Friday, February 14, 2014

32 teams in 32 days - Riseisha (Osaka)

Riseisha in recent years has come to be on equal footing with Osaka Touin in the battle for the top of the prefecture. However, it hasn't necessarily translated to wins at Koushien, while Osaka Touin just 2 years ago was the most recent team to achieve haru-natsu renzoku yuushou.  Still, kantoku Okata Tatsuo (岡田 龍生) managed to get enough out of his team to advance out of Osaka and earn their 4th consecutive senbatsu appearance.

Road to Senbatsu
Osaka Prefecturals
  • def. Ikuno Kougyou 9-1
  • def. Midori Seihou 13-0 (5 inn)
  • def. Osaka Touin 13-1 (5 inn)
  • def. Higashi-Osakadai Kashiwara 10-2 (8 inn)
  • def. Hatsushiba Ritsumeikan 13-0 (5 inn)
  • def. Kansaidai Hokuyou 4-1
  • def. PL Gakuen 4-3
Kinki Super-Regionals
Well, it definitely appears that it is Riseisha's time to shine in the prefecture given the 13-1 trouncing they game Osaka Touin in the 4th round. How those two wound up playing each other that early is beyond me.

One could argue that the game against PL Gakuen may mean something, but at the same time PL hasn't really risen back to prominence in 高校野球, much less in Osaka.  What is also an indictment about the Osaka region is that the other qualifiers, PL Gakuen and Kansaidai Hokuyou (whom Riseisha both beat), lost in the first round of the super-regionals to Fukuchiyama Seibi and Houtoku Gakuen respectively.

Riseisha almost suffered the same fate needing a run in the 8th to defeat Kainan.  After getting a small respite in Sanda Shousei, they wound up in a fistfight against Ryuukokudai Heian, and well... Riseisha got no help once #10 Nagatani Nobuaki (永谷 暢章) ran out of steam in the 7th.

That's not a one-time issue though either.  In the Osaka final, Nagatani was relieved in the 9th with his team leading 4-1.  Ace Mizota Yuuto (溝田 悠人) came in and almost blew the lead.  Mizota was also called into the Heian game after fellow relievers Hayashi and southpaw 3B Honjyou Madoka (本城 円) failed to record an out.  Even after Mizota finally recorded the 3rd out and Riseisha scored one to pull within 1, he would still give up 3 more runs in the final 2 innings sealing their loss.

Nagatani appears to be more relied upon despite wearing the #10.  He appears to be one of the harder throwers out there, hitting the mid 140s with a forkball to go along with the slider and curve.  Mizota throws in the upper 130s/low 140s, but I don't have much more info than that.

Offensively, SS Yoshida Yuki (吉田 有輝) and C Hata Kasumi(?) (八田 夏) provide some of the oomph, while #5 Tsuji Shinobu (辻 心薫) puts the ball in the gaps for base hits.

Riseisha does have some hard throwers that they can put on the mound, but it hasn't translated to much success against tougher competition, and they haven't shown that they can consistently put away the teams they were supposed to.  That doesn't really bode well for their chances, but like most teams they'll have a chance to win a game or two depending on their draw.

Next up, Kyoto's 2nd representative Fukuchiyama Seibi!

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