Ep 25: One Victory
It was winter when Kanou confronted Mihashi about moving to Saitama and the possibility of quitting baseball. Kanou told Mihashi that the baseball he had been playing at Mihoshi, was not really baseball. Kanou urged him to absolutely continue baseball, no matter what and that it'll be different in high school. Mihashi thinks how he's no different than he was from middle school, even though he won, he wouldn't switch out.
The next day after their first round match, Mihashi is absent from school. Abe meets Izumi and tells him of his plans to visit Mihashi with Hanai over lunch break. It seems that Hanai has something to give Mihashi. Tajima comes running and is happy to announce that they too will be going to eat lunch! Abe doesn’t know what he is talking about. Izumi explains that Tajima messaged Mihashi earlier and Mihashi invited them to eat curry for lunch. Abe gets mad at Tajima because Mihashi didn't text Abe back. Some girls pass by and tells them they saw the game. The girls even know that Tajima plays clean-up.
Abe inquires as to what Izumi and his classmates do during lunch breaks. Tajima answers that they eat their packed lunches. However, eating it too fast, especially when they eat their favorite food, makes them sad because it ends too soon. Abe finds out from them that they talk about food during lunch breaks. Izumi adds that they take a quick nap after eating.
Tajima is already salivating from the image of curry, but Izumi reminds him that they still have to go see Hamada. The boys go to cheer for Hamada in his basketball game. Then, another set of girls cheer for Hamada, recognizing him from the cheering squad. Abe predicts that when Mihashi comes to school the next day, people will also recognize him. It may give him a boost of confidence or make him more timid. His thoughts wander to why Mihashi did not reply to his email. Abe thinks how Mihashi can talk normally with Tajima and texted him back, and wonders if Mihashi hates him, but he quickly dismisses the idea.
A still groggy Mihashi wakes to the ring of his cell phone. Ruri messaged him if she should tell Kanou about their win. Mihashi intends to tell Kanou himself and extends his thanks her for coming to watch him yesterday. Then he receives a message from Abe telling him he and Hanai are coming over. Panic-stricken over the possibility of Abe and Hanai scolding him, he contemplates on escaping.
Tajima rings the doorbell continuously and Izumi tells him to quit it. Mihashi finally answers the door. Tajima says the exam scores came out and he and Mihashi didn’t fail any tests. Abe thinks Mihashi still looks sick tells him to weigh himself. Izumi thinks Abe nags too much. Izumi volunteers to stir the curry since Tajima’s right hand is sore. Tajima shares that he exerted himself too much during the last time he was at bat, when he hit Junta’s sinker after several failed attempts. Abe silently remarks that without Tajima’s hit, they would have lost.
Mihashi is now only 50 kilos, losing 3 kilos, about 7 pounds, since the start of the school year. Abe is about to yell at him, then stops and thinks that’s why Mihashi hates him. Instead, Abe asks him what he ate yesterday. Mihashi still gets upset because he thinks Abe is asking something unusual for him which means maybe he ate something he wasn’t supposed to. Mihashi trembles and collapses. Abe wants to punch him. Hanai says he’s not the only one. Abe thinks Mihashi is not the type to hate anyone so he can survive this somehow. Izumi saves Mihashi from an annoyed Abe and asks him to set the table as they’ve finished reheating the curry.
Hanai gives Mihashi something from his parents - yesterday's high school baseball news and today's paper. The guys eat the chicken curry. Mihashi loves the big carrots. Abe notes he has an appetite will add another onigiri. The news report that Haruna pitched a perfect game from the fourth through the ninth inning, renewing Mihashi’s admiration for him. Mihashi is happy, since they won as well.
Abe asks for Mihashi’s take on why they won. Mihashi starts to get emotional as he remembers getting yelled at for not stepping down from the mound when he felt that he couldn’t throw any more. Mihashi looks down and thinks its because the team got hits while he let up four runs. He's unable to answer. Hanai tells Abe not to glare at Mihashi.
Hanai thinks how he's always respected pitchers and gave shout outs, but Mihahsi always looks surprise each time, whhich pisses him off. If Abe didn't snap all the time, he would. Hanai thinks that he would've bullied someone like Mihashi in middle school.
Tajima tries to make small talk and asks Mihashi why he transferred to Nishiura. Mihashi reasons that it is because his mother used to study there, also there’s the bicycle and uniform. Additionally, it seems their family does not have money. In order for him to get into Nishiura, Mihashi put in extra hours to study for the entrance exams. The guys cringe at the thought that Mihashi was that bent on transferring. Abe doesn't get it, but Tajima understands his mom's a graduate and there's no uniform or transportation cost. Abe thinks the family has money so they were trying to get him to stay at Mihoshi. On the subject, Tajima shares how his grandfather got sick one day. He went home after practice to find the house empty because everybody else was tending to his grandfather at the hospital. He will never forget how scared he was. That is why he lives closely now, so it will not be a problem.
Hanai said he picked it because of its rank and ease of commute. Izumi and Abe picked it for the field. Abe looked at it first then invited Sakaeguchi over spring break. Abe knew Sakaeguchi's face from the seniors. They were never in the same class in middle school. He first talked to him during entrance exams. Sakaeguchi spent most of the time in the bathroom.
The sports news mentions Mihashi’s name. Mihashi starts to thin how he got hit and the guys were here to scold him and how they would have fun without him. Mihashi breaks down, cries, and apologizes for being selfish for not getting off the mound when Abe told him. Abe says it was a bluff, he told Miahsi to worry more abaout stalling before throwing home to him. Mihashi mentions Abe's text from yesterday. Abe says he was worried that he didn't cool down, then realizes Mihashi read his text and didn't reply! Abe beats up on him and tells him to stretch after eating. Abe suggests that Mihashi get a massage. Tajima mentions that there is a doctor nearby and he’d be happy to accompany Mihashi there.
Izumi gives Mihashi a piece of paper, written are comments of the other Nishiura players about the game.The comments all say Mihashi did well. Izumi and Hanai says it's normal and they weren't being particularly nice. Mihahsi thinks back to Kanou.
Abe makes Mihashi do some stretches. After the guys leave, Mihashi wonders if it's normal to be this glad.
Mihashi receives a mail from Shuu-chan (Kanou) that they won. He texts Kanou that he won too and that he's glad he kept playing baseball. "Thank you. Shuu-chan."
Back at Mihoshi, a big smile is painted on Kanou’s face for being called “Shuu-chan,” it seems like they were back in grade school again.
Clutching a baseball, Mihashi smiles as he sleeps…
----------------official end of anime, end of manga volume 8----------------------------
Beginning of chapter: Ruri gets ready to leave. Next game is on a weekday so she can't come. Mihashi asks Ruri to tell Kanou but she tells him to tell him himself and don't ask her brother Ryuu. Ren's mom drives Ruri home.
Mihashi's mom talks to Hanai's mom. There's school but exams are over. They're having athletic competitions. It's a week until the next game. (It's probably Monday and Tosei game was on Sunday.)
Izumi asks about Shinooka. It takes Abe a while to recall she was in the same study group! Shinooka moved to her mom's family place which is in the opposite direction of where she used to live and she has to take a train to school.
End of chapter: Rio returns home and is greeted by his brother Roka with "Loser." Roka bullies Rio and tells him he can get revenge on Nishiura by giving him the game data and staying in contact with Tajima.
Omake: A Summer Day in the Life of a Manager part2: All the stuff Shinooka does in support of the team.