Monday, November 15, 2010

Super-Regional Summary & Meiji Jingu Tournament

All right! So the Meiji Jingu Fall Tournament is underway and we're already in the Best 4. Before that, let's summarize the possible qualifiers from the Super-Regionals with # of bids in ()'s. Note that about the only guaranteed invitations are to the super-regional champions.

Also note that there is a floating bid between Tohoku and Kanto, as well as Chuugoku and Shikoku.

Hokkaido Super-Regional (1)
  • Champion - Hokkai
Tohoku Super- Regional (2)
  • Champion - Tohoku (Miyagi)
  • Runner-up - Kousei Gakuin (Aomori)
  • 3rd/4th Place - Aomori Yamada (Aomori), Sendai Ikuei (Miyagi)
Kanto Super-Regional (4)
  • Champion - Urawa Gakuin (Saitama)
  • Runner-up - Toukaidai Sagami (Kanagawa)
  • 3rd/4th Place - Suijyou (Ibaraki), Yokohama (Kanagawa)
  • 5th-8th Place - Kasukabe Kyouei (Saitama), Kasumigaura (Ibaraki), Chiba Keizaidai Fuzoku (Chiba), Maebashi Ikuei (Gunma)
Tokyo Super-Regional (1)
  • Champion - Nichidai-san
  • Runner-up - Kokugakuin Kugayama
Hokushinetsu Super-Regional (2)
  • Champion - Kanazawa (Ishikawa)
  • Runner-up - Nihon Bunri (Niigata)
  • 3rd/4th Place - Saku Chousei (Nagano), Yuugakukan (Ishikawa)
Toukai Super-Regional (2)
  • Champion - Oogaki Nichidai (Gifu)
  • Runner-up - Seisei (Shizuoka)
  • 3rd/4th Place - Mie (Mie), Aikoudai Meiden (Aichi)
Kinki Super-Regional (6)
  • Champion - Tenri (Nara)
  • Runner-up - Riseisha (Kyoto)
  • 3rd/4th Place - Houtoku Gakuen (Hyogo), Chiben Wakayama (Wakayama)
  • 5th-8th Place - Kyoto Seishou (Kyoto), PL Gakuen (Osaka), Kakogawa Kita (Hyogo), Murayama (Shiga)
Chuugoku Super-Regional (2)
  • Champion - Kanzei (Okayama)
  • Runner-up - Soushi Gakuen (Okayama)
  • 3rd/4th Place - Tottori Ikuei (Tottori), Hiroshima Sougou Gijyutsu (Hiroshima)
Shikoku Super-Regional (2)
  • Champion - Meitoku Gijyuku (Kochi)
  • Runner-up - Kagawa Nishi (Kagawa)
  • 3rd/4th Place - Kochi (Kochi), Niita (Ehime)
Kyushu Super-Regional (2)
  • Champion - Kagoshima Jitsugyou (Kagoshima)
  • Runner-up - Kyushu Kokusaidai Fuzoku (Fukuoka)
  • 3rd/4th Place - Hasami (Nagasaki), Kyushu Gakuin (Kumamoto)
As you can see, the potential field for the 83rd Senbatsu could be filled with all familiar teams.

So, onto the Meiji Jingu tournament which will award the winner's super-regional with another bid!

The draw went as follows:

Opening Round
  • Kanzei vs. Meitoku Gijyuku
  • Tohoku vs. Kanazawa
  • Tenri vs. Oogaki Nichidai
  • Kagoshima Jitsugyou vs. Opening Round Game 1 winner
  • Urawa Gakuin vs. Opening Round Game 2 winner
  • Hokkai vs. Nichidai-san
The tournament kicked off with the champions from the western regions, Kanzei and Meitoku Gijyuku. Meitoku took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st, but Kanzei would level the score in the 3rd. It would prove to be short-lived though as Meitoku would score 2 in the bottom half of the frame, then follow that up with 3 in the 6th. Kanzei would fall 9-4, and begging the question that if the floating bid doesn't go to the Chuugoku region, does the committee invite 2 teams from Okayama?

In the 2nd game, Tohoku ace, Kamikura Kendo scatted 9 hits against Kanazawa. Meanwhile, his counterpart Kamata Yoshinao gave up 11 hits, but also 3 runs. So in all likelihood, they and Nihon Bunri will be headed to Koushien in the spring.

Day 2 came around, and so help me Tenri ends up being a middle of the road team. Oogaki Nichidai ace Kassai gives up a run to Tenri in the 2nd, but shuts them down thereafter. Nishiguchi for Tenri on the other hand couldn't hold the 1-run lead and appears to have been relieved for Nakatani after giving up a run in the 6th and 7th innings. Why, oh why Tenri? Why must you disappoint year after year?

In the second game of the day, Hokkaido has yet to find a team to revive the success of Komadai Tomakomai. While Hokkai was able to stay with Nichidai-san for the first 6 innings, they faded late, giving up 5 runs in the last 3 innings to fall 7-1.

(New details on these games)
Onto today's games to fill out the semifinals.

Kagoshima Jitsugyou looked to continue their run against Meitoku Gijyuku. Right off the bat, Toyosumi hits an RBI triple in the top of the 1st, then an infield grounder by Agemura scores him to give Kajitsu a quick 2-0 lead. After Meitoku Gijyuku pulled within 1 in the 2nd, Hamada delivers a 2-run double in the 3rd to extend the lead to 3 runs. While Kajitsu ace Noda gave up 9 walks/hit batters, his defense was flawless and they would advance with a 4-1 win.

In the late morning game, Tohoku's ace Natsui struggled against Urawa Gakuin. He gives up the first run right off the bat in the bottom of the first as Numata delivers a timely hit. Then Ishibashi follows that up with a 2-run triple to make it 3-0 Urawa in the 1st!

It would only get worse for Natsui as Mori and Endou deliver RBI hits in the 3rd to make it 5-0. He would be pulled after that inning.

C Yoshikawa for Tohoku would get 2 runs back in the 6th with a hit to left, but Urawa ace Satou would shut the door in the 7th by hitting a 2-RBI triple. Urawa Gakuin would advance by a score of 7-2 and will have a quick turnaround as they play Nichidai-san in the late game (late being 11 AM).

So the regions still alive to receive the extra bid include Toukai, Kyushu, Kanto and Tokyo.

If we were to take a guess as to who would receive the floating bids, it just might go to Kokugakuin Kugayama for the Kanto/Tokyo floating bid, while I can't decide between Hiroshima Sougou Gijyutsu and Kochi for the Chuugoku/Shikoku floating bid.

So if Kokugakuin Kugayama is slated to receive the floating bid as of right now, you bet that the 5th-8th place schools in the Kanto region are hoping that Nichidai-san wins it all. That would give Kokugakuin Kugayama the Meiji Jingu automatic bid, and send the floating bid their way. At least then they'd have a chance to be invited. Of those teams, Maebashi Ikuei and Kasumigaura might be the front-runners to receive a bid.

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