While tempers were flaring high in MLB with the Tigers and the Red Sox or the Dodgers and the Giants going for each other’s throats in benches clearing brawls, it’s always nice to see how well behaved and friendly the players interact at Koushien. Actually I like this a lot more as it increases the tempo of the game. Things move a lot faster when there aren’t that many discussions.
Kurashiki Shougyou 倉敷商 (Okayama) – Tohoku 東北 (Miyagi) 2-8
This one was decided early as Tohoku, the school which NPB superstar Yu Darvish attended, exploded in the 2nd scoring 6 runs. Kurashiki never stood a chance in this one. They were able to score in the 6th at last preventing a shutout. Tohoku lifted their starter after 7 inning and things looked threatening as Kurashiki‘s ace Oka stepped to the plate, bases loaded for the clean up hitter. But he was only able to get one more run across the plate.
Tokushima Kita 徳島北 (Tokushima) – Nichidai-san 日大三 (Nishi Tokyo) 0-2
The next game was a completely different affair again. This one was really dominated by the starting pitchers. Aces Sakamoto (Tokushima) and Sekiya (Nichidai) exchanged zeros for several innings. Nichidai started the game with a 3K top half of the 1st inning, Tokushima responded with a 1-2-3 of their own, albeit without so many strikeouts. This really set the tone for things to come. But as the game moved on, Sakamoto, who apperently was celebrating his birthday on game day, had to give up a run in the 4th on a few errors by the defense. Nichidai was able to add another one an inning later and that was all they needed. Sakamoto kept his team in the game with his pitching, but the offense wasn’t able to manufacture any runs against Nichidai and Sekiya.
Seibou Gakuen 聖望学園 (Saitama) – Miyakonojyou Shougyou 都城商 (Miyazaki) 1-5
Unfortunately by the time this game started I was already in bed so I missied another stellar pitching performance by Miyakonojyou Shougyou‘s ace Shinzai who had a one-hitter until the start of the 9th inning. He lost the shutout surrendering one run, but Seibou weren’t able to add more.
Kumamoto Kougyou 熊本工 (Kumamoto) vs. Mie 三重 (Mie) 4-5x (10)
It’s a shame I didn’t get to watch this one as well as I know someone from Kumamoto, so I decided for myself that Kumamoto Kougyou was my team in this tournament. This game had to go to extra innings. Mie was leading 3-2 after the first inning, but Kumamoto came back to tie it in the 4th. The score remained tied until the 9th, when Kumamoto struck first, but their pitching wasn’t able to close the game and Mie won it on a sayonara hit in the 10th. The last two innings were remarkable. Kumamoto had the chance to score more runs, but their only one came on a flyout to right, which was an incredible catch by Mie‘s outfielder. Mie then was down to their last out and scored the equalizer on a shot to center-right with a runner scoring from first.A great catch by their shortstop kept Kumamoto off the board in the top of the 10th and then Mie put the nails on the coffin in the bottom of the 10th with a runner on second, one out and sayonara hit to left. What a thriller.