March 13, 2010
Head coach Steve Smith
On his pitchers pitching out of jams:
"None more so than when (Craig) Fritsch came in the game in the seventh with nobody out, (runners on) first and second. We are up two runs. They bunt them over and so now he has to pitch with the two tying runs (in scoring position). I think at that point in the ballgame was the biggest point in the game. Nobody knew we were going to add seven runs at that point, so he has to make pitches and we've got to make plays behind him and both of those things happened."
On the offensive production:
"Obviously, the swing that (Chris) Slater took was pretty significant. We hadn't done a whole lot with the left-hander. He is kind of a funky delivery and he has got a lot of movement on the ball. We are hitting a bunch of fly balls. The park played big today. I think Slater really, really had to hit his ball, and even on his at-bat, you probably couldn't have seen two more different swings. The swing before he hit the ball out, he is so far out in front that his back foot finishes in front of his front foot, and the next swing he hits it out of the park. That is a pretty odd thing to have happen. We got some base hits later. Like most clubs, if you get in the bullpen your chances are better. The guys they brought in today were more conventional guys and weren't as much movement, a little more velocity, but I thought our guys were a little more comfortable swinging against it."
On the key to winning streak:
"I would have to say probably the pitching. I haven't thought about each one of those games, but we have gotten good starting pitching. Yesterday you take one inning away from (Shawn) Tolleson and he did a really nice job. Today Logan (Verrett) was really, really solid. Craig came in and did a nice job. At the end of the year if we are talking about this team it isn't going to be necessarily because we have this unbelievable team ERA, but it is going to be below five, if we are going to be talking about this team. So far, early in the season, we have been able to keep it at four or a little bit less than four, and I think that is key."
On the goal for today:
"Our only goal today was to play well. We did not feel like we necessarily played well yesterday. We probably just got the game given to us. We know through the course of the season, we are going to lose some games when we play really, really well, so if you get one handed to you along the way you just say, `thank you,' and move on. That is kind of what happened yesterday, but that is not going to happen a lot. I really felt like, and I know the guys did too, they just wanted to play well today, and I think we did. I think we pitched it well. I think we caught it well. I think we made some adjustments as the game wore on. We were in a one-run game for much of the game. This was a much closer game than the final score would indicate."
Sophomore Pitcher Logan Verrett
On his performance:
"I just trusted my stuff, trusted my defense. I knew if I was going to fill up the zone and throw strikes and they put it in play, I would be able to get out of it with the defense I had playing behind me. That is pretty much what I did."
On how the ballpark is playing:
"I try to throw the same every time I go out there. Strikeout everybody is my mentality pretty much. On a day like today, it is nice having that wind blowing in a little bit, so balls will hang up and outfielders will be able to get underneath them to make the catch."
On Craig Fritsch relieving him and getting out of the jam:
"That was big. Craig did awesome. He came in and got the job done for me. I made a mistake to that first batter, hung an 0-2 slider to him and he ripped it up the middle, and then I walked that next batter. I am sure I was getting up there in the pitch count, so it was time for me to come out. I was just extremely proud of how Craig came in and shut them down after that."
Junior Outfielder Chris Slater
On his home run:
"I had seen a lot of off-speed pitches and had been pitched backward a lot this weekend, they started off with a lot of off-speed early in the count and then came back with fastballs. I said in my head that there is no way I am going to let this guy beat me or let me beat myself by being out front, so I just kind of waited back on it to see how far I can let the ball travel."
On his swing sparking the club:
"Winning games in baseball is all about timely hitting. When we were on that little losing streak there, we weren't getting timely hits or getting them when we needed them. Thankfully we have been able to step up and do a lot better with runners in scoring position, and that has helped us to score a lot of runs and be more successful. I definitely think hitting is contagious and once you get a couple runs up there everybody else kind of catches it too. Fortunately we were able to start swinging the bats there in the last three innings."