Tuesday, January 27, 2009

第81回選抜高校野球大会出場校 (81st Spring Koshien)

I've been scooped by Westbay-san over at his site, but not to be outdone, I've gone ahead and listed the teams, prefectures, and last appearances here.

As I mentioned over on his site (I'm Kamina Ayato if you haven't noticed), the teams for the Spring Invitational Tournament are actually driven primarily by the Fall Tournaments I've been recapping (well, I'll get to it once I can get MS Office back on my main desktop). There are some exceptions - for instance Ichinoseki Gakuin finished runner-up in the Touhoku regional tournament, but was passed for Hanamaki Higashi instead. Hanamaki Higashi lost to the eventual champion Kousei Gakuin in the semi-finals.

For those interested in the Fall Tournaments, I'll be bumping them to January as I work on the brackets. For now, Hokkaido's brackets are up, translations not fully done.

There are a lot of intriguing teams in this year's field:

Keio (Kanagawa) - For the first time in a long time, Keio looks to be a strong team. One wonders how Keio hasn't at least been decent given that they are the feeder school for their University team.

Waseda Jitsugyou (Tokyo) - Waseda reappears at Koshien for the first time since Saitou Yuuki's amazing performance in the 88th Summer Koshien. It'll definitely be interesting to see what Waseda has in store this time around.

Chuukyou Dai Chuukyou (Aichi) - In recent years, Aikoudai Meiden or Touhou have dominated Aichi-ken. But before that, it was Chuukyou Dai Chuukyou (or at least its predecessors). They've made the tournament for the 2nd consecutive year. Perhaps this is a renaissance for the perennial strong team?

Nihon Bunri Koukou (Niigata) - I like underdog teams, and I suppose Nihon Bunri may be classified as one of them. They've emerged as one of the stronger teams in the region, although the region itself outside of possibly Nagano has generally been considered weak. They've only made one real run at Koshien, but I'd like to see them go further.

Tenri (Nara) - As perhaps well-known to many, I root for Tenri a lot. I do so because I have friends who are part of the Tenrikyo faith and helped me a lot when I was travelling in the Kansai region. They look once again to be strong, and I hope they make a run at the title.

Fukuchiyama Seibi (Kyoto) - This is another emeriging team, but this time comes from a strong prefecture. I was first-hand witness to their run back in 2006, and they looked good back then. Whether or not they look good now is yet to be seen.

PL Gakuen (Osaka) - I wonder if merely mentioning PL Gakuen still gives teams the shakes. Certainly in the 1980's they dominated the kōkōyakyū scene. Even in the 1990's when they weren't necessarily winning it all, they were making deep runs. However, they seem to have fallen off the map at the turn of the century. Wonder what will happen this time around.

Seihou (Nagasaki) - Not sure where I first liked Seihou, but I felt bad for them when they got annihilated by Yokohama 21-0 back in 2006. I think that's when I started rooting for them. Not sure if they ever had good pitching, but their offense was superb. Pitching wins championships though, and they'll need some if they want to make a bid.


westbaystars said...

I was hoping that if I posted the teams that someone would come along and add to it. And I kind of figured it would be you. ;-)

December's issue of "Amateur Baseball" had their "predictions" of who would be in the Senbatsu based on who won the various Fall tournaments. That finally put all the pieces together for me in figuring out how the invitations are decided for the Invitational.

I learn something new about Koshien every year.

Goro Shigeno said...

Same here. Kinda wished I was able to put out the fall tournament brackets sooner. But don't worry, I'm working on those right now.