Guest Author - Kelly Greene
The episode opens on the end of a baseball game, a very tense moment in time. The bases are loaded, the count is three balls, and two strikes, and the pitcher throws the ball with all of his strength—straight into the net. It turns out that the game itself was the final one for the Akagi Junior High Baseball Team and the pitcher is Eijun Sawamura, the main character of the anime.
Sawamura apologizes to his team for not being able to take them to the Nationals after they lose the game, and the winning team disintegrates into laughter. He can’t stand having his team laughed at, so Sawamura beats up the other team. He gets scolded by his coach and his principal about his violent behavior, but isn’t at all apologetic for his actions towards the other team.
Sawamura is determined to go to the same high school that his teammates are going into, but his grades are bad. So instead of hanging out and having fun, he spends all his free time studying so that he will be able to test into the school.
But one day, a stranger comes to see him. The stranger turns out to be Takashima Rei from Seidou High School and she has come to recruit Sawamura for the baseball team. Seidou High School is a school known for its ability to produce professional baseball players, but Sawamura is unaware of its existence. When she is asked why she came to see him, she tells them that she saw the game the other day and his family gangs up on him and tries to convince him how amazing the offer to go to Seidou really is.
Despite his objections, Takashima insists that he come to the school at least once before making up his mind. Sawamura decides to come take a look at the “top-level” practice that Takashima referred to and is amazed by all the equipment on the field.
Sawamura spots a pitcher, Kawakami, who is being bullied by the batter Asuma. The batters attitude angers Sawamura and he starts yelling cruel things at Asuma about his weight. He gets Asuma’s anger focused on him. Sawamura is angry because the batter is trying to play baseball by himself and ridiculing someone with less talent than him.
Takshima interferes and turns what could have been a physical altercation into a battle between a pitcher and a batter. A catcher who has been sitting on the sideline, Miyuki Kazuya, asks to catch Sawamura’s pitches for the match. Sawamura takes the mound and Asuma steps up to the plate.
The episode ends by Sawamura stating that he pitched eleven balls and that those pitches changed his baseball career forever.
This recap was written after watching the episode on CrunchyRoll through their premium services.