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March 29, 2015

Box Score

Head Coach Chad Holbrook

Opening Statement

First thing, on behalf of our baseball team, the program, coaching staff and players we want to congratulate Coach (Dawn) Staley and her team. Awesome, awesome accomplishment to go to the Final Four for the first time in school history. Coach Staley was with us on the plane ride back from Omaha after we won those national championships. It’s a close-knit group on this campus. I got chill bumps when our crowd was cheering for them when the final horn sounded. That’s a neat deal and we’re awful proud of that. With that being said, the game was obviously a very important game for our team, the psyche of our team and the sanity of its coach. I asked the players to give us everything they had. I put some freshman in there and they did good job, Hunter Taylor had a big hit and Madison Stokes had a big hit. Clarke Schmidt handled adversity the right way and gave us a chance even though his line’s not great. We lost the first two games and the first pitch Clarke throws gets hit in the seats. I like the way he gathered himself and gave us a fighting chance, ending that first inning with just two runs. Jack Wynkoop really bowed up for our team. Sometimes, over the course of the season you get the feeling that some games are more important than others and this game was important for a lot of reasons. It was really, really neat to see Jack want the ball in his hands and want the importance of this game in his hands. Other than that, we live to fight another day and we look forward to this week going on the road and hopefully playing a good solid game on Tuesday in Charleston.

On putting the freshman in the lineup

Well, I have always been high on those kids. (Madison) Stokes for example, I know is going to be a really good player. He just got off to a slow start and his confidence was shook a little bit so he hasn’t had as many opportunities as I wanted to give him. But, he came up big for us today. He’s got electric bat speed and when it makes contact with the ball he can do some damage. I put him in there because I wanted some more bat speed in our lineup. Clark (Scolamiero) is a difference maker from an athletic standpoint. I know he didn’t have a hit today but he had an RBI and did what I asked him to do. He can nut some balls and bunt and that sort of thing and beat them out because he is so athletic. Then, we gave the ball to our freshman pitcher and he kept us in the game. Hunter Taylor, who has played a little more had two hits and hits a big home run when they (Georgia) were kind of gaining momentum back. All those kids have a chance to be really good players and maybe I need to play them a little bit more.

On using Taylor Widener offensively

I told him yesterday that is about time maybe this week that he picks up a bat. It’s something I’ll look at. He wasn’t swinging the bat very well and (Alex) Destino was when we made a decision to do it (put Taylor Widenr in the closer role) I just didn’t see him getting a lot of at bats and I didn’t want to take his focus away from his pitching. At that point in time, he was throwing the ball extremely well. Since we have struggled a little bit with production in that spot and I know that Taylor’s got some pop in his bat. I told him yesterday that we probably have to have you pick up a bat this week and get the rust off and see if we can use you. I’m not saying he will be our DH but we have to have him prepared.

Freshman Catcher Hunter Taylor

On the feeling of hitting his first career homer

When I hit it I felt like it had a pretty good chance to clear the fence. It felt awesome. I probably will never feel that feeling again and it felt great.

Freshman Infielder Madison Stokes

On Holbrook using the freshman players today

I think he was just trying to switch some things up, get some players in there. I feel like we came through and I’m glad we got the win today.

On mindset of the team coming into this game 0-2 in the series

We were trying not to get so caught up in the amount of loses we’ve had in the past few games. We were just trying to play one game at a time and find a way to compete and have fun like Coach Holbrook said. We wanted to find a way to win and not get so caught up in what happened the last few games. I think we did a pretty good job today of competing and playing as a team. We are getting to where we need to be and figuring some things out now. I am proud of the way we preformed today as a team.