Thursday, August 6, 2015

Summer Koshien 2015: Which Lions' schools are represented?


The Summer Koshien has kicked off and it is one of the most important baseball events in Japan. For those who don't know, it's a high school tournament where schools from each prefecture are represented in qualifying locally at first. 

This year, there are 49 schools where there is one from each of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Hokkaido and Tokyo are the two prefectures to have two representatives. Hokkaido had a northern and southern representative school while Tokyo had an East and West representative. The format is simple, where it's a single elimination bracket just like March Madness for college basketball in the USA.

Games take place in Koshien stadium as the high school baseball has priority over the Hanshin Tigers. As a result during both the spring and summer Koshien tournaments, the Tigers must play their home games in Osaka using the Kyocera Dome, which is one of two stadiums for the Orix Buffaloes.

Legends will be made through this tournament and several of these players who are seniors will be drafted in October by NPB teams. Players can either go to an independent league, industrial league, university or straight to NPB once they graduate high school, but we will save draft talk for another article.

Here we will take a look a which high schools who qualified in the tournament were where a Saitama Seibu Lions player went. I only including players who have played a game in 2015 for the Lions, so no farm guys are included for this article. The full list was provided here courtesy of @Eigokokoyakyu.

P Yusei Kikuchi: Hanamaki Higashi (Iwate Prefecture)

This is the same school that Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters pitcher Shohei Otani attended and both players were hyped up to go straight to MLB in 2009 and 2012 respectively.

P Ryohei Fujiwara: Tottori Johoku (Tottori Prefecture)

Hanshin Tigers pitcher Atsushi Nomi also attended this school. It's on the southern side of the Honshu island. Former NPB player Kazuhisa Kawaguchi went here as well.

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The bigger upset was when Osaka Toin was knocked out by Osaka Kaisei. Had they qualified for Koshien, this list would have shown the alma mater of Hideto Asamura, Takeya Nakamura, Masatoshi Okada Tomoya Mori.

While it may be hard for us to be attached to a school or knowing the current players, baseball is universal where we love the sport. Games are happening at a friendly hour in the daytime while in Japan, as it starts as early at 4:00 p.m. in Pacific time.

We watched the opening day of Koshien and the competition will be sure to heat up for the next two weeks. Enjoy your baseball everyone!

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