Alabama Postgame Quotes - Game 7

June 7, 2010

ALABAMA COACH MITCH GASPARD
Opening Statement:
“We knew going in it was going to be a really tough night. Georgia Tech is a tremendous team and one of the best offenses we’ve seen all year. We took a shot with [Taylor] Wolfe and tried to run some young left-handers at them early, and we were trying to get to the middle of the game–the fifth or sixth–and then thinking [Nathan] Kilcrease at that point. But it didn’t work out. In the first two or three innings, they were on everything we threw. When we got the lead in the fourth inning, we felt like this was our best shot to go to Nathan, and obviously we had Jimmy [Nelson] and Jake [Smith] still ready to go in limited roles. What can you say? You guys saw it with Kilcrease. He just kept battling. When it got to the back end of the game, I think as much as anything, the team believes so much in that kid that we were going to keep the ball in his hands and we were going to win or lose with 28 on the mound. We felt pretty good that he was going to take us home, and that’s what he did.”

On what the Super Regional bid means for the program:
“I’m happy for our players. Obviously, [for] the program too. It elevates where we were at and the opportunity to take the next step. But I’m happy for those 25 players out there because they’ve stayed the course, and they’ve done it the right way, and they deserve exactly what they’re getting right now.”

On Kilcrease’s performance:
“We were very aware [of his pitch count]. But was there a thought of taking him out? Not really. There was one situation–I think it was a little bit earlier–where the ball started getting elevated, which was telling me he was tiring a little bit. But every time he would get there, the slider stayed sharp, and then he would get right back down in the strike zone. He was our best option for us to go to a Super Regional. Heck, did he throw a heck of a lot of pitches this weekend? Yeah, he did. But we’re going to a Super Regional, and our team deserves to go, and we wouldn’t have done it without that guy on the mound.”

On Clemson:
“It’s really been remarkable. Clemson and ourselves–the two years that both of us have had are almost mirrored. They went in a bad stretch when we went in a bad stretch. They got hot at the end when we got hot at the end. Our records are almost identical. The RPI’s are almost identical. I think it’s going to be two really evenly-matched teams which should make for a really good Super Regional.”

NATHAN KILCREASE, JR., P
On his goal coming into the game:
“We had talked yesterday, and I told him I had three innings in me. It turned out a little different, I guess. The [most tired] I felt was probably the third inning I was out there. After that, the adrenaline took over.”

On his stuff:
“I felt my slider got sharper the later the game went on. My changeup was down, but they were swinging at it, and my fastball–I was spotting up well with that. I feel like I was pretty sharp. I was actually a little sharper today than I was Friday against Elon.”

CLAY JONES, SR., INF
On his home run:
“They’d been pounding me away pretty much all three games, and eventually I got one elevated and put a good swing on it. [The ball] flies here to right, and luckily it got out.”

JAKE SMITH, SR., INF
On Kilcrease: “He’s awesome. Small in stature, big in heart–that’s what I’ve always said about him. He’s one of the greatest competitors I’ve ever played with. When we’re out there, I know he’s going to fill up the zone, and you get to play defense behind him, and that’s what we like about him.”

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