Travel day for me yesterday, so this one will be brief.
The first round concluded with 4 games on Thursday and two on Friday.
Toukaidai (Yamanashi) – Saku Chousei (Nagano) 3-1
Kyuushuu Kokusaidai Fuzoku (Hyogo) – Toukai Daiyon (South Hokkaido) 1-6
Kobe Kokusaidai Fuzoku (Hyogo) – Seikou Gakuin (Fukushima). 1-2
Komatsu (Ehime) – Yamagata Chuo (Yamagata) 8-9
Meitoku Gijuku (Aichi) – Chiben Gakuen (Nara) 10-4
Kaisei (Shimane) – Osaka Toin 6-7
And one 2nd round game was played on Friday as well:
Nishougakushadai Fuzoku (East Tokyo) – Kaisei (Nagasaki) 7-5
A few notes:
- I was surprised to see Osaka Toin struggle this much and from what I’ve read Kaisei pretty much beat themselves (like balking in a run and such things).
- While I’d really like to see different schools qualify for the tournament and Seikou Gakuin always seem to come out on top from Fukushima it’s still great to see them advance. The wounds of the earthquake and the tsunami are still fresh and a win by a Tohoku team, especially one from either Fukushima, Miyagi or Iwate would make people proud, I think.
- Nishougakushadai Fuzoku won won their 2nd round game with the battery of Ooe (pitcher) and Imamura (catcher), two first year students, for the final 4.1 innings.
- While there have been some long complete games it seems as if more and more kantokus make use of their bullpen. They don’t have special relief pitching yet and just make the pitchers share the workload, but it won’t be long before there will be specialists, I guess.
- There’s no clear cut “kaibutsu” pitcher just yet. There have been strong performances, of course. Like Meitoku Gijuku’s Kishi (9 IP, 9 H, 8 K, 4ER, 117 pitches), Shiritsu Wakayama’s Akao (11.1 IP, 131 pitches, 13 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 1 ER) or Nihon Bunri’s IIzuka (9 IP, 145 pitches, 8 H, 9 K, 6 BB, 2 ER). But nobody has been flat out dominant. Perhaps this might change as we go further along.
- Except for the upset in the first game of the tournament there haven’t been that many surprises. Which is kind of sad.
Let’s wait what the next round will look like.