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June 6, 2002

COLUMBIA, S.C. – NCAA Super Regional

Thursday, June 06, 2002

Press Conference Quotes

Miami Head Coach Jim Morris

“For us it’s been a bit of an unusual season. We lost a lot of players. It was a tough regular season for us. We got it going a little bit late in the season. Coming into South Carolina is going to be a tough fight with a great ball club. We’re excited about being here.”

On wearing the Miami Jersey: “People at Miami believe you’re going to win post season and that you’re going to Omaha. The players at our first practice said ‘Omaha’. Our players believe that we’re going to end up in Omaha, our fans believe we’re going to end up in Omaha, and I think sometimes the other teams believe we’re going to end up in Omaha, and there is no question that I think that is an advantage for our team.

“It was a tough season and I didn’t know whether we were going to make it but with the leadership of guys like Kiki (Bengochea) we were able to overcome those obstacles.”

Miami Pitcher Kiki Bengochea: “We haven’t had an easy game all season. When they were announcing the 64 teams (for NCAA) I was worried that we weren’t going to get in. Once we got in I think the team has actually relaxed. Our biggest fear was not being able to play and not being able to defend our national championship. South Carolina is a unique team with a lot of talent and speed coming from Drew Meyer. They’re a very good ball club.”

South Carolina Head Coach Ray Tanner

“We’ve very happy to be playing at home for the Super Regional. We get to play at the Sarge [Sarge Frye Field] with an opportunity to go to the college world series, and we’re looking forward to a great weekend. This is what it’s all about. It is exciting. At this point the records are regardless for anybody. Everybody comes in and it is a new season. Obviously Miami has been there many times – two out of the last three times they have left Omaha with the championship. The only difference is they have had to go through Coral Gables. This time it is a little bit different. They have to go on the road and come to Columbia. If Miami beats us this weekend, it’s because they are the better team. It’s not because we will be intimidated, because we won’t. We’re playing in our backyard this time.”

South Carolina Pitcher Blake Taylor

“My arm’s feeling better. On Tuesday it was feeling better than it was on Monday and it has gotten better throughout the week. I’ve lifted some weights, got some treatments, and I think by tomorrow I will be ready to go, back in my spot as closer.”

South Carolina Outfielder Garris Gonce

“I’ll be playing against some guys that I’ve played with and played against in the past. It gives me a chance to show them, and all of the Florida schools, that I can play. South Carolina gave me a great opportunity to play. They have a sub-par record by their standards, but you can’t count anybody out. We just have to go out there and play our game and I think we’ll be fine.”