|Seidou High vs. Ichidaisan High|
|Manga||Act II, Chapter 37-46|
The Seidou High vs. Ichidaisan High match is the semifinal of the Spring Tournament. This match was held on April 26th at 10:00 A.M.
Summary of the GameEdit
Miyuki won the Rock-Paper-Scissor game and selected attacking first for Seidou as Miyuki discussed with his team mates he wants to get early points in order to help ease up Furuya when he pitches. On the top inning, Seidou's batters exploited Amahisa's still unstable control in his opening game with Kuramochi hitting a Double, Toujou sacrificial bunt advanced Kuramochi to 3rd and Haruichi tenaciously pulled out a walk. Miyuki successfully hits a RBI with Kuramochi home in while Shirasu followed up with another RBI. Seidou successfully opened up an early lead with 2 points over Ichidai. Amahisa then showed his resilience and close out the inning. Furuya is up to pitch next and after retiring the lead-off batter, he walked the 2nd batter. Furuya couldn't control his breaking pitches but was able to close out the inning with no losses through overpowering the batter with force and make them pop fly balls to the fielders.
Second Inning - Fourth:
From 2nd inning to 4th, both Amahisa and Furuya despite continuously putting runners on base, was able to defend their respective scores with tremendous efforts from the fielders. The game then moved on to its mid-stage, arguably the turning point of the match.
On the top of the 5th inning, Amahisa has slowly gotten into his groove and began to strike out Seidou's batter with his signature Sliders and got 3 up 3 outs first time in the match. On the other hand, Furuya was still struggling to control his breaking pitches while missing repeatedly very wide outside the zone. After able to retire the 4th batter, Furuya then walked the following batter. Ichidai's captain Adachi hits a long outfield hit and the runner who started running early made it home for the first point for Ichidai. Furuya then walks the next batter, with runner on 1st and 2nd he faces Ichidai's Ace Amahisa. Miyuki opted to use Furuya's straight to overpower Amahisa again but the batter got a read on the battery and attacked the first pitch which he managed to land a shallow hit to left field. However, Masashi Yuuki committed a fielding error and the 2 runners made it home to reverse the score. Ichidai now leads Seidou by 3 - 2. Miyuki called a timeout to check on Furuya's condition and decided to trust him to be able to recover. However, Furuya conditions did not improve while Ichidai fully capitalized on their momentum and continued to land hits, quickly widened their lead up to 5 - 2. Furuya walks yet another batter, the 3rd he walked in the 5th inning, and Kataoka calls for a pitcher substitution. Sawamura is up to replace Furuya, where he faces Ichidai Clean-up with bases loaded and 1 out. Sawamura pitches 2 strikes out-low and then tight inside to strikeout the Cleanup in 3 pitches. Against the 5th batter, Sawamura baits him with a Changeup and continue with an assault inside and strike the batter out swinging on the out-low 3rd pitch. With the Clean-up and 5th batter struck out in quick succession, Sawamura completely halts Ichidai's momentum.
Sixth Inning - Ninth:
Batting first on the top of the 6th inning, Sawamura hits a Double from his bunting stand and surprised his peers. However, Amahisa was able to successfully prevent Kanemaru's sacrificial bunt and Seidou's attempt to score. Sawamura displayed excellent pitching and was able to hold Ichidai down to no hit since the 5th inning up to the bottom of the 8th. On the top of the 9th inning, Seidou managed to score from Shirasu's infield grounder. It is 2 outs with Miyuki on 2nd base and Zono up to bat. Seidou had opportunity to tie the score if Zono can hit a HR; however, Zono long hit was caught by the outfielder and the match ended with Ichidai winning against Seidou by 5 - 3.
Kataoka admits in an interview after the match that Seidou indeed had options to prevent the 5th inning crisis from happening but because of his inexperience, he was unable to make the switch sooner. Hence, he would like to accept the result and his mistake first before moving on.
Seidou's regular members went to watch the remaining Semi Final match between Inajitsu and Teitou while the non-regulars and first years returned to school early. Sawamura was caught into a conversation with Amahisa regarding his new pitch, the Cutter Kai much to the dismay of the former. Later watching from the stands, Sawamura sat away from the rest of team in order to assess the match on his own.
At 8:00 p.m. of the same day, Kataoka held a team meeting where he reviewed the performance of the team as well as announcing the reset of the jersey numbers.