Well, after that, the games can only get better, right?
We can hope anyways.
So next up is Tenri and Souseikan.Tenri did about all they can do in-prefecture. They defeated Chiben Gakuen and Yamato Kouryou and gave up just 3 runs in all. But a 0.345 may not be good enough despite playing the two other strong teams in prefecture.
On the other hand, Souseikan put up 0.374 and their key wins were against Hasami and Kaisei. The overall level of competition is probably a little weaker than Nara, but their blowout wins should make them competitive.
CF Funabiki Kai
2B Maekubo Tomoya
SS Sadamitsu Hiroto
1B Sakaguchi Hiroya
P Tomiki Ryouga (#7)
3B Kawasaki Koudai
LF Saitou Yuu (#1)
RF Jinno Taiki
C Tsutsuda Reo
1B Torikai Ritsuki
RF Shimada Rkiya
CF Mine Shuuta
LF Washzaki Jyun
C Oota Keisuke
SS Uto Kenyarou(?)
2B Nakajima Takashi
3B Nakajima Kouki
P Fujisaki Mitsugu (#10)
10:30 - First pitch!
Funabiki rings a ball through Fujisaki's 5-hole to open the game. After a bunt though, Fujisaki cleans it up for a scoreless 1st.
The reason Saitou is not starting is because of an injury. He cannot pitch, but can still play apparently.
Tomiki hits Shimada with 1 down, and Tsutsuda allows a passed ball, but here too, no damage done.
Tenri struggling with Fujisaki's wide sidearm crouching delivery. Clean inning again and the game feels like someone told them they were behind schedule.
The fact that Tenri still won despite losing their ace on the mound either shows how good the depth is, or how bad the prefecture is as a whole.
When Tomiki gives up a single to Uto, and then hits Takashi, you may have to wonder if it's the latter. He still gets the final 2 outs to end the inning, but you have to wonder how good the staff really is.
Things look promising for Tenri when Tsutsuda hits a one-out double down the right field line. But again, that sidearm action is messing with the batters. Funabiki and MAekubo can't make solid contact and are retired to end the inning.
Torikai gets a single to start Souseikan's half, and is bunted over. Tomiki hits yet another batter, but then gets Oota to swing way in front and fly out to left.
Sadamitsu starts with a chopper over Kouki for the 1st out. Tenri's batters, given that they can't seem to figure out Fujisaki are being pore patient and looking for a pitch they can hit. Sakaguchi takes a walk.
Tomiki can't lay down the bunt and actually strikes out. Kawasaki comes through though with a single to left and the deadlock is finally broken. Tenri leads 1-0.
After yet another walk, they go for the contact play when Jinno hits a slow chopper. Kouki has not play at home and throws to 1st. 2-0 Tenri.
Tsutsuda grounds out to end the inning, but Tenri has finally opened the scoring here in the 4th
Souseikan striking back! Uto gets his 2nd single of the day. Takashi drives a ball deep to center! Funabiki looking, it's off the top of the fence! Uto has to hold up because he thought it might be caught and winds up at 3rd.
Kouki then hits a ball to 2nd, and it's slow enough that the runner can score, making it 2-1.
And with 2 down, Torikai hits a ball down the right field line fair! Takashi scores and we're all square at 2-2!!
The game goes through the 5th without anything to note, so we enter the break back where we started. Neither team has shown a lot per se, but given the hits they've had Souseikan may have the advantage going forward.
Post-break, the game has hit a lull period where neither team is really able to do much of anything at the plate. They'll get the occasional baserunner, but not much else. Souseikan though is making much the better contact when they do swing.
Souseikan has something going when after a HBP Oota singles though the left side.
Uto with almost the same base hit! They're sending Mine home! Throw from Saitou is in plenty of time and the runner is out and the inning is over! Boy, that's costly. The ball was in shallow LF and you were hitting the ball.
Tenri with a hit batter, and after a bunt Wasada-kantoku sends in ace Mizunaga. Which is puzzling given what we've seen.
He does get the final 2 outs, but the contact already seems better.
Given what little has happened, it feels like another enchousen game. Torikai though hits a ball to the left side. Kawasaki with the great diving stop! Throw to 1st... Torikai just beats it out! That was about as close as you can get.
Mine drive to deep left center! It's caught, but the runner advances to 3rd!
Up to Washizaki.
Washizaki clean hit to right and that'll do it! Souseikan does indeed go on to defeat Tenri 3-2!
You could see this coming of sorts. Tenri was having all kinds of problems with Souseikan's pitching and was only successful when they waited on counts. Souseikan were hitting the ball hard even if it was at Tenri's fielders. So it would be a matter of time before those fell in and they did.