May 3, 2009
Coach Steve Smith
On his team's pitching and defense
"It was very good. I thought really in the context of what these guys are going through right now, it was a very good game. I just think that Willie (Kempf) stepped up and gave us a great start. We played well behind him, turned a couple of very timely double plays. If they hadn't been good today we would have had a chance to win this thing today and they did make a couple of mistakes. They weren't perfect today. I mean, my gosh, they finally popped a bunt up, but all in all they played well. (Texas pitcher Taylor) Jungmann I thought was just really, really good on the mound. I think all of their starting pitching was good in this series. It was as advertised. I commend them for that. Their guys on the mound did a great job."
On the team's attitude when Brooks Pinckard stole second in the seventh inning
"We got to get a hit. We got to execute. We got a break getting Pinckard to second with nobody out and we can't get him over. We had the leadoff runner on I believe the last three innings and we played small ball a little bit, but couldn't get the hit. I thought Shaver (Hansen) had a great stroke on the ball in right center. I thought (Longhorn centerfielder) Connor Rowe was tremendous in the outfield for them. I think he made some great plays in yesterday's game that were completely forgotten because of the score, but that play today was pretty significant as tight as it was."
On the timeliness of getting a break
"I think it is good news and bad news with the break. The good news is we don't have to play for another nine days and the bad news is we don't have to play for another nine days. I think that the guys are hurt. They are fighting right now to get through this and move on to the next day. Now they got to really turn the dial up on school: face the challenges and pressures of finals. My encouragement and challenge to them was to not let what was going on on the field affect them off the field. That is always the challenge of a baseball player. They spend so much time on the field, they play so many games; it is really not about missing class as much as it is taking the field home with you and just not having the motivation to do well if you are struggling on the field. My observation through the years is the guys do a great job not allowing that to happen. I think most of the credit of that goes to their parents. They do a great job and I think we will get through it and I think we are going to get through this season. This thing is going to turn around because we have too many good players for it not to."
On Willie Kempf's performance
"In particular after giving up a solo homerun early in the first inning of the game on a good pitch. You got to give (Longhorn catcher Cameron) Rupp a whole lot of credit. They got a couple of guys in the middle of the order that haven't had remarkably good years, but they are still very capable and they are very strong. I mean, my gosh, (Longhorn right fielder Kevin) Keyes almost hit that ball out the other way there, which you talk about deflating that would have been deflating, but it stayed in the yard and we still had light. I think Willie got past that. I think the guys made a great play picking the guy at third. That is something that we all had observed and they executed and made a play there. That saved us a run right there too. I think we played defense and defended the short game today as well as you can probably do it and they weren't perfect, but we get some of the credit for that: how we were pitching and I think we defended it pretty well today."
On Craig Fritsch's performance
"He got us to Logan (Verrett) and Logan made some big pitches including the very last one he made. Logan is going to be pretty good."
Junior Raynor Campbell
On the game
"It was a tough loss, but there were positive things today."
On the team's defense
"For Texas it takes the bunt away. Anytime you can play good defense and keep that lead runner off the base, you are taking the bunt away from them. We made 10 errors in the first two games of this series and it hurt, but today we were at our home park and we are used to the surface. We played good defense today, so that is a positive. It definitely limited Texas' bunt game."
On the team's attitude being down 2-1 in the game
"We are feeling great compared to how the whole rest of the weekend went. We are sitting right there, we are still in the game and we are excited. We had that one inning where Shaver (Hansen) lines out to the center fielder with a man on second. We just had some tough breaks today, but they are going to start falling. They are going to start falling."
On not getting the breaks
"It is the game of baseball. That is how it is. The thing they did was just put the ball in play. If you put the ball in play, things like that will happen. That was a huge run (Texas' run in the top of the ninth). We got the leadoff runner on in the bottom of the ninth and that run took our bunt away. So it is big just getting the ball in play."
Junior Willie Kempf
On his performance today
"Your job as a starter is to keep you team in it and give them a chance to win. I was able to do that today and the guy that came in after me did the same thing. Unfortunately they were just a little better on the mound today."
On what the team can take away from this game
"You are always looking for positives when you have played as poorly as we have recently. That is definitely a positive we can look at and say we played pretty good defense, we threw it pretty well on the mound. But at the same time at the end of the day we did lose this game and that is heading down the wrong path for us. We want to get back on track as soon as we can."
On getting a break because of finals
"I think right now a break might be the best thing that could happen for us. At this point we just need to get away and clear our heads for a week or so and think about something different other than baseball and come back out here next time with a new energy and a renewed sense of confidence."
On the team's confidence
"It is still there. We still think we can play with anybody, but we just have to prove it to ourselves again and that is something we failed to do the last couple of weekends. We played some good teams and they have taken it to us. We need to prove to ourselves again that we are good enough to beat those kinds of teams again."
On his performance helping his confidence
"It always helps. I guess some guys from start to start; they take more out of it. I don't really take a whole lot from start to start. I judge myself more on my performance and how I felt how I did rather than the result. I feel good about today and maybe it will help me with a little confidence here to come."