Sunday, July 12, 2015

Natsu Qualifying - Hokkaido/Tohoku

Ok, quite a bit has happened since Minami Hokkaido got the Natsu Qualifying started. The coverage here won't be as extensive, and I'll leave a lot of coverage on teams that had good runs, but fell short for another post. But this weekend, all but Shimane and Kochi have started play.

Kita Hokkaido - Regional Play & Round of 16 draw completed
Here's who advanced out of regional play:


  • A - Kushiro Kougyou (who gave up a 5-3 lead in the 9th to Kushiro Koryou and eventually won in 12.
  • B - Kushiro Hokuyou
  • C - Bushuukan (11-4 and 7-0? Still got it, so far at least)
  • A - Engaru (How in the world did they have to play Memanbetsu in their 1st game? Made a 2-run first stick for the rest of the game.)
  • B - Kitami Kougyou (28-1 in their 3 games, as easy as you like it)
  • C - Kitami Hokuto (Strange that they would have trouble with a team like Abashiri Keiyou, but a 4-2 win in the block final secures a spot in the main prefecturals.)
  • A - Teshio (Wakkanai made it an interesting game after falling behind 7-0, but in the end Teshio would eke out the 8-6 win. On another note, Wakkanai's first game with Esashi was a game of runs with Wakkanai leading 5-0, then 5-2. After extending it to 8-2, Esashi scored 11 unanswered. to which Wakkanai scord 9 unanswered back, Esashi put together 5 runs, but that was all as Wakkanai had advanced to the block final 17-16!)
  • B - Wakkanai Ootani (Certainly not impressive, but 2 wins gets them in the mix)
  • A - Asahikawa Nishi (Drawing the pole position helps, as they only needed to defeat Asahkawa Higashi and Asahikawa Ryouun to advance)
  • B - Asahikawa Ryuukoku (Huh? Not Asahikawa Kougyou? Ryuukoku uses 3 pitchers to complete the 1-0 shutout of the favorites for a spot in the round of 16)
  • C - Asahikawa Jitsugyou (This favorite advances. but almost didn't as they let Asahikawa Kita take a 4-3 lead. However, powered by 2 HRs, they advanced 7-6. They were not troubled otherwise.
  • A - Fukagawa Nishi (They couldn't make the 1-0 lead last in the 9th as Iwamizawa Higashi tied things up, but one inning late they pulled it out.)
  • B - Iwamizawa Ryokuryou (Not easy at all for them. 3 runs at the most in any game, including a 3-2 sayonara win over Sunagawa to start and then that same score over Ashibetsu for the block win
  • A - Obihiro Hakuyou (I was fully expecting Obihiro Sanjyou to advance out of here, but while all their games were close - 3-2 over Obihiro Shougyou, 5-3 over Honbetsu, they certainly earned it.
  • B - Shirakaba Gakuen (It would certainly seem odd for a prefectural without them, so they obliged with wins of 11-1 and 4-0)
  • C - Obihiro Ryokuyou (Block final against Obihiro Kougyou was far from clean, but you don't necessarily need to be I guess if you score 13 runs.)
The draw was held earlier today and this is what we have:
  • Obihiro Ryokuyou (Tokachi C) vs. Kitami Kougyou (Kitami B)
  • Kushiro Hokuyou (Kushine B) vs. Asahikawa Nishi (Asahikawa A)
  • Shirakaba Gakuen (Tokachi A) vs. Fukagawa Nishi (Sorachi A)
  • Engaru (Kitami A) vs. Wakkani Ootani (Nayoro B)
  • Bushuukan (Kushine C) vs. Kushiro Kougyou (Kushine A)
  • Asahikawa Ryuukoku (Asahikawa B) vs. Iwamizawa Ryokuyou (Sorachi B)
  • Kitami Hokuto (Kitami C) vs. Teshio (Nayoro A)
  • Asahikawa Jitsugyou (Asahikawa C) vs. Obihiro Hakuyou (Tokachi A)
First, that really sucks that Engaru gets a harder draw. Wakkanai Ootani is no slouch in prefecture, and then Shirakaba Gakuen?

2 Kushine schools face off in the first round too, and the advantage easily goes to Bushuukan.

And Obihiro Hakuyou has to prove themselves right of the bat yet again with a game against Asahikawa Jitsugyou.

Minami Hokkaido - Regional play & Round of 15 draw completed
And now we start heading south.

  • A - Sapporo Kousei (Almost didn't happen for them. Anmi gave up a pair of runs early, but they scrapped out the tying run late, and the winning run in the 10th. Otherwise, it was smooth sailing)
  • B - Sapporo Ootani
  • C - Sapporo Minami (Sapporo Dai-ichi goes down!! The teams were stuck in a scoreless draw until the favorites broke out with 2 in the Lucky 7. Somehow though, Sapporo Minami comes back with 5 runs in the 8th leaving the favorites with little time to regroup! And not only does Minami win that game, but avoids the letdown against Sapporo Nishi to claim the block!)
  • D - Hokkai (They almost got flat-footed in their first game against Sapporo Okadama. After a 1-0 win, the cobwebs were shook out and they then proceeded to take it out on their nest 2 opponents)
  • E - Sapporo Yamanote (Facing a Hokkai Gakuen Sapporo squad that went 13-2 and 15-0, Hokkai Gakuen took a 4-1 lead in the game. But a pair of runs in the 6th and 7th from Sapporo Yamanot put them in unfamiliar territory - and at the wrong time. Congrats to Sapporo Yamanote for making their first ever regionals)
  • F - Toukai Dai-yon (Almost wanting to put a stamp on things, they went 7-0, 9-0 and 8-0 to reach the prefecturals)
  • G - Sapporo Nichidai (It wasn't a performance like Toukai Dai-yon, but they were uncontested in block play.)
  • A - Hokushou (They almost blew it AGAIN. Facing Otaru Suisan in the block final, they actually trailed 3-1. But a pair of runs in the 8th and the 9th allowed them to advance. But having trouble again early on is not a good sign.)
  • B - Otaru Koryou
  • A - Komadai Tomakomai (They may be back on the way up, but trying to get back to a time where you had almost 3 summer titles is a bit of an ask. Still, 3 shutouts is nothing to sneeze at.)
  • B - Tomakomai Higashi
  • C - Hokkaido Sakae
  • A - Shiriuchi
  • B - Hakodatedai Yuuto (I like Hakodatedai Yuuto, but a 3-1 win over Hakodate Ryouhoku, then a 9-6 win over sister school Hakodatedai Hakyryou doesn't instill confidence.)
  • C - Hokkaido LaSalle (Good for LaSalle. 3 shutouts put them in good shape for the prefecturals. Now if they can just translate that against the stronger schools.)
And here is the draw for the prefecturals:
  • Toukai Dai-yon (Sapporo F) - Bye
  • Hakodatedai Yuuto (Hakodate B) vs. Sapporo Yamanote (Sapporo E)
  • Shiriuchi (Hakodate A) vs. Tomakomai Higashi (Muroran B)
  • Sapporo Nichidai (Sapporo G) vs. Hokushou (Otaru A)
  • Hokkai (Sapporo D) vs. Hokkaido Sakae (Muroran C)
  • Sapporo Kousei (Sapporo A) vs. Komadai Tomakomai (Muroran A)
  • Hakodate LaSalle (Hakodate C) vs. Otaru Koryou (Otaru B)
  • Sapporo Minami (Sapporo C) vs. Sapporo Ootani (Sapporo B)
Toukai Dai-yon rightly gets the bye, but does not necessarily get an easy road as it could include Hakodatedai Yuuto and Hokushou.

Neither does Hokkai and Komadai Tomakomai as both of them could be on a collision course in the quarterfinals.

Aomori - 2nd Round in progress
I had seen that St. Ursula had lost, and was surprised, then I realized I had them switched for the school in Miyazaki.

Hachinohe Gakuin Kousei has played their first game, and took it "easy" on Hirosaki Shougyou, as they send 4 pitchers to the mound to get work in a 12-0, 7-inning game.

Aomori Yamada only went 6 in their 10-0 win over Sannohe.

Akita - Opening weekend
Yesterday was their opening game of the Akita taikai. Araya sadly was out of it early, giving up 5 runs to Oodate Kougyou in a 7-1 loss at Komachi Stadium.

Iwate - Opening weekend
Ichinoseki Dai-ni and Iwaizumi christened affairs with a banger of an opener as Dai-ni pulled away later for a 5-4 win. Currently though (10:11 AM), Ichinoseki Gakuin is putting paid to them now 6-0 through 5. Hanamaki Higashi will be the final game of the day at Iwate Prefectural.

Yamagata - Opening weekend
Okitama Nougyou and Yachi began affairs at Nisshin Stadium with Yachi going on a 7-1 run in the later innings for a 7-3 win. Top seeded Tsuruoka Higashi begins their run today at Sakata Hikarigaoka against Yamagata Higashi.

Miyagi - Round 2 in progress
Miyagi got things started a bit earlier than the rest of Tohoku, but that's understandable given the number of teams. With that said, the seeded teams are getting their first games in now.

While top seeded Sendai Ikuei, 3rd seeded Tome, and 4th seeded Ishinomakai had the expected easy game, 2nd seed Shibata was not so lucky. They scrambled with 4 different pitchers as Furukawa scored in each of the first 5 innings. Shibata was unable to recover, and their tournament was over in the first game 9-7.

5-8 seeded Rifu will have their first game today against Motoyoshi Hibiki, while Tohoku faces Kesennuma Kouyou.

Fukushima - Round 2 in progress
In reality, it's all about Seikou Gakuin and will they go for the 9th year in a row. A 10-0 win in 5 over Nasoko Kougyou to start might not be a good omen for the rest of the field.


JH said...

My words, Fukuchiyama Seibi gone in their first game!!! They may not be the Seibi of the last year, but I didn't project them to be ousted so early in the tournament.

Also, Tohoku fell as well. They are not the Tohoku of the Darvish days, but now it seems that there is quite a distance between them and Sendai Ikuei, or even Rifu.

JH said...

Okinawa's best 4 are decided as well.

Itoman vs. Miyako
Kounan vs. Okinawa Shougaku

Okishou had their fun for the past few years, so I would like other teams to advance this time.

.....Okay, I will be honest. I will be happy with ANY team winning except for Okishou. Still angry at them for tromping over Ginoza last year.

JH said...

What a game!!! What a moment!!! Misawa does it!!! They overcame the mighty big Kousei!!!!!!!

Nakagawa struck out the batter, but catcher Baba failed to catch the ball and the runner on third charges in to take the game!!!!!!! Oh, this is a game to remember!!!!

Three cheers for Misawa and Noda, and I also tip my hat to Nakagawa as well. He fought befittingly to his title, the ace of Kousei. (While joyous in Misawa's victory, I feel bad for Nakagawa and Baba. Boy, they are taking it really hard.)

JH said...

By the way, I wonder why Kousei bench didn't pull Nakagawa earler. He was clearly at his limits.

Being a powerhouse does not guarantee a national level ace. However, the strength of a powerhouse is its pool of resources. If you are a team like Kousei, you should have at least two or three pitchers in the bench who could perform in a regional level. Maybe not if that region is Osaka or Kanagawa, but this is Aomori. At least their substitute pitchers should be better than Nakagawa who went full 12 innings and god knows how many pitches he threw.

Entrusting everything to your ace might be the Kokoyakyu culture, but Kousei have not always adhered to it and has been open to using a tandem of pitchers especially in 2012 when their power was at the highest. (I just reread your senbatsu preview, and Kousei had Goya as their 2nd pitcher. I wonder what happened to him.)

Anyways, I wish luck to both Misawa and Kousei. Both teams fought like champions.