NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo Pref. (Kyodo) Tournament debutant Rifu of Miyagi Prefecture batted around for five runs in the fifth inning and beat Tokyo’s Waseda Jitsugyo 5-4 in the quarterfinals of the National High School Invitational Tournament Tuesday.
In Wednesday’s semifinals, Rifu will play Iwate’s Hanamaki Higashi, a 5-3 winner over Yamaguchi’s Nanyo Kogyo earlier Tuesday, while Hyogo’s Hotoku Gakuen will take on Seiho of Nagasaki.
Rifu turned a 2-0 deficit into a 5-2 lead in the fifth on a two-run double from Masahiro Endo, a two-run single by Motoki Inoue and a squeeze bunt by Toshiyuki Sakurada.
In the day’s other quarterfinal game at Koshien Stadium, Takuro Sarukawa hit a game-tying two-run homer and Yusei Kikuchi doubled in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning to give Hamamaki Higashi the lead for good at 4-3.
Highly touted left-hander Kikuchi also did the job on the mound, striking out six in four innings of scoreless relief.
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