This article first appeared on SportsLook, JAPAN Forward's dedicated sports website.
The Central League pennant-winning Swallows staged a dramatic late comeback against the Hanshin Tigers on Friday night, October 14 at Jingu Stadium.
Trailing 3-0 after six innings in Game 3 of the Central League Climax Series Final Stage, Yakult erased Hanshin's lead with a five-run rally in the seventh inning. And Swallows manager Shingo Takatsu's club completed its quest to return to the Japan Series with a 6-3 win.
Under NPB's quirky playoff rules, the regular-season winners of the Central and Pacific Leagues receive an automatic 1-0 advantage for the Final Stage. In addition, the top seed only needs three wins and a tie to advance.
The Swallows added an insurance run in the eighth inning before slamming the door on the Tigers' championship hopes in the ninth.
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Author: Ed Odeven
Follow Ed on JAPAN Forward's [Japan Sports Notebook] here on Sundays, in [Odds and Evens] here during the week, and Twitter ＠ed_odeven, and find him on JAPAN Forward's dedicated sports website, SportsLook.