|Seidou High vs. Seihou High|
|Score||3 - 2|
|Manga||Act II, Chapter 120-130|
The Seidou High vs. Seihou High is the third game during the irregular doubleheader between Seidou, Seihou High and Yamamori High. The match was played on Seidou's field on 1st of June.
Summary of the GameEdit
Changing his plans after Seidou lost the game to Yamamori, coach Kataoka decided to bench all the regular starting players in favor of a non-regulars lineup. He also tells Sawamura, the starting pitcher of the match, to lead both the team and the rookie catcher that would pair up with him for the match, Okumura. Although taken aback at first by the coach's statement, Sawamura was gear up for the challenge.
On the mound, Okumura tells Sawamura that his game calling plan for the match would be to place emphasis on Sawamura's straight fastball and that he would mix in the Numbers accordingly as the game progress. Sawamura encourages Okumura not to get too tense and that as a pitcher, he'll prove that Okumura's game calling is correct, easing up the first year catcher. Seihou's lead-off batter expected to see moving pitches in the box but he was instead overwhelmed by Sawamura's fastball and quickly got struck out. Sawamura then strikes out the following batter and retired the 3rd one by forcing a grounder to 3rd base, closing out the inning quickly. In the bottom inning, Seidou batters face Akashi, Ace and 4th batter of Seihou, and was quickly dispatched in 3 strike-outs. On top of the 2nd inning, Sawamura greets Akashi with a Changeup and presumably retired him closing out the inning. The game then turned into a pitcher duel and a stalemate.
On top of the 4th inning, Seihou batters made adjustments to their batting mechanics as they began swinging without using the leg kick motion as a counter-strategy to Sawamura's moving fastballs and deceptive pitching delivery. This helped Seihou batters lay off Sawamura's changeups and started making contact with his fastballs. Despite being jammed by an inside fastball, Akashi took the ball to the center field to get to 1st. With 1 out, runner on 1st, facing Ichijou, Seihou's 5th batter, Okumura wanted to use No. 7 (the Revised Cutter) but Sawamura shook off the sign, reminding Okumura to stick to his plan of preserving No. 7 and No. 11 for the later half of the game. Okumura then calls for an inside 2-seamer and Sawamura nods. Sawamura jammed the batter with the pitch, forcing a grounder to 3rd base which resulted in a 5-4-3 Double Play to retire both Akashi and Ichijou to get out of the pinch. Kawakami however, notices that Sawamura was sweating rather excessively after 4 innings.
Bottom of the 5th, Asou drives a hit to left field but was cleanly caught by the 3rd baseman, resulting 1 out. Akashi then strikes out Seidou's 4th batter, Masashi Yuki in 3 pitches. 5th batter Yamagucchi however, hung tough against Akashi and squeezed out a Walk. 6th batter Mimura then hits a Single and Higasa was also walked to load all bases. Okumura was up to bat next and Seihou decided to fight it out. Okumura worked the count in his favor but Akashi takes it back to 2-2 then follow up with a Slider to strike out Okumura and close out the inning. The stalemate continues to the 5th inning. Kawashima and Kawakami decided to go warm up in the bullpen in case Sawamura needs backup as both realized he has been pitching all out since the beginning and was concerned that he may not be able to last through the whole game. Seidou regulars are also seen taking swings and warming up as well, preparing themselves to play in the later half without being told.
By the 6th inning, Sawamura fatigue has started to catch up to him and Sawamura's control on his pitches began to waiver. Facing the 3rd batter, Ichinose, Sawamura mislocated an outside fastball, throwing it inside instead and the batter hits a Double. Sawamura ended up walking Akashi on base as well and on top of that, Okumura could not catch the last pitch properly, dropping it on the ground and allowed Ichinose to steal to 3rd, putting himself in scoring position. The 3rd years then decided to call out to Sawamura, giving him encouragements while making a defensive shift to close infield, demonstrating their intention to not give up even a run. At 1 out, runner on 3rd and 1st, Sawamura switched gear and overwhelmed the 5th batter with a straight fastball that jammed him. The fly ball went straight to Asou's position in Center field while Ichinose was looking to tag up to score from 3rd. Seihou's 3rd base coach gave Ichinose a go ahead as soon as Asou catches the ball; however, with an excellent throw to home plate, Asou prevented Ichinose from scoring and close out the inning. Bottom of the inning, Masashi smacks a powerful hit off of Akashi, putting the ball on top of the fence for a solo-HR. Seidou team gave him a customary silent treatment in the dugout but Sawamura spoiled the joke as he did not understand the message from his teammates. Masashi's hit gave Seidou the momentum and they widen the score gap to 2-0 after the batters managed to connect consecutive hits. Seidou's rally however was ended after Akashi retires Okumura.
On top of the 7th inning, Seihou was desperately looking to score against Sawamura. Okumura tells Sawamura that he intends to mix in more Numbers in the inning since Seihou batters have already able to keep up with Sawamura's fastball timing. The lead-off batter was retired on a blooper to right field; however, both sides noticed that Sawamura's control have gotten worse as his breaking pitches were not going inside the zone. Sawamura ended up walking the following batter on base. The next batter targets Sawamura's first pitch after the walk for a Single to right field that put runner on scoring position at 3rd. At 1 out, runner on 3rd and 1st, Seihou's following batter feint bunts but takes a swing to drive 3rd base runner in. Seidou's lead is narrowed down to 2-1. Okumura then tells Sawamura he wants to switch back to the fastball-focused tactic. Sawamura found his 2nd-wind and retired the following batter with 1 pitch by forcing a weak fly-ball to 2nd base. He then proceeds to strike out the last batter in 4 pitches and close out the inning, escaping the pinch.
In the dugout, Kataoka commends Sawamura for a good performance and tells him to rest as he would be subbed out in the next inning. Sawamura however tells the coach he wanted to go the distance in this game. Kataoka checks his condition with Okumura, noting that his control are no long in good shape then asks Sawamura again whether he wants to continue regardless. Sawamura maintains his intention and is granted the permission to continue under 1 condition that if he allows even 1 runner to get on base he would be subbed out. Sawamura goes in the box to bat but was out at 1st. Kataoka switched in the regular players as pinch hitters and they earned Seidou another run in the bottom of the 7th. With Seidou leading by 3-1, Sawamura faces Akashi for the last time in the 8th inning. After a 11 pitches battle, Akashi connects a hit to outfield and Sawamura was subbed out along with Okumura. Kawakami and Yui battery comes in to relief and although they conceded a run to Seihou, they were able to close out the match in the 9th inning. Seidou got back on track with a 3-2 victory over Seihou.