Friday, January 27, 2012

84th Koushien Field

So the field has indeed been announced and it is as follows:

  • Hokushou
  • Kousei Gakuin (Aomori)
  • Seikou Gakuin (Fukushima)
  • Hanamaki Higashi (Iwate)
  • Urawa Gakuin (Saitama)
  • Sakushin Gakuin (Tochigi)
  • Takasaki Kenkou Fukushi (Gunma)
  • Takasaki (Gunma)
  • Yokohama (Kanagawa) - 14th appearance, 2nd consecutive
  • Kanto Dai-ichi
  • Tsuruga Kehi (Fukui)
  • Chikyuu Kankyou (Nagano)
  • Aikoudai Meiden (Aichi)
  • Mie (Mie)
  • Chiben Gakuen (Nara)
  • Tenri (Nara)
  • Riseisha (Osaka)
  • Oumi (Shiga)
  • Osaka Touin (Osaka)
  • Toba (Kyoto)
  • Tottori Jyouhoku (Tottori)
  • Kurashiki Shougyou (Okayama)
  • Hayatomo (Yamaguchi) - 1st apperance
  • Naruto (Tokushima)
  • Kochi (Kochi)
  • Kamimura Gakuin (Kagoshima)
  • Kyushu Gakuin (Kumamoto)
  • Beppu Aoyama (Oita)
  • Miyazaki Nishi (Miyazaki) - 1st appearance
21st Century Bids
  • Memanbetsu (Hokkaido) - 1st appearance
  • Ishinomaki Kougyou (Miyagi) - 1st appearance
  • Sumoto (Hyogo) - 3rd appearance, 1st in 26 years

Wow.  Not what I expected.

So first of all, I was 0 for 2 on floating bids.  Yokohama, not Teikyou go the floating bid.  It could be the redemption card played by the committee to see if Yokohama can correct the debacle they had.  Or, perhaps they're expecting the debacle to happen again.  The other possibility is that no team from Chiba or Kanagawa earned a bid otherwise.  It's possible to keep interest in the surrounding area, they chose a neighboring team in Yokohama over one in Tokyo in Teikyou.

And it's not Meitoku Gijyuku, but Hayatomo who gets the bid.  Perhaps with the chalkiness of the field, they wanted to give some teams a first appearance. Or maybe they weighted that 2nd bid to Kochi more than I had thought.

(Editor's note:  After typing up my review on the Chuugoku region, I realize that Yamaguchi-ken fared better in sending representatives to Koushien, and as such their wins - especially against Yasu which I overlooked, perhaps weighed into their favor)

Souseikan getting passed over is a bit of a shame.  It's not their fault that they drew a weak bracket.  But I suppose it is their fault they were 4-hit in a 7-inning mercy game.  Combine that with Miyazaki Nishi limiting the runner-ups to 2 runs may have given them the nod.

Now as for the strength of the 21st century teams, Memanbetsu out of Hokkaido finally gets their first shot at Koushien, and gives Hokkaido a 2nd team.  They lost to Hokkai in the 2nd round of the Super-Regional 4-0, so it'll be hard to peg them for a win in the tournament unless they get an easy draw.

Ishinomaki Kougyou.  I don't know if this is a がんばれ日本! type of award given all the things that have happened to them.  They lost 8-1 to Kousei Gakuin in the Tohoku Super-Regionals, and did not have a real quality win.

Finally there's Sumoto, who was the odd team out in the Hyogo prefecutral Best 4.  They did beat Kobe Kokusaidai Fuzoku, but lost handily to Houtoku Gakuen and Ikuei.

One thing's for sure.  One, maybe two, of those three 21st century team will have to thank Miyazaki Nishi for receiving a bid over Souseikan and possibly Takasaki for receiving consideration.  Miyazaki Nishi was one of the finalists for the 21st century bids and if not for Souseikan's loss, they may not be going to Haru Koushien.  Takasaki was definitely more of a shoe-in for a bid than Miyazaki Nishi, and this reduced the field of possible selections from 9 to 7.

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