Saturday, March 21, 2015

Reviewing the field - Kyushu semifinalist Kamimura Gakuen

Kamimura Gakuen makes a return trip back after their poor performance against Fukuchiyama Seibi in the 2nd round last year hoping to improve from that with their new class.

They were not really bothered going through the Kagoshima prefecturals. Shounan and Kagoshima Jyousai were the closest to challenge, but they still won handily. After dispatching Kumamoto Kougyou in the first round of the super-regionals, they eked out a 6-5 win in 11 over Higashi-Fukuoka despite outhitting them 18-5. And on one day's rest, they couldn't withstand another extra inning game, falling to Itoman 4-3 in 10.

Ace Kitashouji Kyouhei (北庄司 恭兵) handled most of the tough duties for the team, pitching all of the super-regionals. But again, he doesn't appear to be a dominant pitcher as his K/9 rate also falls under 4.5 (i.e. 1K ever 2 IP). He does however, keep runners off base (0.94 WHIP). #10 Shinzato Takeomi (新里 武臣) got the bulk of the remaining innings, and was tasked to be Kitashouji's compliment in the prefectural final. His K/9 rate is slightly better (~6), but his WHIP is also worse (1.26). #11 Uchida Masaki (内田 雅輝) is the only other pitcher on the roster, but like Shinzato his K rate is better, but this time his ERA is much worse.

Offensively, the team hit a very impressive 0.382, and a chunk of their 0.157 ISO is thanks to their 7 HRs, 2 of which can be attributed to LF Tanaka Hairi (田中 梅里), though it was their #7 batter 3B Kodama Kazuya who drove in the most runs (児玉 和也). There is some empty outs at the bottom of the lineup, and the HRs can't be expected to continue at Koushien, so there will be hard regression there.

But there will be no time to figure things out. First up is Sendai Ikuei. The pitchers will be under pressure immediately, and the offense will probably need to score runs early to stay in it. That power from the fall will probably need to show up to score the upset.

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