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June 3, 2011

Recap | Notes

Opening Statement

You guys have heard about good news-bad news? That was bad news-good news. We looked like the Bad News Bears out on defense the first three innings. Our guys fought back, and our bullpen did a great job. The offense did a great job of coming back and taking the lead. After we gave up the two-run homer, Jake Boyd held them there and gave us an opportunity to win in the ninth. I wasn’t real pleased with the way we started out. I thought we played tight. Only one young man on this ball club who is a fifth year, redshirt senior has played in a NCAA Regional. We talked to them about it before the game. We told them to just go out and play relaxed, but we came out and played a little bit tight. I’m proud of these guys.

On if the experience today will help the rest of the weekend…
I think it will go a long way. These guys did a heck of a job all year. We weren’t picked to finish any higher than fifth in our conference. Our guys did a great job. This is a whole different stage. I didn’t sense it before the game, but after watching the first three innings I sensed it a lot. It was pretty bad. I chewed them pretty good. Usually, when you get to this stage you want to sit back and let them relax. I chewed them pretty good after those errors. They responded in the right way. It could go the other way. These guys really got after it after that. When we got to 5-3, it was a new attitude in the dugout. It wasn’t a good attitude at the start down 5-0 and playing like we were.

On the last at-bat…

I got the two strikes. I’ve been a decent hitter with two strikes this whole year. That’s one of the things we’ve worked on, just trying to put the ball in play and not take useless hacks. I was just trying to put the ball in play. He threw one middle-in, and I just hit it in the hole.

On the butterflies to start the game…
I think we had to get the jitters out. I think it was a little bit of nervousness. It was a big stadium. It wasn’t nearly packed, but it was an atmosphere that we hadn’t really experienced before. It took a little bit of getting used to. It took a little bit to settle down. I don’t think we got our first hit until the fourth inning. It took us till then to settle down. Once we settled down and got the ball in play, we came back to the team that we could be.

On the mindset after being down 5-0 early…

Like coach said, we were shaky on defense. The biggest thing is getting to the next, the next inning, the next pitch. We just have to believe that we’re a good team. We got here because we’re a good team. The biggest thing was just starting with the basics. Just trying to get base runners on and putting together an inning. That doesn’t mean trying to hit a home run.

On what the three-run home run meant to the team…
I got a pitch I was looking for. He left it up there. It was huge to get back in the game. Those three runs were big. At 5-3, we thought we could hold them where they were. All around it was our bullpen. We’ve got some great guys on the team. They go out there and put it all on the line. It was a great team victory.