Monday, March 16, 2015

Reviewing the field - Kanto semifinalist Jyousou Gakuin

And now, the final representative from Kanto - Jyousou Gakuin.

Looking at their schedule, they got about as easy of a schedule as Kisaradzu Sougou, but perhaps not the same results. They struggled to beat Fujishiro and Tsuchiura Kohoku in the prefecturals, and had the same issues against Sano Nichidai and Hiratsuka Gakuen before narrowly falling to Kisaradzu Sougou.

As such, their prospects are immediately pegged to be even weaker than that of the already weak runner-up.

For them to have any chance, the pitching has to hold up. For that, Sasaki-kantoku turns to two underclassman pitchers, ace Suzuki Shouta (鈴木 昭汰) and #10 Kashimura Yuuta (樫村 雄大). Suzuki was actually part of the U15 national team. He has supposedly ticked up his fastball to the upper 130s and has the standard fare of pitches (slider, curve). There's less information on Kashimura, but he too apparently has the standard selection on pitches.

Even though these are the main 2 pitchers, Sasaki-kantoku has brought along 2 other pitchers - #11 Sugawara Kazuhiro (菅原 一泰) and #18 Inoue Masaki (井上 真幸). And apparently he's not afraid to use 1B Ishii Daiki (石井 大貴) on the mound either (2 IP in all). None of the pitchers are dominating in nature though, but still they are tasked with keeping the scoring low in order to keep the offense in the game.

They'll be under constant pressure as the team just batted a shade over 0.300, with just 3 players over said average. Leading the pack is tablesetter/captain Ugusa Kouki (宇草 孔基) who went a cool 14-26 with 6 SBs. LF Arahara Hiroki (荒原 祐貴) hit 0.423, but they were all singles.

This team will struggle to score runs, and the pitching will be stressed to the limit from the words "Play ball". The first 2 rounds they might have a chance in, but after that, witha  game against Kousei or more likely Osaka Touin, and they might as well prepare their return trip home.

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