Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Aki Taikai Recap-to-date - Shikoku

Two more to go...

Kagawa may still be in a down cycle.  Natsu representative Marugame couldn't get out of the first game, falling to Sakaide 12-3. Interestingly, this is a case where the team defeating the summer representative actually delivers.  They edged by both Tonoshou (9-8 in 10), then Jinsei Gakuen (7-6) before getting an "easy win" over Takamatsu Dai-ichi 7-3 to secure their appearance in the super-regionals.

They will play Eimei in the finals for fall bragging rights.  Eimei did not concede a run until their quarterfinal game against Marugame Jyousai, then outlasted Kagawa Nishi 7-6 in 12 innings.

As noted, Takamatsu Dai-ichi and Kagawa Nishi will play for the 3rd spot.

Naruto may be back on the rebuilding path as they can only get to the quarterfinals before falling to Ikeda in 12 innings after rallying from down 4-1.

Naruto Uzushio, a possible candidate to replace them, actually had fallen a round earlier to Itano 3-2.  And with Tokushima Shougyou failing late to Kaifu 10-7 also in the quarterfinals, it opened things up for the final 4 with no main threat.

Ikeda may be building back up to being a Tokushima powerhouse, but they haven't gotten there yet it seems. They fell behind unknown Seikou Gakuen 3-0 early and couldn't recover falling 3-2 and being sent to the 3rd place game.

The other team looking to break through in recent years is Komatsushima.  And it seemed like they would have a great opportunity to win the fall with the other major competitors gone.  And after outlasting Kaifu 5-4 they guaranteed themselves at least a spot in the Super-regionals.

With Ikeda going to the consolation game, the prospects looked bleak for Kaifu.  Indeed, Ikeda's ace (Myouzai?) pitched a complete game no-hitter sending Ikeda to a spot in the super-regionals.

In the final it was all Komatsushima going out to a 7-0 lead.  And it would have been all theirs if the game lasted 7 innings.  Because ace Matori completely fell apart in the final 2 innings, giving up 2 in the 8th and then 5 in the 9th sending the game into enchousen.

Apparently there would be no relief for the ace, and that would prove costly because in the 12th Seikou Gakuen would complete the comeback claiming their 2nd fall title!

Anraku didn't look right at Natsu Koushien, and after Saibi's loss in the first round of the prefecturals to Saijyou 4-2, something had to be up.  Now we know that Anraku probably had an injury that finally was reported (which I'm sure the MLB teams are all up at arms about because after all he'll end up being their property...)

Anyways, that opened the prefecture to the rest of the field who may have thought that there was no hope at all.

Sadly though, even though it opened up it only really did for the other powerhouses.  Saijyou and Imabari Nishi were not challenged to the title game.  In that final, Saijyou had a 5-1 lead late, allowed Imabari to tie the game with 4 in the 8th before avoiding extras with 3 in the 9th to claim their 15th title.

Touon would battle Teikyou Dai-go for the final spot, but sadly couldn't compete. They would give up runs in just 2 innings, but were mercy ruled 7-0 in 8 innings.

Kochi belonged to Meitoku Gijyuku, by a wide margin.  Despite losing a majority of their natsu roster, they still had ace Kishi - and that's a big plus.  Kishi's closest game was a 5-2 win over Ootemae in the semifinals.  That would be before a 17-3 win over Kochi Higashi Kougyou in the finals.

Where was Kochi and Kochi Shougyou? Kochi was actually shutout by Kochi Higashi Kougyou 4-0 in the quarterfinals.  Kochi Shougyou actually lost 3-2 to Kochi Higashi in the 2nd round.  Kochi Higashi actually made it to the semifinals before losing to Kochi Higashi Kougyou.  They could not however reach the super-regionals as Ootemae would defeat them 7-3 to claim the last spot.

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