Georgia Tech Postgame Quotes - Game Four

June 5, 2010

GEORGIA TECH COACH Danny Hall
Opening Statement:
“That was a really good college baseball game. I told my guys afterward that it was probably the best game that we have played all year: pitching, hitting, defense. Deck [McGuire] was outstanding. We have had two great starting pitching performances and then [Andrew] Robinson came in and got three outs in the ninth. I thought Chase Burnette’s home run got us started. He had a great night with the bat. When it looked like we were going to kind of give away some runs in the [sixth] inning when [Thomas] Nichols hit the ball off the wall, [Jacob] Esch picked us up and had a key two-out hit. He ended up with three RBI on the night. Many times in postseason play it’s often the guy you least suspect to do the damage goes up there and get a big hit. Jake’s hits were huge for us.”

On his approach against Alabama’s Jimmy Nelson:
“What we had heard and seen was that he really likes to use his fastball. We wanted to try to attack that fastball early. To their credit, they mixed things up a bit, starting with breaking balls to some of our left handed hitters. I had to lock back in on what he was trying to do. The thing that made me nervous before the game were his numbers late in the year. He hadn’t given up many hits and he wasn’t giving up many runs. That’s probably why Alabama is here. He has pitched great down the stretch for them. I think there was one team all year that had double digit hits off of him and that was in the middle of the year. When I look at something like that it tells me they have a guy that is really good.”

On Thomas Nichols’ ball off the top of the wall:
“On the play, we had guys on second and third and Nichols hit the ball. Cole [Leonida] said he saw it hit the fence and he was tagging. He saw it hit the fence and he took off for home plate. Then he saw it go up in the air again and saw the guy catch it. He thought he had to go back and tag because he thought the guy ended up catching the ball. It is one of those things that happen. Jake Esch picked up a big hit and knocked both of those guys in. You will see it ever now and then in batting practice when a ball will hit off the top of the wall and come back in. I was trying to talk that thing out of there.”

On closer Andrew Robinson’s performance:
“I think it’s big because he hasn’t pitched very much the last two or three weekends. To get him out there is good for us. I thought he did well and threw it hard.”

On the importance of winning the second game of a Regional:
“Our goal is to win three. We haven’t finished the job yet. We have to finish it. We know that if you win this game tonight like we did, then you have two shots to win one game. The other way around, if you lose that game, you have to win some games to stay alive.”

Jacob Esch, So., 2B
On his aggressiveness at the plate:
“He actually gave me four really good pitches to hit. I took the first one in my first at bat just to get a good look, but after that he just threw them right where I could hit them. It was probably the best pitch I was going to see in the at bat so I had to go after it.”

Deck McGuire, Jr., RHP
On his pitching performance:
“It’s been a while since I have pitched in a game. It has been over a week. I was just trying to get my feet wet for the first couple of innings. I was trying to stay around the zone and throw a lot of strikes. I think it was after the inning when they hit the home run, I locked it back in after that. I felt really good.”

On the match-up versus Alabama’s Jimmy Nelson: “I was way more focused on the nine guys they were going to bring to the plate. They are a great hitting ball club and they put the ball in play about as much as any team we have faced all year. They fouled off some pitches late in the count and found a way to put some tough ones in play. That guy has a great arm and it was a great match-up, but I was way more worried about the nine guys they were bringing to the plate.”

On working out of some tough innings:
“We played the best defense I have seen us play all year. The easy plays we made look easy. The tough plays we made look easy. My defense picked me up. In the big inning, I struck out the one guy with a runner on second base and then our defense made two great plays to keep him there. It was just a great all around team victory.”

On pitching the eighth inning:
“This was actually one time I didn’t have to talk [Coach Hall] into it. He had to talk me into it. I felt great and I had a couple of extra days rest so I knew I actually had more left in the tank than I thought I did. It worked out pretty good.”

Chase Burnette, Jr., OF
On Alabama’s Josh Rutledge’s home run:
“It was really hard to tell because it was bang-bang. It tipped off the end of my glove. Some of the guys were saying it looked like it was over the wall when it hit my glove. I think it probably was a home run, but it just nicked off the end of my glove. I knew it was going to be close. I thought that if it was going to be out, it was going to be close. Off the bat, it looked like something I had a chance to catch. I knew I had to go after it hard, whether it was going to be right at the fence or just over the edge. I knew it was going to be close either way.”

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