Sunday, February 2, 2014

32 teams in 32 days - Kiryuu Dai-ichi (Gunma)

Kiryuu Dai-ichi perhaps is making a comeback here with their runner-up performance in the Kanto Super-Regionals.  They might still have a bit of a ways to go, but this is a start - especially after being unseeded in the prefecturals.

Road to Senbatsu
Gunma Prefecturals
  • def. Isesaki Seimei 3-0
  • def. Maebashi 2-1
  • def. Kiryuu 6-4
  • def. Numata 5-2
  • def. Takasaki Shougyoudai Fuzoku 3-2
  • lost Kendai Takasaki 3-2 (13 inn)
  • def. Chiba Keizaidai Fuzoku 3-0
  • def. Kasumigaura 2x-1
  • def. Sano Nichidai 5-0
  • lost Hakuoudai Ashikaga 6-3
Hm, looking at Kiryuu Dai-ichi's resume, it doesn't look all that appealing.  Their only game of note was their loss to Kendai Takasaki in the final, and then in the Super-Regionals they faced 2nd and 3rd tier schools up to (and including) their loss against Hakuoudai Ashikaga.

The good news is that it would appear that their pitching appears to be doing their job against the competition - remember that they put up their relief corps against Hakuoudai (though that could be interpreted now as a possible weakness). The staff is led by ace Yamada Kazuki (山田 知輝) who throws in the upper 120s-lower 130s with a possible slider, curve and changeup.

Behind him is #11 Higashinomiya(?) Kazuo (東宮 万夫) and #18 Nishiyama Yuuto (西山 雄登).  However, they were only used in the final when both teams did not necessarily have incentive to play their 1st team.

Oddly enough, despite Kiryuu Dai-ichi's status as an upper tier team in prefecture, there is very little information on the players outside of the pitchers.  I found a short video with highlights of their game against Sano Nichidai, but that's about it.

That means I have surprisingly very little to go on regarding the Kanto runner-ups.  The record does not suggest a very robust team to handle senbatsu and perhaps highlights how weak the Kanto region might have been (*ahem*Nisshougakushadai Fuzoku*ahem*), but we'll need to put them in context relative to the other regions.

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