The summer national high school baseball will be contested by the remaining four teams, and the semifinals will be held on the 20th.
One player to watch is Omi (Shiga) third-year captain Yoto Yamada, who will face Shimonoseki International in the second match.
Last summer also went up to the mound, the best 4, this year's spring Senbatsu won the runner-up, step by step approaching the top, facing the final summer as "captain", "ace" and "fourth hitter" with strong determination I made it.
(Koshien coverage team, Kanta Marumo)
Senbatsu, who hastily participated, is a "disappointing defeat" even in the second place
Omi has suddenly decided to participate in the tournament on behalf of the school that declined to participate due to the influence of the new coronavirus.
It was an unexpected opportunity for captain Yamada, but he led the team with his spirited pitching.
Although they lost to Osaka Toin in the final, they led them to the first runner-up in Shiga Prefecture.
Even so, Captain Yamada says that "frustration" was greater than "sense of accomplishment".
(Captain Yoto Yamada)
"I was able to win the second place in the Senbatsu, but I lost in the big stage of the final. At this rate, even if I go to Koshien in the summer, I've always thought that I won't be the best in Japan."
Strong feelings for "Japan's No. 1" written down in a notebook
Captain Yamada's thoughts on becoming the best in Japan are also written in his own "baseball notebook".
At the recommendation of director Akihito Taga, I had a special look at the notes I had written.
The day he lost in the Senbatsu final
"To be number one in Japan, everything was still lacking. Summer will be the best in Japan no matter what.
" Because I want to win.”
While looking back on the days he spent playing baseball, he faced his own feelings.
Continuing to write from the second grade, on the fourth book.
Writing has helped me sort out my feelings.
"I think it's the time when I can be the most honest, or the time when I'm facing this notebook."
What did you do for the “last summer”?
For the last summer, Captain Yamada worked tirelessly every morning on his own practice.
I continued while the time for general practice was limited due to the influence of the new corona.
In order to achieve a ball speed of 150 km, which I have been aiming for for a long time, I have been training to train my grip strength, and batting, which I was not able to get convincing results with Senbatsu, I worked on overcoming problems.
“I think that morning practice is a practice that you do on your own will, so basically I don’t throw things at other players. I think it makes sense to go."
Captain Yamada's determination was conveyed to his teammates, and many of the players started participating in early morning voluntary practice.
(Motoi Tsuda, vice-captain)
"It's amazing that everyone knows about baseball technology, but I can respect him as a baseball player and as a person of my age.
" 2nd year student Daisuke Kiyotani)
“He is a respected senior.
(Manager Akihito Taga)
"It's already 'Kagami'. I think everyone thinks that other players can't imitate themselves. I'm pulling on my back."
The traces of growth shown in the last summer
Omi has grown stronger under the guidance of Captain Yamada.
The slogan is "one circle".
This is because breaking away from the team relying on Captain Yamada was essential to reach the top.
And the traces of growth are also appearing in the battle at Koshien this summer.
Captain Yamada is showing a pitching full of spirit that is not inferior to spring.
The fastest straight is 148km.
The sharpness of the breaking ball has also increased.
On the other hand, the opposing team was also researched, and the game continued to lead from the first match, but the team did not falter and won all the times.
Especially in the quarter-finals, Takamatsu Commercial, which has one of the tournament's best hitters, Shogo Asano, was held up and conceded many points.
Still, the batting line supported pitcher Captain Yamada and turned around in the final stages.
Furthermore, after Captain Yamada was unable to pitch due to an accident involving a cramp in the back of his right thigh, pitcher Sena Hoshino, who is also a third-year student, showed good relief and led to the quarterfinals for the second consecutive tournament.
“Ever since the summer tournament started, my friends have been helping me. I myself feel like I can't do this, so next time I want to do my best so that I can contribute to the team's victory."
Captain Yamada, who has continued to grow through matches at Koshien.
Together with his friends, the long-awaited battle to become the best in Japan continues.
"Since I was admitted to Omi High School to win the first national title in Shiga Prefecture and the best in Japan, I wanted to bring the championship flag back to Shiga Prefecture in the last summer. think"