March 6, 2011
Head Coach Steve Smith
On tonight's game:
"Max flew out deep to the wall earlier in the ballgame, and I really would have been curious to see a year ago where that ball would have gone. He really got something into it but it just got to the fence. There are some things we can learn from this. It was not a perfectly played ballgame from our standpoint. I think we had some guys compete well and some other guys not as well as what I think we are going to need. At the end, they found a way to win the game."
On things the team can learn from the game:
"There were a lot of not good things that took place in this game, some of which nobody would even know. It's just certain things that took place that are not competitive. To be able to get your senior (Landis Ware) to lead you off with a double, to get your number four hitter to move a guy over, you'd like to take all of that for granted but that's as big as Max's (homerun.) You get the guy to third base like we did a number of times in this game today, we did a pretty good job of that. For the most part, we've done a very good job of getting that guy home with less than two outs on third base. I think that's been a strength for us so far. There were a couple of times in this ballgame today where we had a runner at second with nobody out and didn't get him to third and left him stranded there with one out. Those were not good at-bats and that's kind of what I've been talking about. But we've done a good job with that guy over at third. Rice had a tough call to make in the 10th inning and they put a couple of guys on hoping for a ball right at them and Max took a fastball and then got a changeup up in the zone and couldn't really hit it better than he hit it."
On moving Landis Ware up in the lineup:
"I think he is right where he is best for us. He's an on-base percentage guy and he's got some pull-side pop. He did a good job today with that two-strike approach. If he'll start doing something like that on a regular basis then his average will start going up and we'll be so much better because you'd like to have him on base when you turn the lineup over. The key to just about any team is the bottom of the lineup. Can they get those guys on base? Everybody knows the front of the order is the best guys. You need to those guys up there with people on base. (Landis) has done a pretty good job of that and so has (Steve) DalPorto. I've even thought of putting (Cal) Towey down there because he is walking so much. On-base percentage is the only thing that matters with all of those guys."
Sophomore 1B Max Muncy
On what the win can do for the team:
"It shows us that everything we learn is right. You can't quit until there are 27 outs. You have got to take everything one pitch at a time, one inning at a time. Once, there are 27 outs then you can relax and give up on it."
On the pitch he hit for a grand slam:
"I believe it was a fastball, but it was one of those times where you know it is going right, because you can't really tell which pitch is it and you just hit it."
On what he was thinking when he stepped in the batter's box with the bases loaded:
"To start with I thought they were going to bring in a lefty, after they walked the bases loaded, so I was kind of half and half on what I was suspecting and once I saw they were leaving that guy in my big goal was find a pitch I can get a good swing on and hit it in the air to the outfield and we can get a runner in to win the game."
On if watching people get walked intentionally in front of him gets him psyched up:
"Of course it does. For every player on this team there is nothing more they would want than to have a situation like that: bases loaded one out, the game is in your hands. There is nothing better than that."
Senior SS Landis Ware
On the game:
"It was kind of a frustrating game, going back-and-forth with them being up and then us being up. But a big time for Max (Muncy) to have his first homerun of the year right there."
On Max Muncy's walk-off homerun:
"I knew it was gone. We only needed one run so I was still tagging in case of a miracle catch or something. But I knew it was gone and it is just so much better that way."
Freshman RHP Trae Davis
On Max Muncy's walk-off homerun:
"Words can't define that. That was the first walk-off grand slam I have ever been a part of. As a kid, you see it all the time on TV, you read about it, but to be a part of it in this setting, being a freshman, at Minute Maid Park in Houston. I can't describe how good that is. Muncy did his job. He got a good pitch to elevate and do what he had to do. He just got a hold of it and the rest is history."
On what this win can do for the team:
"This could always been a game that defines the whole season. Not just the next few months, but the whole season. We've been back-and-forth for the first few weeks of the season. We've had some good moments and some bad moments. We have shown signs of greatness and we have shown signs that we aren't really ready. At the end of the day, the thing about us is that we keep fighting. We went from being up 4-1, to down, to up. That's our mentality. We are going to fight until the end. A win like this could be what we need to get us going and get the blood going."