Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Aki Taikai Recap-to-date - Shikoku Super-Regional

Shikoku is already in the semifinal stages, but we need to get there first.  Kagawa wound up going to Sakaide as after Eimei pinged Sakaide for a run in the 1st and 2nd innings, Sakaide scored 3 in the 3rd and then put the game away with 5 in the 7th.

The brackets then went as follows:
  • Sakaide (Kagawa 1) vs. winner of Imabari Nishi (Ehime 2)-Kochi Ootemae (Kochi 3)
  • Meitoku Gijyuku (Kochi 1) vs. winner of Komatsushima (Tokushima 2)-Takamatsu Dai-ichi (Kagawa 3)
  • Seikou Gakuen (Tokushima 1) vs. winner of Eimei (Kagawa 2)-Teikyou Dai-go (Ehime 3)
  • Saijyo (Ehime 1) vs. winner of Kochi Higashi Kougyou (Kochi 2)-Ikeda (Tokushima 3)
Imabari Nishi just made a complete mess of Kochi Ootemae scoring 11 runs in the 3rd in a 22-1 blowout. And as for Sakaide, they put up a 2-spot in the 1st against Imabari Nishi but had to watch as the veterans put up 5 unanswered runs and here they are in the semis.

Komatsushima gets to the super-regionals, but cannot parlay it into a Koushien appearance it seems. Takamatsu Dai-ichi puts up crooked numbers every inning and the game ends 14-3 in 5 innings.  But against Meitoku's ace Kishi...  let's just say they were shutout and mercy ruled in 7 innings 8-0.

What I said for Komatsushima applies for Teikyou Dai-go as well. Eimei proved to be vulnerable this year it seemed and when Teikyou took a 1-0 lead into the mid-game break it seemed they might be able to do it. But once the 2nd half started, Eimei scored 4 runs and that was that.  But against Seikou Gakuen they played catch-up the entire game.  And when they finally leveled the score at 3 in the top of the 8th, it must have taken its toll as ace Akagawa couldn't hold off Seikou anymore and a run in the bottom of the 8th put the nail in the coffin for Eimei.

Probably the team in Shikoku that has had tried the most to get back to their olden days is Ikeda. Having to fight teams like Naruto, Naruto Uzushio, Tokushima Shougyou who have emerged as the new powers has been tough. But under ace Myouzai, they may just have a chance.

First up was a solid 7-2 win over Kochi Higashi Kougyou where he struck out 9.  Then against Saijyo, he was entrenched in an ace matchup with Shimada. After each surrendered a run early, they started putting up donut after donut.  Then in the 9th, with 2 outs Kita draws a walk for Ikeda, not only steals 2nd, but 3rd as well! Myouzai would drive in the run himself with a hit to left.

Now just 3 outs away, Myouzai's defense would let him down. A leadoff error by the SS would get advanced to 2nd on a grounder, and Yanase would hit a double to tie the game. Myouzai would have to load the bases with 2 out, but he got out of the inning with no more damage, sending the game into enchousen.

2 innings later, it would be Saijyo who would return the favor. A one-out error by their 3B would put the gyakuten runner on 2nd, and with 2 out and the runner now at 3rd Fujita delivered the timely hit to put Ikeda up once again 3-2. Yanase would lead off the bottom of the 11th with a base hit and was bunted to 2nd. But he would get hung up with a grounder to short and get tagged out. Shimada, the runner at 1st now would get the douten run back in scoring position with a stolen base but Myouzai would have the final word getting Sakou to fly out to center to end the game and send Ikeda to the semifinals.

Thankfully for Myouzai and Ikeda they have a week off before hitting the mound again.

I'm pulling hard for Ikeda, but I hate to see it be at the expense of a team like Seikou Gakuen if they do win. The losing team will have to hope for the floating bid at that point, and even then remember there is the loser of the Imabari Nishi-Meitoku Gijyuku game to deal with too. If that loser just happens to be Meitoku, forget it - they have 0 chance at the floating bid and may have to be nominated as the 21st century team (if that's even possible).

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