Q&A from Shohei Otani's (Hanamaki Higashi High School) post-game press conference, via Nikkan Sports:
On today's games...
I allowed them to score the first runs of the game and I am upset that I could not win this game. I just did not have it in me.
You were taken off the mound once after the 7th inning.
There were a number of left-handed bats coming up so we went with [Daiki] Obara.
You were brought back into the game in the 8th and managed to get out of a tight spot.
I pitched believing we would come back. And I am glad that I was able to play hard until the very end. We were up next so I pitched believing we would get a walk-off.
You collected a timely hit in your at bat in the 9th.
With runners on first and second and no out, I felt confident we could make a comeback. I was able to keep the inning going, so I was able to do my part.
Has the loss sunk in?
Not so much immediately after the game. But when I returned to the dugout and saw the others crying, I felt that my three years were over.
On giving up a three-run home run.
I wanted to throw a fastball low and away, but it got up a little. [Daichi] Nihashi was better than me there.
On hitting 160km/h a few days earlier.
I wanted to enjoy winning the summer Koshien with the people of Iwate, more than hitting 160km/h. I am really disappointed that I could not do that.
What are your future plans?
I have not thought about that yet. I will decide after speaking to the manager and people around me.