March 19, 2011

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Head Coach R. Jones

On getting the win
"I thought UNO really played hard today and they played with some resolve. They played to win. Fortunately for us, we made some really good defensive plays and had that second inning, but UNO really came after us today. Kyle had really good stuff, but the issue has been, and was today, a concentration issue. He got two quick outs and he's facing the nine hitter and he's got a 2-2 pitch. Instead of trying to get the out, it looked like to me he tried to get the strike out, and he overthrew it. Then the next thing you know it's two walks. It's been an issue since he's been here and it's been addressed over and over again. It is a maturity and concentration issue. It's not an ability or stuff issue, but that is what can get you beat. Until he eventually gets to the point where he doesn't have those issues and he concentrates on every pitch, we are going to deal with some of the things we dealt with today."

On Kyle McKenzie coming back strong after his tough inning
"Again, concentration. He made six pitches there at 3-2 to a hitter to get the out. Nobody can convince me it's anything other than that. It is not a stuff issue. The point being is that we are going to have to depend on Kyle a lot more than we did last year because of what has happened to our staff, and we can't have lapses in concentration if he's going to be the special guy that we desperately need him to be. He's a great kid and he's got great ability. The concentration issue has got to be something that he overcomes, or it is going to be this kind of situation more often than we need."

On the offense
"I just felt like late in the game we weren't nearly as competitive as we needed to have been. We made some quick outs and give credit to UNO's pitching. I just felt like they came after us a lot harder than we came after them, and I tip my hat to that. I didn't sugarcoat it. We've got to play harder than we played today, especially late. We didn't grind out at-bats, we weren't tough outs, and you're going to have days I guess, but when you're turning the corner and becoming more of a mature club, every game is so big that you have to stay in that moment."

On the injured pitchers
"Alex has been shut down for a few days to see if this irritation (will subside). All it is is inflammation in his shoulder. It's not anything structural, but we have to let it calm down, so I couldn't tell you when he's going to be available. Right now I don't have any idea. Robbie will pitch tomorrow, and we'll see how that goes.

Sophomore Pitcher K. McKenzie

On regaining his concentration after the tough inning
"That has been the thing all year, just staying focused out there. I kind of got away from my approach and my rhythm in the fifth, but me and Coach Sutter talked between innings about going out there and throwing a shutdown sixth inning. That can't happen, especially with the way our staff is. We have to go deep into games, so it was disappointing."

On what Coach Sutter told him
"Today I was just shaking off too much and I kept going to my curveball. He just told me that I am a power guy and I have to go out there and attack with my fastball. That is what we were doing for the first four, but for some reason in the fifth inning I kind of got away from that. But I came back in the sixth and pitched off my fastball because that is how I am and how I should be. The fifth inning was kind of rough."

On the high expectations
"Coach Jones holds us to the highest level. We hold ourselves accountable. Today I think we got off to a great start, but then we kind of just eased off. We pride ourselves on playing hard every pitch of every inning, so for us to kind of coast in the middle was unacceptable. We just have to rebound tomorrow and get back to it."

Junior Catcher J. Schaffer

On why the team is disappointed
"A lot of times the score board doesn't really dictate what happened during the game. There were things that we felt we could have done a lot better throughout the course of the game to give us a better lead and make us more comfortable and have both Facundus and Pep fully available and fresh tomorrow. We feel we were capable of doing some things earlier on in the game to extend it to not get to that point, and we just weren't able to do that. We came out with the (Win) and that is what matters at the end of the day."

On whether he feels better protected in the lineup
"Yeah I definitely think our offense is clicking a lot. Garrett has really gotten it going. Schneeberger has gotten it going, too. A lot of other guys are seeing their averages jump up a little bit. That is obviously only going to help us going into conference play, and hopefully some guys get some more confidence and put together good at-bats and get ready for tomorrow.

On the pitch he hit for a double today
"That was a fastball. The single was a fastball, too. I get plenty of fastballs. Some guys pitch differently and you see a lot of off-speed. Other guys attack with the fastballs. It is just a matter of who we are facing that day."

On the pitching staff getting the job done
"We put up a lot of runs after that error in the second inning, and after that we could have had some better at-bats and maybe relaxed a little bit and not let them get back into the game, but it happened. We had a solid day from the bullpen. Kyle gave up that double to right-center, but he could have just mailed it in and not refocused, but he ended up getting the next guy and had a great sixth inning and set it up for the bullpen to do the rest."

On possibly sweeping the series tomorrow
"That would be huge. Going into every series (we are) trying to win the series. If you can win the first two games then Sundays so you can try to sweep. That is what we expect to do. We expected to do it before the series. We expect to do it today, and it would be big for our ball club to do it."