Alabama Practice Day Quotes

June 3, 2010

Head coach Mitch Gaspard

Opening statement:
“We’re obviously excited to be here at the Atlanta Regional, especially, considering where we were at three weeks ago. I think being only four hours away from home to be able to take a bus and to have our fans have the opportunity to come see us this weekend is important as well. The one thing I will say about this team–I know our local guys have seen it–but this team has been through a lot this year, and obviously, the grind is one thing in the season, but we’ve fought through injuries, just now a week ago we had the David Kindred situation, and I cannot say enough about the young men on our team and the character that they’ve shown through the course of this year. One thing we’ve talked about all year was if you just stay the course and stay with it. The game has a way to change and come back in your favor, and that’s kind of what’s happened to this group over the last three weeks. So I’m really, really proud to be the coach of these guys. I’ve been coaching 23 years and truly have never been through a year like this one, with all the many things that this team has had to handle, and the way they’ve handled it has been tremendous for a young group of guys.”

On response to designated hitter David Kindred’s diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma this week:
“David spoke yesterday with the group, and really the message was, `I’m going to be fine.’ And he’s going to start his treatments next week, but he didn’t want to be a distraction, and obviously, that’s the type of person he is. He continues to put the team in front, even dealing with his situation, which is obviously much bigger than anything we’re doing right now. It really put the team at ease, and I think the fact that he’s with us on this trip is helping all of us deal with it, including him.”

Starting pitcher Nathan Kilcrease

On his start tomorrow against Elon:
“I kind of figured I might get the nod on the first day, because Jimmy (Nelson) had thrown again on Sunday, and I figured I had the most rest. This will be the most rest I’ve had coming into a start, so I’m pretty excited.”

On being moved from the closer’s role into the starting rotation:
“Well there’s definitely a lot more off time being a starter than being a closer. My preparation was basically the same, because no matter what you’ve just got to go out and pitch one inning at a time. I just like to pitch, so I don’t really have a preference.”

Outfielder and leadoff hitter Taylor Dugas

On the team’s recent success:
“The pitching has carried us, and whenever we get a good start like that on the mound, as hitters, it makes our jobs easier.”

On momentum from the SEC Tournament:
“The SEC Tournament was awesome, playing in front of those crowds, and that was right in our backyard, so that gave us a lot of energy, and it motivated us to play well. We are going to carry that same energy over here whenever we start playing.”

Shortstop Josh Rutledge

On experience in past regionals:
“I think we’re coming into this regional more confident than any of the teams that I’ve been on since I’ve been here at Alabama. I think our pitching has been throwing great the past couple of weeks, and I think they’re just going to continue to carry us, and I think that just takes a lot of pressure off of our team.”

On Elon:
“I don’t really know anything about them. I know they have some pretty good arms that will come after you, and they have some confident players. But other than that, we’ll probably get a scouting report tomorrow on them.”

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