The Melbourne U Admirals have continued their meteoric rise to the top of the Pacific Rim College League (PRCL) power rankings, unseating Busan Tech which had been in control since the beginning of the season.
The Admirals are now 14-5, enjoying a 9-game win streak that started with their well organized disposal of division rivals Wellington College, where they outscored them 12-5, then picking up a pair of wins each against Queenstown Falcons and Fiji College Red Wolves, a single game win over Hanoi College Beacons, and most recently a pair of wins against Australian rivals Sydney Sports Academy Wet Sox.
During the win streak, Melbourne has outscored opponents 60-34. The tide of runs has been a team effort. But speedy, leadoff-hitting SS Shikato Hayashida has been a huge factor lately, on a four-game hitting streak and racking up home runs and steals along the way.
Hayashida was almost not around for it, having been drafted by Anchorage last June, but after failing to sign he returned to school in Melbourne for another season.
Busan has now fallen to a tie in the standings atop the JKC’s Korea Division with Seoul U Sushi, both teams at 13-7, while Singapore has the same record over in the AOC’s Oceania Division.
MASONS’ ISHIKAWA, ICE PILOTS’ SHEELAH NAMED POTW
The Osaka U Masons who have struggled of late, but still lead the JKC Japan Division with a 10-10 record, have at least had a boost from hot-hitting left fielder Ryohei Ishikawa, who has gone 14-for-29 with 3 homers and 8 RBIs the last week, and was named Player of the Week for the JKC.
The AOC’s top player last week was Cooper Sheelah, the first baseman for the Taipei Sports Academy Ice Pilots, who hit .406 last week, homering once but scoring 6 runs and knocking in 5 more.
RENEGADES MANAGER FINNERAN FINED
Last week, Daegu College Renegades manager Andy Finneran was fined following an outburst during a press conference at the end of January. The Wednesday presser came after an embarassing 4-0 loss to Seoul, in which media footed a lot of the blame for Daegu’s 5th place position at Finneran’s feet.
INJURIES MOUNT FOR UNLUCKY TOKYO, YOKO U
Things have gone from bad to worse for the 2017 PRCL champions, Tokyo College Veterans, who suffered the news that former pro RHP Morgan Reynolds will be out for a year with a torn rotator cuff.
Reynolds, who was drafted by New York in 2015 and spent a season at A-level before being released, then signing with the now-defunct Oceanic League’s Hamilton Hammers then returning to school to play for Tokyo after the June draft last summer, had 15.2 innings under his belt and was showing signs of improving, despite not yet earning a decision.
Reynolds joins starter Feng-yi Rui, who was injured while pitching against Incheon back on January 28th.
Meanwhile, Yokohama U Spirit have lost a pitcher as well. Hoyt Skinner was also diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff, but is only expected to miss 7 months. Skinner went undrafted out of high school last June, where he had played an injury-marred season with Miami Sports Academy. Yoko U also lost another pitcher earlier this season, after Chris Collins sprained an elbow a few days ago.