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[8/19/2015] 97th Summer Koshien: Kiyomiya’s post-game interview

by on Aug.19, 2015 @ 11:36 pm, under High School, Summer Koshien
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Kotaro Kiyomiya post-game interview, from Daily Sports:

How do you feel right now?

I'm frustrated that I will no longer be able to play baseball with [the third year players]. I'm really... I'm frustrated that I couldn't help the team. We had a decent number of hits, but double plays at key points gave them the momentum.

What was it like facing Sendai Ikuei's Sena Sato?

He's a really good pitcher. He did a good job using his fork and fastball, but it wasn't like he was unhittable. You can't win a championship without going against pitchers like him.

It was the last game for the third year players.

Yeah, they allowed someone like me, a first year, to go out there any enjoy myself. I wouldn't be here without the third year players. I'm so frustrated. Sato-san told me to come back.

Is the frustration you're feeling now something you've never felt before?

I have never gotten this far and lost before. It's very frustrating.

What about your tears?

A lot of people cheered for us and this is the last Koshien game [for us] this year. It means we have to leave. When I thought about how we can't play at this stadium any more this year, it felt like the stadium was saying goodbye and I felt grateful.

Have you every cried before?

No. I have never cried, win or lose.

What did it feel like, to hear your opponent's school song?

It was very frustrating. I don't ever want to forget what I felt when I heard [the other] school's song.

What are your thoughts on the third-year players?

I didn't have to carry the load by myself, the third-year players provided support. This tournament helped me understand kindness. I can't even begin to express how much gratitude I have for their presence. If I could do this all over again, I'd want to play with the third-year players.

What about the Koshien dirt?

I don't need any because I'll be back.

Did you have fun during your first Koshien?

Yes, I had a lot of fun.

On looking back at the tournament.

This wasn't just about me. The third-year players also helped bring us here. I don't want to forget this Koshien, I don't want to forget this frustration. I'll be happy if I can come back here and win one for the third-year players. The third-year players really supported us and this tournament helped me see that. It was a lot of fun.

How would you like to return?

This can't be it. I'll practice hard, improve myself, and come back. I want to become the kind of hitter that can put up better numbers.

What does baseball mean to you?

It is everything to me. I wouldn't be here if there was no baseball.

How did this tournament help you grow?

It helped me relax. I know now that results will naturally come if I just enjoy high school baseball.

What about the next team?

That's not something I can really think about right now.

Source: Daily Sports 8/19/2015

[8/17/2015] 97th Summer Koshien: Kiyomiya’s post-game interview

by on Aug.17, 2015 @ 4:35 pm, under High School, Summer Koshien
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Kotaro Kiyomiya's post-game interview from August 17:

Nikkan Sports -

What are your thoughts on making it to the semifinals?

We played a tough team so I wanted to focus on winning this game. I'm relieved we were able to win.

They pitched you inside during your first at bat.

I know teams are going to come inside on me. I feel I did a good job handling [the pitches].

You got hurt during your first at bat.

I was jammed with a pitch that came inside near the handle. I hurt the area near the base of my left thumb. I got it taped. It's not like there wasn't any pain, but I feel it let me swing more freely.

You hit a home run on the first pitch you saw during your second at bat.

I wasn't really looking for the first pitch, but I got a good one and it flew out to a good place.

Your first home run was fly ball. The one you hit today was a line drive.

I tend to hit home runs like today. It was a little toward the end [of the bat], but I felt I got all of it the moment I hit it.

It was an inside pitch.

Inside pitches carry if I hit them. If I can gauge [those pitches], then it opens up a lot of options.

Your slowly rounded the bases.

I was a little anxious when I hit the first one and it never really sunk it. I took my time today and got a chance to slowly enjoy.

A student from Tokyo retrieved the home run.

He came all the way from Tokyo? It's far away. I'm glad.

You hit a double to left-center during your fourth at bat.

I think I did a good job reacting to the pitch. I swung the bat naturally.

You need two more wins to take home the tournament.

It is a dream to win the tournament, but our team is about taking each win one at a time and not getting ahead of ourselves.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/17/2015

Daily Sports -

I really felt relaxed at the plate today. I saw the pitches well. We scored first and the mood in the dugout was really positive.

How is your injury?

A pitch came inside and I hurt the area near the base of my thumb. I felt they were going to continue pitching me inside. I got it taped and everything was okay. It ended up working out because I let me relax. I felt pain when I swung the bat, but the adrenaline when I stepped into the batter's box helped me forget it.

Your home run and RBI pushed you above Kazuhiro Kiyohara and Hideki Matsui in their first years.

Both Kiyohara and Matsui did well after their first years. I'm still not even close to those greats. Plus, RBIs aren't just about my performance.

How did it feel when you rounded the bases?

I felt anxious after the first home run and it really never sunk it, but I felt good after the home run I hit today.

The semifinals are next.

Winning the tournament is a dream, but the team is about playing one game at a time. I want to play without thinking too far ahead in the future.

Source: Daily Sports 8/17/2015

Date Opponent AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO
2015/08/08 Imabari Nishi 4 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
2015/08/13 Hiroshima Shinjo 4 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 1
2015/08/15 Tokai Daigaku Fuzoku Kofu 4 1 3 2 0 1 5 0 0
2015/08/17 Kyushu Kokusai Daigaku Fuzuoku 4 2 2 1 0 1 1 0 0
    16 5 8 3 0 2 8 0 1

Kiyomiya joined Masumi Kuwata (1983) as the only first-year players to hit two home runs during a summer tournament. Kiyomiya is the first to hit the home runs in back-to-back games. He also tied Kuwata's summer tournament first-year player RBI record.

Source: Nikkan Gendai 8/17/2015

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