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June 4, 2011

Recap | Box Score | Notes

NC State

Opening Statement

A lot of people told me when we came down here that this was the toughest Regional in the country. I think all Regionals are tough, so I hate to use that word. I certainly see what people were talking about it. They (Georgia Southern) might be a four seed but that’s probably one of the toughest teams we’ve played all year. That’s a tough, well-coached team with tough hard-nosed players. I’m just so proud of our players who were up against elimination. To go up against a team like that, being the visitors again and not having that last at bat and they were still able to grind and tough it out. I’m just proud of where they’ve come from.

On their pitching rotation the last two games…
It was interesting. It was a tough night for me last night. I don’t think I slept 10 minutes without walking up. We weren’t second-guessing our decision. We came out and scored seven runs yesterday. Cory (Mazzoni) could give up eight too. Everybody doesn’t always have their day. It’s a good tournament with good people. We made our decision. Cory has been pitching great with four days rest. That’s what he likes right now. We’ll try to do the same thing again if we advance after this week. It was a tough night. You think about so many things. If we win, we’re in the night game and I thought Cory could give us eight (innings) in the night game. I didn’t think anybody could give us eight in this kind of heat. I didn’t think that was possible today, it was hotter than yesterday. I’m not shocked because he continues to amaze me, but I’m just so proud of who he has become. When I went out there before he faced (Victor) Roach, I thought he was done. He said, “Coach, no, I got him.” Roach may be as good a player as we’ve seen all year. That’s a man, holy smokes. I just congratulated him in the hallway and I told him good luck in the draft. He told me he’s a sophomore. I’m trying to figure out how to be his agent. And Cory was out there pitching on nothing but guts. He wanted that opportunity and he was going to get it.

On performing while facing elimination…

It felt good. I just wanted to give my team the chance to win today. I wanted to limit walks, throw strikes and pound the zone. I did feel all four of my pitches today. That’s the best I’ve felt pretty much all year, so it felt good.

On what Coach Avent said before facing Victor Roach…
He wanted to know if I had one more in me. I told him I did. I just wanted to keep the ball down against him. He had struggled against my slider. Luckily he popped it up.

On the catch against the wall…

Off the bat I knew it was going to leave the park or go off the wall. I was just trying to get back to the wall as quickly as I could and give myself some room to take off. Cory has pitched his tail off this year. A lot of times he hasn’t gotten the run support. It was big for me, but it was big for Cory. We needed to come through for him.

Georgia Southern

Opening Statement

We ran into another pretty tough pitcher today in Cory Mazzoni. We knew we were going to have our hands full with him today. I think that Chris (Beck) really went out and competed and gave us a great effort. When you are facing a guy like that there is not a whole lot of room for error, when he’s got his good stuff and today he did. It was a hard-fought game and you’ve got to tip your hat to NC State. I’m proud of our team, they have worked awful hard to get to this point and I feel good about the future for next year with the core that we have coming back.

On the team’s pitching…
You hear it all the time, good pitching is usually going to be good hitting. This time of year you have got to really pitch and that’s what got us. We pitched last week in our conference tournament to get us into the Regional and I thought we pitched really well today. We just ran out a little bit late, our approach could have been a little bit better at times; way too many punch outs, in these two games we really didn’t pressure the defense a whole lot. Today we were a little more able to be aggressive on the bases because were able to get a few more base runners, but you know, that’s baseball.

On Mazzoni’s pitching…

He was going right at us, he had his fastball and his slider working today. I just tried to be a lot more aggressive today then I was yesterday at the plate and I was able to get some results today. He had some very good stuff; low 90’s, fast ball, a nice slider, so I knew he was not going to pitch around me today so I was just getting into the box ready to hit.

On his season overall…
It was a pretty good season. We had a rough season as a team and we were able to come back brush all that off, win the Southern Conference and play a few more weeks.

On his performance today…

It was a normal plan today, go out and get as many as we could and then hand it over to the bullpen. I had some pretty good stuff today, the fastball was there, good change up. NC State had a couple of good at bats. All in all I feel like my stuff was there, but the cards fell a little different than they did last week.

On his post-season experience…
It’s a huge experience, this year I learned a lot about pitching coming from last year as more of a thrower. I learned how to pitch this year. I learned that it takes more than one guy to win ball games, it takes a whole team effort and we really did that at the end of the year at the right time.