Just finished my Friday Chiba game post, still have to make my Saturday Chiba game post (and I have something much more important to do on Sunday that will most likely keep me from posting for most of this week). But in the meantime...
Koshien-wise, there was a major upset today when Jiyuugaoka managed to beat Tokaidai Sagami and their ace pitcher Shinta Hifumi, who was basically the Poster Boy for this Senbatsu tournament. He's the kid in the "Tokai" uniform you can see on the cover of most Senbatsu magazines, and is like 185cm tall and throws 150km/h. He basically lost something like one game in the past year. I didn't see the game, since I was in Chiba, but it was a little surprising to see the results afterwards.
In less surprising results, Toin trampled Tokaidai Boyo and Ogaki Nichidai won their game against first-appearing 21st-century Kawashima. And the other day, Yosuke Shimabukuro and Konan HS finally got past the first round of a tournament when they beat Kanzei 4-1. Shimabukuro had 14 strikeouts. (I had bet on 15 K's and losing 2-0, shows what I know.)
Teikyo fortunately won their match against Kobe Kokusai, although it was a tight game and Teikyo didn't start scoring runs until the late innings. 2nd-year Takuro Itoh, my current favorite player, pitched a complete game despite getting hit in the leg with a pitch during his first at-bat. The other Teikyo "ace pitcher", Shota Suzuki, played first base for the game and hit a home run that tied the game up 2-2 before a passed ball got the go-ahead run in. Pretty crazy.
I already mentioned I joined the Yakult Fan Club because it's one of the best deals in baseball, right? Well, it even gets better -- they just sent me my first fan club pack, which has a quarterly magazine, "Ondo", but it also has the "2010 Fan Book", which is essentially almost exactly the same as the yearbooks/guides that most teams are selling for 1000 yen or more. So, so far, for my 5000 yen, I've gotten a bag and a ticketholder, a yearbook, a magazine, free tickets to the preseason games, and I'll still get 5 free tickets upcoming as well as discounts for the year. I know it's odd for a Fighters fan to be plugging another team's fan club, but this is a seriously good deal if you live in Tokyo and plan to go to Jingu more than 4 times this year.
Speaking of Jingu, the Big 6 Team Rosters have finally been updated on the official league site. Of note:
Waseda: Saitoh is number 10 now because he's the captain, but Ohishi changed from #15 to #1. Not sure what else is interesting. Keijiro's Little Brother seems to have made the cut, as he's listed with a uniform number #7 (which he had before).
Keio: This team is pretty heavy on 4th-year players and 2nd-year players, which shouldn't be too surprising when you realize the 2nd-year kids are the Koshien squad from two years ago. But there are like 4 numbered 3rd-years and the rest are all 4th- or 2nd-. Kei Tamura has #18 and Naohiko Tadano has #35, so it's promising that I'll finally get to see them play this year as the team has VERY little pitching left, almost all of it graduated last year. Note: Akihiro Hakumura is NOT numbered. This is not weird as Keio rarely puts 1st-years on the official squad.
Meiji: Not much surprising here. Ikenaga is numbered! Hooray! But since the captain Yamauchi is also a catcher it's unlikely my favorite bespectacled catcher will get much playing time. Fumiya Araki is still registered as a shortstop despite that I think he'll be playing CF. Only two guys below 3rd-year are numbered. One is Takashi Uemoto, aka Hiroki's Little Brother, and the other is outfielder Masahiro Tohgi, who I can't remember if I've seen or not.
Hosei: It's so sad to see all the seniors gone. Ryo Imai seems to have changed numbers from #1 to #24. A kid named Miyagaki took #1, but I don't think he's ever appeared in an official game. Fumiya Kitayama took #18, I've never seen him pitch either. Kanji Kawai, the kid I was psyched to see go to Hosei from Chukyodai Chukyo, has #26, so maybe we will actually see him get some game action after all! I'm not sure who the 3rd baseman will be anyway with Waizumi gone, so if Kawai can put up a better bat than Kameda or Hasegawa...
Rikkio: Nihira took #18. Hirahara isn't numbered. Neither is Yamada Yusuke, weirdly. I have no further comment.
Tokyo: ...no comment here either.
There's actually a series at Jingu this weekend going on between Big 6 teams and Industrial League teams. Today, Saginomiya trampled Tokyo University 6-0, and Rikkio played NTT Higashinihon out to a 5-5 tie.
Sunday the 28th, Waseda takes on Sumitomo Metals Kashima at 11am and Meiji takes on Kazusa Magic at 1:30pm. Monday, Keio takes on Mitsubishi Yokohama at 11am and Hosei takes on ENEOS at 1:30pm. I'm not going to any of them, but if I could only go to one, I'd go to the Hosei one, and not just because I'm a Kagami fangirl -- I honestly think it'll be the most interesting matchup. Meiji's game should be interesting too.