Sunday, July 20, 2014

Where we stand (Part 3 - Kanto)

There is a lot to go through, and I have less time to cover it all:

Ibaraki - Round of 16
Ibaraki has quickly whittled the field from 100 to 16, and while there are some familiar faces, there are a lot of unfamiliar schools here too:
  • Jyousou Gakuin (#1) v. Moriya
  • Mito Sakuranomaki (#8) v. Ushiku
  • Tsuchiura Kohoku (#4) v. Satake
  • Fujishiro (#5) v. Asou
  • Kasumigaura (#2) v. Mito Shougyou
  • Ishioka Dai-ichi v. Kashima Gakuen (#10)
  • Toride Shouyou v. Iwase Nichidai
  • Ryuugasaki Dai-ichi v. Tsukuba Shouei
Jyouso Gakuin is an easy spot.  Kasumigaura was oh so close last year.  Mito Sakuranomaki is familar because they're often seeded.  Fujishiro I believe went to senbatsu several years back.  I remember Tsukuba Shouei and Ushiku for some reason but right now can't remember why.

With so few familiar teams, it could be quite possible that we could see a rematch of last year's finals.  Jyousou Gakuin has not yielded a run in 2 games, while Kasumigaura did have a hiccup against Tsukuba Kokusai holding off a 9th inning rally to win 4-3.

Nishi Tokyo - Best 8 (en route)
There were a lot of familiar faces that came from the field of 128 to the round of 16, and some have already advanced to the Best 8.

Those include Nichidai Tsurugaoka and Kodaira in the left half who won by double digits and will face each other and then Hachiouji and Toukaidai Sugao (who put Waseda Jitsugyou behind 4-0 early en route to a 6-3 win) in the right half and too will play each other.

More powerhouses will be on deck today.  Today's schedule is as follows:
  • Shouwa v. Komaba Gakuen
  • Nichidai Sakuragaoka v. Kokugakuin Kugayama
  • Nichidai-san v. Seikou Gakuen
  • Meijidai Nakano-Hachiouji v. Kokushikan
Higashi Tokyo - Best 8 (en route)
All 4 top seeds - Seiritsu Gakuen, Kanto Dai-ichi, Teikyou and Nisshougakushadai Fuzoku, have won their first 2 games to reach the round of 16.  Considering that I thought Nisshougakushadai was robbed, it's good to see them progress.  However, they were a 5-3 win over Jyousai and a 3-2 win over Toukaidai Takanawadai.  Shuutoku, the #5 seed couldn't even get past their 2nd game, falling behind 6-0 to Iwakura eventually losing 6-4.  And of the #6-9 seeds, the familiar Toua Gakuen, Adachi Niita and Yukigaya have advanced.  So we've only lost 2 seeded teams so far.
  • Seiritsu Gakuen v. Momijigawa - Seiritsu Gakuen needed to earlier to advance!
  • Tokyo v. Adachi Niita
  • Iwakura v. Toua Gakuen
  • Jyoutou v. Nisshougakushadai Fuzoku
  • Teikyou v. Nichidai-ichi
  • Houyuu Gakuin v. Koyamadai
  • Yukigaya v. Nichidai Buzan - Yukigaya obliterated Nichidai Buzan going the minimum 5
  • Horikoshi v. Kanto Dai-ichi - Kanto Dai-ichi led 2-1 after 4, but while Horikoshi is no pushover Kanto plates 2 more and Horikoshi may be on their way out.
Tokyo has been good in recent years, have have posted 4 quality victories.  Next up will be the seeded Adachi Niita, who had some slight trouble versus Shinozaki before steadying the ship versus Tamadai Meguro.  Iwakura will be facing their 2nd seeded team in Toua Gakuen who have not had any issues so far.  Nisshougakushadai maybe gets a game to right the ship as Jyoutou barely survived rallying from a 6-run 7th from Musashigaoka with 4 runs to win 7-6.

Teikyou has looked okay so far, with their last game a 6-1 win over Komagome Gakuen.  And let's give Nichidai-ichi some credit before facing Teikyou.  Perhaps the lost school of the 3 Nichidai numbered schools (we all know about Nichidai-san and Nichidai-ni is consistently in the tier below the Koushien contenders).  They've won 4 games from the deepest part of the bracket to reach the Round of 16.  It will probably end here, but Teikyou, so you never know.

Koyamadai is a well-respected team, and have also gone from the deepest part of the bracket to win 4 straight, including the upset over Sundai Gakuen.  As for Houyuu, they had 2 mercy-rule wins before a 3-run 4 capped by a HR from Ishiyama would be enough to defeat Seisoku Gakuen 3-1.

Yamanashi - Finals
The quarterfinal games went as expected, with Hikawa, Toukaidai Koufu, Yamanashi Gakuindai Fuzoku and Nihon Koukuu all won with relative ease.

The semifinals wound up being blowouts.  Despite Hikawa taking a 2-1 lead in the middle innings, Toukaidai Koufu scored 8 unanswered to win 9-2.  Nihon Koukuu didn't give Yamanashi Gakuindai Fuzoku a chance, as they blew them out 9-1 to set up

So it'll be Toukaidai Koufu and Nihon Koukuu will play for the title (go Nihon Koukuu!)


JH said...

We would not be seeing Takahashi Kouna this year, as 2013 summer champ Maebashi Ikuei leaves the scene at the 3rd round (groan).

Kouna was overpowering for six innings, taking a 2-0 lead. Whereas a 7th inning 6-run meltdown led to his downfall (What in the world has happened?).

First Ojima, then Takahashi.....I am sad that two pitchers who brought championships to their teams last year would be out of the scene this year. I wish them luck, and I also wish the new Saitama and Gunma champs (whoever they would be) success in Koshien.

JH said...

(Okinawa Final ongoing) Wow, Itoman is probably the worst bunting team at the finals level I have ever seen. 5~6 attempts and they haven't succeeded a single time.

JH said...

At the bottom of the 4th, Itoman strikes first!!

JH said...

Itoman ace Akamine seems to be out of gas as 3 consecutive extra base hits plus a wild pitch gives Okishou a sudden 5-1 lead at the top of the 8th!

Is it the end for Itoman?!