NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo Pref. – Ryosuke Shibata and Takanori Sasaki delivered back-to-back extra-base hits to lead a sixth-inning rally Sunday as Aikodai Meiden of Aichi beat Hyogo’s Kobe Kokusaidai Fuzoku 8-6 to reach the final of the national high school invitational baseball tournament for the second straight year.
In the other semifinal, Kamimura Gakuen from Kagoshima jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and went on to shut out Haguro of Yamagata 4-0 to set up a meeting with Aikodai Meiden in Monday’s final at Koshien Stadium.
In Sunday’s first game, Shibata tied the game at 5-5 with a two-out, two-run triple to right before Aikodai Meiden, last year’s beaten finalist, took the lead for good on Sasaki’s RBI double to left-center and a wild pitch by Kobe Kokusaidai ace Masaki Onishi.
Aikodai Meiden reliever Ken Togame held Kobe Kokusaidai to one run in four innings in relief of Yohei Saiga, who had an ineffective start after allowing just two runs in throwing three straight complete games in the earlier rounds.
In the second game, Ryo Tennojiya put Kamimura Gakuen ahead with a two-run triple and Shinya Terada followed it up with an RBI single in the opening frame, which proved costly for Haguro, the first school from Yamagata Prefecture to reach the semifinals.
Kamimura Gakuen advanced to the final of the 77th annual spring tournament in its third year since the creation of the team.
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