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June 10, 2011

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South Carolina Press Conference
Connecticut Press Conference

South Carolina Head Coach Ray Tanner

Opening statement…
It’s a great time of year for college baseball. We are excited about the weekend and having UConn in here. I know they have a great club, tremendous talent, well coached. There are only 16 teams left this time of year and that’s the way it should be. We don’t take for granted that you get to play at this time of year. These guys have worked hard. We are excited about being here. This is part of the reason that they signed on to play at the University of South Carolina. We are looking forward to the weekend.

On Roth’s pitching…
As a coach, when you send guys out to play whatever sport it may be, all you can hope for is that they be who they are and give you the best that they have got and not get caught up in other things that they can’t control, and that’s what Michael Roth is all about and it hasn’t just been this year. I know from the World Series on he became more of a big name but if you remember, we have put him in some difficult situations along the way. He was sort of the John Taylor of last year’s team, although, we had John and Mata, Roth was in there getting outs in order to get to Price. We don’t really put ourselves against other people. We try to coach our guys to be who they are and stay within themselves and play the way they are capable of playing and if it’s good enough great and if it’s not there is not a whole lot you can do. We don’t spend a whole lot of time on scouting reports within our team. We do it within our coaching time. We try to prepare and help our guys execute based on the report. We try not to get them engrossed in that too much. Coach Meyers will have a discussion with our pitchers. It is more about what you do and if you do it to the best of your ability and that is enough. You can’t try to do too much at one time and that’s what Roth is really good about. He is going to do what he can do and good, bad or indifferent, I will be content with that because I know who he is and what I am going to get, it is going to be his best effort on that particular day. He is just going to try to pitch like he is capable and we hope it is good enough.

On what he knows about Barnes…
It’s not easy to be in the first round. It takes a very special person to be drafted that way, but a big strong guy with multiple pitches, a hard thrower, a Cape Cod performer; all of the stuff that a first-rounder possesses. You have to be very good on that particular day or those guys will stuff you a little bit. We are just hoping that we have a good day tomorrow.

On UConn…
I think there definitely are challenges in baseball because of the climate that you play in and our schedule. When you start playing in February, there are some difficult challenges and there are a few teams in the Midwest and the Northeast that are pretty good that have been for a long time.

Pitcher Michael Roth

On tomorrow’s match up…
It will just be another battle again and that’s the way I have described the whole year. I just go out there and compete and try to throw my game and not get mixed up in all that.

On UConn’s lineup…
I don’t know anything as of right now other than they have a first-rounder in (George) Springer, but other than that, I haven’t talked to Coach Meyers yet. We will go over that today and before the game tomorrow.

On the fans…
We have some of the best fans in the country, if not the best. Without them, we probably wouldn’t win some of the games that we do because they create a great atmosphere and we are hoping for that this weekend.

Infielder Adrian Morales

On UConn coming to play in South Carolina…
It’s impressive for them to come down to South Carolina and beat Clemson two games at home makes it even more impressive. We just have to go out and try to play our game.

Catcher Brady Thomas

On UConn coming to play in South Carolina…
We know that if they are playing this late in the year they have had to beat some really good teams to get this far, so we know that we have our work cut out for us and they are going to be a really good team and there should be some really good baseball this weekend.

UConn Head Coach Jim Penders

Opening statement…
Very much looking forward to getting out there and practicing on that gorgeous ball field. We’ve enjoyed the last couple days in Columbia. We came over on Wednesday after a quick workout at Clemson. The Tigers were kind enough to allow us to practice on their field. Then we got on the road. We got a nice workout at Spring Valley High School. We had a good workout there. We’ve had a little downtime and took some time to relax. We went to play laser tag last night. We’ve been trying to keep things lighter. We went to the movies the other night when we were at Clemson. We try to get away a little bit and also get our work in. We’re looking forward to a good workout today and to competing tomorrow night.

On South Carolina pitcher Michael Roth
He’s a heck of a pitcher. He really knows how to pitch. He’s found away to become a heck of a competitor. All we’ve heard about him is that he really knows how to compete and to pitch. He has good stuff that he really knows how to use, but his biggest asset is that he really knows how to pitch. He can pitch with some emotion. We expect a heck of a test. I know these guys have been in big games. These guys are wearing rings. They’ve been on the biggest stage there is and excelled on it. We expect one heck of a battle.

On the team’s confidence level…
We haven’t been here before, but I feel like the last couple days in Clemson were very helpful to us. I think it helped us, hopefully, get over that hurdle and beat somebody that other folks didn’t feel like we could beat. We had 31 kids in our dugout that believed that we could beat them, and that’s all that matters. If we let the environment get ahold of their attention, we probably aren’t going to do so well. We’re going to get out there and practice and I bet the dimensions are pretty similar to some other fields that we’ve played on. We’ll see what happens.

Pitcher Matt Barnes

On South Carolina pitcher Michael Roth
He’s a good pitcher and he pitches for a good ball club. He has beaten some competitive arms and some other good talent. I’m just going to go out there and do what I’ve done all year and provide my team with a quality start. Hopefully we can score some runs off of him and get out of there with a win.

On baseball at UConn…
Isn’t as popular as basketball and football. Our coaches have done a great job getting us to the level to be nationally recognized. A lot of people on campus are starting to pay attention and recognize what we’re doing. They’re really happy for us. It’s tough playing in a cold weather state. People don’t really want to come sit in coats and gloves and hats for two hours. We make the best of it. I think making it to a regional last year and a super regional this year has really helped us grow as a program and a university.

Infielder LJ Mazzilli

On the Regional win at Clemson
It brings a lot to the table coming into this weekend. Going to Clemson and playing big games, in front of big crowds, gave us a little confidence boost. It told us that we can do it as a team. Coming into this series it gives us a little confidence.

On what reaching a super regional means…
I think our program has a lot of talent. There’s a lot of talent where we’re from in the Northeast. When it comes together, we all believe what we can do as a team. It shows that anything you put in front of us we can overcome it if we’re all pulling in the same direction. The good thing about this ball club is we all want the same thing and we’re all a bunch of best friends having fun on the field. We want to win and we trust each other.

Outfielder George Springer

On winning the Clemson Regional
It shows that we have that never say die approach. We’re going to go out and play as hard as we possibly can. There’s a phenomenal ball club here. They have great arms and they all can hit. We’re just going to go out and play hard and hopefully hold on to what happened the last few games.

On his relationship with South Carolina’s Jackie Bradley Jr….
I’ve had the privilege to play against him last summer time and the honor to play with him. He’s a phenomenal kid. He goes out and plays hard and works hard. He’s been saying just go out and have fun. I think that shows a lot about who he is. I’ve been in contact with him thoughout the year and he’s a phenomenal ball player. I wish the things that have happened to him didn’t happen. I wish I could play against him again.