Baseball: Yamanashi Gakuin rides ace to spring high school title

Yamanashi Gakuin beat Hotoku Gakuen 7-3 in the final of the 95th high school invitational baseball tournament Saturday at Koshien Stadium behind a complete game from ace Kengo Hayashi, claiming a first-ever national championship for Yamanashi Prefecture.

The right-hander started all six of his team's games at the first of two annual high school championships at the historic ballpark near Osaka. Saturday's win was Hayashi's fourth complete-game victory of the tournament. He threw 696 pitches over a span of 15 days.

Two-time spring champion Hotoku Gakuen High School, playing just a few kilometers from its school grounds in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, took a 2-0 fourth-inning lead before surrendering seven runs in a six-hit fifth inning.

Yamanashi Gakuen was the first school from its prefecture to reach a Koshien final in either the spring invitational or the national championship.

© Kyodo News