The quarterfinals took place today and Kiryuu Dai-ichi payed the price for riding their staff ace too hard.
First up in the Kansai derby local heros Riseisha (Osaka) demolished Fukuchiyama Seibi (Kyoto) 6-2. Judging by the box score, Riseisha’s ace Mizota was in cruise control again, tossing a tidy 7.1 while giving up 7 hits (3K, 2BB, 2R, 1ER). The big damage came from SS Yoshida, who had 4RBI, going 3-4 (2 triples).
Next up Toyokawa (Aichi) downed Okinawa Shougaku (Okinawa) by the same score (6-2). Toyokawa’s Tanaka went the distance again (9IP, 9H, 6K, 1BB, 1HBP, 2ER, 127 pitches) and you have to wonder how far he’ll be able to take his team.
The third game of the day was a thriller again as Sano Nichidai (Tochigi) defeated Meitoku Gijiku (Kochi) 7-5 in extra innings. Meitoku had a fought their way back into the game after trailing from early on, but Sano Nichidai tied it in the 7th (5-5). The score remained that way until the 11th inning, when walks, hit batsmen and a fewe hits did Meitoku’s starter Kishi in. he and his counterpart Tajima both threw the whole 11 innings. Tajima came out on top (11IP, 9H, 7K, 3BB, 2HBP, 5ER, 152 pitches) and was helped by his RF Inaba, who went 2-5 with 2RBI, including the go ahead run.
And finally Kiryuu Dai-ichi (Gunma) ran out of luck against Ryuukokudai Heian (Kyoto), although they seem to have put up a great fight, losing on a sayonara hit in the 10th (4-5). Kiryuu actually had built up a 4-run lead in the second inning only for Ryuukokudai Heian to chip away and find their way back into the game and tie it in the 7th. By that time Kiryuu’s ace, who had pitched the full two games against Hiroshima Shinjou the previous two days, had entered the game only to give up the tying runs. He was then able to hold down the opposition, but in the 10th inning Ryuukokudai Heian finally broke through. It seems only fitting that a pitcher who had starred so bravely over the tournament lost the game after a wild pitch. Just to round things off, Takahashi got the win for Ryuukokudai Heian after entering the game in the 6th inning.
So this brings us to the semifinals, which will be played tomorrow. Riseisha will play Toykawa in the first game, while Sano Nichidai and Ryuukokudai Heian will decide who will get the other spot in the final later.
Here’s the winning play from behind the winners’ dugout.