Monday, February 24, 2014

32 teams in 32 days - Kamimura Gakuen (Kagoshima)

I'm actually surprised in looking at the participants that this is just Kamimura Gakuen's 4th time heading to Senbatsu.  Then I find that the club was created in 2003 and I'm a bit surprised.  I say bit because I already expect Waseda Saga to dominate Saga-ken in the near future.  So given this is just their 4th trip, how did they get here?

Road to Senbatsu
Kagoshima Prefecturals
  • def. Izumo Shougyou 17-0 (5 inn)
  • def. Kakushou 10-0 (5 inn)
  • def. Makurazaki 8-4
  • def. Kagoshima Jitsugyou 5-4
  • def. Kagoshima Jyousai 6-0
  • def. Ibusuki Shougyou 3-2
Kyushu Super-Regionals
  • def. Nishi-Nippon Tankidai Fuzoku 7-3
  • def. Nisshou Gakuen 10-6
  • lost Misato Kougyou 5-1
Hm... Kamimura Gakuen running up to the final had to face Kagoshima Jitsugyou early, and overcame an early 4-0 deficit to do so.  Young kantoku Oda Daisuke (小田 大介) went with a relief pitcher in Ueshin? Taiyou (植新 太陽) and he limited Ibusuki Shougyou to just 4 hits though Ibusuki pulled to within 1 in the 9th.

Onto the super-regionals, Oda-kantoku would go to the pair of Azuma Michihiro (東 務大) and Oomura Shou (大村 将).  But what I'm finding is that there is precious little information on any of the Kyushu representatives - at least through the prefecturals.  About the only thing I do know is for Azuma, and that is that he apparently leads all representatives in the lowest BB/9 (1.04), which is good because he only strikes out about 5 batters/9 as well.

Offensively, interestingly, the team has some consistently decent hitters.  They include 4 of the top 5 batters in the lineup including leadoff CF Nakayama Kouki (仲山 晃樹), SS Tokou Masao (都甲 将央), Kojima Chiaki (小島 千聖), and Toyoda Shougo (豊田 翔吾).  Oddly, cleanup batter RF Yamamoto Takuya (山本 卓弥) is not necessarily one of them.

The problem with having little information is that I can't really form a good opinion on those teams. On the surface, the win against Kagoshima Jitsugyou is a plus and it doesn't hurt with their wins against Kagoshima Jyousai and Nishi-Nippon Tankidai Fuzoku.  I don't know who started their prefectural games other than the final where a pitcher not used in the super-regionals was used.  A red flag is the game against Nisshou Gakuen, a 3rd level school from Miyazaki where Azuma gave up 6 runs.  Oomura shut them down thereafter, but that combined with Azuma's peripherals make it difficult to consider them a contender.

Next up, the final Kyushu representative... and back after 24 years... Chinzei!

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