Konan is in!!!
Konan High School, Naha City, Okinawa, was the first team to officially make it to the Japanese National Summer Baseball Tournament. It will be their first appearance there in 28 years. The National Tournament is played at the sacred Koshien Baseball stadium in Hyogou Prefecture, right outside Osaka.
Osaka is known for being the second largest city in Japan, only smaller than Tokyo. In addition, Osaka is the leader of Tokyo counter-culture, where TV programming is catered towards Osakans, often airing programs in Osaka-ben, or the local Osakan dialect.
Konan High Schools road to the championship was won on the backs of their defense. They took their semi-final game versus a strong Oroku Team, 1-0, in extra innings. Two days later, Monday, July 16th, battled strong against the tournament favorite, Urasoe Commercial High School, or Ura Sho, for short. Both teams showed excellent pitching. In the eigth inning, Konan made a strategic move. They changed pitchers, while the Ura Sho pitcher continued four more innings. The game ended in a 0-0 tie. On 1 days rest, the rematch happened on Wednesday, July 18th. Ura Sho, again went with the same pitcher as in the Monday game. In the 4th inning, Konan finally got a run, and by the 7th inning stretch, the Ura Sho pitcher was visibly fatigued. This gave Konan the advantage when they scored another run. Konan again switched pitchers and carried the momentum through the top of the 9th, which did it. (Konan was the home team)
The Konan baseball players might as well consider themselves the second home team at the tournament. I say this because the Osaka-Hyogo area has the highest concentration of Uchinanchu (Okinawan people) outside of Okinawa Prefecture.