This article uses information that may be considered a SPOILER. Please understand that reading beyond this point may cause you to learn about things you may not have known about if you are not knowledgeable on the topic. You have been warned.
This episode showed us the semi-finals match that is taking place between Teito and Inashiro Industrial and how their players are faring against one another (with an emphasis on how beating Inashiro comes down to beating Mei, which is hard since he makes batting inconsistent). A nod to this is probably the resemblance between Narumiya and Sawamura, with each of them being southpaw pitchers, throwing change-ups, and having an arsenal of pitches under their belt.
Something else I want to say is the fact that Eijun is still mad after the happenings in Episode 15 — My Role, where he swapped in to pitch because Furuya is performing so badly, but is only done so after the ace gives up 5 runs in a single inning and loads the bases for the clean-up batter. Dawning on him the amount of confidence they had in Furuya compared to him, Sawamura still pitches to the best of his ability but is disgusted at how long they allowed the ace to perform badly. Sitting within the stands watching the game, he refused to sit with the other Seido players even when being offered a seat; he was still mad and rightfully so.
Also, I want to say that this episode is a preview of what possibly is coming towards the summer tournament; that Sawamura may very well be wearing the Ace’s number or could have considerably better odds of starting or getting put in the moment Furuya starts doing badly. We see Coach Okumura and Kataoka speak about the late swap that should have happened earlier, reflection on the pressure on Furuya’s shoulders, and even Miyuki’s thoughts on Sawamura’s development by the end of the episode.
All-in-all, this was a pretty good episode for explaining what might be happening in the upcoming future. I hope we see better development in Sawamura, and hopefully he does get to wear the Ace’s number during Miyuki’s final summer playing baseball with Seido. I hope this is also the season that they are lead to the finals and get to beat Inashiro in order to do; which is why I think they also focused so heavily on batters and Mei Narumiya’s pitching being a real obstacle. Eijun’s time could be nigh, and I for one cannot wait!