Hodokubo High School's baseball team have made it all the way to the semi-final of the national qualifying tournament, but a place in the final means overcoming their toughest test so far in the form of an institution renowned for sporting excellence, and starring a pitcher who already looks set to hit the big time as a professional.
Nonetheless, there's no real change in our team's strategy for this big game, save for keeping Asano back until late in the game to keep him fresh for its closing stages. Ostensibly though, this particular game is a match-up between two former friends with a score to settle, as that aforementioned big-name pitcher Kato pits his wits against arguably the team's best batter Hoshide. With the game tightly poised, the winner of that particular battle of wits looks likely to be the difference between victory and defeat...
...at least, it does until Yunosuke enters the frame once again, with a trio of fielding clangers that make you wonder whether they're planning to release a character CD for him that simply features three different versions of Yakety Sax. Somehow, his mistakes don't cost his team the game, but it does bring about this episode's management quandary - should they stick with a player who seemingly always crumbles under pressure, or should they trust that he'll grow from the experience? It's a tough question, but as this instalment ends it seems that there are more important things for Minami to worry about than baseball.
As per yesterday's episode, this instalment of Moshidora was light on management tips (and its only real dilemma was pretty sport-centric, unless you work in an office where someone keeps dropping all the staples) but high on the natural drama and tension of a major sporting event to keep things interesting before reaching the inevitable Yuki-based cliffhanger that the last episode couldn't have foreshadowed much more had it depicted the Grim Reaper in the background. Still, by this juncture I feel sufficiently invested in the team and its story (and Minami herself of course) to want to see what happens next, so that lack of management advice and plenty of sporting drama still does a number on me.