Ryuukokudai Heian (Kinki) did what I though they would against Mie (Tokai). Starting in the 3rd, Imai and Nakaguchi with back to back hits would drive in a run each to make it a 2-0 game. That would be followed up by the Takahashi battery (C Yuuhashi & P Keiji) in the 4th for another 2 runs. And a Mie error in the 5th would give them a 5-0 lead.
But as Mie is wont to do, they scrap their way back after the break. Nishioka would get them on the board in the 6th with a groundout. 2 innings later, Seko would get a timely RBI, and Nishioka would follow that up with a 2-run double to make it a 1-run ballgame.
However, that would be the closest they would get. Ootsuka would come in as Heian's 3rd pitcher and shut down Mie to secure the 5-4 win.
Kanto Dai-ichi (Tokyo) did not start Abe Takeshi in their game against Okinawa Shougaku (Kyushu). But then again, he's actually wearing #10 apparently! The ace number belongs to Haketa Akihiro, who did start the game.
And he held the Okishou offense in check as his team jumped on ace Yamashiro. Yamaguchi started things off with a timely single with runners at the corners, and then Ikeda followed that up with a double and it was 2-0 Kanto in the 1st. Ikeda would deliver again in the 3rd, with another base hit to make it a 3-0 ballgame. That would be it for Yamashiro as Kubo would come in from right to swap places.
The game stayed at 3-0 until post-break where Okishou finally got to Haketa. With runners at the corners, Akamine Ken delivered a base hit to score 1, and then Kubo himself would hit a double to make it a 1-run ballgame.
Haketa would give way in the 8th still holding onto the lead. I would have expected them to go Abe, but again I would have been wrong. Instead they went to unknown Tanabe Ren. That didn't go well when Anzato would get a hit to left, tying the game.
It then went all wrong in the 9th as Tanabe would only record one out while giving up 5 runs, ensuring Okishou's advance to the next round.
The first game of the 2nd round was a no-contest affair sadly. My supposed favorite, Hachinohe Gakuen Kousei (Tohoku) was never in the game against Imabari Nishi (Shikoku) as their #3 batter Ochi Itsuki would drive in 3 of their 5 runs en route to a 5-1 victory. Of course, it didn't help also that the team committed 4 errors in the game as well...
The second game almost seemed like the first. Hakuoudai Ashikaga (Kanto) quickly took the lead over Iwakuni (Chuugoku) with a sac fly from Ooshita in the first and a timely from Higa in the 2nd. Kawamoto's double in the 3rd would bring Iwakuni within 1, but a pair in the 5th seemed to make the game a copy of the first.
But much like Kanto Dai-ichi, things went horribly wrong in the 8th inning for Hakuoudai. Tsuchiya would start it off with a timely hit to center to make it a 4-2 ballgame. With the bases loaded, Kameya would hit a grounder to short. Kamon would go home, only to throw it away... 2 runs would score and the game was tied at 4. Ace Higa would be relieved as Ooshita would come in from left to pitch. Sadly, a wild pitch would allow the gyakuten run to score.
Iwakuni would tack on one more as Yanagawa would shut the door in the 9th ensuring that Kanto would not get another bid (Nisshougakushadai Fuzoku should get the floating bid now).
The schools with some hope left may be:
- Hokkaido - Sapporo Ootani
- Hokushinetsu - Chikyuu Kankyou
- Kinki - Sanda Shousei
- Chuugoku/Shikoku - Takigawa Gakuen
- Kyushu - Souseikan