Although it is tough to guess who will be the winner of this year’s tournament, Osaka Toin, Okinawa Shogaku, Ryukoku Univ. Affiliated Heian, and Tokai Univ. Affiliated Sagami are the tournament favorites. Kyushu Kokusai also has a good reputation as well. Heian will play their first game on the first day, now on the 11th, after the opening ceremony against Kasukabe Kyoei of Saitama. The warm up for the game before and after the long opening ceremony, and protection from the heat may play big roles. Heian who has been to the summer national 33 times knows how to handle those factors and Kyoei is from Saitama, one of the hottest prefectures in the nation, so they should be ready as well. Kyushu Kokusai will play against Tokai Univ. Affiliated Dai4 from South Hokkaido at 10:30 on the 14th. Dai4’s ace pitcher Nishijima has a nasty slider and how the Kyushu Kokusai’s lineup will adjust to it is the key for this game. Dai4 has placed many good athletes to Toaki University and many other colleges but surprisingly it is their first appearance to Koshien in 21 years. Oska Toin will play Kaisei of Shimane at 12:00 on the 15th of August. Kaisei has been to Koshien nine times and has experienced playing against power houses. A few players of Kaisei are originally from Osaka so the players may know each other from their Junior High school clubs. Tokai Affiliated Sagami will play against Morioka University Affiliated at 13:00 on the 16th. Although Sagami’s lineup is one of the strongest in the tournament, it will not be easy to hit off the Morioka’s ace pitcher Matsumoto. Matsumoto who is regarded as one of the best pitchers in this year’s tournament is raked A+ by many scouts from the professional teams. You don’t want to miss how the Sagami’s lineup will face the Northern Express. Okinawa Shogaku will play the Tochigi prefecture representative, Sakushin Gakuin at 8:00 on the 17th. Shogaku has been consistent this year but Sakushin is another Koshien veteran. Yamashiro’s accurate fast ball generated by slow paced pitching form draws people’s attention. How Sakushin’s line up will handle the Ryan of Ryukyu will be the key of this game.