March 23, 2007
Head Coach Steve Smith:
On Mandel's performance:
"I was sitting there thinking, 'Are we ever going to score this guy any runs?' He was pitching really well until they hit a lead-off home run in the top of the fourth. Fortunately, he was able to get through the rest of that inning because they made some good adjustments the second time through the order."
On Mandel pitching the weekend opener for the third straight week:
"He's gotten us to the seventh inning all three times, and he's been very consistent. He's not walking a lot of guys, and he's not beating himself. He showed a lot of maturity and a lot of focus out there. The kind of stuff you want a senior to have. In terms of seniors, we don't have another option there. Our club is so young that they will have confidence based on who is on the mound."
On veteran leadership:
"I think there are certain players who need to be on the field. There are certain players who may not necessarily be who I would want to play, but their presence on the field is making the other seven or eight guys better. You're not playing your best nine players. You're playing your best nine. I think with this club, the trick is figuring out what the best nine is."
"I thought Matthews was key to everything because he didn't fold. They had a chance to really make this thing tight and put a lot of pressure on us, but he got through that inning. That saves us from turning to Nick to make some big pitches with guys in scoring position. Both those guys did a really good job."
Baylor senior starting pitcher Jeff Mandel:
On starting the opener of a weekend series:
"After last weekend we really needed a pick-me-up. Our guys are going to come around. We're always going to have new guys picking up their roles and getting better as the year goes along. I like getting out there and getting everything in order."
On his high pitch count:
"I was a little worried about that. You don't want to have to show so many pitches early in the game. I was throwing a lot of sliders early, and I was worried that they were going to start catching on to that, so I tried to limit my pitch count later in the game. My arm was feeling it toward the end, but I couldn't complain. The results were all right."