Cross Game's previous episode which featured the second half of the game
against Sannou was their way of playing the team by showing them one
thing with the scouts and then unleashing the full potential in the
game. But not from the start, rather they waited several innings to lull
them into a sense of superiority before crushing them rather soundly.
This is the trouble you run into with scouting, something that schools
and teams do regularly at this level, but the whole thing left a bad
taste in my mouth with the Seishu team as I wanted to see them play
straight and honest from the start and to have Sannou try and adapted
earlier to it. That felt like the right thing to do in my book.
With that arc done, and the game against Ryuou High coming up soon, a lot of this episode is given over to fluff. Some of it comes down to decent little moments that involves Nakanishi and Ko talking about the upcoming game and how Ko needs to focus just on his pitching while Nakanishi does the scouting and preparation himself. There's a brief bit about one of the reasons they're doing this, touching on Wakaba a bit, but there's something more to it as well that's unsaid as of just yet. Part of it is fun to watch just to see how Senda is about the whole thing as he's just happy to be playing at all and holding a bat in his hand feels like the right thing in his life. There's a bit of other minor character fluff outside of the game arena, but it feels so inconsequential in general that it doesn't even stick with you much.
The show does seem to shift to the game against Ryuou rather quickly, especially considering the scale of it as they're playing in front of a very large stadium audience unlike previous games. It's the kind of game that starts off how I'd much rather see them at times compared to the previous episode, with Matsushima plays really well and strongly, leaving an impression. When they change sides and Ko gets up for the first time, he doesn't play around, he doesn't let them feel like they have a chance or just lets them hit for his own side to get some practice. He gets in there with the three strong Ryuou batters and takes them down one right after the other, leaving an impression on the audience that's shocking.