|Akikawa Academy vs. Seidou High|
|Tournament||West Tokyo Tournament|
The Akikawa Academy vs. Seidou High is a high school baseball match, held during the 89th National High School Baseball Championship qualifiers. This match was held on July 23rd at 10:00 A.M at Fuchuu Municipal Stadium.
Summary of the GameEdit
In the match between Seidou High and Akikawa Academy, Seidou defends on top and attacks at the bottom of the innings. Top of the first, Akikawa begins its offensive. Despite having practiced hitting a pitch at 160km/h, Furuya’s high fastball still surprises Akikawa’s first batter, Ninomiya. But Furuya walks Ninomiya without him taking so much as a swing. Miyuki notice the batters aren't holding their bats short despite seeing Furuya's fastball and realizes that they’re just not going to swing at Furuya's pitches. Furuya walks the second batter on four balls.Miyuki starts calling the splitter and Furuya starts throwing strikes. The third batter strikes out. Akikawa's fourth batter is up who looks for the coaches sign. Coach Ogata signals to wait and keep it up for the inning. Drawing strength from the teams support, Furuya also strikes Shiratori out. Now two outs, runner on first and second Shunshin is up to bat. Shunshin talks to Miyuki saying that Miyuki called for breaking balls to loosen Furuya up, adding that it might be hard catching for a pitcher that's useless. Miyuki disagrees, saying that they're not afraid of a team that won't swing. Shunshin turns to his coach wanting to go for the swing, to prevent Seidou's battery from recovering.
Shunshin swings and miss Furuya's high fastball, but he remains focused. Furuya throws a ball, and Miyuki reads that Furuya has tensed up again. He calls for another forkball to loosen him up. The team encourages Furuya, and he throws a fork but the ball doesn't drop. Shunshin hits a high fly to left and Sakai doesn’t get the catch. The runner from second makes it home and so does the runner from first— Akikawa scores two runs. Furuya is taken aback but stays focused, and with Miyuki's lead, strikes out the sixth batter. Furuya's pitch count for the first inning is twenty-four. Tanba offers him a drink saying that what's important is what he does after he gets hit.Bottom of the first, Kuramochi thinks of their strategy to pressure Shunshin— which is through mobility, bunts, and getting on base. Kuramochi bunts the first pitch but fails to get on base. Batting next is Ryosuke who commends Shunshin in his mind that he plays well. Ryosuke fights with fouls but then Shunshin makes extremely slightly changes in the catcher’s position to strike out Ryosuke, who thought the last pitch was as ball, but is called a strike by the umpire. Isashiki pulls off a strong hit making it to first. Up next is Yūki who hit it near the grip and the ball is going to left. But unlike the case of Akikawa where the ball slip past Sakai, the ball is caught by the fielder.
Top of the third, two outs, runners on first and second, Furuya manages to not give up a run. At the bottom, he strikes out. Kuramochi is once again up at-bat but still fails to get on base. Ryosuke hits Shunshin's breaking ball but it goes straight to Shunshin's mitt. Top of the fourth, Sawamura tells Furuya to switch but Furuya ignores him. Miyuki notice the temperature is getting hotter and the situation is not favorable.
Akikawa is up 2-0 and Furuya's pitch count is over 60. Chris says that at such pace, his pitch count will reach a hundred by the fifth. It's a difficult situation plus with the temperature rising, Furuya's stamina is in question. Akikawa's seventh batter is at-bat and Miyuki doesn't want Furuya to pitch with extra force. The batter appears to bunt but he doesn't. Miyuki figures out that Akikawa is trying to tire Furuya with bunts. Sawamura yells at Furuya from the bullpen saying not to get flung around by the batters bunting stance, but Nori reminds the freshman that Kokudoukan also did the same thing to him before.
Kataoka gives out the order that is, if Furuya gives up another run, he’ll be switched out with Sawamura. Kataoka explains that he doesn't want Furuya's weakness to be exposed further with Ichidaisan High watching from the stands. And it's still early in the game to be sending out Kawakami. Haruichi goes to tell Sawamura.Furuya strikes the first two batters out with sheer force and he's tiring himself out even more as a result. He walks the third batter and Kataoka calls for a pitcher substitution. Sawamura heads to the mound. He asks the ball from Furuya but Furuya doesn't budge. Miyuki frankly tells Furuya that if he continues pitching, he'll only drag the team down. Sawamura asks for the ball one more time saying to leave the rest to him. Furuya hands the ball over and the team understands his feelings.
Sawamura’s first throw is high to the first baseman and nearly an error that sent the first base runner to second. Yūki however, is quick to jump and catch the ball. Miyuki first calls for a four-seamer to the inside, which was the same pitch he threw to Kataoka the night before, that just missed Kataoka's chest. The batter finds it difficult to time the pitch and pops to third, outing the batter.In the bottom of the fourth, Seidou's batting order starts with third batter, Isashiki. Isashiki hits a ball that’s high and inside, that was intended by the battery to push him back. The ball goes long to the left-field line and Isashiki reach second base. Yūki, is up next and the first hit goes foul past first base. Shunshin is affected by the hit, walking Yūki. Masuko bunts to put Seidou in scoring position. Miyuki is next at-bat. With just two pitches, one far and outside in the strike zone and the second a foul, the count is already at 0-2 and Miyuki’s cornered. With the fourth pitch, Miyuki perfectly predicts what Shunshin would pitch and brings two runners home while he reach third base.
With the game tied, Shunshin is pumped up. This is the Japanese baseball he was looking for. With Miyuki on third, the next batter tries a bunt and Miyuki bolts home. Shunshin race to get the ball and tosses it to the catcher for the out.
In the top of the fifth, Sawamura on the mound, Akikawa's batters still can’t get their timing right. Akikawa strikes out in three. At-bat Sawamura strikes out. Kuramochi is next but despite his efforts he strikes out once again. Ryosuke again fight with fouls but also strikes out. Top of the sixth, Shunshin gets jammed by Sawamura's pitch, forcing a pop fly to the infield. In the dugout, Kataoka gives instructions to Haruichi and Tanba: Haruichi to go warm-up and be ready when called, and Tanba to go throw at the bullpen.
Seidou's ace, Tanba, is in the bullpen and the pressure is on Akikawa. Sawamura continues to strike out Akikawa and the game is still tied. Bottom of the sixth with two outs and Seidou in the position to score, Shunshin outs the batter. Seidou doesn't score, but Akikawa also fail to do so on top of the seventh. The crowd is impressed, as well as Chris and Kataoka who compliments Sawamura. Kataoka then tell his players to get as many runs as they can before the game ends.Bottom of the seventh, Haruichi is sent as the pinch hitter in place of Sakai. On the very first pitch, he hits a grounder between the short stop and third baseman into left field. Sawamura is next wanting to hit, but Kataoka calls Sawamura to bunt and Haruichi reaches second. One out and runner on second, Kuramochi is up again. He finally hits and with his speed, makes it to first on an error by the second baseman. Ryosuke is up. Kuramochi steals second and Shunshin lets him. Ryosuke pulls of a squeeze and both Haruichi and Kuramochi get home; while he gets to second base. Seidou's clean-ups follow suit taking additional three runs.
On top of the ninth, Kawakami’s on the mound. Shunshin is on second. Miyuki calls for a slider to the outside, striking out the batter. Seidou celebrates while Akikawa in tears. Miyuki calls out to Shunshin saying that he had fun playing against him.