TITLE: Home Base
Fifteen-year-old Satoshi Matsumoto spent the last three years living in Atlanta where he was the star of his middle-school baseball team - a slugger with pro potential, according to his American coach. Now that his father's overseas assignment has finished, he's moved back to his hometown in rural Japan but he no longer fits in. Living abroad has changed him, and his old friends are suspicious of his newly acquired foreign ways. They also don't get why he's suddenly hanging around with the mysterious Misa, who is rumored to be earning money through dating older men. As if that's not bad enough, his grandfather, who's suddenly obsessed with his pet seal robot, doesn't seem to remember him.
He joins the baseball team at his new high school in Japan, confident that he can help them get to the National Tournament at Koshien, an event on par with the Super Bowl in the U.S. His new coach, however, is more concerned with his poor bunting than his superior batting skills. He perseveres, but just when he begins to bond with his teammates, his frustration comes to a boil. He punches the pitcher, whose father happens to have underworld connections, for insulting Misa, and gets kicked off the team.
Satoshi must find a way to make amends (and avoid getting pounded to a pulp), or go back to America to live with his former coach, abandoning the friends and family who need him the most.