Monday, March 9, 2015

Reviewing the field - Tokyo champs Toukaidai Sugao

Next up, we head to Tokyo and the champs Toukaidai Sugao.

Tokyo is generally a tough region to play in. Many schools, and many opportunities to have that one trip-up that eliminates you from the tournament. But Toukaidai Sugao got quite a few breaks on their way to the title.

After a walk through block play, their draw put them in a quadrant for the super-regionals which did not have a quality team until Teikyou in a possible quarterfinal match. When they did face them, they faced a team that appears to have had their best days behind them.

On the other quadrant on their half of the bracket, Waseda Jitsugyou and Nichidai-san wound up drawing each other. Even then, Toukaidai Sugao didn't face the winner Soujitsu. Instead, it was Houseidai who had pulled off the upset in the prior round.

And their final break was that their final opponent, Nishogakushadai Fuzoku, had to play Kanto Dai-ichi yet again in the semifinal, and that game went 11 innings. Meaning that they would be even more fatigued come the final on the next day.

All this led to Toukaidai Sugao winning the title and earning the automatic bid. However, they were exposed when they hit the Meiji Jingu tournament as after a underwhelming win against Shizuoka, Urawa Gakuin demolished their pitching depth and sent them home.

Their staff ace is a 3rd year by the name of Katsumata Shouki (勝俣 翔貴). He can hit the low 140s, but there is little mention about his pitching, and more about his hitting. His stats from the fall, given the level of competition he faced is substandard. While he carried a sub-2 ERA, his WHIP was over 1.30. And given their next guy, Hanyuu Yuuta(羽生 優太) did well against Urawa Gakuin at Meiji Jinguu save for one bad inning, it does not bode well on the mound for the champs.

Offensively, a BA of 0.290+ and an OPS of 0.760+ in Tokyo wouldn't be bad for the champions. But again given context of their competition it again is a bit lackluster. Outside of their ace, a player to watch would be their CF no less Koiso Kazuki (小磯 和貴) who had a double against Shizuoka and a HR against Urawa Gakuin.

Given all these factors, Toukaidai Sugao looks more like a rural super-regional champion than a metropolitan one, and whose stay at Senbatsu will be as such.

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