For Tsuruga Kehi, I was down on the whole Hokushinetsu region, but they proved me wrong by upsetting 2 other super-regional champions and reaching the Best 4.
For sending 6 teams to Haru Koushien, and despite knowing most of the region was weak, not one team advanced to the Best 8. Not even Osaka Touin, though perhaps injury had more to do with that than anything.
Meanwhile Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou looked to be a force, if not for having their entire battery roughed up in the Osaka Touin game. They won the battle, lost the war.
That loss was to a team from Shikoku who had 2 teams represented in the Best 4 and guaranteed one in the finals. And if not for 3 games in 3 days, who knows what would have happened to Saibi?
We had many teams win their first game, most notably Moriokadai Fuzoku, but including Shoushikan, Yamagata Chuo and Engaru.
I was personally entertained by Souseikan's oen-dan, and while they will rival my Seihou in the summer, I wouldn't mind seeing them this summer as well.
And we know of stars that have already been there that have risen in this tournament. Not the least of which are aces Ojima Kazuya and Anraku Tomohiro, Urawa Gakuin cleanup batter Takada, amongst others.
So as the players march around the field for the last time and the door is closed on the 85th Haru Koushien, the teams will prepare for the 95th Natsu Koushien, another special Koushien where we will see the field expanded once more and more teams will get a chance for the coveted title of Natsu Koushien champions.
*FYI, the special multiple of 5 Koushien tournaments apply to the summer too:
- Saitama becomes Kita + Minami Saitama
- Chiba becomes Nishi + Higashi Chiba
- Kanagawa becomes Kita + Minami Kanagawa
- Aichi becomes Nishi + Higashi Aichi
- Osaka becomes Kita + Minami Osaka
- Hyogo becomes Nishi + Higashi Hyogo