against Houtoku Gakuen, as back-to-back 4-run innings were all they needed to win 8-0. The other semifinal was much closer as Sanda Shousei scored the only run of the game in the lucky 7 to defeat Yashiro.
Houtoku closed it out against Sanda Shousei, taking advantage of the free pass to outscore them 9-2 to win the title. Meanwhile Ichikawa bounced back from the loss to Houtoku to defeat Yashiro 5-3 to claim the final spot.
3 of the 4 quadrants have played so far, and it's been not close for the most part:
- Oumi (Shiga 2) was shutout by Ryuukokudai Heian (Kyoto 1) 5-0.
- Youkaichi (Shiga 3) was also blanked by Chiben Gakuen (Nara 1) 8-0 in 7 innings.
- Kainan (Wakayama 2) proved to be a very worthy opponent, holding Riseisha (Osaka 1) to just 2 runs. Problem was, that second run in the bottom of the 8th was the difference...
- Sanda Shousei (Hyogo 2) showed Kashihara Gakuin (Nara 3) that they still had a ways to go. 10 unanswered runs in 4 consecutive innings meant a 7-inning 10-2 win.
- It's hard to say who this game makes a statement for. With Oumi Kyoudaisha's (Shiga 1) 1-0 loss to Naradai Fuzoku (Nara 2). Does it mean that Shiga as a whole is down considering no representative scored even a run? Does it mean that outside of Oumi Kyoudaisha, Shiga was very weak considering that Naradai played Chiben Gakuen close? Does it mean that both Shiga and Nara are both weak considering Kashihara's loss as well?
- And finally Ichikawa (Hyogo 3) was just outclassed by a Chiben Wakayama (Wakayama 1) squad 10-1 in 7.