Alabama Postgame Quotes - Game Four

June 5, 2010

ALABAMA COACH MITCH GASPARD
Opening Statement:
“I thought, for starters, it was a heck of a ballgame on both sides. I thought that the pitching matchup was as advertised. I thought both guys were outstanding. [Deck] McGuire did a really nice job all night with us. I thought Jimmy [Nelson] was really good. I thought he competed really hard all night. The key to the game–[Jacob Esch] got a big two-out hit after Jake [Smith] makes the great play and had the kind of crazy play off the wall there, and [it] kind of gave them some momentum on the back end. But, I thought our relievers came in and gave us a chance there at the end. But overall, it was just a pretty well-played game. Obviously, Josh [Rutledge] kind of kept us in there with a really good offensive night, and I thought we had a couple of chances that we didn’t take advantage of, but I think a lot of that credit goes to McGuire. He was really good tonight.”

On both teams’ performances:
“They’re a really good team, and that’s why they’re a national seed and hosting a regional. They’re really physical with some left-handed hitters that makes it difficult particularly on a right-handed pitcher. And then you’re facing one of the top pitchers in the country [Deck McGuire], as well. So, we knew tonight we had our work cut out for us and I thought we competed really well. We gave ourselves a chance. McGuire kind of hit a second gear there late once they got the lead and really didn’t allow us to get any offensive rhythm going in the back end. But I thought our guys really got after it, particularly against a team like Georgia Tech that’s really talented, and they’ve been tremendous at home. But, hey, there’s still a lot of this tournament left.”

On his approach to tomorrow’s games:
“We’re here to win the tournament, and we feel like right now our best shot is to try to get after Mercer with could be [Tucker] Hawley, could be [Jason] Townsend, [or] some other guys, and try to get back to Georgia Tech. We feel like [Adam] Morgan’s a really good matchup, being left-handed with a breaking ball. It’s one of those things. We didn’t come here to try to go 2-2. I mean, we came here to try and win the tournament. Anytime you make a move that way, it can be a little risky, but I think for us to have an opportunity to win, one of those guys is going to have to step up in the 3 o’clock game for us and give us an opportunity to beat Mercer, and that’s [for] our hitters as well.”

JOSH RUTLEDGE, JR., INF
On Deck McGuire’s performance:
“He was throwing a fastball, probably low 90’s, and he was just spotting it up real well and he threw the left-handers a lot of change-ups and the right-handers more curveballs. He was just having good control all night, so it was tough to hit him.”

JIMMY NELSON, JR., P
On his performance on the mound:
“I felt good out there. I was just a little off. I mean, that’s baseball. Some guys behind me really picked me up and I feel bad I couldn’t do the same for them in that tight situation there in the sixth, or whatever it was. But I know this team will come back and compete hard every game and I’ll do the same myself, so I’m not worried about it. I don’t think anybody else on this team is because we know our character.”

On his approach against Tony Plagman:
“With him, we just stayed away a lot. We threw hard and soft away. We just used backdoor and back-foot sliders. For all their hitters–they have some good hitters–you’ve just got to throw everything to both sides of the plate to be successful and get ahead. That’s the problem I ran into today. I wasn’t getting ahead like I have the last four weeks.”

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