H2 manga volume 4

  • Summary version 1 by Hitoshi Doi, 1993.08.15
The game between Senkawa and Meiwa started as Hiro threw the first pitch. Meiwa's lead off batter hit the first pitch to right for a double. The next batter bunted, but because of poor fielding by Senkawa, he was safe. Meiwa's principal, who was watching with Senkawa's principal, said, "If we lose, I'll make myself bald." The Meiwa players in the bench were saying how easily they were going to pound Senkawa.

It was no outs with runners on first and third. Hiro threw his next pitch, and the Meiwa batter his a line drive past the first baseman. But the masked second baseman caught the ball. The first base runner had taken off too far and could not get back in time to avoid the double play. Then the number four batter pounded the ball, but Kine reached up and caught the ball in center field.

Meiwa's principal was surprised. Senkawa's principal said, "It would be very inconvenient if you lost." But Meiwa's principal just laughed and said that Senkawa got lucky.

Hikari was watching on Meiwa's side and said to Hideo, "Oh, it's the second string. I thought I would be able to see Hiro going all out. How disappointing."
But Hideo said, "You'll be able to see it. Even the second string of Meiwa's baseball team isn't that weak." Hikari then said that she would go cheer for Hiro, just for that day. She walked over to the Senkawa side.

Meanwhile Senkawa's lead off batter struck out. The number 2 batter, the masked second baseman, laid down a perfect bunt and got on base. Then Hiro hit a ground ball to move the runner to second. Hiro was disappointed that he was out, and Kine (the number 4 batter) called out to him, "Great batting, to move the runner."
Hiro snapped back, "Shut up! You better be careful. That pitcher has a natural break on his fastball." But Kine said that he was such a great batter that he could figure out an opposing pitcher's balls with just three pitches.

When Kine went up to bat, Haruka asked Noda why he wasn't number 4. Noda replied, "Because he said that he felt he couldn't hit the ball unless he was number 4."

Kine took the first pitch for a strike, and felt very confident. He got ready for the second pitch and told Hiro to watch his great batting. But instead of a fastball, the Meiwa pitcher threw a curve. Kine lost his balance when he swung, but he poked the ball into the outfield for a hit to drive in the runner from second. Then Kine laughed and boasted when he got to first.

Meiwa's principal was shocked, and Senkawa's principal repeated that he couldn't have Meiwa lose. Meiwa's principal just laughed it off.

In the top of the second inning, Meiwa got runners on base again. But Hiro pitched well enough to keep them from reaching home.

When Hiro returned to the dugout, Hikari said, "You're doing some tricky pitching."
Hiro said, "I would rather have you say 'thoughtful' pitching, in order to win." Then Noda invited Hikari into their dugout.

The Meiwa pitcher struck out the Senkawa batters in the bottom of the second, and Hiro pitched well enough to keep Meiwa from scoring in the top of the third. In the bottom of the third, Hiro started cheering loudly as the Senkawa batters started to make contact with the ball. The batters still couldn't get on base, because of Meiwa's great fielding, but they were getting closer. Noda and Hikari said that Hiro hadn't changed. Then Hikari recalled the time when Hiro decided to quit baseball because of his elbow injury. Hiro and Hikari were in an empty baseball field.

Hikari said, "You're not thinking of quitting are you? You'll have nothing left without baseball. If you're a man you should go on your path until the very end. Don't turn back in the middle! Fix your elbow with your guts!"
Hiro said, "Stupid! It's just a sport. Sports are for keeping the body in good shape. Nobody is stupid enough to do it to destroy the body. Health is the most important."
Hikari said, "Are you an old man. Wimp!"
Hiro said, "Say whatever you want. Now the self destructing hero type isn't popular any more." Hiro picked up a baseball and started to walk out to the mound. Hiro said, "Hikari, this is my retirement pitch. You watched me ever since I started playing catch. Witness it. Here I go!" Then Hiro threw a pitch as Hikari sadly watched.

[end of flashback]

The Senkawa batters got close, but they couldn't get a hit.

In the top of the fourth inning, Meiwa got two runners on base again. But when the next batter hit a great line drive, it went right into the glove of the second basemen. The Meiwa coach started to notice that Senkawa was getting all of their outs at second and center. Then the next batter hit a single to center. Kine charged the ball, picked it up as the runner rounded third, and gunned a strike to home. Noda blocked the plate and tagged the runner out to end the inning.

When Kine returned to the dugout Hiro thanked him. But Kine was very upset. Kine wanted Hiro to stop fooling around. He wanted to face Hideo and said that if he doesn't come out soon, he wasn't going to play. But Haruka clapped and cheered for Kine's great play. Kine quickly went to Haruka and said that he would try very hard.

Meanwhile the Meiwa principal called the coach over to him. He asked why they couldn't score, although they got a lot of hits. The Meiwa coach asked the Senkawa principal about Hiro, but the principal said that he didn't know anything because he wasn't interested. Then in the Meiwa bullpen, the real pitcher started to warm up.

In the fifth inning, the Meiwa batters were starting to make good contact. Hiro noticed that he couldn't keep fooling them much longer with his control and fake fastball. There were two outs and runners on second and third. So Hiro started using his real fastball, and got his first strikeout. Hiro yelled out that he got his first strikeout and pretended to look very happy. But Noda told him that it was too late, as the Meiwa batters had already noticed.

In the sixth inning, Hiro started pitching all out. Then Haruka yelled out from the dugout, "Let's go Kunimi-kun!"
When Hiro laughed, Hikari yelled out, "Hey play seriously! Hiro!"

Then the Meiwa coach and players recognized Hiro's name. The coach immediately called time out, and switched all of his players to the regulars.

Noda went out to the mound to talk to Hiro. "Hey celebrity."
Hiro said, "I wish it would have gone one more inning."
Noda said, "Four more innings to go.. If you don't hold them perfectly, Hideo will come around to bat twice."
Hiro said, "The pressure's on."
Noda said, "Yeah. But because of this we can't quit baseball. Right?"

Then as the Meiwa batter got ready, the game resumed. As Hiro was blowing his fastballs by the Meiwa batter, the Meiwa coach said to Hideo, "I'll tell you the truth. When I saw Seinan Jr. High's baseball game, I wanted him over you, the freshman number four batter of Meiwa."
Hideo was just calmly sitting on the bench. "I'm not surprised."

Hiro struck out the first Meiwa batter with his fastball. When the batter returned to the dugout, he told the next batter that Hiro's ball was fast, much faster than it looked. The second batter was also shocked at Hiro's fastball. The batter (who was a specialist at bunting) decided to bunt, but he popped the ball up over Hiro's head. But the Senkawa second baseman made a great play to throw out the batter. The Meiwa coach couldn't believe that there were such great players on Senkawa, which didn't even have a baseball team. Then Hiro struck out the third batter to end the inning.

When Hiro returned to the dugout, he saw a very surprised Haruka. Hiro asked, "Anything wrong?"
Haruka said, "Huh? I'm just amazed."
Hiro said, "I'm pretty cool when I play baseball, right?"
Haruka said, "Yeah."

When Kine returned to the dugout he noticed Hikari and asked Noda who it was. Noda told Kine that she was Hideo's girl friend, but also that she was a childhood friend of Hiro and him. Then Kine went over to Hiro and teased him about getting Hikari taken away from him by Hideo.

The Senkawa batters couldn't come close to hitting Meiwa's ace pitcher, and quickly got two outs. The next batter was the masked second baseman. He hit a line drive, but it was foul. The foul ball almost hit the Senkawa principal, who had gotten up to go to the toilet. The masked second baseman took off his helmet and bowed to the principal. Then he grounded out on the next pitch.

As Hiro was going out to pitch in the top of the seventh inning, Hikari told him to try hard. Hiro asked, "Really? The first batter is Hideo."
Hikari said, "I'm cheering for you.. today."

[flashback to when Hideo and Hiro were in junior high.]

Hideo was pounding the ball during practice. Hiro came and said that Hideo wasn't the only one who was gifted with great talent.

[return to the present]

Hideo swung at the first pitch and fouled it off. Haruka was surprised at Hideo's swing. Hiro said, "What kind of swing was that, friend."
Noda said, "As usual, he's one where flexibility doesn't work."
Hideo said, "I feel like I continued baseball just for today."
Noda said, "It's just your imagination. This is just a stupid practice game. Let's be calm about this."
Hiro got upset and fired a low, inside fastball. But Hideo pounded it foul.
Noda said, "Hey, what are you aiming for with that swing. Aren't you satisfied with just a hit?"
Hideo said, "If I start by trying for a hit, I feel like I would miss the ball."

When Noda gave the sign for the third pitch, Hiro yelled out, "Stupid! Don't give such a stupid sign! Just stick your mit in the middle!"
Noda became worried. Hideo said, "Oh yeah. He has his special 140 km forkball."
Noda said, "That idiot. With a two strike count and no runners on base, it would have been fun."
Hiro said, "Here I go Hideo! If you can hit this, hit it!" Hiro threw his pitch. Noda saw the ball and was shocked. Hideo saw that it was Hiro's forkball, but managed to make contact.

Hideo's ball went high into the air and was going to fall into the outfield. But Kine rushed as hard as he could to try to catch the ball. Hiro yelled out, "It's no good, Kine! Don't go for it!"
Kine said, "Shut up! I'll catch that jerk's ball even if I die!"
Kine dove for the ball, but he couldn't reach it. The ball then rolled into the outfield for an inside the park homerun.

The Meiwa principal was very happy, but the Senkawa principal told him not to be happy just because the score was tied.

Hiro threw three pitches into the dirt to the next batter. The Meiwa captain thought Hiro had lost his cool because of the poor fielding by Kine. But Hideo said that Hiro wasn't that delicate.

Noda called time and went out to talk to Hiro. Noda said, "What are you doing?"
Hiro said, "Something's wrong. The ball I threw to Hideo dropped. Didn't it?"
Noda got mad at Hiro. "What are you talking about! Forget about it! That forkball dropped because of luck! The score's tied now! You're going to have to face Hideo again! It's no time to be playing around! If we lose this game, we won't be able to even play catch at Senkawa any more! Understand!?"

Then Hiro recovered and started pitching normally, to get the next three batters out.

As they were returning to the dugout, Kine said to Hiro, "Don't worry about it. Just get the run back."

Hiro lead off the inning with a single. When Kine got up to bat, he got psyched up and said, "All right! This world is great. The best chances always come around to the stars!"
Noda called out, "Don't swing too wildly, Kine!"
But Kine wasn't listening. Kine swung at the first fastball and missed. Then he swung wildly at the next curveball and missed. Kine was very mad, but he bunted the next pitch to move Hiro to second. When he returned to the dugout, Kine said to Noda, "I just didn't have enough batting practice. If I didn't have this much of a blank, I could have hit that ball."
Noda said, "Leave the rest to me."

In the dugout Hikari said to Haruka, "Even if we don't score here, Hiro will get to bat one more time in the ninth inning. Hide-chan was saying before.. When they were in junior high, he was better than Hiro in batting average, homeruns, and runs batted in. But Hiro had more game winning hits. Hiro in the ninth inning is the most dependable."

Then Noda hit a line drive. But Hideo jumped up and caught it. Then he immediately threw the ball to second to double up Hiro.

When Hideo was walking back to the dugout, Hikari yelled at him, "You can go all out, but show a little humanness! Nobody would complain if you didn't catch that ball!"
But Hideo said, "You know Hiro's sense of obligation more than me. I can't give Hiro some kind of break now. When I face him for the Koushien I want to face him evenly, without anyone owing anything."

While Hiro pitched in the top of the eighth inning, Haruka asked Hikari about Hideo. "How long have you been going out with him?"
Hikari said, "Umm.. Hiro introduced him to me in the first year of junior high. We just went to movies and such."
Haruka said, "From first year junior high.."
Hikari said, "Hide-chan was very popular at that time. He was tall and cool and very good at sports. After going out with him, I found out that it wasn't just the exterior."
Haruka said, "You have good luck. Everyone that I thought was good turned out to be bad on the inside. I never had any good choices."
Hikari said, "This time you didn't miss. Probably.."

Hikari had a flashback to the time when Hiro was still very short, in the first year of junior high. Hiro was still like a little kid. But in the second year, Hiro grew and became taller than Hikari. Hikari even passed Hiro a love letter from one of the girls.

Meiwa and Senkawa were both scoreless in the eighth inning. As Hiro walked out to the mound in the ninth inning, Hiro said to himself. "If we win, we become a baseball team. If we lose, we are disbanded. Hey? What would happen in case of a tie?"

For Meiwa, the number 2, 3, and 4 batters were scheduled to bat. Hiro quickly got two strikes on the leadoff batter. As he threw the third pitch, Hiro yelled out that he would strike the batter out on three pitches. The batter got upset, but he took the outside pitch for a ball. Then on the next pitch, the batter hit a ground ball which took a funny hop past the Senkawa fielder.

The next batter bunted down the first base line. The ball spun around near the line, but stayed in fair territory as the Senkawa first baseman just looked at it. So Meiwa had runners on first and second with nobody out.

Noda went to talk to Hiro. "The momentum is going the wrong way."
But Hiro said, "Don't worry. Luck only lasts twice."
Noda said, "If the next batter was someone who uses luck, there wouldn't be anything to worry about."
Hiro said, "I'll strike him out."
Noda said, "Do you know who the next batter is?"
Hiro said, "It's the son of the liquor store." Then Noda just walked back to the plate.

Hiro faced Hideo. Hiro fired the first ball down the middle and Hideo swung and missed. Hideo also swung and missed the second pitch too. The Meiwa coach said, "This is the first time that I have seen Tachibana swing and miss two consecutive pitches."

Noda threw back the ball to Hiro and said, "Those were the two best pitches of the day."
Hideo just commented, "Fast. It's fast."
Noda said, "The next one will be the 140 km fork."
Hideo said, "Yeah, I know." But Hideo was thinking, "2 strikes, 0 balls. The theory is important. When Hiro throws a pitch just outside the strike zone, he worries about the control. Although the location is difficult, the speed is.."

Then Hideo reached out and made contact with the outside pitch. Hiro was surprised and said, "Don't hit such a ball!"

The ball flew into the outfield, over the right fielder's head. The right fielder chased it, but he wasn't going to reach it. Then Kine came in to make a fantastic diving catch. Hideo said, "Nice play, Kine," and stuck out his middle finger at him.

Kine walked all the way to the mound to boast about his great play. Hiro said, "Ok, ok. Thanks a lot Mr. Genius. Hurry up and get back into the field."

In the dugout, Hikari said that they weren't out of danger yet. But Haruka said that their worst enemy was gone. Then Haruka quickly remembered that Hideo was Hikari's boy friend.

The next batter hit a ground ball by the pitcher. The masked second baseman made a great play and threw out the batter at first.

As Hiro got ready to throw the next pitch, Haruka said, "Oh what a relief. I thought that the ball hit Hiro's foot."
Hikari said, "It did hit."
Haruka was surprised, "What?" Then Hiro threw a strike and Haruka said, "But it seems ok." Then the batter hit the next pitch for a ground ball between the first and second basemen for a single.
Hikari said, "When it's not that much, Hiro always makes a big deal out of it. But when it really hurts, he doesn't tell anybody."

On the single, two runners scored for Meiwa to give them a 3-1 lead. The Meiwa principal was very happy. He said that no matter how good the pitcher was, it was very difficult to hold the Meiwa lineup the second time around. The Senkawa principal said that that pitch was an easy one right down the middle.

Kine yelled from the outfield, "Stupid! What are you doing!"

Hiro got the next batter to line out to the second baseman. As they were walking back to the dugout, Hiro thanked him for coming. Hiro also said that he still wasn't giving up.

When Haruka got up, Hikari said, "It's better if you don't talk about his leg. No matter what you say, he's not going to listen until the game ends."

But Haruka was firm and said, "No. I'm the manager." Then Haruka went out to Hiro and said, "Kunimi-kun, come here!"
Hiro said, "What?"
Haruka said, "Just hurry!"

Haruka got a bucket of cold water for Hiro to stick his foot into. Then she tried to psyche the team up. But the first batter stuck out and the second batter grounded out. Haruka yelled out, "Don't worry! The game's not over until the last out!"

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