Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Schoolboy hurler Anraku books Koshien return


High school pitcher Tomohiro Anraku, whose extreme pitch counts this spring drew worldwide attention, pitched Saibi High School into the upcoming National High School Baseball Championship with a 5-2 complete game victory on Saturday in the Ehime Prefecture’s final.

Anraku, who threw 772 pitches over five games in this year’s spring invitational tournament at Hyogo Prefecture’s Koshien Stadium, has booked his return to the historic ballpark for the finals of this year’s summer tournament.

In the spring invitational, Saibi didn’t use another pitcher until a visibly exhausted Anraku was hammered in the final.

“I am what I am now because of that defeat,” Anraku said after an eight-hit, 10 strikeout effort on Saturday that saw him throw 112 pitches. “I’m greedily obsessed with winning, and frankly, now that I’ve got what I came for, I’m relieved.”

After maxing out at 157 kph in Friday’s prefectural semifinals, Anraku reached 150 kph on the radar gun in the final.

“I’ve been going all out up until now so that I can go back (to Koshien) and pick up something I left behind there.”