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Chat Wrap: Victor Menocal

June 11, 2002

Victor Menocal: (4:01 PM ET ) I am here and ready to go!!

Rob C. (Atlanta, Ga): Victor, Congratulations on a great season and great career at Georgia Tech. Your defense, especially the past few weekends has been outstanding. What aspects of your game have you most improved on while at GT? Best of luck in Omaha.

Victor Menocal: (4:02 PM ET ) I’d say both defense and offense. I lifted a lot to get bigger to improve in both of those areas.

Ryan (Atlanta): Vic– First off, congrats! I was there for the entire Regional and Super Regional–you guys were fantastic! My question for you is: how different will GT’s approach be to South Carolina this time around, after falling to them early in the season? What will GT to different and what went wrong the first time? Thanks, and good luck!

Victor Menocal: (4:02 PM ET ) We are a much improved team since the last time we played. We’ve improved our pitching and that will be a key aspect to the game.

Rat: Victor, what do you know about South Carolina? What is going to make them a tough first round opponent?

Victor Menocal: (4:03 PM ET ) They have a great pitching staff. 1-9 they are very strong in their lineup. They are great hitters.

T.J. Atlanta: Hey Victor, I was wondering if you have any unusual pre-game rituals?

Victor Menocal: (4:04 PM ET ) Every baseball player has the same superstisions. I have a ton of them, probably over 100. I can’t even name them all. But all athletes have that.

Adam (Wichita): Has Kyle Bakker mentioned anything to you or the team about Omaha and playing at Rosenblatt? Do you expect the crowd to be behind you guys having him on the mound Friday?

Victor Menocal: (4:05 PM ET ) Kyle since Day 1 has told us about the unbelievable atmosphere and how supportive the fans are. I want to go right now! We are leaving in the morning.

Mike: Vic, is it less stressful now that the MLB draft is over?

Victor Menocal: (4:06 PM ET ) Oh yeah. It’s just one less thing to worry about. I was very happy to get that chance to play at the next level.

Andrew Phillips: What do you think of the upsets of defending champions Miami and Florida State? And what happened to LSU?

Victor Menocal: (4:06 PM ET ) I was really suprised, especially FSU. But this time of the season, anything can happen!

Blake (Phoenix): What is the difference in this tech team and others that did not make the CWS. Good Luck in the CWS and you know that everyone from Gainesville is pulling for you.

Victor Menocal: (4:07 PM ET ) I think we are closer as a team this year. The new facilities we have and the fan support has been phenomenal. It’s all been a key to our success this year.

DANNY, SHERMAN OAKS: WHAT ARE YOU BRINGING TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA GAME FOR GOOD LUCK?

Victor Menocal: (4:08 PM ET ) Yeah, I have lots of good luck things. I have a lucky wristband, lucky batting glove. I have lots of stuff!

donovan cumming: Hi! I was the person that said hi to you when you were on deck at the FAU game. You’re my favorite player. And I also pitch & play Short Stop. Short stop’s my favorite position. And good luck in the World Series. Your # 1 fan Donovan.

Victor Menocal: (4:09 PM ET ) Hi Donovan! Thanks for the support!

Brian(Athens): Victor, How do you like your chances in Omaha especially since your starting out with probably the favorite?

Victor Menocal: (4:09 PM ET ) I think our chances are awesome. Every aspect of our game has come together of late. Pitching, hitting, defense, it’s all come together and that is what wins games there.

Mike Day Woodbridge Virginia: Vic, does the jackets have the defense and the pitching to beat south carolina after they beat you 8-0, and do you think the jackets have the pitching to win the college world series?

Victor Menocal: (4:11 PM ET ) I think we have the pitching staff to win it. We have 5 or 6 guys who can start and we have the relievers.

Mike Porada (Strongsville, Ohio): Victor, My buddy and I had a chance to watch you all last summer playing for Northern Ohio in the Great Lakes Wooden Bat League. How did that experience help you have such a successful career and more specifically, a great senior season? Best of luck in Omaha and in your Major League Baseball career! Thanks, Mike Porada mjp@mricleveland.com

Victor Menocal: (4:11 PM ET ) It’s first class playing up there. Just getting to play summer ball with a wooden bat and playing with those guys was great for me and matured me a lot.

Bubba: Do you plan to pitch any in omaha?

Victor Menocal: (4:12 PM ET ) I hope so! That would be a great experience. I hope it works out.

Herbie Roach: Victor, what are your favorite activities outside of baseball?

Victor Menocal: (4:13 PM ET ) I like to play golf and just hang out with family and friends. And attend any Georgia Tech sporting events. And go to church.

Chuck (Atlanta): Vic, congrats to you and the team on a great season. What do you see for yourself at the next level, in regards to pitching, versus playing infield?

Victor Menocal: (4:14 PM ET ) As of right now, the Phillies want me at SS and if things don’t work out there they would convert me to pitcher.

Kim (Atlanta): As one of three seniors, you have sought to lead by example. What is the biggest lesson or piece of advice you have passed on to the 17 freshman?

Victor Menocal: (4:14 PM ET ) Baseball wise, I just tell them to be relaxed and have fun. Outside of baseball, just to enjoy their college experience. It’s the greatest time of your life.

Rhett: Hey Victor!!! whats up? So now that the jackets are in the world series who do you think will be the favorite this year in Omaha?

Victor Menocal: (4:15 PM ET ) I think we will be considered a favorite. We have a great bracket and have played 2 of the 3 teams in our bracket already.

Bubba: Victor Compare your junior season and your senior season, seems like you guys didnt have any fun last year. Great to see you come back!

Victor Menocal: (4:16 PM ET ) Yes. When you are winning you always enjoy baseball more! But with all the new facilities it has just been even more enjoyable.

Columbia, SC: What advantages if any do you think your team has going into the College World Series?

Victor Menocal: (4:18 PM ET ) Our pitching staff. Our hitting has really stepped up of late. Those will be the two big factors.

Brian (Stone Mtn): Vic- My family enjoyed watching you guys play very much. At what point in the season did you see Omaha as a reality?

Victor Menocal: (4:18 PM ET ) When we beat Clemson in that series. That gave us so much confidence and made us realize how good we were.

Victor Menocal: (4:18 PM ET ) Clemson was No. 1 at the time.

Whitney: How do you feel about the city of Gainesville (or at least those who voted) voting Micah Owings as the best player in Gainesville history?

Victor Menocal: (4:19 PM ET ) I have no problem with that .. he is a great player and I wish him the best of luck at the next level.

Red Elephant (Gainesville): Do you regret your decision to stay in school and not turn pro early?

Victor Menocal: (4:21 PM ET ) Not at all. The whole reason I came to college was I wanted to go to Omaha and now I have the chance. I’ve met my best friends and my girlfriend here so it’s been a great experience.

Thanks for all the questions and keep pulling for us out in Omaha. I really appreciate all your support. Take care everyone.

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