When watching the repeat broadcast on the MBS site the most annoying thing to me at the moment ist the commercial for the new “Full Metal Alchemist” movie at the end of each half inning. I really loved the series when it came out a few years ago, but this is getting on my nerves quite a bit. Well, it’s just that, so it shouldn’t be that much of a problem. Good news for the semifinals and the final game as the MBS site announces that there will be live coverage for those three games for free. Unfortunately that won’t make a difference to me as those games will start in the middle of the night over here. Rifu Koukou 利府 (Miyagi) vs Kakegawa Nishi Koukou 掛川西 (Shizuoka) 10-4
Rifu completes the field of the 16 schools advancing to the next round with their comfortable win over Kakegawa Nishi. The starting pitcher for Kakegawa Nishi was a bit shaky during his stint in the game and he was pulled after 2.2 innings, being responsible for 3 runs. But what broke their neck was a 5 run 4th. It wasn’t so much the power at the plate in Rifu‘s lineup which scored them the runs. Instead they executed a series of beautiful bunt plays. That’s somehting which is very striking when you watch high school baseball in Japan. They will do everything to get a run. When a runner gets on base, they will move him to second with a bunt. Every time a lead off batter gets on base the next batter will show bunt. And with the score already at 7-0 Rifu executed a wonderful suicide squeeze play to score another one. Kakegawa was able to get on the board later, but their effort came too late.
Kurashiki Kougyou 倉敷工 (Okayama) vs Chuukyo Dai 中京大中京 (Aichi) 5-6
Kurashiki were part of that hilarious opening game, but this time they weren’t able to pull of such a stunning comeback. Chuukyo Dai scored early and never let go of the lead, although Kurashiki rallied in the 6th to cut the lead to one run. They kept it close until the end, but weren’t able to tie the game.
Imabari Nishi 今治西 (Ehime) vs Hotoku Gakuen 報徳学園 (Hyogo) 2-15
Hotoku unleashed their offensive firepower on poor Imabari. They scored in every inning except the 7th.
As always, play-by-play reports at Goro Shigeno‘s blog, although he seems to have difficulties in accessing the MBS site and is only doing two games a day at the moment. Give him credit!
While surfing around aimlessly I came across these two classic videos of the 1998 summer tournament. Yes, the one with the pitcher who now plays on the east coast of the United States. What was his name again…?
One is a compilation of the whole tournament, I believe. The other one is the final inning of that 250-pitch/17 inning game against PL Gakuen. At one point, you can hear the commentator say, that the next pitch will be his 245th one. And I think after this, he threw just 6 more, making it exactly 250. Anyway, enjoy.
(apparently the whole game seems to be uploaded to Youtube. Just take a look at the linked videos on the right)