What They Say:
Inashiro vs Ugumori. At the bottom of the seventh, Tadano and Narumiya are having a difficult time seeing eye to eye against the highly offensive Ugumori batters. Umemiya hits a big one and Ugumori turns the game around with two runs! The runner-up team at nationals is cornered.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This had every making of an upset. A cocky Inashiro team allowed chances to pass by them because there was always next inning. They underestimated the opposing pitcher because he’s only shown so much and never expected a trump card in his arsenal. He has a fastball, a curveball, and an even curvier curveball. It’s a tough mixture to deal with and even Narumiya was fooled by it.
Behind by a run in the eighth and with two men on, they finally bring their ace Narumiya to the mound. This isn’t how Inashiro wanted this game to go at all. They wanted to give Narumiya, who’s had to pitch over 100 balls in every game he’s started, some much needed rest before a key rematch against Seidou. When Seidou, and their starting pitcher Sawamura, had only their next opponent in mind, Inashiro just had Seidou in their scope. They’ve struggled and I’m hard pressed to believe that Narumiya can bring them back alone. But then again, this could be Bumgarner all over again.
One, two, three and the three hole for Ugumori is out from Narumiya’s slick pitching. And now it’s ace v. ace in a match that’ll most certainly swing the game in one team’s favor. On a breaking ball almost in the ground, Ugumori gets a man on third. A single will bring the third base runner home and the first base runner maybe to third. A deep single or a double will definitely do both. Inashiro’s in a pinch.
But there’s a problem in paradise. Narumiya is still underestimating the opposing side, thinking he can force a fastball for the final strike. Not just that, their current catcher is no Harada. He struggles with catching the changeup and Narumiya is well above his skill level. What they need is Miyuki, but what they got was a double and two runs allowed for Narumiya’s inherited runners. Inashiro’s catcher tried to force the out at home after a deep double and relay back home. Not enough. Narumiya is experiencing the Koushien in the first year and the Koushien finals just last summer all over again. The coach has already called for another pitcher to start warming up and it looks like it’s day over for Narumiya, perhaps even without an out.
That was it. Inashiro’s upset in the second round of the tournament because of overconfidence, lack of leadership, and Narumiya’s own cocky attitude. One hit changed it all.
There’s no rematch for Seidou. No Cinderella story of coming back and defeating the team that beat you before and no rematch of Sawamura against Shirakawa Katsuyuki, the dude he hit. There’s just the promise of a title for Seidou and next year for Inashiro. This is baseball.
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