So this is it. Two weeks of high school baseball have finally come to an end again. And what a finish it was to a tournament which saw a lot of upsets and surprises. High favourites PL Gakuen crashed out early, underdogs like Miyakonojyou Shogyou went deep into the final rounds defeating Chiben Wakayama under the bright stadium lights in an unforgettable game, star players like Hanamaki Higashi‘s ace pitcher Yuusei Kikuchi were tragic fugures in their team’s defeats. It had it all.
Nihon Bunri 日本文理 (Niigata) – Chuukyoudai Chuukyou 中京大中京 (Aichi) 9-10
Nihon Bunri had a chance of making history, but then again it was something they had already done becoming the first school from Niigata to ever reach the final of the Summer Koushien. They fell behind Chuukyou however in the first, but were able to get back up and level the score by the 3rd. Their pitching staff was holding the powerful bats of Chuukyou at bay, escaping a lot of dangerous situations. Atr one point their starter Itou was able to escape a bases loaded 1 out jam with two strikeouts, the last one coming on a very nasty curve ball. But Chuukyou proved to be something different as they hammered out a 6-run 6th inning. That should have sealed Nihon Bunri‘s fate, but they weren’t going away quietly. They grabbed a run each in the 7th and 8th and entered the 9th trailing by 6 runs. That was when the magic of Japanese high school baseball came in. Facing defeated they gave it everything they had scoring run upon run until the were within striking distance. If I remember it correctly almost all of those runs came with 2 outs. Chuukyou was getting nervous replacing starter Doubayashi with reliever Morimoto. He was shaky as well, but in the end he got help from his defense with a wonderful catch by 3B Yamanaka to end Nihon Bunri‘s rally.
What a great final. It seems they always save the best for last. I’ll be looking forward to the spring edition!