Thursday, February 20, 2014

32 teams in 32 days - Meitoku Gijyuku (Kochi)

I had figured Meitoku to be a contender at Natsu Koushien last summer - especially with ace Kishi and the offense behind him.  However, they ran into a Nichidai Yamagata team that had rounded into form and fell in the quarterfinals.

Kishi returned, but pretty much lost his supporting staff - which is a problem since if you lose your offense (or defense for that matter), even the best pitcher can't carry his team.  However, it looks like kantoku Mabuchi Shirou (馬淵 史郎) put together a roster that could at least support Kishi.  And while they lost in the semifinals of the super-regionals, their resume was better than those across Setouchi-umi and was awarded the floating bid.

Road to Senbatsu
Kochi Prefecturals
  • def. Hata Nougyou 10-0 (6 inn)
  • def. Kochi Kougyou 14-1 (5 inn)
  • def. Kochi Chuo 8-1 (7 inn)
  • def. Kochi Ootemae 5-2
  • def. Kochi Higashi Kougyou 17-3
Shikoku Super-Regionals
I guess you could say that it also helped that in the Kochi prefecturals, they did not face any of the powerhouse schools that could have posed an early threat.  At the same time though, it is hard to make any judgments on the team based on those results.

Onto the super-regionals and they put a good win together against Kagawa 3-seed Takamatsu Dai-ichi before Imabari ace Jinno would completely shut the offense down mustering just 3 hits in the loss.

Now, it wasn't all bad as Meitoku had scoring chances, but there were mistakes made on the basepaths as well as in the field that aided the final score.

We know about ace Kishi Jyunichirou (岸 潤一郎).  He has a fastball that can touch 140, a cutter in the low 130s, slider in the upper 120s/130, and a fork in the low 120s.

The only other team member from the summer to break onto the roster (there were only 3 holdovers) is 1B Oonishi Kazumasa (大西 主将), and he bats last.  Instead, batting before Kishi in the 3rd position is LF Tada Tougo (多田 桐吾).

To be honest, the game against Imabari Nishi at least for Kishi wasn't that bad.  A good hit on a decent pitch cleared the bases for 3, and then 2B Mori lost control of a grounder to allow the 4th run to cross.

Kishi will in all likelihood have to shoulder more of the burden for Meitoku's success.  Not that he can't do it, but it will lessen their chances of being considered a contender with a smaller margin of error.  Unless the offense proves me otherwise, they can make a run, but cannot be considered one fo the favorites.

Next up, it's a flight to Naha and a short trip to the Kyushu champions Okinawa Shougaku!

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