NCAA Atlanta Regional Post-Game Quotes

May 31, 2009

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

GEORGIA TECH POSTGAME QUOTES

Head Coach Danny Hall

Opening Statement:
“We’re very proud of our team for the way they competed. It felt like the big inning (second inning) was the big key for us to finally capitalize and get more than just a couple of runs in a big inning that gave us some distance. Mark (Pope) did a tremendous job of throwing strikes and got us a lot of outs down the stretch. That’s really what we were looking for. I felt like all of the runs that they got we pretty much handed to them with walks, wild pitches and things of that nature. I felt like if we could find somebody who was going to throw strikes, we had a good chance to get them out.”

On Jake Davies’ pitching performance:
“He stepped up big in that inning (fifth inning) when they had the bases loaded, and then he took a shot in the arm. He had the presence about him to make an unbelievable play to get the guy at the plate, and then struck the next guy out. Those were two critical outs in the game where it could have gone in a different direction. Tremendous job by Jake, and I probably should have taken him out because his arm was hurting him more than he let on, and then he went back out and couldn’t throw strikes.”

On how Davies’ arm was after being hit by Dallas Tarleton’s liner in the fifth:
“It’s hurting (him). I’m sure he has a big bruise. It hit him in the bicep, so it hit him in a pretty good spot if you are going to get hit by a 100-mile-per-hour baseball, I guess. It was the best spot, maybe, to hit him.”

On Davies’ refusing to come out after being hit:
“He’s a tough kid. He always wants the baseball.”

On holding Elon to seven hits:
“The first day, they scored a lot of runs (against Southern Miss), but I kind of felt Georgia State did a pretty good job of getting them out. And I felt that our guys did a pretty good job of getting them out. You look at Mark Pope’s line – five innings, seven strikeouts, one walk and three hits – that’s a heckuva effort right there against a very good hitting team.”

On improving Tech’s situational hitting:
“We did a bad job of situational hitting in the last three innings. Hopefully that will change, because it could have been a lot easier down the stretch than it was. The good thing is that we are getting some guys on, and we’re getting them into scoring position. We just got to execute once we get them there.”

#19 Mark Pope, RHP

On how his strength was after rest:
“It has been a while, but the arm felt good, I was well-rested, and I had a tail on the fastball today, which really helped me out.”

On the last time he pitched five innings in a game:
“In the fall, before the season even started, was the last time I threw that many. I didn’t realize it was five innings.”

On going from pitching one inning to going five innings:
“It was a lot different than it has been. Coming out there for a longer extended amount of time was a whole different mindset. It felt good to get my arm in and get my rhythm going. It just felt good.”

ELON POSTGAME QUOTES

Head Coach Mike Kennedy

Opening Statement:
“It wasn’t very good baseball. I don’t know what Danny said, but when you’ve got a 1 vs. 2 in the regional, you probably want to see a little bit better baseball. Overall, we didn’t pitch, we got behind 7-2 with another big inning in the second inning, which was probably just a little too much to overcome. I thought Pope came in and threw well, but we swung out of the zone, and I thought we got behind and tried to do a little too much. When you are down and trying to make a run at some people and trying to get back in the game, you got to take what they are trying to give you. Overall, I’m disappointed. We’ve got an older club, and I thought we would have handled that a little bit better. These guys know me, I don’t sugarcoat a whole lot of stuff. We didn’t play, and when you are playing Georgia Tech you’ve got to play better.”

Talk about running into outs during the game:
“We had opportunity after opportunity. It’s almost like if we don’t hit three homeruns, we don’t know how to play a game, and that’s not true. It’s disappointing because we work on baserunning so much throughout the year. I don’t know how many outs we ran on the bases, I know it was several. We didn’t catch a break, we had a play at the plate that could have gone either way, and didn’t go our way, and that would have gotten us a little bit closer. We didn’t execute bunts. We had two opportunities to get guys into scoring position, maybe get us a little closer, and we didn’t play well and baserunning was a part of that.”

Was the bunt in the 8th inning with two outs a called play?
“No, when we brought everybody together, it was to make sure we didn’t make an out on the bases. Here we are again trying to make a threat at them, and we told Harry that he had one job, and that was to get on base. It doesn’t matter how you do it – wear a pitch, make them throw strikes, your job was to get the tying run to the plate. We didn’t have a play, other than to get on base. He elected to bunt and got underneath it and popped it up. It was disheartening, here you are, you’ve got a little bit of energy and you end the inning that way.”

On the decision to start Daniel Britt today?
“He threw just 14 pitches yesterday and of the guys we had going, we felt like he was the strongest option. He felt strong and looked great for one inning. It wasn’t a good matchup, he’s a low ball guy, and I’m not questioning the umpiring, but that’s just where he pitches – he pitches down in the zone. I think he gave in a little bit when he did not get some calls, and if he has to elevate, he’s not good, and he’ll tell you that. He wanted the ball, threw 14 pitches, is healthy and strong and he was my best option and that’s why we threw him.”

Can you put the season in perspective?
“I’m disappointed. I love these guys, every one of our players. But I want to win more than anything, and we prepare to win every time we go out there. I told them in the huddle that this is not the way we’re going to end our meeting. We’ll meet again in the hotel and probably be a little nicer. This has been my best club, and I’ve been doing this for 13 years and I haven’t had one close to this. It’s been a lot of fun and it’s not always fun – it can be a grind and I’m sure anybody that does what we do and spends so much time away from home. You don’t see your family, it’s a constant grind and this year was really special for me. I had a lot of older guys that have worked extremely hard for me and given me everything they had, and the results are that we won 41 games. The negative is that I wanted to take them a step further and get them to do something nobody has done at Elon, and that is go to a Super Regional. We just came up a little short this year.”

#6 Dallas Tarleton, Catcher

Is the toughest part not playing well and having it end like this?
“Yes, like you said. Going into today, we knew that we had as good a shot as anybody to win this regional, and we felt like we beat ourselves today. That’s a good ballclub, but we felt like we made too mistakes and couldn’t dig ourselves out of the hole.”

#4 Bennett Davis, Second Baseman

Can you talk a little bit about your tournament this weekend?
“It’s nice to have a nice tournament, but I feel like when you lose, it doesn’t matter how well you play individually. It’s a team game, we keep individual stats, but it’s the `L’ that hurts at the end of the day.”

What do you think happened to your team’s offense after the 1st game of the tournament?
“You run into good pitching here and there. This is a regional and you are facing the best teams from this area. Our offense was good this year, and we hit across the board and we struggled this weekend and that happens. That being said, we had to pitch and play a little defense and we didn’t really do that either. If you don’t have three aspects of the game going, it’s tough to win.”

Reflect on your career at Elon:
“It’s a pleasure of mine to say this. First of all, I have to thank Coach Kennedy, Starbuck and Huff. It’s been an absolute pleasure to play for them for two years. Coming here, they did nothing but help me, make me a better player, a better person, which is the bigger thing. I wish I had another couple of years, but I feel like I had a great career here and if I could have done anything more, I wish I could have led a little bit better today. That’s what is on my shoulders right now, but the whole two years has been a great experience and I couldn’t wish, couldn’t hope for anything more.”

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