Much closer games than on the previous days, here’s what was was going on today.
The first game was Kendai Takasaki (Gunma) vs Iwakuni (Yamaguchi). Iwakuni jumped to an early lead thanks to their 1 and 2 hitters, but Kendai Takasaki were able to turn the ship around from the third inning on. By the fifth inning they were leading 5-3 and never looked back. Their starter Kawai got pulled after 2 innings (5 H, 2 K, 1 BB), in which Iwakuni scored all their runs. His replacement Takahashi went the rest of the game allowing no more runs (2 H, 9 K, 1 BB).
The second contest of the day went into extra innings. Kanoya Chuo (Kagoshima) and Shiritsu Wakayama (Wakayama) were locked at one over the regular 9 innings after Kanoya Chuo had tied the game in the bottom of the eigth. They were able to advance thanks to a sayonara hit by their relief pitcher Komezawa, who also tossed the final 4 innings taking the win (2 H, 3 K, 2 BB). It’s a devastating loss for Shiritsu Wakayama’s starter Akao, who went all of the 11.1 innings while only tossing 131 pitches (13 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 2 R, 1 ER).
In game three Iwate’s representative Rifu held down Saga Kita from Saga by a score of 4-2. Rifu had jumped ahead in the bottom of the fith (2-0), but Saga Kita came back in the top of the 6th, only to watch Rifu jump ahead again in the bottom of the inning, this time for good. LF Manjoume had the decisive hit, going 2-4 overall (3 RBI). Both teams did not rely on just one pitcher, but used their bullpens (Saga Kita 2 pitchers, Rifu 3 pitchers).
And finally more drama in the last game of the day where Mie (Mie) and Kouryou (Hiroshima) were locked at 4 going to extra innings. Mie had clawed their way back into the game tying it in the bottom of the ninth on hit by 2B Sada. They were able to put it away in the 11th with a bases loaded walk 5-4. A tough way to lose for a brave Kouryou team whose starter Yoshikawa went all 11 innings while tossing 169 pitches (12 H, 5 K, 5 BB, 5 R, 4 ER). The win went to Mori, who had replaced Mie’s starter Imai after 9 innings.