Next Episode of Ace of Diamond is
A meeting with catcher Kazuya Miyuki changed the 15-year-old Eijun Sawamura's life. He said goodbye to all his friends and knocked upon the door of Seidou, a prestigious baseball school, intent on testing his own strength. There, he met many proud baseball players who were betting everything on the sport! A classic tale, yet new and fresh.
Eijun Sawamura, the pitcher of a novice junior high baseball team, meets with a bitter walk-off loss. For Sawamura the loss becomes his last game in junior high, so he sets a new goal of going to the nationals in high school with his teammates. As he begins his hard quest on studying, a guest arrives unannounced. Her name is Rei Takashima. Rei had been watching his last game and believes Sawamura has a gift. She is the assistant director of the prestigious Seidou High School Baseball Team, and she invites Sawamura to Seido after seeing his potential. Sawamura's reply shocks her, but Takashima refuses to give up and tricks Sawamura into a visit.
Sawamura gets himself into a baseball match against the 12th grade batter, Kiyokuni Azuma. Sawamura forms a battery with Kazuya Miyuki, the catcher carrying high hopes for Seidou. Sawamura loses confidence against Azuma, an opponent he`s never faced, but Miyuki`s lead slowly pulls out Sawamura`s full potential. And then he throws his last pitch. After returning from Tokyo, Sawamaura is lost about his future, unable to forget his pitching with Miyuki. He wants to test his strength in Tokyo, but he can`t betray his junior high teammates and leave them behind. Bewildered, his teammates approach him.
Sawamura is nervous being roomed with his older baseball teammates. However, their unexpectedly warm welcome makes him feel right at home. Next day, he feels too much at home, and ends up sleeping in for his first practice! There, he reunites with Miyuki who also overslept. Unfortunately, Miyuki`s advice on resolving the situation only makes it worse. The head coach himself tells Sawamura that using him as a player is out of the question. However, recalling the messages from his teammates back home, he declares to the coach, "I came here to become the ace of this team!" So the head coach gives him a challenge.
Seidou High School faces off against Ichidai Third High School, the school that beat them last year. While their top-level offense rakes in runs, the ace Tanba isn`t doing too hot. The game turns into a batting game. On the other hand, Sawamura is back at school, training by himself. During his training, Furuya, another first-year pitcher approaches him. Showing sympathy to Sawamura`s peculiar training method, Furuya offers to play catch with him. Sawamura is in a cheery mood with Furuya`s kindness, but the speed of Furuya`s throws far exceeds his expectations.
A game between the first-years and the second and third-years is being held. While Sawamura worries about whether or not he can play, he chances upon the Head Coach in the bath. "I don`t want to see anyone but me standing on the mound." The Head Coach gives Sawamura one more chance in response to his statement. On the day of the game, the second and third-years are playing with everything they have. The first-year team looks pale, but Sawamura is pumped for his first game. Sawamura seems to be full of energy, but perhaps it isn`t being put to good use...
The scrim continues. Sawamura has finally based. It was thanks to the advice from Haruichi Kominato. As he steps into the batter`s box, he declares to score a run. His batting turns out to be amazing. To answer the call, Sawamura sprints and makes it back to the plate. The first-year team gains momentum, but the Head Coach is ending the game mid way. However, he will let the game continue if the entire first-year team wants to keep playing. How will they respond?
Sawamura and Furuya are called to the bench. They are to incorporate the pitchers` training menu into their practice. Sawamura is excited by this addition, but unfortunately, Miyuki is partnered up with Furuya. While Sawamura is showing discontent that he isn`t Miyuki`s partner, a suspicious looking man there stands with a cold look. He is the other catcher, Chris. "Nice to meet you, poor pitcher," mutters Chris with a gloomy voice. Sawamura senses something eerie.
"You won`t ever be the ace." Sawamura receives a grim statement from Chris after seeing Furuya`s performance in a game. Chris leaves Sawamura with a difficult training menu and leaves before anyone else. All Sawamura sees in him is a man who has given up. However, the moment he makes that comment out loud, Miyuki loses his cool. What ticked him off? What is Chris hiding?
After learning the truth about Chris, Sawamura follows him around to get him to teach Sawamura baseball. Chris finally gives in to Sawamura`s persistence and decides catch his pitches. The pitch Sawamura decides to throw is the fastest pitch he can. But in response, Chris asks, "What is your specialty?" Sawamura can`t throw breaking balls or amazing fastballs. What kind of pitch should he throw? He asks around his teammates for help, and he arrives at an answer.
Chris tells Sawamura to improve on his specialty. While Sawamura started this relationship being an arrogant prick, Chris has been a catcher to him from the start; the training menu Chris gave him was a menu specifically for him. Sawamura puts in the effort to improve because he wants Chris to see his growth before Chris graduates from the team. At the first-string try-out game, Sawamura asks Chris for a favor. What will Chris say?
What Sawamura throws from the mound is an amazing moving fastball. However, his control`s going haywire. When it looks like he might be getting replaced, the man who comes in is Chris. What is the "plan" that Chris takes when it appears all is lost?
Chris`s father Animal comes to watch the game. He tries to stop his son from pushing himself to play. However, watching Chris make dangerous plays sends him back to the days he was a pro, and...
Sawamura`s opponent batter Zaizen makes an unexpected play. However, Sawamura fixes his pitching and avoids the worst. Being on a roll, Sawamura throws his final pitch. What of the ball that Sawamura throws with everything he wants to tell Chris?
Sawamura keeps training hard. However, it was obvious to everyone that he was overworking himself. Chris calls Sawamura over to give him a warning—the best thing Chris could do out of concern for Sawamura`s body. As the training camp of hell begins, Sawamura...
The training camp continues. The first-years can barely keep up with the harsh training. As Sawamura improves little by little, he is called to Miyuki`s room for some reason. There, he found his upperclassmen waiting, and...
With fatigue from the camp, no one is playing well in the practice game against Osaka Kiryu. Even Furuya gives up 11 runs in just four innings. And finally, he calls for a time out. When everyone assumes he`s raising the white flag, he makes a statement expressing his fortitude.
Seido and Kiryu begin playing neck and neck, and then Sawamura is called to the mound with Miyuki as his batterymate. "Let`s have fun," says Miyuki, but Sawamura doesn`t know what this game means for him.
"At least pitch to the inside." Miyuki tries to motivate Sawamura, who goes out with just his moving fastball and little experience. But Sawamura is unable to throw well. So Miyuki gives Sawamura another word of advice. This time to believe the fielders and throw with spirit. Is Miyuki trying to encourage him or put pressure on him? But it reminds Sawamura why he came to Seido. And the pitch he throws next...
Seido, Inashiro Vocational, and Shuhoku are having a three-way round-robin. Game two of the round-robin is Inashiro vs Shuhoku, and the ace of Inashiro, Mei Narumiya, is pitching this game. He`s the one who shut out Seido`s batters at the last summer tournament semi-final. To make matters worse, Narumiya shows off a new weapon he didn`t have last year. The pitch lights a fire under Seido`s ace, Tanba. He too has a new weapon he`s been working on.
Miyuki and Tanba`s opinions clash mid-game. However, Tanba claims that what he wants to do is necessary for him to become a true ace. As Tanba gets closer and closer to becoming a true ace, something terrible happens.
Many rivals gather at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Qualifiers, and only two schools can make national. Seido`s summer to bring glory back to their name begins with a game against Maimon West High School. Seido`s starting pitcher is...
Maimon West High School`s starting pitcher isn`t who Seido were expecting. The Seido team struggle against a player with no data and finish their first attack without scoring. However, Furuya isn`t doing any less as the starting pitcher.
With the first game done, each player focuses on cleaning up his techniques. Chris teaches Sawamura how to hold the ball for a four-seam fastball. It should be a powerful weapon for Sawamura down the line.
The opponent in the fourth round is Akikawa Academy. Their pitcher, Shunshin Yeung, has been called "clockwork" due to his impeccable pitch control. "This won`t be like the previous games." The Seido team shift their gears.
Furuya starts in the Akikawa game, and he hammers them with his fastballs. However, it was Akikawa`s plan to tire him out by increasing his pitch count from his lack of control. Miyuki realizes their plan and makes a comeback move.
Top of the first, Shunshin Yeung stands in the batter`s box. His overflowing determination forces Furuya to throw a meatball and takes a long hit into the left, giving Akikawa the first two runs of the game. Akikawa takes up the reins of the game, and...
Furuya grows weak under the hot weather, but Akikawa makes the move to exhaust him even more using bunts. In order to avoid telling the world about Furuya`s weakness before the Ichidai game, Coach Kataoka decides to use Sawamura. What does the coach see in him?
An unexpected guest showed up before Sawamura fter he lost his final game in junior high. She was a scout from the prestigious Seido High School. From their life-changing meeting to the summer tournament, his story thus far is told once more.
Sawamura finally comes out to play, and he magnificently takes out the Akikawa batters. To reciprocate, the Seido batters commence their counterattack. As Miyuki stands at bat, he thinks, "If I were calling plays for this pitcher..." Will he get it right?
Coach Kataoka uses Haruichi as a pinch hitter. Haruichi answers with a beautiful hit. Sawamura and Kuramochi follow up. Then Ryosuke steps up to the plate. In this huge chance to score, he makes a squeeze play!
Seido stays to watch Ichidai`s game to prepare for the upcoming quarterfinal. Ichidai`s opponent is Yakushi, a nameless school. Yakushi`s clean-ups were completely different from their previous games and were played by first-years. Ichidai scores in the first inning making it look like an easy win, but...
Manaka, the ace of Ichidai, is back in top shape on the mound. However, Raichi, the cleanup of Yakushi hits the ball right into Manaka, which forces him to step down. Even without the ace, Ichidai put up a good fight but are unable to secure a win. Seido are shocked by the outcome of the game.
In preparation for the Yakushi game, Coach Kataoka speaks to the pitchers. Sawamura, Furuya, and Kawakami are told that Tanba won`t be pitching, but Tanba is told to be ready to go. The coach wants to play with everyone as a team. The quarter-final begins, and Yakushi`s lineup is...
Raichi takes the fight between him and Furuya in the first inning. On that note, Yakushi scores the leading run. However, Miyuki`s throw to second and encouragement of, "you have many reliable teammates behind you" takes some pressure off Furuya. On top of that, Furuya...
Furuya wants to keep pitching, but Coach Kataoka switches him out. Sawamura is up next and he faces off against Raichi. Raichi gets excited about Sawamura`s moving fastball seeing how much potential it has. What`s the outcome of this fight?
Yakushi finally brings out their ace, Sanada. Miyuki falls prey to Sanada`s cutter. Sawamura pitches aggressively to match Sanada`s pitching, but Yakushi aren`t going to sit by and watch.
Sawamura and Raichi face off for the second time. Sawamura is fired up with Coach Kataoka`s encouraging words. However, the hit he thought he jammed turns into a homerun and devastates Sawamura. Then, he gets switched out.
In the top of the eighth, Kawakami relieves Sawamura from the mound and faces Raichi. Kawakami and Miyuki choose to walk him. At a glance, Seido apear to be cornered, but Kawakami regains his confidence from giving Raichi the walk.
It`s the top of the eighth with two outs and runners on first and third, and Tanba takes the mound. Following the efforts of Furuya, Sawamura, and Kawakami, Tanba takes the ball. His first batter is Sanada, the ace of Yakushi. Coach Todoroki`s orders are to hit Tanba`s first pitch and shut him down.
The top of the ninth is Yakushi`s last chance to score. Raichi comes up to bat at two outs and a runner on first. Yakushi`s dugout is cheering loudly for Raichi. "I don`t want to let my team down." Raichi makes his resolve. Tanba`s third pitch goes in a little soft and Seido lose all their hope.
For the semifinal, Seido High School go up against Sensen Academy`s Maki, the giant. As the veteran of the match up, Coach Ukai tells the reporters that Seido`s weakness is Coach Kataoka`s lack of experience. At Seido High School, Sawamura is still blue from being taken off the mound in the Yakushi game.
Under Coach Ukai`s definitive command, Maki throws his huge curveballs. Tanba begins to show signs of fatigue. Will Sawamura be called to the mound? Eijun`s junior high friends came all the way out to cheer. Some members of Inashiro are also watching from the stands.
Haruichi comes onto the field as a pinch hitter for Tanba. Maki pitches emotionally against Haruichi. After two strikes, Haruichi gently meets Maki`s curveball and hits it to the outfield. At the bottom of the sixth, Sawamura walks on.
Maki hits powerful fouls off Sawamura. As Maki stands with intensity in the batter`s box, Coach Ukai tells him to smash the wall of the top three schools with his bat. Sawamura throws a crossfire pitch under Wakana`s and his fellow teammates` watch.
After defeating Sensen Academy, Sawamura enjoys his time with his junior high friends. The second game of the semifinals is between the tournament favorite, Inashiro Vocational High, and a dark horse, Sakurazawa High. Coach Kikukawa exclaims, "It`s time to make history!" And the game sets off to an unexpected start.
As Nagao takes on Inashiro with his knuckle ball, Sakurazawa wait for their chance to score. However, Sakurazawa slowly lose their cool experiencing Narumiya`s untouchable fastball. Their calm defense evaporates and errors inevitably follow. Unfortunately, Inashiro`s next batter is their cleanup, Harada.
After the game, Narumiya bumps into Miyuki. "Remember the last time all of us got together?" Carlos asks, as everyone Narumiya invited to Inashiro was present. That is of course, Miyuki included.
Seidou returns to their dorms where each player comes up with his own conditioning and training to take place over the three days leading up to the championship.
Kiyokuni Azuma returns to force Seidou into some fielding practice against strong hitters. Little does he know that a rematch with Sawamura is on the horizon, and Azuma comes to realize that this version of Seidou could be the strongest in the history of the school.
After the intense practice with Azuma, the coach sends the first years off the field and forces the infielders into their own brutal training with him. Rei Takashima takes this opportunity to teach the first years and Kawakami what the third years were like in their first season at Seidou. At the end of the episode the starting lineups for the game against Inashiro are revealed.
Seidou battles Inashiro for the right to go to Nationals. Mei overthinks his opening battle with Kuromichi and walks him. Kuromichi steals second base standing up, a sacrifice bunt from Kominato moves him to third, and a base hit from Isashiki gives Seido a 1-0 lead. Seeing nothing to lose, Mei decides to battle Yuuki one-on-one as the rest of Seidou watches wondering if Mei is losing it.
Narumiya strikes out Yuki, and Seido is reminded of Narumiya`s strength. Furuya takes the mound in the bottom and starts off with three consecutive strikeouts. Narumiya matches Furuya`s performance with three strikeouts as well. It`s going to be a pitching game.
After three innings the game remains close. Next up is the cleanup, Yuki, and Narumiya changes his gears. Baiting with the changeup, he strikes out Yuki with a fastball, creating momentum for Inashiro. Seido realizes Narumiya is only going all out for Yuki, but will this lead to them having a mental blow or lead to them being more determined than ever to defeat Narumiya?
In the top of the fifth Furuya gets a hit off of Narumiya, leading to a chance to tie the game with Shirasu. The only problem- Shirasu bats ninth. Will Shirasu make it on base, and what will Inashiro do when Tanba takes the mound in the bottom of the fifth?
Inashiro manages to load the bases with two outs against Tanba, but Tanba pulls through to get Seido going. To counter Seido's potential momentum Narumiya and Harada change their pitching pattern frequently, confusing Seido's batters. As the innings change and the Seido players walk out to the field, Kuramochi stops Ryosuke to ask him about his injury and whether or not he can go on.
Inashiro continues to get hits off of Tanba and put Seido in tight spots. Most of the spectators think the game is all but decided. In the bottom of the seventh Tanba's leg begins to cramp. Feeling there is no other possibility if they are to have a chance to win, Coach Kataoka puts Sawamura out on the mound to face off with Narumiya!
As Seidos's players continue to get confused by Narumiya's pitches, Coach Katoka comes up with a dangerous plan. He tells his batters to give up on the change-up. Seido begins their rally with the underclassmen. Furuya gets on base, Eijun moves him to second, and Kuramochi gets on bringing Ryosuke to bat. Inashiro's defense begins to shift for the threat, but they are all shocked when Ryousuke asks Katoka to replace with a pinch hitter.
Haruichi replaces his brother to bat and gets on base, scoring Furuya. Narumiya then walks Isashiki to load the bases. Yuki. comes to bat with a chance to change the game with one swing, but with Narumiya going all out against him everyone realizes this could decide the game.
Yuki and Narumiya faceoff to determine who has the superior strength in what could be the game's final determining showdown. Will Seido be able to take their first lead and change the pace of the game?
After giving up the lead, Narumiya remembers how he cost Inashiro's at last year's Koshien. With renewed confidence, Narumiya decides to show seido what a true ace is composed of.
After shutting down Seido, Inashiro decides to go all out and put the pressure on Eijun. Eijun continues to get out most of Inashiro's batters, but when the top of the order comes around Eijun participates in an event that could cost his team the game.
A hit batter shakes Eijun's confidence, and he begins to walk Inashiro's hitters. Coach Katoka and Miyuki realize Eijun is in no condition to continue, and Kawakami is sent to the mound. Kawakami gets down to the final out. Which team will triumph, and which team will face defeat?
The long 2 hours and 53 minutes of desperate struggles ends. Inashiro celebrates whilst Seido laments. Seido thanks their fans for supporting them, but in the locker room the 3rd years let their true feelings finally be shown.
Sawamura and Furuya try to move on from the loss, but Kawakami struggles. Only a few weeks are left before the spring tournament. The seniors are forced to retire and focus on their studies. Miyuki is chosen as the new Captain with Kuramochi and Maezono as the new Vice-captains. Kataoka submits his resignation, but asks to stay on until the seniors graduate.
Seido begins practice games to get their new roster made before the spring tournament. Inashiro shuts down their opposition and reaches the Koshien finals, only having given up runs to Seido. The upperclassmen try to ignore what is going on with Inashiro to avoid getting more depressed.
Inashiro loses by 1 at the Koshien Finals, but the game still doesn't deliver the excitement of the Seido, Inashiro showdown. At Seido, an outsider observes many of their practices before approaching Coach Katoka. Many players begin to wonder who this gentleman is and if he could possibly be a spy.
Only two games remain before the final drawings for the spring tournament will occur, but when Yakushi calls Coach Katoka and asks for a practice game Katoka realizes he needs to make his team realize how far they need to grow if they are to have any chance of winning the spring tournament. An unexpected double header is made for the final day of practice games.
Yakushi and Seido battle again, this time in a practice game. Furuya strikes Raichi out to hold Yakushi scoreless. Sawamura gets impatient and asks permission from Kataoka to pitch, but Kataoka declines, calling Sawamura a relief pitcher and admitting that this game will determine whom the teams ace will be for the spring.
After pitching 5 innings instead of three Furuya is sent to left field and Sawamura is brought in to pitch. Sawamura has his regular amount of power but he appears to have lost what little control he had. Katoka and Miyuki realize Sawamura has the yips.
Sawamura concedes 3 runs and gets 0 outs, giving the lead up to Yakushi. Sawamura begins to feel he will never be able to pitch again and wonders what has happened to his control and his confidence.
Instead of letting Sawamura pitch with the ball, Katoka sends him out to another field to focus on running during their practices. Sawamura continues to act like a zombie and a hindrance to the team. Miyuki, Haruichi, and many of Sawamura's friends from the team have the faith that he will return, but instead of trying to figure out how they can help him they focus on strengthening their own chances of being on the spring tourney roster.
Miyuki continues to watch Sawamura fall into a state of endless depression. He approaches Chris with a solution and asks Chris to present it to Sawamura. Chris agrees and teaches Sawamura how to pitch low and outside, giving him a new weapon that will drive batters crazy if it is used correctly.
Yuki learns of Kataoka's pending resignation and shares the news with the third years. The third years come up with a plan that could change Kataoka's mind if it's executed correctly. As Kataoka puts the team through the newest version of hell week Maezono gives words of wisdom to the players who are slacking. Miyuki is impressed with how dependable Maezono has become and wonders why Coach Kataoka seems to be keeping a secret.
The seniors convince Coach Kataoka to let them have their graduation game before the upcoming tournament and before the tourney drawings take place. Kataoka asks them if they are just impatient, but Yuki tells him this final game is the only way to give the new team the strength they will need to move on. Kataoka realizes the seniors have one final lesson to share, and the game begins. Sawamura wonders if he will be able to pitch.
The game remains close at 3-1. In the bottom of the eighth the 1st & 2nd year players manage to tie the game up. Miyuki brings in Sawamura to play in the ninth inning. Sawamura's first opponent ends up being none other than the subbing in Chris. Sawamura pitches to his best ability as a thanks to Chris for teaching him all he knows. The two teams remain tied at 3 at the end of 9. Kataoka calls for the game to continue until all the seniors have played, allowing Sawamura the chance to master his new pitch during the seniors final game.
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