Sunday, July 24, 2016

Natsu Koushien Qualifying - Upcoming finals (07.24)

So, here's what's on tap for today (7/24 in Japan). If it says it's on Asahi, the link to the stream can be found on their site (

Iwate - Finals (On Asahi - 2100 PDT)
  • (S) Ichinoseki Gakuin (一関学院) vs. (S) Moriokadai Fuzoku  (盛岡大付)
So Ichinoseki Gakuin does get a chance to compete for the finals, but given the two performances yesterday, Moriokadai Fuzoku is the prohibitive favorite to take the title.

Fukushima - Finals (On Asahi - 1900 PDT)
  • ① Seikou Gakuin (聖光学院) vs. ② Kounan (光南)
Well, you can watch, but you can almost put money on Seikou Gakuin to take the title, again.

Tochigi - Finals
  • (S) Sakushin Gakuin vs. (S) Kokugakuin Tochigi
Both teams won going away and got a break for the finals. But the burden of proof is on Kokugakuin Tochigi to prove that they have the chops to beat Sakushin Gakuin.

Yamanashi - Finals
  • ①~④ Toukaidai Koufu vs. ①~④ Yamanashi Gakuin
Both teams pitched shutouts to get to the finals. Yamanashi Gakuin's win 7-0 made me take notice like I said it would, but like I said before, it'll be a show me game for them.

Niigata - Finals (On Asahi - 2100 PDT)
  • ① Niigata Meikun vs. ② Chuuetsu
Chuuetsu finally had their first tough game against Kamo Gyousei, only pulling away later in the game, this while Niigata Meikun 4 runs in the 8th was enough for the gyakuten 6-4 win over Maki. 

Chuuetsu may still have the inside track over Niigata Meikun, but it's not as clear cut now..

Nagano - Finals (On Asahu - 1800 PDT)
  • ⑤ Saku Chousei vs. ② Matsushou Gakuen
In the end, there was no revenge to be had, though one got close. Tokyo Shidai Shiojiri had their chances, but it was Matsushou Gakuen who capitalized on them early, so by the break they were faced with a 5-run deficit that eventually proved to be too much. Komoro Shougyou was trying to make a 3-run 1st inning, and a 3-2 game after 2 stick. But in the 8th the gates could not be held and Saku Chousei scored 4 in the 8th to win 6-3.

At this point you could argue that Matsushou Gakuen has the edge, but seeing as though they haven't been able to go to Natsu Koushien for a while, it's more of a "prove it" situation for them.

Shimane - Finals (On Asahi - 2100 PDT)
  • Risshoudai Shounan vs. Izumo
Well, both seeded teams lost, but again I wasn't really keen on any of them. Risshoudai Shounan made easy work of Kaisei winning 7-0. Izumo make a 4-0 lead stick to defeat Taisha.

Does that mean that Risshoudai Shounan is favored? At this point, probably.

Nagasaki - Finals (On Asahi - 2100 PDT)
  • (S) Oomura Kougyou vs. (S) Nagasaki Shougyou
The first result was a bit unexpected, the second not so much.

Oomura Kogyou wasn't looking good early, but right after the break they exploded for 4 runs. Now, they almost gave it away late in the (OMG, we're about to beat X team, OH GOD it's a base hit, NOOO they're coming back, WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN TO US) mindset, but they managed to close it out.

Seihou meanwhile continues to underwhelm post Imamura. Yes, they scuffled with Nagasaki Shougyou, but errors were their downfall as they fell 3-2.

The good news is that Oomura Kougyou doesn't have to worry about the powerhouse mindset seeping in. The bad news is that I can't pick them to win. But I can't pick Nagasaki Shougyou either. Flip a coin.

Kagoshima - Finals (On Asahi - 2105 PDT)
  • (S) Kagoshima Jitsugyou (S) Shounan
The narrative completely flips after the semifinals. Shibushi rolled over to Kagoshima Jitsugyou, letting them go just 4.5 innings and get rest. Shounan meanwhile, couldn't put away Sendai in the 9th, and instead needed 13 innings to win 5-3.

When you have 0 days rest, Kajitsu' 5 innings on the mound versus Shounan 13 means that any advantage Shounan had until this point is gone. All bets are off.

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