March 22, 2011

Recap |  Box Score

Head Coach R. Jones

On the offense
"I thought we really had some good at-bats tonight, but we didn't have much to show for it. I thought we swung the bats well. We had 12 hits and we hit some (others) hard. Give credit, their lefty really did a good job. He was quick and he pounded the zone. I thought we swung the bat better than what it showed. Fortunately David Napoli really was good tonight. Drew Zizinia was really good as was the back end with Facundus and Pep."

On the offense finally getting some breaks later in the game
"You have to get on, and we had a couple of guys on. I thought what we really excelled at tonight, other than defense and pitching, was base running. We really ran the bases well. Bowen Woodson scored the tying run on a heck of a play. You have to freeze because the ball looks like it's going to be caught. When it drops, he's scrambling and he's going to beat the throw and it got away and he was really quick to his feet, quick to read to get the tying run it. Then we moved from there."

On the base running on the groundball to third base
"I thought Nick DiMaggio made a great read there. Here's a part-time player, but he's a good base runner. He made a really good read on that check-swing."

On the pitching swing
"Now we go into conference. We wanted to be as fresh as we could for conference, but obviously with all the adversity we've had with our pitching staff, we've got to have other guys step up. Tonight was a good example. I thought Napoli pitched with confidence tonight and we were going to go three (innings) but his pitch count was low. From an RPI standpoint, it was a game we just desperately need to find a way to win. He and Z gave us a lift there to get to the back end."

On whether he expected to throw David Napoli as much as he has
"Again it's a long season, but the last two outings for him have been really impressive because he has thrown strikes, and he has featured a fastball around 90 MPH, a breaking ball with a lot of depth, and he's starting to use his changeup, too."

On who will pitch this weekend
"Well, the first two days right now will be (Conrad Flynn and Kyle McKenzie). We have a simulated game tomorrow, and we will see where Robby is. Probably (Zizinia) on Sunday, but we'll see how Robby does because he is going to throw tomorrow. He felt fine long-tossing today but that doesn't say for sure."

Sophomore Pitcher D. Napoli

On whether he expected to have this opportunity to pitch this much
"It's been nice to be able to throw and prove myself. I worked hard in the fall and early in the spring. It's just nice to finally be able to get my chance to go out there and prove myself. It's hard to get a spot on this staff because Zizinia has stepped up and Pepitone and Facundus and everyone are stepping up. So I just have to earn my spot and I'm hoping I've done that."

On whether he will be able to throw in relief this weekend and the different mindset
"It's definitely a different mindset, but tonight I think I threw 75 pitches and coach wanted me to just get out of there so that I could come back at some point this weekend and throw in relief."

On whether this is the best he has pitched since he has been here
"This is definitely the best I've pitched. I threw a lot of strikes, got a lot of first-pitch strikes. That is probably the best I've pitched."

On whether watching the offense struggle early was frustrating
"I was definitely getting anxious in the dugout, but the way the team has played down the stretch in the later innings, I kind of had a feeling deep down that these guys were going to get scrappy and just get a run out."

On whether he thought they would win the game
"It's definitely just confidence with everyone. I know whoever goes up there is going to give a tough at-bat in the later innings. When you have a closer like Pepitone you know that if you just get that one-run lead, it's pretty solid that you are going to come out with the win."

Sophomore Outfielder B. Woodson

On his four-hit night
"It was a really good night. We ended up scratching runs in with everybody getting good at-bats, one at-bat after another, and you just keep on getting runs."

On the offense finally catching some breaks later in the game
"Eventually they'll all fall. Garrett smashed the ball right back at the pitcher and then Frank hits a ball, hits off his cleat, and they turn a double play off of it. Later I get a jam shot in there and we just keep getting balls to fall in late, but we couldn't get them early."

On the strange play after Brennan Middleton's hit
"I was watching the shortstop and I saw it go over his head. At first I had to freeze to make sure he didn't catch it and get doubled up and we're out of the inning. And then I see it fall over his head, and I take off, and then the second baseman bare-hands it, tries to make a crazy throw, and I'm just trying to get down. Third baseman tries to bare-hand it and it gets by him and we're able to score the run. Then, there was no pitcher behind him so I was already up and running."

On Nick DiMaggio's base running
"That's very important because not a lot of guys are going to see that ball down and take off. DiMaggio doesn't play a whole lot, and then he saw that ball down and instantly got the read and scored a very important run."

On winning late in the game
"We just keep grinding it out is all I can say. At-bat after at-bat, it doesn't' matter what the scores is, you just have to keep working and keep trying to push runs across whenever."

On the solid pitching staff
"David threw really well and we're probably going to need him this weekend. (Drew) threw really well and we'll probably need him again this weekend. He'll come back and throw fine I'm sure. Then you get Facundus in there and he throws well. Pepitone throws well again, so the staff is just doing great all the way around. Everyone is throwing great."