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First-up win for Oki-Sho at summer baseball tourney

Date Posted: 1999-08-13

Okinawa Shogaku High School, winners of the National High School Spring Baseball Tournament in April, got off to a solid start Monday in the 81th All Japan High School Baseball Tournament with a decisive victory in their quest to win back-to-back titles.

Lining up against Sakata Minami, a representative team from Yamagata Prefecture, Oki-Sho proved too strong for their northern opponents, winning 8-4 in a slugfest held at the famed Koshien baseball stadium in Hyogo Prefecture.

Predicted by many baseball commentators as a battle of power hitters, Oki-Sho and Sakata Minami lived up to pre-match expectations, but it was probably the effort by relief pitcher Sho Teruya for Oki-Sho that sealed the first-up win. Coming in for starting pitcher Kouya Higa in the 6th inning after Higa was blasted for four round-trippers, Teruya kept the Sakata Minami line-up scoreless with some accurate pitching.

Oki-Sho Coach Kinjyo was full of praise for his boys, despite a number of unforced errors while in the field, but managed to maintain their lead with some powerful hitting.

Team captain Higa said despite the fielding lapses the victory was a big step for the team considering both pitchers were carrying niggling injuries into the game.

In the second round, Oki-Sho will face-off against Miyazaki Prefecture’s Miyakono Jyou Saturday.

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