Thursday, January 30, 2014

32 teams in 32 days - Touryou (Miyagi)

And now to our other qualifier from Tohoku - first-timers Touryou from Miyagi.  This is their first ever trip to senbatsu after several prior attempts in recent years were unsuccessful.

Road to Senbatsu
Higashi Regionals
  • def. Ishinomaki Kita 8-0 (7 inn)
  • def. Kesennuma 10-0 (6 inn)
  • lost Ishinomaki 7-6
Miyagi Prefecturals
  • def. Ishihasama Shougyou 3-2 (11 inn)
  • def. Tohoku 12-6 (11 inn)
  • def. Ishinomaki 11-0 (7 inn)
  • def. Shibata 5-4
  • lost Sendai Ikuei 2-1
  • def. Kuji Kougyou 9-4
  • def. Kakunodate 13-11 (10 inn)
  • def. Aomori Yamada 4-1
  • lost Hachinohe Gakuin Kousei 13-2
So as we can see here Touryou makes Senbatsu despite suffering 3 losses in the Aki Taikai - one at each level, but sufficient enough to progress.  They actually revenged their loss to Ishinomaki in the regionals (one that they rallied late from down 7-1) in the quarterfinals of the prefecturals.  Before that game though, they almost bowed out against unknown Ishihasama Shougyou.  Then they turn around and go toe-to-toe with Tohoku outlasting them in another enchousen affair.  They actually almost won the Miyagi prefecturals, but the tandem of Okamoto and Satou couldn't shut out Sendai Ikuei.

Onto the super-regionals and here they faced a plucky Kakunodate squad that just missed out last summer.  With the score at a normal 4-2, the teams would combine for 16 runs in the final 3 innings of regulation, sending it to enchousen at 11 all before Kakunodate's pitching staff would be finally depleted.  After that was an impressive CG 1-run performance by Satou over Aomori Yamada to send them to the finals.  Of course, that's when they ran right smack into Kousei and were routed rather handily.  Still, despite 3 losses, their body of work was good enough and had some quality games to warrant an invitation to senbatsu.

On the hill for Touryou is Satou Kouga (佐藤 洸雅).  There are no videos of him, and the only thing I have is that he is a rookie ace who throws in the low-mid 130s. Also used was Okamoto Naoki (岡本直己) who seems to be the other reliable pitcher that kantoku Chiba Ryousuke (千葉 亮輔) relies on.  He's another relatively younger manager at the age of 42.  The only video I have is of the manager at a BBQ back in September.

Which leaves me with very little to go on other than the results, which show some solid results, but at the same time, do not appear to be competitive.  They could easily win a game, but just as easily be a one-and-done team.  If I find any other information, I'll post it here.

Tomorrow, onto the Kanto Super-Regionals and champion Hakuoudai Ashikaga!

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