May 30, 2010
Box Score |
Head Coach Steve Smith
On the game and Willie Kempf's outing:
"I thought this was a really well played game. I thought (Ross) Stripling threw extremely well. I thought we ran our best guys out there. Willie (Kempf) was tremendous. Although his pitch-count wasn't high, my sense when I went out there was that he was getting a little fatigued. He was effective. I thought he did a great job of just keeping them off-balanced. (Texas A&M) had been so hot swinging the bat that he was really just what the doctor ordered because he has different pitches."
On the ninth inning:
"My concern with bringing Logan (Verrett) into the game was if he was good enough to miss a bat with his slider. I thought Naquin's hit to lead-off that inning off was probably as big of a hit as there was. When you get to two strikes in those situations and you don't get that out, it is going to make you work that much harder to get the next one. I thought we did a great job getting out of the (ninth) and getting it to the next inning."
On the mentality of the team after the loss:
"It is very hard to get close to a championship of any kind and not get it. There are six other teams that didn't even play today. They don't get to experience the pain of getting this close. I really believe it is that kind of stuff that makes you better. You can't know how bad you want to win until you know how bad it hurts to lose. This is a very painful loss. You can see it written all over these guys faces. It is painful, but there is value in that. I think it will make all of them fight harder the next time."
Senior RHP Willie Kempf
On his thoughts after the game:
"First and foremost, disappointment. We were right there against the same team that beat us in the championship game our freshman year. It is just frustrating. At the same time, we still have something to play for. That is what we wanted to try and tell the guys after the game. We have nothing to be ashamed of. We played really well this week, even in this last game. We want to make sure that Brooks Pinckard and Logan Verrett know that we have all the confidence in the world in them. They are two of our best arms. We are going to need them next week. We have a more important tournament coming up in five days. We played ourselves into a regional over these last few weeks and we have nothing to be ashamed of right now."
On his performance:
"That was probably one of the best games that I've ever thrown in my time here. Obviously I would have liked to finish that one out. It is just frustrating and disappointing."
Senior 2B Raynor Campbell
On the loss:
"The good thing is that we are still going to be playing. This is not the end of the year for us. We still have a regional to go to. A lot of teams this time of the year are packing up their bags. That is what we have to remember after a defeat like that."
On falling three outs shy of a Big 12 Championship:
"I wanted it real it bad. This my last time here and this is Willie's last time here. It is tough being so close and not being able to pull it out. It definitely hurt."
On what Willie Kempf means to the team:
"To me, he has been the most valuable player on our team. He has helped us get out of holes early in the game, coming in for long relief and getting us solid innings. He gives our offense a chance to put some runs on the board. It seems like every time he goes out there we play well. I love when Willie is on the mound because I know he is going to compete and battle. He has been clutch for us."
Freshman LF Logan Vick
On the mood of the team:
"Disappointment. We are all angry. One inning away, but we know we have been playing our best baseball these last couple of weeks and we got a regional tournament next week and we got to go win that, so something good is going to come out of that. I know other teams are scared of playing us right now, because we are on a roll right now."
On the team finish the season:
"It would have been sweet to go out with the Big 12 Championship, but the next thing is the regional tournament and we got to get focused on that. We are playing awesome baseball right now; we just have to keep it up."
On Willie Kempf's performance:
"Willie is incredible. At the end of the year he is pitching his best baseball. He has got confidence in himself. The whole team has confidence in him that when he gets up on the mound he is going to shut them down no matter who it is."
On how the team will respond to the loss:
"We are going to be sad today. The bus ride home is not going to be very much fun, but once tomorrow comes we are going to get ready for that tournament and we are going to be full-steam ahead, because we are hungry for wins right now and we know that we are playing our best baseball, so we are really looking forward to the regional tournament, because we can go far this year."