Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Previewing the projected field - Kisaradzu Sougou (Chiba)

Kisaradzu Sougou makes only their 3rd Senbatsu appearance having won the Kanto (ex Tokyo) title. Which is a bit odd because I keep thinking they're a better team than that.

They ran laps around Chiba at least with the exceptions of Tousou Kougyou (?!), and Senshuudai Matsudo. As for the super-regionals though, they had to survive 4 close games, having to come back in 3 of them to claim the title - including a wild final against Jyousou Gakuin.

The ace of the staff is Hayakawa Takahisa (早川 隆久), a lefty that throws in the mid-upper 130s with the standard slider/curve combo. He pitched the first 2 games of the super-regionals before handing the ball off to what seems like a large bullpen (which is odd other than the fact that perhaps they figure they'd already qualified finishing in the top 4. Against Toukou Gakuen he looked like a pitcher managing the game, striking out 5 and giving up 9 hits. Then he turned around and gave up just 3 hits (though 4 walks), striking out 8 against Hanasaki Tokuharu.

Takeda Hiroyoshi (武田 大慶) was the next in line, sent to face Toukaidai Koufu and did his work, pitching a complete game shutout. He struck out 6, but did give up 4 walks in the 2-0 win. He seems to work vertically in the zone leaving high pitches in the middle. Not a great thing, but he doesn't seem to leave many mistakes in the zone that can be severely punished. He also doesn't seem to throw that hard, so control will even be more of an issue.

Finally, the ball was handed off to a triumvirate of pitchers - all righties. Oonuma Hiromu (大熊 啓夢 sorry, that was the best video I could find, there are better stills here) was first, and he supposedly throws 130s. Next up was Wada Soutarou (和田 崇太郎), whose name search turns up someone with the same name in some group called KING&HEAVY. Finally was Mitsuishi Kazuki (三石 和季 - whose only video was when he was in junior high).

The other thing is that those three combined gave up 13 hits in the 13 inning affair, with just 4 Ks and 10 free passes. Mitsuishi was probably the best of the 3, saving the game in the 9th by keeping the deficit at 2, then pitching shutout ball in extra frames. Each of them did well when they came in, but Oonuma and Wada both ended up struggling to the point they had to be relieved.

Offensively, it seems their best hitter is RF Torikai Ranma (鳥海 嵐万) and CF Kido Ryou (木戸 涼). Neither are anything special to write home about, but both at least put up decent numbers.

There's nothing about this team that stands out. They appear to be a solid team who can hang in there, but I'm not sure they're a title contender.

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