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Mississippi State Postgame Quotes - Game 1

June 3, 2011

2011 Atlanta Baseball Regional
Quotes / Friday, June 3

Mississippi State Head Coach John Cohen

Opening Statement

“Obviously we are proud of our kids. Pollorena and Caleb Reed pitched brilliantly. I thought McGuiness was outstanding too. I thought it was a well-pitched game all around and we got some big hits when it mattered. We did what we have to do which is to defend and pitch and attack the strike zone. I thought Luis was very good because he got to both sides of the plate with his fastball. Caleb did a great job of running that slider away from right-handers and getting in on left-handers. So we are really pleased with it. We have a huge challenge tomorrow no matter who it’s going to be and this room is still very hot from yesterday.”

How big was your def today?

“We believe there is a strong correlation between great defense and early contact and that what Luis got us, Caleb too. We got early swings and when that happens we play must better defense. That is what’s escaped us in recent history over the last couple weeks and we got right back to that. Luis knew he was going to get the ball today and his preparation for the week was outstanding. He basically said if you’re going to beat me, you’re going to beat me through contact. He realized that he had a good def behind him.”

Explain the decision to go with Brent in that situation?

“Trey is just one of those guys that when he is swinging it well early in the game you just feel like it is going to continue. Trey has been working so hard and this is the type of ballpark that he played on in junior college and we just felt like if he gets one shot he can hit it out of this place. He just didn’t see it very well in the beginning. As soon as he got the second strike out obviously Brent was one of our best defenders and I was going to get him in the game immediately. As he said the game will always find you and it sure did. He made that play look a lot easier than it is. That ball is hit in the gap and he just picked a spot and ran to it. He made it look easy.”

Talk about going to Caleb after the 6th?

“It was all about match-up. I felt like Caleb was a great match up, especially the righty’s they had in the middle there. Luis got to 120 and I felt like he still had some gas in the tank but we got to the 7th and we just wanted to give Caleb that clean inning. When Caleb is rested like that and he threw like he did last week I feel like he can beat any one. I feel like the game was in the 7th inning not really in the 9th and that’s when we had to get him in there.”

John, overall what does this win in the post-season mean for the program?

“We keep trying to take steps. This is just another step forward. Again, whomever we play tomorrow will be a tremendous challenge. Don’t know who we will get to pitch tomorrow yet; we will make a decision after this next game. Every step our program makes helps. We got a whole lot of freshmen and everything they get to experience because of these older guys is just huge. That’s how you build and that’s how you build a program.”

Coach John Cohen on McGuiness’ career.

“He has had a brilliant career. I mean I don’t think you can use enough adjectives to describe it. The guy can really pitch. He is an SEC Friday night type of guy. To me that is the ultimate compliment. He competes, he never gets shaken, he attacks the strike zone and when he is going good he’s got movement on both sides. He’s a great college pitcher.”

After the first 2 innings what were u thinking in the dugout?

It was a fair, small zone day. I think that the pitcher just had to pitch to it. I thought it was consistent and I felt that we ran into a little bit of pitch trouble early on but I felt like he just kept battling. When he had a big miss he would get right back to the strike zone.

Luis Pollorena, So., LHP/OF

Luis, what was working well for you today?

“Our defense was unbelievable. I was trying to get to both sides of the plate today and just staying low. Sometimes I missed but the wind helped us out. It was pretty much just early contact even though I got 120 pitches; it worked out to our advantage.”

Nick Vickerson, Sr., INF/OF

Luis works very fast, with the heat like it was how did that help you keep our pace and get the lead?

“Well it helps you out defensively because you are always on your toes. It gives you a little more range so that you are always ready for the ball. I think that helps you out a lot and it makes everyone really want to work hard for him out there when he is working hard for us.”

Nick, did getting the run up so quick on McGuiness help you?

“Yeah, I felt like it was a good start especially to get one in the first. I didn’t think it would end up us not scoring again till later but we wanted to be aggressive.”

Brent Brownlee, Jr., OF

Luis works very fast, with the heat like it was how did that help you keep our pace and get the lead?

“Working with a slow pace you are sitting back on your heels and it takes forever and it’s hot with the sun beaming down on you. So when he is working that fast pace we are able to get through it.”

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