• Kyodo

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Yuya Fukui went the distance on 117 pitches as Saibi high school of Ehime Prefecture defeated Aichi Kodai Meiden of Aichi Prefecture 6-5 in the final of the national high school baseball invitational tournament on Sunday.

The game between two schools that were both gunning for their first title at the spring contest at Koshien Stadium was pushed back 45 minutes due to rain and was played under lights for the first time.

Saibi, which founded its baseball club in 2002, became the 16th high school to win the spring version of the national tournament as a first-time participant.

“It was a tough game especially in the middle innings but I hung on till the end,” said Fukui. “I’m tired but it was a wonderful experience.”

Fukui hit a two-run double to deep left in the second inning as Saibi took a 4-0 lead through the top of the third, only to see Aichi Kodai score three runs on an error, a sacrifice fly and an RBI single in the bottom half.

In the seventh, Genki Noma extended the lead on an RBI groundout and Ryoma Tasaka tripled in another run to make it 6-3 in favor of Saibi.

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