Sat through three games at Koshien yesterday after all. It was lightly sprinkling rain from the start of the Kochi-Shinko game, then was pretty much raining through Morioka-Chukyo, and it became a total rainfest and mudslide for Chiben-Takaoka. Shini and I were right behind the 1st-base dugout until the 4th inning or so of the second game, then moved back to dry seats under the infield roof at that point through the end of the third game. In short, Shinko won 6-5 on a sayonara hit after Kochi tied it up in the 9th; Chukyo won 5-4 in another surprisingly close game, but Chiben pretty much clobbered Takaoka 6-1; it would probably have been more without the rain (there were a few balls hit where I swear, without the wind and rain, they'd have been way out of the park).
After the game we went to the new Koshien History Museum, which was pretty neat, and I may have to make a separate post about it eventally.
Anyway, Koshien got cancelled for today (Wednesday) due to all the rain, which sucks, but at least it means I can catch up a bit later tonight, maybe. As for now, here are just a sprinkling of photos that I cropped so far..
Shinko Gakuen pitcher Maenaka. He is actually the ONLY pitcher the school has and threw like 2398043289328 innings during the qualifying tournaments.
Kochi captain Daishi Sakamoto. This is in the top of the 9th -- he had just scored the tying run to make it 5-5 and was obviously ecstatic.
Junpei Morimoto, pitcher for Chukyodai Chukyo. Bizarrely, the last Chukyo game I saw in the summer, he also started.
Yuji Takatoh, pitcher for Morioka Daifu. (Not their ace, that was Shiraishi.) Takatoh seems to have taken a leaf from the school of Ma-kun and was yelling before and after every pitch.
You have no idea how impressive the Chiben Wakayama cheering group is until you see it in person. They make this gigantic C in the stands and pretty much take over the entire alps and are LOUD. I think the cheering group is almost as impressive as the team.
The Takaoka Shogyo boys coming back to their dugout after the game ended. Look at how shiny the ground is and how muddy the nice white uniforms have become. It was ridiculous by the end, watching a guy headslide through that or take a dive for a ball and end up splattered all over the place.
And on another, non-game note...
Finally got a photo with the Colonel Sanders inside Koshien. Cute, huh?
Here's the schedule of the teams and which side they're on posted outside the stadium, kind of a "proof that I was at Koshien on this day" kind of photo.
Okay, more later. For now going to try to come up with things to do in Osaka that don't involve baseball.