So, this will be short, mostly because I'm still disgusted about what happened yesterday (it looks like perhaps the powerhouses are not letting the cinderella teams get away anymore):
Niigata - Sekine Gakuen v. Nihon Bunri
Ishikawa - Komatsu Ootani v. Seiryou
I'm lumping these together because I don't want to dedicate time to these games.
Sekine Gakuen led Nihon Bunri 2-1 going into the bottom of the 9th. Single, flyout, walk, 3-run gyakuten sayonara HR, Bunri wins 4-2.
Komatsu Ootani led Seiryou 8-0 going into bottom of 9th. They cannot record 3 outs as Seiryou scores 9 in a slow-motion collapse as they win 9-8.
You can see my twitter feed to see my feelings regarding this. I may even do a post about this before the finals today.
Gunma - Kendai Takasaki v. Isesaki Seimei
The score itself was close, but the game perhaps wasn't. Kawai, Takahashi and Matsuno combine on a no-hitter as they defeat Isesaki Seimei 1-0.
The only run was scored in the 3rd when after a double to LCF by then starter Kawai, Hoshino goes for a safety bunt with 2 out and brings the runner home.
Tochigi - Sakushin Gakuin v. Sano Nichidai
Sano Nichidai opened the scoring with a run in the first, but Sakushin Gakuin eventually wore down their opponents, scoring 7 runs in the 6th and 7th innings en route to a 7-1 win and their 4th consecutive trip to Natsu Koushien.
Saitama - Shiritsu Kawagoe v. Kasukabe Kyouei
Shiritsu Kawagoe and Kasukabe Kyouei did not have to play any powerhouse teams for the title, and avoided the pitfalls that are associated with playing in big prefectures such as this one. Both schools had been to Koushien before, Shiritsu Kawagoe as Kawagoe Shougyou back in 1971, and Kasukabe Kyouei 4 times, the most recent being in 2005.
The game was very close with the teams trading runs in the 4th and 5th ending with Shiritsu Kawagoe leading 2-1. It stayed that way until the 8th when Kamijyou couldn't hold the lead for Shiritsu. Kasukabe Kyouei would score 6 in the bottom half of the frame, leaving them with almost no time to respond. Kasukabe Kyouei would advance for the 5th time with a 7-2 win.
Nagano - Saku Chousei v. Nagano Shougyou
Nagano Shougyou had been a powerhouse back in the day, but has ceded way to the private schools such as Saku Chousei, Matsushou Gakuen and the like.
But they reached the final where they would have to exorcise the demon by defeating Saku Chousei to take the title. And when I saw them score 6 in the 2nd, I thought perhaps the trend of upsets would continue.
Sadly it would not be. A 4-run 7th was the key in Saku Chousei's comeback as they would win 10-9 to claim their 6th title.
Hyogo - Kobe Kokusaidai Fuzoku v. Sanda Shousei
Even though neither school had reached Natsu Koushien before, Kobe Kokusaidai Fuzoku had at least gone to senbatsu. So Sanda Shousei could have easily been called the underdog.
But the game was over early. 7 runs in the 3rd for Kobe Kokusaidai Fuzoku and that pretty much sealed things. Kobe Kokusaidai Fuzoku would go on to win 11-1.
Tottori - Yazu v. Tottori Jyouhoku
In recent times Tottori Jyouhoku has dominated the prefecture leaving schools like Yazu who used to go to Koushien behind. Yesterday was a chance for Yazu to perhaps claim something from past times.
Yazu would take an early lead when with the bases loaded and 2 out, Nishigaki would deliver a base hit to center scoring 2.
Kamatani for Yazu would hold off the Tottori Jyouhoku offense, but in the 5th he would cede a run due to a wild pitch. Later on, after an intentional walk to load the bases, he would get out of the jam with a fly to center.
Kamatani wouldn't let them get any closer as he gave up just the 1 run on 6 hit to win 2-1.
Okayama - Okayama Ridai Fuzoku v. Kanzei
There would be no Cinderellas in Okayama as 2 familiar foes met up for the title - though neither had really been to Koushien in a couple of years, as Kurashiki Shougyou had stolen the show for most part.
Kaznei would score early and often against Okayama Ridai, putting up all their runs before the break. It would be more than enough as they would win 9-4.
Hiroshima - Hiroshima Shinjyou v Kouryou
Kouryou and Jyosuikan have given up control of the prefecture to the masses the last 2 years, but Kouryou returned to the finals this year looking to reclaim the throne.
Hiroshima Shinjyou had gone to senbatsu earlier this year and was looking to perhaps make a return trip this summer.
Things looked good in the first, as Nishijima's timely triple gave them the 1-0 lead.
Kouryou would strike right back. 1 out, runners at the corners and cleanup batter Oota delivers a hit to left to tie the game. Kita would give his team the lead right after with a single to center.
That would be all the scoring in the game as Kouryou would go on to punch their ticket with a 2-1 win.
Kagawa - Sakaide Shougyou v. Ootemae Takamatsu
We really hadn't heard from either of these schools, though both are more than decent teams within Kagawa. Sakaide Shougyou time was in the 80s and early 90s where they went to Natsu Koushien 4 of their 5 prior times. Ootemae Takamatsu has been forever a Tier 3 school, but with none of the current powerhouses in the final (and having survived Jinsei Gakuen 8-7 in 13 in the semifinals), they had a chance to make their first trip.
Perhaps the extra inning game though hurt Ootemae Takamatsu, because despite going out to a 3-1 lead through 6, Saji couldn't finish it off. He would give up 2 in the 7th to tie the game, and then 2 more in the 9th giving Sakaide Shougyou the 5-3 win.
31 down, 16 to go.