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June 6, 2011

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South Carolina
Opening Statement

I’d like to take a moment to recognize Mike Knight and Ron Sebastian from the NCAA for putting on a great Regional. Our staff, Kevin O’Connell, Senior Associate AD, Shawn Burke, Kelly Lewis, Clark Cox and all of our crew here. It’s very difficult to put an operation together and certainly last night fighting the weather that came through was very difficult. They responded in grand fashion very quickly and to get things turned around and to get us back out there today. Hats off to them. To Coach Pete Dunn and Stetson, congratulations on a great year and winning the A-10. They were a very difficult opponent. They were tough to get out. Today, that seventh inning, they put together so many quality at-bats against Matt (Price). Him escaping with only one run from that inning was the difference in the game for me. Coach Dunn has done a great job for a long, long time. He’s a very classy coach, a great coach. I enjoyed playing against a team like Stetson.

On the rain delay…
There was a tremendous amount of anxiousness on my part and tension. Well, I didn’t take the severity of the weather lightly, but I kept thinking that it was going to clear because I think Clemson had undergone a delay and it blew through and they played. But we didn’t have any power, so we didn’t have any lights. But I kept thinking we might be able to finish, but it really was nasty and I guess kind of extinguished that. But you’ve got some innings to play, and you’re trying to figure out your rotation, and Forrest Koumas wanted to go back out today. He felt great. We had to get through that, and we had set Webb up to come out of the bullpen and got to get home and you are just tracking. You are tracking the other games, and you’re watching Fullerton and Illinois. It’s crazy; you can’t sleep. But that’s part of it when you’re in this business.

On hosting a Super Regional…
There is probably not that much satisfaction. Every game is different, and the time is different than years past, so it’s a whole new experience in one way. The other way is we have got some guys who have played before. Sometimes, as a coach over the course of a season, you get in situations where you worry about your personnel and having not been there enough. Our guys have been there enough. I feel good knowing whatever happens next weekend is going to happen because of baseball. It is not going to be anxiety or tension or inexperience. If we play poorly, we are going to lose, and if we play well, we have a good chance to win, and I feel good about going into it that way because of having veteran players.

On Matt Price’s seventh inning…
Without a doubt, they would not miss. They would not take a swing and miss. He would make a good pitch, and they would foul it off, and so many time when hitters continue to foul pitches off, they win battles. It seems like in the course of baseball when you battle enough with two strikes and you fouled off six or seven balls, you end up with a hit more times than not, and he kept making pretty good pitches … Fortunately he has been in that circumstance many, many times in his career here. That was big. I am so proud of him, and I hate to put him in those situations all the time. But that is what he is accustomed to, and it was a tremendous inning for us.

PITCHER Matt Price
On the seventh inning..

Coming in, you don’t expect that, but you have got to keep fighting and keep battling against them. They were fouling off some good pitches and you don’t want to just leave one down the middle so they can hit it hard somewhere. So I was trying to make my quality pitches, but they just keep fouling off. But I ended up making it out of that inning.

On the season…
There are a lot of memories through the season, and I think this ranks up in the top. We have just got to keep fighting and keep battling.

On the regional title…
I mean it is big, but at the same time we are just trying to win and keep winning and try to get to that main goal at the end.

On not having to play tonight…

Well I didn’t dream anything about that, but I think that’s a big. I think that game off and some rest will get us ready for the weekend.

On the storm
The power went out in the locker room, and everybody went nuts. It just went pitch black. I heard there were some tornadoes, so I just checked on my family and everything so we were ready to play today.

On the team…
I think we take every game like it’s our last. We don’t take anybody lightly. We know we have got to battle to win. We have a lot of guys who are scrappy and get down and dirty. It is what we do.

CATCHER Robert Beary
On his offense this weekend…

As a team we have all been working on our hitting. Sometimes people get the luck of the draw, and I was lucky to have the opportunity to play, catch and hit. Yeah, I was locked in, I guess you would say. I just put some good swings on some balls, and the pitchers made a couple of mistakes, and the only thing you can do as a hitter is hit the ball hard, and that’s what I tried to do this weekend, and it worked out for me.

On the rain delay…
It was funny, because I was kind of wired last night, so I took a couple of Tylenol PM’s, and every time you take one of those drowsy pills you dream a little, and I actually had a dream that I hit a ball off the rail, and they gave me a ground-rule double like they did to Walker earlier in the year, so that was actually kind of funny. But the pitcher came in and gave me a couple of pitches, and I was kind of anxious. Those 16 hours kind of got to me a little bit, but that is part of the game.

On the other region games tonight…
Everyone is really into watching our opponents, whoever it is. All year we have faced competitors in other teams, and we are going to have to go out there and battle like we know how to battle and not try to be anyone else. So far, it has worked out pretty well for us.


Opening Statement

I’m so proud of these guys, especially these two seniors (Jeff Simpson and Sean Emory) up here next to me. We only have three seniors that we’re losing on this club, and it’s going to be a big loss. We’re proud of this club. Obviously, we couldn’t get it done today or this weekend. I’m really proud of this club and their effort. As I said earlier, we didn’t get much credit earlier in the year on what the club was going to do. These guys failed to believe that. We really battled today and I’m really proud.

On getting the bases loaded on Matt Price in the seventh inning…
When they brought him in, we know he’s their guy. We had him on the ropes. That’s what good guys do that have been in these situations before, they pitch their way out of it. I kept telling our guys that they went to him early and it’s hot out there. Even after he got out of that one inning, we said we had to stay with it because he probably hasn’t gone three innings. They probably haven’t gone to him in the seventh inning very often. Great pitchers and great ball clubs step up. This is a veteran club with a National Championship under their belt. They know how to win, but it seemed like when we got close and got within a couple runs they got those four runs in the ninth inning to distance themselves. We lost to a better ball club. We battled and they were the better ball club and they deserved to go on and play here next weekend.

On the rain delay last night…
I was happy. We were down 4-1 with (Robert) Beary coming up. We hadn’t done much with him yet. It was a good change of pace for us. We were stretched really thin on the mound and it gave us an extra evening to maybe get a few more innings out of those pitchers that couldn’t have gone last night. And then when he (Robert Beary) popped that ball up to (Nick) Rickles I felt really good about it.

On the weekend in Columbia, SC…
This is a great facility. It’s certainly a great community that rallies around the athletics department as a whole and certainly baseball. This is a great environment for our guys. We were trying to get up here earlier to play in this environment because we heard so much about it. We’ve been fortunate enough to play in 17 Regionals. This is by far…it’s head and shoulders above the rest…facilities, the way it’s run, the staff. They did a great job.

On his impression of facility and Columbia, SC this weekend….

Playing at Carolina Stadium is one of the biggest opportunities that we’ve ever had. It’s a great place to play baseball. It’s really exciting with everybody. Even last night there were tons of fans. It’s just really exciting to play here. We like to play like that. I love the facilities here. It’s nice.

On the rain delay last night…
Always nice to have a rain delay when you’ve got the bases loaded and two outs. We’d been playing all day. We played our hearts out all day. Rest wasn’t that bad of an idea and we were glad to get it.

On not producing with the bases loaded in the seventh inning…
Very frustrating. Our team tries to make pitchers throw pitches. So it was very frustrating when we had the bases loaded like that. We got one run out of it. Matt Price is a great pitcher. You’ve got to tip your hat to him.

On the rain delay last night…

I’d say we got some extra rest last night. Yesterday we were all tired after the first game, but we were all going to grind it out. When the storm came they had bases loaded. Then the game gets delayed. We were happy and we got to recharge and we were really focused this morning.