NCAA Baseball Regional Game #2 Quotes

June 4, 2010

Recap |  Final Stats

NCAA Baseball Regional Game #2

Fort Worth, Texas (Lupton Stadium)
TCU 16, Lamar 3

June 4, 2010

TCU Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle
Opening Statement:

“I’m really proud of our effort tonight. I thought we played really, really well. I thought a big part of the ball game was our three double plays in the first three innings. (Kyle Winkler) is an experienced in the postseason, but he was amped up, too. Once he found his breaking ball and got that going, it was a different game for him. But until that time, they were on him pretty good. That’s a credit to them, but we had those double plays—the Holaday strike-them-out-throw-them-out and then the two doubles plays in the infield I thought were big. Then the game just got away from them in the middle innings. We’re fired up and feel good about it. We’re ready to go tomorrow.”

On the importance of winning the first game of the regional:

“It’s enormous, especially at home and with our pitching staff and guys were confident in. It’s not the end all. There certainly have been teams that have come through the losers bracket, and we don’t know what the future holds for us but we’ll take it.”

On being able to substitute reserves into the game:
“I think it’s more important to get the guys who were in the game out than to get the guys who weren’t in the game in there. It’s always good to get guys regional experience and get guys at-bats. There is a lot of value in that, but in this heat, who knows how many games we have ahead of us. To get some of those guys, especially (Bryan) Holaday, out of the game is big.”

On what he considered to be the play of the game:
“Driving those two runs in with two outs (in the first inning), that’s a kick in the rear end when you think you’re just about to get out of that inning.”

On facing Arizona Saturday:
“We watched them a little bit today, and they have a good club. They are a couple of close-game losses where if you flip those over to wins, they finish in the middle of the pack of the Pac 10 instead of towards the bottom. We know the Pac 10 is one of the top-two leagues in the country. I watched them play today, and they have a really good team. I don’t care how young they are or how many freshmen they have out there. But we have good freshmen, too, and it’s going to be two really good regional teams (playing) tomorrow.”

On the advantage of TCU’s experience vs. Arizona’s youth:
“On paper you think it should (help), but you still have to go out and play. Those guys have played a high level of baseball in a really good league all season long. They played with good presence today. They were down, they came back, they were down again and then came back again. They held the lead at the end and got the last out when they needed. They showed a lot of presence in my opinion. When you have a guy leading you like (head coach) Andy Lopez—I’m pretty sure he’s the only guy to take three different teams to the College World Series—when that guy’s leading the way, he’s going to make up for any experience that team has.”

On what his advice will be for freshman Matt Purke, Saturday’s starting pitcher:

“I don’t talk to the starting pitcher on game day. If I don’t talk to him before midnight, he won’t hear a word from me. Matt’s pitched in a lot of big games. There’s not a whole lot I can say to him, other than just continue what he’s done all season. He’s pitched well for us in the big games that have been presented to him—at Minute Maid Park against Missouri when they threw their No. 1 pitcher in front of a great crowd, game one of our conference tournament—he’ll do just fine. We’re excited to have him out there.”

TCU sophomore SP Kyle Winkler
On finding himself down early:
“The biggest thing is I told myself not to panic. I was making my pitches, just a couple balls fell in here and there. They scored the first one pretty well, but other than that one I thought I was making my pitches. I was getting ground balls when I needed to. I got the flair down the line that kind of dropped in no-mans land, but I was one pitch from getting out of it. The biggest thing about being a sinker-baller is that I know can get a ground ball usually whenever I need it. I just happened to get a strike-him-out-throw-him-out (to end the first inning).”

On escaping the bases loaded jam in the sixth inning:
“The biggest thing is not to panic. The worst thing you can do is start overthinking stuff and then start trying to overthrow. I was just trying to make my pitches.”

TCU sophomore SS Taylor Featherston
On giving his team the lead in the bottom of the first inning:
“It obviously started the game off well. I feel like I’m seeing the ball really well at the plate right now. I’m just comfortable. I’m just taking what they give me right now, not trying to do too much. I’m prone to doing that sometimes and try and make stuff happen instead of having the game come to me. They put on up on (Kyle Winkler), and that doesn’t happen (often), but we answered with three.”

On gaining experience as a team by winning last year’s regional has helped this season:
“It’s totally night and day. Last year, you don’t really know what to expect as a freshman. You are kind of nervous all day and it goes really fast, but today I was relaxed. I think as a team we have a different mindset than last year. Coming in we’re playing with confidence, 100 percent in all aspects of the game. Everything has kind of slowed up for us, and that’s how you want it to be at the right time.”

Lamar Head Coach Jim Gilligan
Opening statement:
“We got our behinds kicked. The first inning was indicative of how we played tonight. We started off with an error, then the pitcher slipped on a ground ball and we ended up giving up three runs.  We came out and scored a run, and I liked the way we were swinging the bat. We got our hits, we just didn’t score our runs. Our pitchers didn’t allow us to stay in the game, guys who I was hoping would stop the bleeding.  It didn’t happen. They jumped on our guys and were relentless. They just beat us.”

On starting pitcher Matison Smith:
“Not a good outing for Matty (Smith). Things could have fared better for him, but in that last inning he was getting the ball up and walked a couple guys in a row. He just didn’t get any support, wish we could have kept it a little closer for him.  We weren’t swinging the bad bat tonight, we just weren’t in it tonight.”

On TCU’s performance and his team’s effort:
“They are a good bat-swinging ball club, all you have to do is look at their numbers. Practically everyone in the lineup has good numbers.  They hit home runs, they steal bases, they fake bunt and hit and run.  They do a lot of things and can beat you in a lot of ways. They work on a lot of things and are good at a lot of things.  There outfielders throw behind the runners, you really have to stay on your toes. But that wasn’t the ballgame, the ballgame was about our pitchers couldn’t get them out.  They opened it up and stepped on the jugular.”

On who he is planning on starting tomorrow:

“We are going to go with (Jonathan) Dziedzic. Baylor has quite a few left handers, we will see if that takes a couple out of the lineup.  But we have to go after it hard.  Harrington (Eric) will go to the bullpen.  We just need to claw our way back in. I have been sitting here after a lot of close first ball games where you let one get away. I promise you it’s a lot harder to bring your club back after one of those than a game like this. Hopefully we can forget about this one, come back tomorrow and put one together against Baylor.  We will be alright tomorrow.”

On not scoring with the bases loaded:
“Anytime you load the bases and you don’t get anything out of it, it’s disappointing but it doesn’t shut you down. The good thing that came out of that was their pitcher threw a lot of pitches.  Those are body shots, the pitch count was up.  You know that you can get on him.  But you know it’s disappointing when you don’t score like that, and against a team like this you have to score when you can. He isn’t 11-1 for nothing, he has real good stuff.”

On the number of pitches his relievers threw:
“We were in mop up mode for a little bit. The guys who are going to throw tomorrow didn’t throw tonight. (Brandon) Chambers did a good job for us tonight.  He is the guy I left in for a little longer, but he went in there and did a good job of holding them down. Or we might still be out there playing. The first guy I put in, (Cory) Holley could come back after a days rest. So we are alright in that area.”

Lamar junior SS Aaron Buchanan
On his leadoff double:
“I knew fastball was coming, and I was looking to drive the ball. I got a pitch to hit, drove the ball, and got the job done. They are a good ball club, we knew that coming in, and they beat us.”

Lamar junior 3B Andy Mena
On how his team can bounce back:
“Come out, compete and throw strikes.  Make the plays on defense and continue to swing the bats like we did, we just need to compete a little harder when we have runners on base and in scoring position.  Like coach said, we got our hits but we didn’t get our runs. That wasn’t necessarily the ballgame tonight, but we need to play a little better defense.”



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