|The Lead-off Man|
|Season 2, Episode 41|
|Air date||January 18, 2016|
Fastball, Featuring Todoroki
The Lead-off Man is episode 41 of the Diamond no Ace Anime series Season 2. The episode follows the storyline from chapter 370 to chapter 373 of the manga.
The finals match begin with Seidou's offense. Kuramochi shows his prowess as Seidou's lead-off but despite making it to third, Seidou doesn't score. At the bottom, Kawakami starts for Seidou and Miyuki calls for the sinker.
The game begins with Yakushi's defense and Mishima as starting pitcher. Batting first for Seidou is Kuramochi. Kuramochi puts up a fight with fouls while keeping in mind his role of getting on base and creating opportunities. The count reaches 3-2 and Kuramochi hits to the right field, making it to first base. Batting second is Tojou. With the first pitch, Kuramochi steals second. No outs and runner on second, Tojou sacrifice bunts to advance Kuramochi to third, then Mishima walks Haruichi on four balls. Up to bat next is Miyuki.
Harada tells Yuuki that he was so nervous the first time he batted cleanup, and was annoyingly teased by Narumiya thus, he swung his bat a lot of times to improve. Yuuki shared the same opinion saying that he was pressured. Harada credits Miyuki, saying that the latter doesn't feel any pressure though. The first pitch is low and away, and a strike. The second pitch is a forkball--a ball. The third pitch, Miyuki hits a line drive but Mishima luckily stops the ball and Yakushi pulls off a double play.
Bottom of the inning, the team cheers Kawakami on. Both Furuya and Sawamura wish him good luck and Kawakami inwardly admits that their cheers put so much pressure on him. Batting first for Yakushi is Akiba. Kawakami opens up with an inside pitch, a strike. Miyuki calls for the sinker next, intending to catch Yakushi's batters off guard and take the upper hand. Kawakami throws and Akiba makes contact, surprised with the break of the ball and is out on first. Kawakami outs the second batter, while Mishima lands a hit to center field. Next at bat is Raichi and his classmates came to watch the team play.
The first pitch is a Sinker-- a ball, then follows it up with an outside pitch. The third is a pitch to the inside that Raichi fouls to first. The fourth is a slider which Raichi hits strongly to right field. Batting fifth is Sanada who executes Raizou's plan of swinging at breaking balls. He hits the slider to right field but Shirasu catches the ball, preventing Yakushi from scoring.