In the last episode, Nishiura finally took off as they regained the point lost to bring the score to 3-3 in the eighth inning after a lucky break from Mizutani. However, it is now Tosei’s turn to stage a return to the lead. Oki, their short stop no. 14 is next and he will be batting to bring some points to Tosei. Will Nishiura, a fresh and new young team, be able to prevent the onslaught coming their way?
It’s time for battle as the match reaches a climatic end.
Oki is the next batter for Tosei. Kawai felt that Oki’s battle senses would help to detect the special movement of Mihashi’s fastballs. Mihashi threw a fastball that was good, and Oki was surprised that it was in. Oki then swung and missed the second pitch. Abe then deliberately asked Mihashi to throw a bad ball. Oki thought that the deciding factor was the curveball, but Mihashi struck Oki out with another fastball. Tosei’s coach also noticed the gradual increase of fastballs pitched. Kawai was next, and he remembered that the only batter who hit Mihashi’s fastball tried to hit it like a cutter.
Kawai started to guess what Abe would do, and realized that Abe would ask Mihashi to throw his fastball for a strike. Kawai realized that the ball did not float up, but simply did not fall like the usual throws. Kawai swung again with that in mind but suffered another strike. The next ball was a foul hit, as Kawai got the contact. Abe then tried to trick Kawai with a curveball, but Kawai adjusted his position in time to get to the first base easily. Tosei’s coach was starting to be concerned how the slow pitching was causing so much strikeouts from his team too. Kawai thought that Abe was a born catcher with his tactics, but he won the battle against him since he was on base.
First baseman, Motoyama, put up a bunt pose. Abe decided to use a ball with normal spin, as it seemed way too risky for them to do anything else. However, when the ball was thrown, Motoyama hit the pitch and ran, as Tosei reached first and second base. Momoe was worried as that meant that there was a clear chance of getting the points, but felt that the hit and run strategy was very dangerous at this point. Abe now wondered what form of pitch to ask Mihashi to throw, as the next batter posed a punting pose again. Abe decided to get a curveball to get the second out, but the next batter also did a run and hit.
The ball escaped Nishiura’s infield as it rolled outfield. As the ball was thrown back to home base, Abe tried to stop the incoming runner but was shoved aside by the body momentum of the runner. Tosei now lead 4-3. Mihashi passed back Abe’s helmet, and Abe encouraged Mihash by telling him that there was still time. The situation now was a runner at second and third base, and it was important to stop the third base runner from hitting home. Mihashi threw a ball out of the zone, as Momoe murmured that the run was not the first pitch this time. However, Tosei tried the hit and run method, as the ball flew toward Mihashi’s body. Mihashi managed to fend to deflect the ball with his glove, but it fell behind him.
It took a while before Mihashi realized where the ball was, but he hesitated to throw the ball back to Abe. Eventually, he did and Abe just managed to get the touch on the incoming batter. Abe immediately called for a timeout as he screamed at the about-to-cry Mihashi and tugged on his shirt. He could not understand why Mihashi hesitated, as Mihashi somehow gestured that he feared Abe might be shoved aside since the runner to home base was very huge. An increasingly annoyed Abe said that Mihashi should concentrate on the game itself, and that he did not forget his promise not to get injured at all for the three years of partnership.
Mihashi realized that he could not survive without Abe since it was Abe who made full use of his control. He would not be able to get any strikeouts without Abe. Maikawa (no. 9) is the next batter, and he was the first batter in Tosei’s team to hit Mihashi’s fastball. However, this time, he was struck out by Mihashi. Kawai observed that no one really hit the fastball, and all the hits were from curveballs. Kawai was sure that they could keep Nishiura out. Abe also realized that no one knew how to hit Mihashi’s fastball, and told Mihashi to rest for the next inning. The others also realized that they would lose the game if they were unable to put points up. Abe was the next batter in the last inning, the 9th.
Ok, this anime can really stop all forms of cliches. I mean, it’s really exciting when the opposition team is no stuck up elite team (even though they are a top team) but one that is just as normal as any high school team. I feel that Ookiku Furikabette gives more life to everyone, even the opposition. Most anime just really make the opposition look totally horrible, or like total evil people. That is sometimes too exaggerating, and much of a stereotype. That is perhaps why it’s hard to hate Tosei at all, but you will still root for Nishiura due to the amusing characters they have.
On the game itself, I am really pleasantly surprised that Tosei took the lead because that will make the perennial question appear: Will Nishiura fight back enough? I got a feeling that Mihashi’s limit seems to be getting very close considering how much he is fast fading. Despite his insistence that he is all right, I have a feeling that Nishiura has to somehow finish it within nine innings. Mihashi’s grip might just disappear on him since he does not look to be in the best of shapes.
I am also amazed at how Tosei took such a risk, assuming that they will be hitting all shots properly. They opened themselves to a risk of getting both players out for a double play, but they did it very successfully twice. That takes some huge courage to do something so risky, and do it twice at this time when it’s the clincher. So, I really applaud Tosei for trying so hard, and fulfilling a huge gamble by putting one point on the chart. It’s a pity they did not get two. Tosei’s coach was dead on: “We need at least a two point buffer”.
Well, the last part is reserved for Mihashi and Abe. I think the two of them have a very funny relationship, especially when Abe went all “I GONNA KILL YOU, YOU STUPID IDIOT” when Mihashi hesitated to throw the ball. However, any normal guy would too, considering it might mean that the game was out of range, and a possible comeback. It’s so typical Mihashi nevertheless, the very fact that he worries over really strange things.