2008.8.5 Koshien Update
Posted by simon c on 2008 August 5日 Tuesday
The 90th Koshien Summer Tournament is chugging along as we’re now in day 4 of first round games.
11 games have been played so far and powerhouses Chiben-Wakayama (Wakayama), Kagoshima-Jitsugyo (Kagoshima), Chiben (Nara), Hotoku-Gakuen (East Hyogo), Kanto-Daiichi (East Tokyo), Kisarazu-Sogo (East Chiba), and Urasoe-Shogaku (Okinawa) have all won their first round games, and young Honjo-Daiichi (North Saitama) with a starting lineup consisting seven 1st and 2nd years (with a 1st year 1st baseman slugger hitting cleanup, most unusual as most teams lineups are loaded with 3rd year students as they’re more physically and technically developed at this age) is currently tied with Kaisei (Shimane) 4-4 in the first game of the day right now. (Update: Okuda Pedro just won the game for Honjo by leading off the bottom of the 9th with a walkoff homerun to deep centre on a difficult pitch.)
Some other notes of interest:
- I saw Kanto-Daiichi in the quarterfinals and semifinals of their East Tokyo qualification tournament.
- I have a rooting interest in Okinawan high schools, and Urasoe defeated the 2008 Spring Koshien (invitational) champs Okinawa-Shogaku in the Okinawa qualifier tournament final, so they’re a legitimate threat to win it all this summer.
- Baseball exchange students are on some teams. Iizuka (Fukuoka) had Kim Dong-Ming(? 金東民) from Korea as it’s leadoff hitter and starting shortstop, as a 2nd year, definitely the core of the team. Magario Mike(?) is a Japanese-Brazilian 2nd year outfielder and 187 cm tall slugger for the powerhouse Aomori-Yamada (Aomori). And Honjo-Daiichi (North Saitama) also features two Japanese-Brazilians, ace Ito Diego and starting shortstop Okuda Pedro. They have both gone through the “Centro Trainament Yakult”(?) baseball academy before going to Honjo-Daiichi. Ito Diego (left) and Okuda Pedro
- Urasoe-Shogaku’s (Okinawa) cap is designed like the Tokyo Yakult Swallows cap, and this is probably intentional as Urasoe is the Okinawan city where the Swallows hold training camp every spring. Urasoe-Shogaku Tokyo Yakult Swallows
- Pitch counts are often mentioned during game commentary, mostly as how it wears down pitchers, and some teams even talk about a walk being just as valuable as a hit (not true, but close, and way better than discounting the walk). The tides are slowly changing even in high school ball.