Well, it's bound to happen. With so many schools left from the Tohoku/Hokushinetsu/Toukai regions, they're bound to start cannibalizing each other.
Such is the case to start Day 8. Familiar foes Oogaki Nichidai and Mie square off in much better (and cooler conditions). Oddly enough, while they are in the same region, they have not played each other in actual competition over the last 10 years.
Oogaki Nichidai broke down and broke Fujishiro's hearts after coming back from down 8-0 after the top of the 1st scoring 8 unanswered runs to win 12-10. While it is a great comeback, it was against a team that had only needed to defeat Jyousou Gakuin to win the prefecture. So perhaps while their tenacity was tested, their talent as a team is still in question.
Mie had a similar game, though not as pronounced. They trailed Kouryou twice, both by 2 runs, and came back twice - the 2nd time in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs no less. 2 innings later, they walked off on a oshidashi walk no less, though Kouryou ace Yoshikawa could be excused as it was his 169th pitch of the game.
Kouryou while a big name, to be honest didn't have to face schools like Jyousuikan to win the title, but they have brand name which always adds weight to a victory. And it's not like Mie had been held off the basepaths either. They were getting their fair share of hits versus Kouryou.
So it might be a bigger test for both squads today for a spot in the Round of 16.
Oogaki Nichidai (Gifu)
2B Oida Masahiro
SS Yuguchi Ikumi
C Naitou Daiki
P Takino Kaname (#7)
3B Nozaki Bunshi
1B Sakakiyama Shouta (#14)
LF Ookubo Atsushi (#3)
CF Furutani Daishi
RF Kaneda Kai
CF Nagano Hayato
2B Sada Taiki
SS Utsunomiya Touma
1B Nishioka Musashi
LF Inaba Ryuuya
3B Uchida Ren
RF Seko Ren
C Nakabayashi Kengo
P Imai Shigetarou
08:00 - First Pitch!
Oida already working ace Imai fouling off several pitches, finally drawing a walk on pitch 10.
Sakaguchi-kantoku sends Taneda! Throw from Nakabayashi... and Utsunomiya gets the tag on the leg as Taneda dives in! One down.
That's too bad beacuse Yuguchi lines to center for a single.
Imai shuts it down getting both Naitou and Takino to hit routine fly balls to end the inning.
Mie hitting the ball hard against Takino. Nagano with a sharp grounder to 2nd that Oida fields for the 1st out. But Sada hits one hard right at 1st, and this time Sakakiyama can't handle it and it trickles into right for a base hit.
Utsunomiya grounder to 2nd, Oida goes to 2nd... throws it away!! The ball goes into left and the runners advance! Chance for Mie!
Naitou pointing to the right side, but Nishioka hits a ball past a diving Nozaki for a base hit! Sada scores and it's 1-0 Mie!
Inaba next connects on a ball, thinks he has something, but it's not what he thinks. The wind knocks it down and it's a sac fly to right, Utsunomiya comes in to make it 2-0!
Things not easier for Takino. He walks Uchida on 4 straight.
Seko a liner to right for a base hit! Nishioka comes in to score and it's 3-0!
The inning finally ends when Nakabayashi flies out to center, but we've seen this story before. Can Oogaki fight back again?
Well, Mie is no Fujishiro. In fact I consider Mie to be Hanamaki Higashi before Hanamaki Higashi became a name. In other words, they are the ultimate blue-collar team. They never get cheated out of a game, even though they're not the elite of 高校野球.
Nozaki unable to get the bat on the ball, going down on 3 straight.
After a groundout, Ookubo with a ball through the right side! And it looks like Seko is way out of position and has to chase after it (he may have been shifted?) and Ookubo ends up with a triple!
Now Imai falls behind Furuya 3-0, and despite filling up the count walks him! Things getting a little shaky, but Kaneda hits a comebacker to Imai! Soft toss to 1st and the side is retired without damage.
Imai gets in on the hit parade with a single past a diving Nozaki for a leadoff single.
At 0-1 to Nagano, Sakaguchi-kantoku makes a pitching change. Odd time for one, as ace # Takada comes in for Kaneda to take the hill, Takino moves back to his numbered position and Ookubo goes to RF.
Nagano welcomes him with a drive to the gap in left center! Furuya chases it to the wall, but it lands in front of the wall. Imai will score all the way from 1st and it's 4-0!
Looking for another run Sada lays down the bunt.
But Nakamura-kantoku tries the contact play and Yuguchi fires home to get Nagano for the out. Nagaoka grounds to short and that's the inning, but not before Mie tacks on another run.
Imai back with his control problems as he walks Oida for the 2nd time to lead off the inning.
Yuguchi tries to give the ball a ride to left, but Inaba is there for the out.
Naitou grounder up the 1st base line... fair! And Seko is out of position again! By the time he gets to it, Oida has come into score and it's 4-1!
Maybe they're depending on the infield defense. Takino testing that again with a grounder up the line, but Nishioka is there this time to make the play and takes it himself for the out.
A bouncing ball gets away from Nakabayashi and Naitou comes in from 3rd to score! Mie giving runs back as Oogaki Nichidai makes it 4-2!
And Nozaki after a prolonged AB singles to center! That gets Nakamura-kantoku's attention and he calls for time.
Sakakiyama goes after shoulder high pitch, but lines out to left to end the inning. However, Oogaki Nichidai starts cutting into the defeicit.
Inaba almost appears to hit a ball from off the ground and lines it to Sakakiyama.
Uchida bloops a ball into left for a base hit. But that is wiped out when he tries to steal 2nd and is thrown out by a good margin.
Seko has to double check as he exits the box to make sure he gets a walk, and the umpire doesn't stop him.
Nakabayashi, like Sakakiyama last half inning chases a high pitch and skies it. Yuguchi makes the catch and the side is retired.
One down and Furuya draws his 2nd walk in as many ABs. That's 4 total, and all to just 2 batters. Takada bunts him along for the other walker Oida.
And guess what Oida does? He walks! That's 3 now for Oida!
Yuguchi though can't take advantage. He grounds out to 2nd and the Imai gets out of another jam.
Mie having more trouble now against Takada, not making solid contact on the ball.
Imai flies out to center, Nagano does hit the ball hard, but Sakakiyama stays with the ball as it pops out of his glove and tosses to Takada for the 2nd out.
And Sada goes after the first pitch and gets way under it. Sakakiyama waits for forever, but makes the catch to retire the side.
So Mie is implementing a shift with the LF and CF playing closer together and RF Seko shifted over as well and on the proverbial island.
But for the most part they're hitting it that way. Natou flies out to Nagano in left center. Takino actually goes down swinging on a slider.
Nozaki with a single to right, and Seko looks to be more in line.
AH!! Nozaki caught napping at 1st! Snap throw has him caught! There's a rundown, and eventually he's tagged to end the inning!
Utsunomiya finally gets his first basehit at Koushien with a single to center. Nishioka not bunting, but hits a sky high popup at home. Naitou with it for the out.
The sends Utsunomiya, but it's a losing proposition. He's out by a wide margin. 2 down.
And Inaba goes down swinging to end the inning.
We hit the break with Mie unable to gain any traction on ace Takada, while Oogaki hopes that Furuya and Oida's walks eventually turn into something.
Imai meanwhile, keeping the Oogaki offense off the basepaths. With 2 down Furuya gets ahead 3-0, but when the count fills up and he has to swing.... It's a fly ball to shallow center. Nagano charges in, dives... and makes the catch! Furuya certainly tried to get on base via a hit, but is negated by a nice play.
After Uchida quickly flies out to center, Mie tries to play the waiting game. Seko work the count as best he can, fouling off pitches, but winds up flying out to center. Nakabayashi works the count full, but takes strike three on the oustide corner.
One down and Oida actaully is swinging the bat. Seko running to the fence in foul territory and makes the catch at the wall for the 2nd out!
Yuguchi flies out to center and it's a quiet Lucky 7 for Oogaki!
Imai with his 2nd hit of this game, this time going the other way.
Nagano not bunting, but can't get around on an inside pitch and goes down for the 1st out.
They try the hit-and-run with Sada, but he goes down swinging! Throw to 2nd. and it's wide! Imai in sliding and Mie finally gets a SB! Now a basehit by Utsunomiya can score a key insurance run!
No dice through as he grounds to short to end the inning.
Oogaki Nichidai trying to hit fly balls into the shift, but with no success. Naitou and Takino fly out to center. Nozaki grounds to 3rd and the comeback kids have just 3 outs left.
Nishioka with a base hit past Oida into center! Nakamura-kantoku, really looking for that insurance run, bunts the runner over. Uchida does the right thing trying to pull the ball, and manages to at least move him 90 feet with a fly ball.
But Seko with a routine grounder to 3rd, and they'll have to manage with the 2 runs.
Sakakiyama drive to center! Nagano sprinting back. Still running... dives...
MAKES THE CATCH!!!!
Nagano saves what could be instant trouble with a great diving catch! One down!
And that certainly would have been the case because Ookubo singles to center!
Furuya up to hit, and unlike the first 2 ABs he's swinging away. But it's no good as he flies to center and there's 2 down!
Last chance falls to #15 Arai who hits for Takada.
Grounder up middle! But Sada is over there, makes pick and tags 2nd to end the game!
Oogaki Nichidai can't make a second comeback as Imai, though having to throw a lot of pitches, holds on for the 4-2 win! You can be considered the comeback kids, but that means that you're under pressure for the remainder of the game as you have to fight to catch up. Perhaps it was the starting of Takino that gave up those runs that was the difference as you can't really save you arms if you don't have another game to play. But that is the line the kantoku's must toe to give his team the best chance.
Mie is lucky to be honest. If not for the opening runs, who knows where they would be in this game. But they made those 4 runs stick and will move onto the 3rd round.