Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nichidai-san, Meiji Jingu Champions!

I found a place where Meiji Jingu HS games were archived (at least the championship), and if you couldn't tell from the title, Nichidai-san wins the Meiji Jingu tournament 4-1 over Kagoshima Jitsugyou!

That means that Kokugakuin Kugayama is the favorite to receive the bid, and the floating bid for the Kanto/Tokyo super-regions will go to Kanto!

I'll give a full game recap of the championship as well as any other games that may be archived as time allows.

(Edit: Well nuts. The place that had the archive deleted all the archives. Probably didn't want to get the channel taken down...)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Meiji Jingu Semifinals

Man, nothing seems to stop Kajitsu right now. I wonder if the southern prefectures domination of 高校野球 will continue.

They strike first against Oogaki Nichidai and ace Kassai. In the 2nd, with runners on the corners and 2 down, Sasaki gets a timely hit. 1-0.

Oogaki manages to score the douten run in the 4th as Uchino hits a grounder with runners on 2nd and 3rd. The game stays that way until the 7th, when Kassai gives up back to back hits to put runners at the corners. Hayashi then hits a RBI double to give Kajitsu the lead once again, and Hirayama hits a sac fly to stretch the lead to 2 runs.

Oogaki would cut that deficit to 1 immediately as Gotou hits a 2-out RBI single, but when Uchino delivers another RBI via groundout in the 9th, it would be too much for the Toukai champs. Oogaki Nichidai falls 4-2 and with it pretty much the hopes of Aikoudai Meiden or Mie receiving an invitation to Senbatsu. Too bad, as I would have liked to see either team there.

In the other semifinal, Urawa Gakuin and Nichidai-san were scoreless early, but in the bottom of the 4th it fell apart for Urawa ace Satou.

With 2 down and runners on 1st and 2nd, Shimizu delivers an RBI single to give Nichidai the 1-0 lead. Then Satou hangs a slow curve and Suganuma drives it to left for a 3-run homerun. Just like that it was 4-0 and Urawa had to play catch-up. However, starter Yoshinaga for Nichidai-san would not let Urawa back in the game, yielding only 7 hits and 2 runs. And while Satou and Nakayama would give up only 6 hits combined, the hanging curve by Satou proved to be the difference. Nichidai-san advances to the finals with a 5-2 victory.

So the Kyushu and Tokyo super-regional champions will square off. The Kanto super-region will be rooting for their Tokyo counterpart as a victory should mean an extra bid. Kyushu's main backer will be Kyushu Gakuin who probably has a name recognition edge over Hasami should Kajitsu win the title.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Super-Regional Summary & Meiji Jingu Tournament

All right! So the Meiji Jingu Fall Tournament is underway and we're already in the Best 4. Before that, let's summarize the possible qualifiers from the Super-Regionals with # of bids in ()'s. Note that about the only guaranteed invitations are to the super-regional champions.

Also note that there is a floating bid between Tohoku and Kanto, as well as Chuugoku and Shikoku.

Hokkaido Super-Regional (1)
  • Champion - Hokkai
Tohoku Super- Regional (2)
  • Champion - Tohoku (Miyagi)
  • Runner-up - Kousei Gakuin (Aomori)
  • 3rd/4th Place - Aomori Yamada (Aomori), Sendai Ikuei (Miyagi)
Kanto Super-Regional (4)
  • Champion - Urawa Gakuin (Saitama)
  • Runner-up - Toukaidai Sagami (Kanagawa)
  • 3rd/4th Place - Suijyou (Ibaraki), Yokohama (Kanagawa)
  • 5th-8th Place - Kasukabe Kyouei (Saitama), Kasumigaura (Ibaraki), Chiba Keizaidai Fuzoku (Chiba), Maebashi Ikuei (Gunma)
Tokyo Super-Regional (1)
  • Champion - Nichidai-san
  • Runner-up - Kokugakuin Kugayama
Hokushinetsu Super-Regional (2)
  • Champion - Kanazawa (Ishikawa)
  • Runner-up - Nihon Bunri (Niigata)
  • 3rd/4th Place - Saku Chousei (Nagano), Yuugakukan (Ishikawa)
Toukai Super-Regional (2)
  • Champion - Oogaki Nichidai (Gifu)
  • Runner-up - Seisei (Shizuoka)
  • 3rd/4th Place - Mie (Mie), Aikoudai Meiden (Aichi)
Kinki Super-Regional (6)
  • Champion - Tenri (Nara)
  • Runner-up - Riseisha (Kyoto)
  • 3rd/4th Place - Houtoku Gakuen (Hyogo), Chiben Wakayama (Wakayama)
  • 5th-8th Place - Kyoto Seishou (Kyoto), PL Gakuen (Osaka), Kakogawa Kita (Hyogo), Murayama (Shiga)
Chuugoku Super-Regional (2)
  • Champion - Kanzei (Okayama)
  • Runner-up - Soushi Gakuen (Okayama)
  • 3rd/4th Place - Tottori Ikuei (Tottori), Hiroshima Sougou Gijyutsu (Hiroshima)
Shikoku Super-Regional (2)
  • Champion - Meitoku Gijyuku (Kochi)
  • Runner-up - Kagawa Nishi (Kagawa)
  • 3rd/4th Place - Kochi (Kochi), Niita (Ehime)
Kyushu Super-Regional (2)
  • Champion - Kagoshima Jitsugyou (Kagoshima)
  • Runner-up - Kyushu Kokusaidai Fuzoku (Fukuoka)
  • 3rd/4th Place - Hasami (Nagasaki), Kyushu Gakuin (Kumamoto)
As you can see, the potential field for the 83rd Senbatsu could be filled with all familiar teams.

So, onto the Meiji Jingu tournament which will award the winner's super-regional with another bid!

The draw went as follows:

Opening Round
  • Kanzei vs. Meitoku Gijyuku
  • Tohoku vs. Kanazawa
  • Tenri vs. Oogaki Nichidai
  • Kagoshima Jitsugyou vs. Opening Round Game 1 winner
  • Urawa Gakuin vs. Opening Round Game 2 winner
  • Hokkai vs. Nichidai-san
The tournament kicked off with the champions from the western regions, Kanzei and Meitoku Gijyuku. Meitoku took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st, but Kanzei would level the score in the 3rd. It would prove to be short-lived though as Meitoku would score 2 in the bottom half of the frame, then follow that up with 3 in the 6th. Kanzei would fall 9-4, and begging the question that if the floating bid doesn't go to the Chuugoku region, does the committee invite 2 teams from Okayama?

In the 2nd game, Tohoku ace, Kamikura Kendo scatted 9 hits against Kanazawa. Meanwhile, his counterpart Kamata Yoshinao gave up 11 hits, but also 3 runs. So in all likelihood, they and Nihon Bunri will be headed to Koushien in the spring.

Day 2 came around, and so help me Tenri ends up being a middle of the road team. Oogaki Nichidai ace Kassai gives up a run to Tenri in the 2nd, but shuts them down thereafter. Nishiguchi for Tenri on the other hand couldn't hold the 1-run lead and appears to have been relieved for Nakatani after giving up a run in the 6th and 7th innings. Why, oh why Tenri? Why must you disappoint year after year?

In the second game of the day, Hokkaido has yet to find a team to revive the success of Komadai Tomakomai. While Hokkai was able to stay with Nichidai-san for the first 6 innings, they faded late, giving up 5 runs in the last 3 innings to fall 7-1.

(New details on these games)
Onto today's games to fill out the semifinals.

Kagoshima Jitsugyou looked to continue their run against Meitoku Gijyuku. Right off the bat, Toyosumi hits an RBI triple in the top of the 1st, then an infield grounder by Agemura scores him to give Kajitsu a quick 2-0 lead. After Meitoku Gijyuku pulled within 1 in the 2nd, Hamada delivers a 2-run double in the 3rd to extend the lead to 3 runs. While Kajitsu ace Noda gave up 9 walks/hit batters, his defense was flawless and they would advance with a 4-1 win.

In the late morning game, Tohoku's ace Natsui struggled against Urawa Gakuin. He gives up the first run right off the bat in the bottom of the first as Numata delivers a timely hit. Then Ishibashi follows that up with a 2-run triple to make it 3-0 Urawa in the 1st!

It would only get worse for Natsui as Mori and Endou deliver RBI hits in the 3rd to make it 5-0. He would be pulled after that inning.

C Yoshikawa for Tohoku would get 2 runs back in the 6th with a hit to left, but Urawa ace Satou would shut the door in the 7th by hitting a 2-RBI triple. Urawa Gakuin would advance by a score of 7-2 and will have a quick turnaround as they play Nichidai-san in the late game (late being 11 AM).

So the regions still alive to receive the extra bid include Toukai, Kyushu, Kanto and Tokyo.

If we were to take a guess as to who would receive the floating bids, it just might go to Kokugakuin Kugayama for the Kanto/Tokyo floating bid, while I can't decide between Hiroshima Sougou Gijyutsu and Kochi for the Chuugoku/Shikoku floating bid.

So if Kokugakuin Kugayama is slated to receive the floating bid as of right now, you bet that the 5th-8th place schools in the Kanto region are hoping that Nichidai-san wins it all. That would give Kokugakuin Kugayama the Meiji Jingu automatic bid, and send the floating bid their way. At least then they'd have a chance to be invited. Of those teams, Maebashi Ikuei and Kasumigaura might be the front-runners to receive a bid.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fall Tournament Update #6

This update will finish out all super-regionals. I'll go into the Meiji Jingu Fall Tournament in the next post.

Toukai Super-Regional
When we last left teh Toukai region, all top seeds had advanced to the semifinals.

In the first semi was Mie versus Seisei. Mie had been a strong team over the last couple of years in the region, yet it was Seisei who jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 2nd. And while Mie pulled within 1 in the 4th, Seisei extended the lead back to 2 in the 7th. Seisei's ace Nomura couldn't hold the lead and yielded a run to Mie in the last 2 innings to tie the game and send it into enchousen. Perhaps making up for it, Nomura would come up in the bottom of the 11th with one down and runners at the corners and deliver a timely hit to right to win the game.

The other semifinal was not nearly as exciting as Oogaki Nichidai ran roughshot over Aikoudai Meiden winning 10-1 in 7 innings.

Seisei was certainly the underdog in the final against Oogaki Nichidai, yet they struck first with 2 in the top of the 1st, then when Oogaki scored 4 in the bottom of the 1st, they came back to tie it with 2 in the next half inning.

Oogaki would retake the lead with a run in the bottom of the 2nd, yet couldn't pull away. That is until the 4th-6th innings where they scored 2 runs apiece, making the game out of reach. Oogaki would win their 2nd consecutive (and overall) title with the victory. Their ace Kassai yielded just 16 hits and 11 runs in the prefecturals and super-regionals combined!

Kinki Super-Regional
The Kinki super-regional was about ready to wrap up 1st round play. In those final games, Hyogo's #2 Kakogawa Kita shutout Osaka champion Osaka Touin in a shocker 2-0 to advance. Wakayama Shougyou couldn't keep up with PL Gakuen losing by the same score. And finally, a 5-run 3rd inning by Chiben Wakayama would help send Kyoto Gaidai Nishi home 6-3.

Moving on to the quarterfinals, it was the battle of 3 seeds as Houtoku Gakuen and Kyoto Seishou squared off. Yet it was the upstarts from Kyoto who built a lead, culminating in a 2-run 8th to give them a 4-0 lead! But perhaps it was the thought of defeating a Best 4 team, or maybe they just never closed out a game against a high quality squad. Whatever it was, Houtoku roared back into the game with a 3-run 8th, and then scored 2 in the 9th inning to send the boys from Kyoto home surely crying with a 5-4 loss. Their opponent in the semifinal would be Riseisha who had no trouble with Shiga's #2 Murayama, winning 11-0 in 8 innings.

On the other half of the bracket, Tenri couldn't really shake off Kakogawa Kita, but did win by a margin of 9-5. They would have to wait for the winner of the PL Gakuen-Chiben Wakayama matchup.

Early on, it was all Chiben Wakayama, scoring in each of the first 4 innings and building a 5-0 lead. PL would reply with 4 in the 5th to pull within 1. It would stay that way until the 8th where Chiben would reclaim those 4 runs and win 9-4.

So the Best 4 would be a field of teams who participated at Koushien this past summer.

Riseisha would take a 1-0 lead right off the bat against Houtoku Gakuen thanks to a timely hit by Oonishi. It wouldn't be until the bottom of the 5th inning where Tani for Houtoku would tie it up with a sac fly. That wouldn't last long as in the next half inning, with one down and runners on 1st and 2nd, Sakamoto would deliver a hit to retake the one-run margin. Riseisha's ace Iidzuka would give up only 3 hits to Houtoku and maintained the slim 1-run margin to win 2-1 and secure a place in the finals.

Tenri's game against Chiben Wakayama was almost a tale of 2 games. Tenri had scored 2 in the 3rd and that had been the only scoring in the game. But when they hit the last third of the game, all heck broke loose.

Top 7, 2 down, Chiben has the bases loaded. Leadoff batter Yamamoto hits a ball to left center, clearing the bases and giving them a 3-2 lead. Then in the 8th, Chiben would tack on two more giving them a 5-2 lead late.

Tenri wasn't about to give in that quickly though. Moriguchi would hit a 2-run blast to pull them within 1. Then in the 9th inning, after Tenri scored the tying run on a passed ball, Yanagimoto lines one to left, scoring the winning run from 2nd, sending Tenri to the championship game!!

Now Tenri had a bone to pick with Riseisha (and so did I for that matter), after Riseisha sent them home with a 4-1 win in the first round of the summer Koushien. Yet it was Riseisha who would strike first with a run in the 4th. Tenri struck back in the 5th after Date delivered a 2-out RBI with runners at 1st and 2nd.

Riseisha would have a golden opportunity with the bases loaded and 2 down in the top of the 8th, but couldn't plate the run.

One would wonder if that deflated Riseisha a bit as Tenri would take the lead in bottom of the inning, but in a most unusual fashion. With one down, Riseisha would walk the bases loaded. That would bring up Higashida, who would get hit by a pitch giving Tenri the 2-1 lead!

The 1-run margin would stick as Tenri would win their 7th fall title, and guaranteeing a spot in the Senbatsu!

Chuugoku Super-Regional
Unlike Riseisha, Kanzei would not allow Soushi Gakuen to exact revenge for the loss in the prefectural final.

Kanzei would take the lead right off the bat in the bottom of the 1st thanks to a timely hit by Watanabe. That lead would be extended to 2 in the 2nd with hits from ace Mizuhara and Seki to left. Then in the 4th, Watanabe would get his 2nd RBI after singles by Ogura and Sejima. Finally, in the 5th, Mizuhara hits a gapper to left center for a double and Seki once again follows that up with a ball to right center for a triple, giving Kanzei a 4-run lead.

That was more than enough for Mizuhara, who limited Soushi Gakuen to 5 hits en route to a 4-0 win, and Kanzei's 5th super-regional title.

Shikoku Super-Regional
In the final, with some rain hampering play, Meitoku Gijyuku and Kagawa Nishi were knotted at 0 before Meitoku blew it open scoring 13 runs in the 6th-8th innings after leading 2-0. A convincing 15-1 win gives Meitoku Gijyuku their 7th title.