Spring Koshien: 4 aces win it

Congratulations to Ryuukokudai Heian on winning the 2014 Spring edition of the Koshien tournament.

It was an all Kansai affair for the final as Riseisha (Osaka) an Ryuukokudai Heian (Kyoto) faced off. The boys from Kyoto got the better start with a 2-run first inning and never looked back. It seems like Riseisha’s ace Mizota was finally paying the price for the workload he had to shoulder over the tournament. He was done after 6IP, giving up 7 hits while striking out 7. But he walked 4 batters and that’s never good. Ryuukokudai Heian got to him for 4 runs and by the time he left the mound the game was decided.

Ryuukokudai Heian rode four pitchers to their victory as if they wanted to show the rest of the world that Japanese high school baseball is more than watching pitch counts rise. The staff of Takahashi, Motouji, Inuzuka and Nakata combined for a line of 8H, 6K, 4BB and 2HBP with 2R (1ER). Motouji got the winning by pitching most of the game (5.1IP).

The game had remained a tight affait until the end, but Ryukokudai Heian blew it open in the 9th by adding two insurance runs on a home run from 1B Kawai. C Takahashi and CF Tokumoto each had three hits to lead their team to the tournament victory (6-2).

This concludes the spring tournament and, as always, it has been a very interesting competition with lots of memorable games. Already looking forward to August for the summer tournament.

Finally, here’s a wonderful half hour clip that really captures the mood of a high school game at Koshien with a view from right behind home plate. Enjoy

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