And now for the semifnals:
- ④ Oomagari Kougyou v Kakunodate
Kakunodate's Kogita Atsuya (小木田 敦也) threw yet another shutout, giving up just 5 hits. Oomagari Kougyou won 2-0 on just 2 hits (but 7 walks). You still have to think though that if Kogita has any gas left in the tank Kakunodate has the advantage.
- Fukuchiyama Seibi v (S) Kyoto Shouei
Fukuchiyama Seibi did what they needed to, blanking the false seed in Tounan 4-0. But a big problem to them is that Kyoto Shouei got right back on track against Ritsumeikan Uji, only going 7 in a 9-2 win. If I were Seibi, I'd be concerned that the offense hasn't slowed down yet.
- ⑤~⑧ Soushi Gakuen v ⑤~⑧ Tamano Kounan
Well, I got the Soushi Gakuen part right, but it was Tamano Kounan's pitching that was the difference, shutting out Kurashiki Shougyou 5-0. Soushi Gakuen has been dominant all the way through, so I think it's Tamano Kounan that needs to prove something.
- (S) Takamatsu Shougyou v Jinsei Gakuen
Kagawa's semifnals were blowouts, setting up this final game. I've seen Jinsei Gakuen's name on the seeded line. I've seen them go far, but as of late I have not seen them win. Both teams have been dominant. Takamatsu Shougyou has made it to the Haru Koushien final. They have to be the favorites, despite perhaps the easier road at Koushien.
- (S) Saga Shougyou v Karatsu Shougyou
In something unprecedentd, Ryuukoku was found to have a fire in it's club room, and it was determined to be due to cigarette butts. As a result, Ryuukoku forfeited their semifinal match to Karatsu Shougyou.
I've never seen this happen during a taikai. Before sure, but during? And in the semifinals??
So now we're in a situation where Saga Shougyou had to play a game, defeated Imari 5-2, but now faces a Karatsu Shougyou team with extra rest...
The scores and competition are roughly equal but Karatsu Shougyou has more rest. And while Saga Shougyou defeated Saga Kita, it was a 9-7 game. That really sucks for Saga Shougyou. Outside circumstances have put them at a disadvantage.
- ⑤~⑧ Saiki Kakujyou v ③~④ Oita
The differences between the two schools seemed to have been exposed in the semifinals. Oita went 7 in defeating Usuki. Saiki Kakujyou scored all 5 of their runs in the 8th to defeat Touin, with only 4 hits and 9 walks. Oita should be the favorites going into this game.