Thursday, February 6, 2014

32 teams in 32 days - Kanto Dai-ichi (Tokyo)

Kanto Dai-ichi managed to climb out of the Tokyo Super-Regionals to earn the only bid from the JHBF.  In so doing, they revenged a loss to Nisshougakushadai Fuzoku from the summer in the final and unbeknownst to them eliminated their rival from senbatsu.

Road to Senbatsu
Block 8 Regionals
  • def. Higashi 9-2 (7 inn)
  • def. Komae 10-0 (5 inn)
Tokyo Super-Regionals
  • def. Komagome Gakuen 4-3
  • def. Ouji Sougou 7-0 (7 inn)
  • def. Jyouhoku 6-1
  • def. Adachi Nishi 7-0 (7 inn)
  • def. Toukaidai Takanawadai 4-0
  • def. Nisshougakushadai Fuzoku 7-6 (10 inn)
Meiji Jingu Tournament
  • lost Okinawa Shougaku 8-3
Kanto Dai-ichi did not have to face many of the other strong teams as many of them got knocked out elsewhere in the bracket, and as shown in the scores above, decisively beat most of the teams they were supposed to beat.

There were some exceptions.  In the opening round of the Super-Regionals, Komagome Gakuen actually held a 3-0 lead before ace Hachiya fell apart in the final 2 innings.  And in that revenge match versus Nisshougakushadai Fuzoku, they let a 3-run slip away before scrapping out a sayonara win in the 10th.  And then against Okinawa Shougaku, they held a slim 3-2 lead before a puzzling decision by kantoku Yonezawa Takamitsu (米沢 貴光) to go with lightly used #11 Tanabe Ren (田邉 廉)

So now onto the team.

While Haketa Akihiro (羽毛田 晶啓) wears the ace number, he was not predominantly used in the super-regionals.  That goes to #10, rookie lefty Abe Takeshi (阿部 武士).  But we have more information on Haketa.  He throws in the low 130s with a slider and forkball.  We even have more info on Tanabe, who imploded against Okishou, than Abe.  His specs are pretty much average, low 130s fastball with a slider and curve.

Offensively, there is C Ikeda ? (池田 瞳夢) who I don't have any batting info on, but was 2-4 against Okinawa Shougaku, and 1B Ookawa Kouki (大川 公輝) who was 4-4.

Kanto Dai-ichi appears to be a team that can handle its business against weaker competition, something that is very needed in single-elimination tournaments.  However, with just 3 games against tougher competition with mixed results, they may not be able to be considered as a favorite to win it all.

Next up, up to the mountainous Hokushinetsu region and champs Nihon Bunri!

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