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Baylor 5, Minnesota 0

May 29, 2009

Recap |  Box Score

Head Coach Steve Smith


On the pitching:

“I thought it was an extremely well pitched game on both sides. I think that we got a few timely hits. I thought the game was well played but the thing that stands out the most for me was the quality of the pitching. I thought (Tom) Buske was outstanding with the way he pitched. With Shaver’s (Hansen) home run in the first, that is obviously a big hit and it probably lets the air out of (Minnesota) a little bit. It wasn’t like (the home run) was a bad pitch. That was what I thought was really impressive about him—he just pitched. (Kenton Gedwed’s) pinch-hit double was obviously big. The game was just about getting really timely hits and our guys pitching extremely well.”


On Baylor’s pitching:

“I really like the way this went tonight obviously. I started thinking about taking Willie out of the game in the third inning. He was so good and his pitch count was so good that I thought the inning when he went out there in the sixth, and ended up picking that guy off, I thought that was significant because I wanted to run Fritsch out there with a clean slate.”




On playing LSU on Saturday:

“Our guys are talking about how excited they are about playing LSU. You really couldn’t pick a more difficult, but at the same time, a more exciting venue to play at. I said coming over here that for someone other than LSU to win this regional, it would take a very special team. So what our guys and everyone is trying to do is to be that special team. I think our guys have been tested in ways that a lot of teams haven’t been tested. I am sure glad that they are as excited about it as they appear to be. I tried to talk them into wearing gold jerseys tomorrow. I thought there would be some portion of the fandom that thought that was LSU out there and would be yelling for us. We are going to be in their dugout and wearing their color. My guys didn’t want to do it; they want to wear black again tomorrow.”


On Baylor’s early season schedule preparing the team for LSU:

“It isn’t the same. Playing UC Irvine at home in Waco in February versus playing LSU in May, in Baton Rouge—it is more than 500 miles difference. It is a big difference. Again, the key tonight was how we pitched. The key tomorrow will be how we pitch…. Shawn Tolleson doesn’t have to go beat LSU. No one has to do that by themselves. We have to do our part on the offensive side and defensively too.”


On Craig Fritsch:

“Right now Craig is pitching with a great deal of confidence. I thought tonight was significant because this was a new venue. He did it in the conference tournament; okay great. Now he has done it here. I think he is at the point in his development as a pitcher where everything like that is a step. He took another step tonight. I really like the fact that he has his feet wet here already as did Verrett because it is a pretty big step for Verrett to go out there tonight. Should they have to see the mound again while we are here, they should feel pretty good about going out there.”


SS Shaver Hansen


On the Tom Buske:

“We saw with Dustin (Dickerson) batting as the lead off hitter the zone that the umpire was going to have for the whole game. He was consistent the whole day giving the corners for the pitchers. We knew (Tom Buske) wasn’t a flame thrower but he would hit his spots. (On the home run) I was looking more off speed. His changeup dropped quite a bit and I think that one just hung up there a bit (on the homer).”


On the importance of putting two runs on the board in the first inning:

“(It is always important) if you are that team that throws the first punch. We knew Willie was going to come out and throw his best, so to come out and have a cushion there in the top of the first is great. I didn’t think we would go scoreless for six more innings and we definitely didn’t think that two runs was going to be enough. It was huge getting that extra run late in the game. When Kenton (Gedwed) got that double it made us more comfortable. It was definitely close the whole game because both of the pitchers pitched extremely well.”


RHP Willie Kempf


On his outing:

“It was fun out there. I had four pitches working for me today that I was able to throw for a strike and the middle infielders were making some outstanding plays behind me. We jumped on them early and took a little bit of wind out of their sails. We threw strikes and just competed out there.”


On the pitching staff this season:

“We struggled but at the same time we feel that everyone on the staff has pretty darn good stuff. If we face a team with hitters that have never seen us before, have no scouting report and have no idea on our rhythm and what we like to do—we feel like we are going to have a pretty good shot of getting a lot of outs. Everybody that came into today filled up the strike zone and that is what you have to do against a team that hasn’t seen your stuff before. We were able to make some quality pitches in some big situations and we got enough runs today to hold them off.”


On the game:

“That is our first nine-inning shutout of the year. Minnesota had to be wondering, ‘Okay here is Kempf, five whatever ERA. Okay, here is Fritsch, five whatever ERA and here is Verrett, five whatever ERA’—and then we throw up nine zeros. We feel like we are just about to hit our stride as a team. We have a second life here in this tournament. We are definitely ready to go and we are excited about our opportunity.”


On Craig Fritsch:

“The way he is throwing the ball right now is what we had hoped to have all year and now we are getting it when it really matters. He is throwing the ball so hard and he looks so much more confident out there than he has all year. He has two pitches now and he is throwing them both for strikes when he needs to. He is filling up the strike zone and he is tough to hit throwing in the mid 90’s and locating the fastball down in the zone. That is what you need when you are throwing the slider well.”

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