Natsu Koushien Qualifying Update – 7/30

Only 2 finals today, leaving Miyagi to close out qualifying, and they’re delayed one more day because the 2nd semifinal of Touryou and Sendai Ikuei ended in a 2-2 tie.

Nishi Tokyo – Toukaidai Sugao (3rd appearance, 1st in 17 years)

I didn’t think Toukaidai Sugao had a shot, I figured the only way they could win is if they were patient with Waseda’s pitchers because I didn’t think they improved anything despite starting from scratch.

From the records though it seems like they weren’t all that patient, they just beat up new ace Yukiyama with errors contributing to the 3-run 5th inning.

What’s more, it was #11 Matsumoto who held the Waseda offense silent. for the most part giving up just 7 hits while walking 1.

The final indignity was Waseda imploding due to errors in the 9th as they realized their summer might be coming to an end. Matsumoto closes the game out and Toukaidai Sugao denies Kiyomiya a chance at Koushien!

Osaka – Osaka Touin (9th appearance, 1st in 3 years)

In fact both favorites were in trouble early. While Osaka Touin had opened scoring in the 2nd with a Tokuyama timely hit, Ookanmuri had back-to-back 2-RBI doubles by Ihara and Samukawa suddenly gave them the 4-1 lead! Could this be happening?

Well, sure, but it was still early and Ookanmuri would have to survive 7 more innings, and that’s no small feat.

Osaka Touin scored 1 back in the bottom of the 3rd, and when I tuned back in it was manrui in the 5th.

Suddenly Maruyama throws back-to-back oshidashi walks and a 4-2 lead became a 4-4 tie. The break would come at the right time for them as they could regroup. But even still if they wanted a chance they either needed to put up several bagels or score immediately.

Unfortunately neither happened. Not only did they not score in the top of the 6th, leadoff batter Fujiwara hits a HR to right giving Osaka Touin the lead. Even if it was just 1 run, it in my opinion was a death knell.

And in the 8th Ookanmuri just fell apart. Murakami wasn’t effective at all, players were misplaying balls, and Osaka Touin scored 5 to make it a 10-4 ballgame.

Ookanmuri mounted one last comeback in the top of the 9th. 10-4 became 10-6 and then 10-8 when Ihara doubled down the LF line bringing in 2. Samukawa, the second half of that 2-RBI duo in the 3rd was up and could possibly tie the game with one swing.

But instead he’s hit and put on base. Good enough because it brought up Kimu who was just 1-4 on the day. He’s retired and so Osaka Touin survives, though with a very shaky effort 10-8 and will try to achieve their 2nd haru-natsu renzoku yuushou.

God help us if they do.

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