Saturday, February 15, 2014

32 teams in 32 days - Fukuchiyama Seibi (Kyoto)

I remember seeing Fukuchiyama Seibi back in 2006, and thought they were one of the established powers at Koushien, and with my penchant for rooting for the underdog, wanted some other team to advance.  Little did I know that was anything but the case.  Combine that with suspensions resulting from violence within the club set them back a couple of years.  Hopefully kantoku Tadokoro Kouji (田所 孝二) has cleaned house and bringing them back to Koushien means the program is on the level.

Road to Senbatsu
Kyoto Prefecturals
  • def. Nissei 11-8
  • def. Otokuni 4-0
  • def. Murasakino 5-1
  • def. Ristumeikan Uji 7-2
  • lost Ryuukokudai Heian 10-5
Kinki Super-Regionals
By virtue of being the Natsu Koushien representative, Fukuchiyama Seibi got a free pass through block play and straight to the prefecturals.  They did not however, get a first round bye.  In that first game against Nissei, they went out to an 11-4 lead and let Nissei stay around for the full 9 innings.  Then there were some rather pedestrian efforts against Otokuni and Murasakino.  The score looks better versus Ritsumeikan Uji, but that was just because they had a 6-run inning.  They would then have their own big inning against Heian in the final but starter Adachi, in place of ace Ishihara Takeshirou (石原 丈路), couldn't get out of the 7th inning as Heian would go on to score 6 runs, take the lead and never look back.

Ishihara would retake the hill for the super-regionals, eking by PL Gakuen first.  Then he was involved in a defensive battle against Houtoku Gakuen as both sides put the ball in play often, but it would be Hotoku who would push through the only run to advance.

Thanks to Ishihara's twitter account, I know he doesn't throw particularly hard.  In a picture of some type of pitching session, his max was 131 kph.  Now the gun could be slow, but I would imagine he's around the low 130s.  But I have no isolated videos of Ishihara, nor any information on Adachi - not even his first name!

Offensively, Seibi is mainly a station-to-station team, and given the fact that without their 2 big innings vs Ritsumeikan Uji and Ryuukokudai Heian their scoring is low, it will appear that Ishihara will have to limit scoring in order to give his team a fighting chance.

If I had to pick out some players on offense, it would be summer starters C Sano Yuusuke (佐野 友亮) and SS Nishida Tomonori (西田 友紀).  But again, no isolated videos of either person.

Seibi may have made it to senbatsu, but if you took away the name on the uniform they'd look like just another team. And sadly for them that's probably what they are. Now, their name or an easy draw might help them get a game, but it will be an uphill climb right from the get go.

Tomorrow, the final Kinki Super-regional representative, Chiben Gakuen.

No comments: