Monday, December 16, 2013

21st Century Nominations

We now have the regional nominations for the 21st century teams. Note that there will be one selected from western japan (everything west of the Kinki Super-Region), one from the eastern region (everything Kinki and east), and one wild card. Nominees are for each prefecture, then for each super-region.

These are a bit harder to project until the final teams are selected for each super-region, and even then it's difficult.

Hokkaido - Teshio
Teshio made it out of Nayoro as the regional champion, but lost in the first round of the Super-Regional to Tomakomai Chuo in the final inning 6-4.
Tohoku - Kakunodate (Akita)
  • Aomori - Aomori
  • Akita - Kakunodate
  • Yamagata - Yamamoto Gakuen
  • Iwate - Ibonai
  • Miyagi - Matsushima
  • Fukushima - Sukagawa
This might be a mulligan for Kakunodate not being able to follow through back in the Akita natsu taikai when they lost to Akita Shougyou 4-3 in the bottom of the 15th inning.  This time around, they won Akita, then defeated fellow nominee Sukagawa before losing a barnburner 13-11 to Touryou.

Kanto - Oyamadai (Tokyo)
  • Tochigi - Mooka
  • Ibaraki - Shimodate Dai-ichi
  • Gunma - Numata
  • Saitama -  Shiritsu Kawagoe
  • Chiba - Kemigawa
  • Kanagawa - Nichidai
  • Yamanashi - Yoshida
  • Tokyo - Oyamadai
It looks like Kanto perhaps went for the best baseball representative.  Oyamadai defeated both Soujitsu and Nichidai Buzan before losing to Toukaidai Takanawadai.  I personally thought they would choose Nichidai, but instead went with Tokyo.

Hokushinetsu - Nagano Nishi (Nagano)
  • Niigata - Sanjyou
  • Nagano - Nagano Nishi
  • Toyama - Toyama
  • Fukui - Kanadzu
  • Ishikawa - Hakui
Nagano Nishi baseball-wise is a bit of a stretch.  While they finished 3rd in the Nagano prefecturals, they were routed early by Toyama Dai-ichi. Compared to the rest though, they have the strongest resume.

Tokai - Ise (Mie)
  • Shizuoka - Fuji
  • Aichi - Kouzouji
  • Gifu - Gifu Kougyou
  • Mie - Ise
I'm kind of glad they chose Ise. I remember seeing them back in 2006, and wanted to see if they could somehow break through. This year they did, finishing 2nd to Mie before losing to Seki Shoukou 7-6 in the first round of the super-regionals.

Kinki - Kainan (Wakayama)
  • Shiga - Youkaichi
  • Kyoto - Nishijyouyou
  • Nara - Kashiba
  • Wakayama - Kainan
  • Osaka - Teshima
  • Hyogo - Himeji Minami
Kainan's 2 losses were narrow defeats to Chiben Wakayama and Riseisha - 2 very respectable schools.

Chuugoku - Daitou (Shimane)
  • Tottori - Kurayoshi Higashi
  • Okayama - Higashi-Okayama Kougyou
  • Shimane - Daitou
  • Hiroshima - Kamo
  • Yamaguchi - Kumage Minami
Daitou's only notable game was their first round loss in the super-regional where they hanged with Kurashiki Shougyou early before faltering late.

Shikoku - Sakaide (Kagawa)
  • Tokushima - Ikeda
  • Kagawa - Sakaide
  • Ehime - Touon
  • Kochi - Kochi Higashi
Sakaide lost in their first round matchup against Imabari Nishi in the super-regionals, but won Kagawa defeating schools such as Eimei, Jinsei Gakuen and Marugame.

Kyushu - Ooshima (Kagoshima)
  • Fukuoka - Kokura
  • Saga - Waseda Saga
  • Nagasaki - Shimabara Nougyou
  • Miyazaki - Miyazaki Minami
  • Oita - Oita Oginodai
  • Kumamoto - Taragi
  • Kagoshima - Ooshima
  • Okinawa - Chinen
Kyushu interestingly goes with Ooshima, certainly the weakest representative out of the super-regional selections. They were eliminated in the semi-finals of the prefecturals losing 2-1 to Ibusuki Shougyou.

2 selections right now I find a bit questionable.  Tokushima nominated Ikeda despite the fact they made the final 2.  Unless for some reason they think the JHBF will pick Meitoku Gijyuku over Ikeda for the 2nd bid, I see no reason to do this.

The other is Waseda Saga.  Waseda Saga was established in 2010, so any history of something to be nominated for would be very recent.  They're already making waves in Saga, and could start dominating the prefecture sooner rather than later. Even if Waseda Saga is picked as the Kyushu nominee, I doubt the JHBF would choose them either.


With the 21st century finalists determined, I can make predictions - however, since nominations are not based upon baseball merit it's harder to predict who they will choose.

Kakunodate (Tohoku/Akita)
I believe much like Engaru, Kakunodate will be selected based upon their ability to follow-up their performance in the summer.  The only thing that would affect this would be the fact that it does seem that the JHBF seems to be a bit late in selecting teams based upon this merit (see Engaru and Tosa)

Ooshima (Kyushu/Kagoshima)
Ooshima I believe is the main reason why the JHBF perhaps made the 21st century bids in the first place. Ooshima did not do well baseball-wise, but probably has done something special in the community.  Considering they were the only school that made the final 9 that did not reach the super-regionals they may just be picked by the committee.

Ise (Tokai/Mie) / Kainan (Kinki/Wakayama)
Both would be selected for the same reason. Both are in prefectures where there are major schools that dominate the prefecture.  Both reached the finals and fared very well despite losing.

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