The Pyongyand Stellar U Continentals have pulled even with the Busan Tech Brawlers in Week #5’s power rankings, in the Pacific Rim College League (PRCL), with both teams leading at 114.0 points.
Busan has the division lead with a 19-11 record, but Pyongyang are just a game behind them at 18-12. Incheon College is hot on their heels at 17-13, just 2 games out of the lead.
The action in the Korean Division of the JKC has been hot all season, with Busan Tech commanding things from very early on. They have been particularly good in 1-run games, going 7-1 so far this season. As well, home games have been dominating for the Brawlers; they are 12-1 when at home this season.
The key to their success so far has not only been team-wide offense, leading in OPS and runs scored, but also in bullpen ERA, a JKC-leading 2.26. Filipino phenom LF Renan Barnachea has been crucial in generating runs this season. After 30 games, he has already matched his 2017 home run total of 6, but in 30 games compared to last season’s 54.
Pyongyang is making a serious run at the Brawlers, however, going 7-3 in their last 10 games, and getting big offense from CF Wei-giang Koo, currently batting .400 for the JKC batting lead. Koo earlier had a 15-game hit streak, and is on game 6 in his next streak.
Melbourne U Admirals is the top AOC team, with a 1½ game lead over Brisbane College, with a record of 18-11.
Kobe Tech Bloodmutts are the first Japanese team to break the .500 mark so far this year, after winning their last two games against Busan Tech, which pushed their record up to 16-14.
The PRCL pennant race is in full swing, and so far the favorites are Kobe Tech, Busan Tech, Melbourne, and Manila.
FUJII, LIM NAMED PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
The two PRCL Players of the Week for Week #5 have been named, and despite Sapporo’s .500 performance so far this year, their RF Hirohito Fujii, has been named to the weekly accolade. Fujii hit at a pace of .588 while adding 4 RBIs and 4 runs to his season totals, an effort that has kept Sapporo close behind division leaders Kobe Tech.
Meanwhile, in the AOC, Singapore’s freshman 2B Soon-yul Lim got the nod for POTW after going 8-for-19 with a home run and 3 RBIs.