Another short one because of work, although I had enough time to welcome spring to Cologne this morning with a short walk through the neighbourhood. Only a few minutes away is the Japanese Cultural Institute in front of which there are a lot of cherry blossom trees. Rifu 利府 (Miyagi) vs Waseda 早稲田実 (Tokyo) 5-4
They did it again. Rifu had one big inning to surpass Waseda in today’s best 8 matchup. Waseda went up early in the 2nd inning, but Rifu responded with 5 runs in the 5th. That was too much for Waseda to overcome as they were only able to put two more runs on the board making them the losers in this contest. I have to admit that I find myself rooting for Rifu more and more. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because they are the last C-rank school still to be in the tournament. Or it’s because of their highly spirited and energetic first baseman Baba, who to me seems to be like the prototype Japanese high school player. Whenever he comes up to bat he first screams at the pitcher to bring it on. I’v seen this in numerous television dramas, but this was the first time I saw it in a real game.
What I also found very pleasant and what was something I noticed while watching the games over the past few days is that whenever the pitcher hits the batter he apologizes to the batter immediately. I really like that idea because in my opinion it takes a lot of tension out of the game. The way they treat each other looks a lot more respectful than it might be in some professional leagues. Maybe that’s another reason why I like to watch the high school torunament.
Nanyo Kyougou 南陽工 (Yamaguchi) vs Hanamaki Higashi 花巻東 (Iwate) 3-5
Goro Shigeno has the inning-by-inning reports