NISHINOMIYA, HYOGO PREF. – Sakushin Gakuin High School romped past Hokkaido’s Hokkai High School 7-1 to win Japan’s prestigious National High School Baseball Tournament on Sunday afternoon.
Playing before a packed crowd at historic Koshien Stadium, Sakushin ace Tatsuya Imai allowed one run, while striking out nine over the distance to complete his fourth game of the tournament.
The championship was Sakushin’s second. In 1962, the Tochigi Prefecture powerhouse became the first in history to capture both Koshien tournaments, the spring invitational and the summer national championship.
Hokkai, representing southern Hokkaido, was seeking its first championship after reaching the finals at Koshien for the 37th time. Working with a 1-0 lead, pitcher Kento Onishi, whose four complete-game victories since Aug. 12 had gotten Hokkai into the final, allowed five runs in the fourth without retiring a batter.