|Season 1, Episode 70|
|Air date||February 22, 2015|
Next Stage is episode 70 of the Diamond no Ace Anime series. The episode follows the storyline from chapter 217 to the first half of chapter 220 of the manga.
Miyuki tells Kataoka that Sawamura is deeply affected by the deadball during the Finals against Inashiro. The game continues and ends with Yakushi's victory. Seidou prepares for the upcoming fall tournament, and so are the other teams that have played last summer.
Furuya stands on the mound and his teammates cheer for him. Kataoka tells Kanemaru to have Sawamura ice his shoulder properly. Kanemaru brings the ice then thinks this is the first time he sees Sawamura so beat, as Sawamura sit silently and does not say anything since he got subbed. In a flashback, Kataoka asks Miyuki how Sawamura is doing, and Miyuki says that Sawamura's inside pitches have recently been wide and it's probably because of the hit-by-a-pitch in the finals. Kataoka calls Furuya and pulls Sawamura out, to the latter's shock.
Furuya goes to the mound and asks for the ball, saying that there's no need for two pitchers on the mound. Sawamura laughs then apologizes for passing on the baton in a pinch. He leaves the mound but doesn't really want to. The game continues and ends with a victory for Yakushi. Kataoka thanks Raizou for a productive game. Ochiai observes that Yakushi's plays center around their ace and clean-up then thinks that he doesn't want to play against an energetic team like them. In the afternoon, the gallery talks about the game wondering what happened to last years Seidou. Kataoka scolds his players and expresses his intentions of having the starting roster 'flexible': whoever is doing well will play no matter what grade they are. He dismisses the team but asks Sawamura, Kawakami and Miyuki to stay. They, along with Ochiai and Oota have a brief meeting. It's revealed that Sawamura suffers from the yips. Kataoka tells Sawamura to practice on his own and to avoid contact with the ball. The following day, the other first years find out about Sawamura's yips. Chris arrives and asks Kanemaru to fill him in with the details.
At Inashiro, Mine and Oowada sees the third-years practice their batting as some of them are chosen to play in the US-Japan game. They ask Harada about the teams new captain and Harada reveals it to be Fukui Kento, a non-starting member but is the most responsible person in the team. Harada tells the journalists that Narumiya is in the bullpen but had not been allowed to pitch since returning from Koshien. At the bullpen, Narumiya interferes with practice annoying Itsuki a little. He admits to Narumiya that he feels he should practice catching Narumiya's pitching some more, but Narumiya tells him that he'll throw to where his mitt is and that he doesn't plan to lose.
Back to Seidou, Kanemaru speaks to some of his classmates about Sawamura. Haruno is approached by classmates asking her what had happened to Sawamura as he looks gloomy and reads 'The Book of Five Rings'. Kanemaru recalls Chris saying not to make a big deal out of it and that he believes Sawamura will come out stronger. On the field, the players practice their pitching and batting while Sawamura frustratingly continue running around the field.