Saturday, March 21, 2015

Reviewing the field - Kyushu champions Kyushu Gakuin

Kyushu Gakuin claimed the Kyushu super-regional title, and did it with apparently no help. Sakai-kantoku did not use his bench at all during their run in the fall. They were able to survive it, while at the same time dodging the powerhouse schools. They did face Chinzei and Kumamoto Kougyou in the prefecturals, but onto the super-regionals after a scare from Kaisei (Nagasaki), their only other brand name competition was Itoman in the finals where they won 4-3. The win against Tsuruga Kehi was a hollow one as Hiranuma was not available to pitch, and they came crashing down soon afterwards - being shutout by Sendai Ikuei 8-0.

The only pitcher we know of is ace Ise Hiromu (伊勢 大夢). He doesn't throw hard, has a slider, and shuuto and sinker. As a result his K rate is low at 5.6/9, but despite the balls in play, he carried a WHIP of 1.15. Pitching on back-to-back days didn't seem to bother him (at least until Sendai Ikuei anyways).

On offense, the team hit 0.341 with a 0.175 ISO with damage being done by cleanup hitter SS Matsushita Kazuki (松下 且興) who hit 3 HRs, though his average was a unimpressive 0.255. LF Wakahara Shouya (若原 笙弥) carries the highest BA at 0.415 and had 3 triples, but he bats 6th in the order.

The refusal of Sakai-kantoku to use his depth concerns me. With no apparent backup should things falter, and given the nature of their loss to Sendai Ikuei, their upside is limited. Kousei should be a good matchup first up, but a possible matchup with Osaka Touin does not bode well for the champs.

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