Monday, September 30, 2013

Aki Taikai Recap-to-date - Tokyo

Tokyo gets their own region and has 24 blocks which contain 2 brackets, all of which has finished. The teams to advance are as follows:

Block 1
  • Obirin (Oberlin) - Back to the super-regionals, but a 12-9 win against Waseda in the block final not very strong
  • Toukaidai Takanawadai
Block 2
  • Ooshima - Good for the small island school. They defeated Teikyoudai and Nichidai Sakuragaoka(!) to advance.
  • Horikoshi - No problems at all for them as they score 10 runs in all 3 games to try and get an invite to Haru Koushien.
Block 3
  • Hachiouji 
  • Nishhougakushadai Fuzoku - A strong win over Kokugakin Kugayama is promising.
Block 4
  • Tokyo Sougou Kouka
  • Ouji Sougou
Block 5
  • Kokushikan - Perhaps they're back after 2 strong games early.
  • Edogawa
Block 6
  • Setagaya Gakuen
  • Teikyou - Strong early, but a 4-1 win over Nichidai-ichi doesn't look promising.
Block 7
  • Nichidai Tsurugaoka - Slow start versus Jyoutou, but picked up steam as they progressed.
  • Machida - No problems at all for them as they score 10 runs in all 3 games to try and get an invite to Haru Koushien.
Block 8
  • Kanto Dai-ichi - Two mercy rule wins perhaps put them in good position.
  • Shouwa
Block 9
  • Nichidai Buzan
  • Higashi-Yamato Minami
Block 10
  • Kousei Gakuen - Needed 10 innings for a 1-0 win over Tokyo Jitsugyou in the final, but it's not a bad thing.
  • Chitosegaoka
Block 11
  • Iwakura
  • Shiba
Block 12
  • Rikkyo Ikebukuro
  • Sundai Gakuen
Block 13
  • Shuutoku - Two mercy rule wins, including a 7-0 win over Kokugakuin is a plus.
  • Komagome
Block 14
  • Komadai
  • Jyouhoku
Block 15
  • Nittai Ebara - Will they finally find a way to break through?
  • St. Paulo Gakuen - Always in the mix, but the test lies ahead.
Block 16
  • Kodaira Minami
  • Adachi Nitta
Block 17
  • Taisei
  • Waseda Jitsugyou - Totally annihilated their opposition.
Block 18
  • Shibaura Koudai
  • Dai-yon Shougyou
Block 19
  • Musashi Murayama
  • Toukaidai Sugao
Block 20
  • Ooizumi
  • Musashigaoka
Block 21
  • Adachi Nishi
  • Seikei
Block 22
  • Nichidai-san - Nothing to see here, just the usual blowouts.
  • Hiro-o
Block 23
  • Nichidai-ni - Always in it, but never in real contention.
  • Tanashi
Block 24
  • Oyamadai
  • Houyuu Gakuin

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Aki Taikai Recap-to-date - Kanto ex Tokyo

Things get a bit more wacky as we start heading south and west...

Regional play has been completed, and 29 teams moved on to prefectural play.  Jyousou Gakuin got a free pass and is probably expected to go deep into the tournament. Kasumigaura, who was just 6 outs away from winning their first title, is also present - but the question will be has their time passed them by? If they do get their revenge matchup it will be in the finals, but in the haru format does not guarantee them a spot in Koushien.

However, the other seeded teams are Meishuu Hitachi, Suijyou and Fujishiro - the latter 2 being familiar names.

Tochigi has no such regionals, all 61 teams are just thrown into a bracket and they beat each other up. So far, Sakushin Gakuin looks to be the front-runner with mercy-rule wins in their first two games and advancing into the quarterfinals.

Joining them are 5 other "seeded teams" including Sano Nichidai, Hakuoudai Ashikaga and Bunsei Geidai Fuzoku. Only the former has had mercy-rule wins throughout.

Sadly, when it comes to the one-time winners, it kind of follows that they are unable to follow it up.

Such was the case with Maebashi Ikuei, who couldn't get past their first game losing to Oota Kougyou 4-3...

As a result, the mainstays have been able to reassert themselves within the prefecture at least - sort of.

Kendai Takasaki has made the semifinals, in Kendai fashion, with not one, not two, but three 1-run ballgames. They will face Kitoku, who is definitely a solid C team, for an automatic bid into the Super-Regional.

On the other side, Kiryuu Dai-ichi is back once again and will face unknown Takasaki Shoudai Fuzoku.

The struggles for Urawa Gakuin continue... Ojima cannot get them past their 2nd game of the prefecturals, falling to Honjyou Dai-ichi 3-2.  They will face Yashio Minami for a spot in the semifiinals.

Elsewhere, familiar names Saitama Sakae and Hanasaki Tokuharu after eking out 4-3 sayonara wins will face each other... there's an all-Kawagoe matchup as Kawagoe Higashi and Shiritsu Kawagoe meetup...

...and can Kasukabe Kyouei finally get to Koushien please? Two shutout wins pit them now against Matsuyama for a spot in the semis.

Kisaradzu Sougou had the unfortunate draw to face Toukaidai Bouyou right off the bat in the prefecturals... and lost 2-1.  Oddly enough they then lost to unknown Abiko in the very next game 3-1!

There were even more early strong matchups as Chiba Keizaidai Fuzoku defeated Toukaidai Urayasu 3-1.  Senshuudai Matsudo has been given no favors having to face Chiba Keiai and now Narita.

Narashino is still alive, but two close games so far do not instill confidence in the team's strength early despite having an easy road so far.

And don't forget about Kashiwa Nittai, they're always in the mix and may not have a challenge until a possible matchup with Chiba Reimei in the quarterfinals.

Toukou Gakuen look to make it back to the Super-Regionals having defeated Nichidai Fujisawa and Yokohama Sougakukan.  They should have no trouble against a Nichidai squad despite them giving up their first runs of the taikai in the last round in a 5-4 win over Busou.

The bigger matchup is Toukaidai Sagami (who has just beat the heads in on all opponents - including Touin Gakuen) all without giving up a run, versus a Yokohama squad who once again does not look all that impressive though they did have to face Yokohama Hayato and Keio Gijyuku.

We could be in line for a rematch of the natsu final as both Hikawa and Nihon Koukuu are on opposite sides of the bracket and are on a collision course. In their way immediately right now are Koufu Kougyou and Koufu Shougyou respectively.  After that, it could be fellow powerhouses Yamanashi Gakuindai Fuzoku and Toukaidai Koufu. So while the rematch may happen, there's still some obstacles left to go.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Aki Taikai Recap-to-date - Tohoku

Onto the Tohoku Super-Regionals...

Draw is set in Aomori, teams qualified are as follows:

Aomori Regionals
  • Block winners - Aomori Kita & Aomori Yamada
  • Repechage winners - Aomori Shougyou & Aomori Kita
 Goshogawara Regionals
  • Block winners - Kidzukuri & Goshogawara
  • Repechage winner - Goshogawara Shougyou
 Hirosaki Regionals
  • Block winners - Hirosaki Higashi & Touou Gijyuku
  • Repechage winner - Hirosaki Chuo
 Towada Regionals
  • Block winners - Misawa Shougyou & Misawa
  • Repechage winner - Sanbongi
 Hachinohe Regionals
  • Block winners - Hachinohe Kita & (Hachinohe) Kousei Gakuin
  • Block runner-ups - Hachinohe Nishi & Hachinohe
  • Repechage winner - Takko
 Mutsu Regionals
  • Block winner - Oominato
  • Repechage winner - Mutsu Kougyou
Seiai joins the rest of the field in where the draw spreads out the major teams. Aomori Yamada and Kousei Gakuin are all in different quadrants. Should be interesting!

Akita regionals are completed and they are in the quarterfinals of the prefecturals. Missing from the list is Natsu representative Akita Shougyou who did not even make the prefecturals losing in the 2nd round of the Chubu regionals 8-4 to Nishime.

And the power vacuum was filled in by teams who were more resourceful than the other powerhouse teams. Oomagari Kougyou rallied from down 5-1 to defeat Oodate Houmei 6-5. Akita Chuo mercy ruled Noshiro Shougyou 9-0! Oomagari won a 13-12 bloodbath versus Akita Minami, and Akita was walked off by Kakunodate 7-6.

For Kakunodate's sake I hope they get to the super-regionals and more. They were so close in the summer.

Iwate's regionals are done and the teams to advance are as follows:

Kuji Regionals
  • Winner - Kuji Kougyou
  • Repechage winner - Kuji
Ninohe Regionals
  • Winner & Runner-up - Fukuoka & Ibonai
  • Repechage winner - Kuzumaki
Morioka Regionals
  • Winner & Runner-up - Moriokadai Fuzoku & Morioka Chuo
  • Semifinalists - Morioka Dai-yon & Iwate
  • Repechage winners - Morioka Dai-san & Morioka Shiritsu
Hanamaki Regionals
  • Extra winner - Hanamaki Higashi (they played the block winner and won 12-0)
  • Block winner & Runner-up - Touno & Hanamaki Kita
  • Repechage winner - Hanamaki Nougyou & Hanakita Seiuun
Hokuou Regionals
  • Winner & Runner-up - Senshuudai Kitakami & Mizusawa
  • Repechage winners - Kurosawajiri Kougyou & Mizusawa Dai-ichi
  • 2nd Repechage winner - Mizusawa Kougyou
Ichinoseki Regionals
  • Winner & Runner-up - Ichinoseki Gakuin (Again...) & Daitou
  • Repechage winner & runner-up - Ichinoseki Dai-ni & Ichinoseki Dai-ichi
Engan Minami Regionals
  • Winner - Oofunato
  • Repechage winner & Runner-up - Takada & Kamaishi
Engan Kita Regionals
  • Winner & Runner-up - Yamada & Miyako Kougyou
  • Repechage winner - Miyako Shougyou

Nichidai Yamagata plus several others got a free pass to the prefecturals, and has reached the finals only having to face Tsuruoka Higashi. Their finals opponent is Yamamoto Gakuen who rallied to defeat Sakata Minami 3-2.

In the 3rd place game the aforementioned Sakata Minami will probably have an easy time against Sakata Kouryou.

Sendai Ikuei will head to the Super-Regionals as the Miyagi champion... just. They escaped with a 3-2 10 inning win over Matsushima in the quarterfinals, then edging Touryou 2-1 in the finals.

Surprisingly, Rifu did not win the 3rd place game. Instead they lost 6-5 to Shibata.

There was a bombshell in Fukushima, well, sort of.

I say sort of because Seikou Gakuin still advanced out of the prefecture. However, they had to get in through the backdoor after losing 5-1 to Nichidai Tohoku in the semifinals. Nichidai Tohoku would win the prefecture with a convincing 6-2 win over Sukagawa.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Aki Taikai Recap-to-date - Hokkaido

While the Aki Taikai is important for determining teams who will go to Haru Koushien, information on brackets and the like is not as well covered.

Unlike the summer where they split Hokkaido, here there is only 1 spot, which I guess while warranted because of the weakness in prefecture, is somewhat disappointing.

Anyways, we have our teams as follows going to the Super-Regional:

Hakodate Regionals
  • Hakodatedai Yuuto - Perhaps in a rebuilding year, struggled against Hakodate Kougyou and Shiritsu Hakodate.
  • Hakodate Shougyou - Went on an offensive rampage before eking a 2-0 win over Hakodate Ootani.  Did not have to face Hakodate LaSalle
Muroran Regionals
  • Komadai Tomakomai - They advance, but a 2-1 block win over Hokkaido Sakae does not instill confidence.
  • Tomakomai Chuo - Only runs given up in opening game versus Muroran Sakae. Will get tested in Super-Regional play.
Sapporo Regionals
  • Sapporo Ootani - Had close calls versus Sapporo Nichidai and unknown Hokkaido Kokusai Jyouhou.
  • Sapporo Minami - Routed all opponents, though had a 15-8 barnburner against Sapporo Atsubetsu.
  • Toukai Dai-yon - Once again, they make it with no issues (including a convincing win over Sapporo Dai-ichi!), but you have to wonder if they'll ever breakthrough.
  • Sapporo Seishuu -  Had several close games before blowing out Sapporo Touryou in block final. But no quality opponents and team is a relative unknown.
Otaru Regionals
  • Hokushou - Need I say more?
Sorachi Regionals
  • Komadai Iwamizawa - A very close call with a 10 inning win over Takigawa Nishi, but otherwise smooth sailing.
Asahikawa Regionals
  • Asahikawadai - They're back in the spotlight, and had quality wins over Asahikawa Jitsugyou and a 14 inning marathon against Furano. Did not give up a single run in the block.
  • Asahikawa Meisei - Makes just their 3rd appearance, and only after outlasting Asahikawa Minami 8-7.
Nayoro Regionals
  • Teshio - Makes their 4th appearance after defeating Wakkanai Ootani 3-1 in block final.
Kitami Regionals
  • Abashiri Keiyou - A real unknown who gave up runs only in a 11 inning 5-4 win over Kitami Kougyou.
  • Kitami Hokuto - Got stronger as they progressed, struggling against Kitami Hokuyou before defeating Engaru and Memanbetsu.
Tokachi Regionals
  • Shirakaba Gakuen - Had an uncharacteristic hiccup in 4-3 10 inning win over Shimizu, but otherwise breezed through.
  • Obihiro Sanjyou - The fabled Obihiro Ootani couldn't make it back as they lost 4-1 in the block final.
Kushine Regionals
  • Kushiro Meiki - Another unknown, walked off Kushiro Hokuyou 4-2 to advance.
  • Bushuukan - Had to walk off against Nakashibetsu, but routed everyone else otherwise.