Wednesday, June 25, 2014

North and south underway...

So we are underway in qualifying for Natsu Koushien with the extreme ends of the country starting play.

In Okinawa, as mentioned by one of my readers, Kounan is gone, gone at the hands of Maebaru in sayonara fashion 2-1.  Good teams still need to reload, and some have advantages over others.  Kounan... is not one of them.

Back on opening day, a power of the past in Okinawa Suisan barely got through their first game 2-1 over Yaeyama.

The draw was cruel to 2 former Koushien participants as Kadena and Yaeyama Shoukou drew each other in the 1st round.  Far from being an exciting game, Kadena put them to bed early with a 10-0 mercy rule win in 6 innings.

We had our first crushing loss on Day 2 when Okinawa Tousen scored 4 in the bottom of the 9th to defeat Chubu Nourin 8-7 while Urasoe and Urasoe Kogyou both advanced.

Rounding out the first weekend of competition in Okinawa, Chinen and the peculiar Showa Yakkadai Fuzoku (A pharmacy university senior school) advanced easily.

Up in the more milder north of Hokkaido, Kita Hokkaido started play just yesterday.  After shutout wins by Shibetsu and Kushiro Meiki on opening day in Kushiro, the Kushine region is off to a wild start.  Over in Kushiro Shimin, the combined team of Akan, Kiritappu, Kushiro Higashi and Shiranuka, called 阿霧釧東白, let an early 2-0 lead slip away to Kushiro Tousen before tying the game in the 8th.  They had another chance to win after scoring in the 11th, but allowed Kushiro Tousen back in.  They would finally win 5-4 one inning later.

The other game had Kushiro Shougyou let a similar lead slip away to Teshikaga in the 8th.  That game too would head to enchousen where Kushishou would score 4 to put the game away for good.

The only other game is in progress with Kushiro Konan about to mercy rule Nemuro up 7-1 after 5 full innings of play.

Minami Hokkaido got off to a cruel start as in Hakodate Oceans Stadium, Minami-Kayabe gave up 13, 9 and 13 runs to 2nd tier Hakodatedai Yuuto.  They showed mercy after that scoring no runs to win 35-0.

The carnage continued on day 2 as of the 5 games on tap that day, only 1 was decided by less than 5 runs as Shizunai ruined Ootani Muroran's comeback bid with a run in the 8th to win 4-3.

Day 3 finally saw some competitive games, as for example Hakodate Ootani blew a 4-1 lead to Hakodate Suisan only to win in 12 by the score of 5-4.

The first recognizable name showed up on Day 4 with LaSalle defeating Yakumo handily 9-1 in 7.  Komadai Tomakomai finally made their appearance today defeating Muroran Shimizugaoka 5-2 in what probably was a game where the regulars sat.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Coverage going forward

For those that will be looking to this site for updates on Natsu Koushien tournament updates and the like, there will be some changes effective immediately.

First of all, while I will continue to try and get the brackets updated on a regular basis, but will not comment as thoroughly as I did before.  I will just mention notable teams whenever appropriate.

There are several reasons for this.  First of all, I still like 高校野球 and I'd like to keep it that way.  Doing this coverage for 6 years has in some ways burned me out a bit.  As you can tell from some of my commentaries and feeling regarding it now, the luster has been dulled a bit and the attempts in daily coverage during my non-working hours has burned me out a lot and made it harder each year for me to do this in general.  So to preserve it in some ways, I will be doing less in the buildup to Natsu Koushien.

Also I have to accept that in the 6 years I've done this, while I have some followers who have been very loyal to the blog, readership really hasn't increased and while it sounds like complaining, it's a lot of work.

I don't know what this will mean for Natsu Koushien itself, if the live blogging will continue or if it will be more of a game recap with exceptionally notable AB's or plays.  I'm sure that while my commentary on a pitch-by-pitch basis is liked, I'm sure there is a lot of boredom during a lot of games.