Spring Koshien: Kansai represent

It’ll be a local affair in the final as teams from Osaka and Kyoto made it through today.

First up Riseisha (Osaka) continued their run, defeating Toyokawa (Aichi) with a 5-run 10th inning after they had tied the game in the 9th to force it to go to extra innings (12-7). Their starter Mizota was pulled after only 3.1IP (6H, 0K, 2BB, 2ER, 73 pitches) and his replacement Nagatani tried to keep things together. Still he gave up 5 runs over 6.2IP (11HH, 3K, 1BB, 1HBP, 96 pitches) to allow Toyokawa to get back into the game. Toyokawa had grabbed a 2-run lead by the 4th, only for Riseisha to retaliate and pulling away 6-2 by the top of the 8th. And then Toyokawa unloaded 5 runs in a 6-hit inning. While that looked like they would advance to the final, Riseisha struck back in the top of the 9th with a solo shot by CF Kaneoka to left. And then things fell apart for poor Itou who had come on as a replacement in the 9th, but didn’t retire a batter in the 10th, as he was responsible for 4 runs.

Riseisha will now meet neighbours Ryuukokudai Heian (Kyoto) who thrashed Sano Nichidai (Tochigi) 8-1 in the other semifinal. Ace Takahashi held the Toyokawa offense in check (9H, 4K, 2BB, 3HBP, 1ER) and CF Tokumoto did most of the damage with a 3 RBI day, going 2-4 with a 3-run homer in the second inning to open the scoring.

So we will see an all Kansai final tomorrow. Which should be fun.



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