Saturday, March 21, 2015

Reviewing the field - Kyushu semifinalist Kyushu Sangyoudai Kyushu

And the final of the main invitees is Kyushu Sangyoudai Kyushu. They're generally a solid Tier 3 school always in the mix, but generally unable to reach the top. That changed this year thanks to some luck.

Such luck included three 1-run games against Chikuyou Gakuen, Musashinodai and Yahata Minami during the prefecturals, which was capped by a solid win over Higashi-Fukuoka. After outscoring Tosu Kougyou 9-5, they beat up on the 2013 Natsu Koushien runner-up Nobeoka Gakuen to reach the semifinals. The run abruptly came to an end in just 7 innings as they fell to Kyushu Gakuin 9-2.

Iwata Masaki (岩田 将貴) started and finished every game but the first. Once again, his K rate is unimpressive (5.36), as well as his WHIP (1.30). #18 Funakoshi Koushirou (舩越 孝志朗) was the starter of the first game, and while his numbers look good, it was their first game, so it's not something you can make projections on.

Offensively, the team hit 0.320, but there are definite holes in the lineup - specifically at the bottom. This more than negates the fact that 2 of their hitters, LF Ozaki Seiya (尾崎 誓哉) and 2B Oono Ryuuji (大野 竜次) hit over 0.500.

The holes in the lineup mean almost automatic free innings for the opposition, or potential rally-killers. And that is never a good thing. Thankfully, they're facing Oumi, who also has problems offensively. It'll probably be a low-scoring affair and a tossup for another soft matchup for a spot in the Best 8... and a matchup perhaps against Urawa Gakuin.

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