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NCAA Atlanta Regional Georgia Tech Quotes

June 1, 2006

NCAA ATLANTA REGIONAL
JUNE 1, 2006
GEORGIA TECH QUOTES

Player Quotes

Whit Robbins

About moving from first base to third base

“Well I played third [base] growing up, in high school but I probably haven’t played it in two or three years. Playing first base you get the same type of ground balls there. I just went over there and tried to do the best I can.”

“It was their [coaching staff] decision. They asked me one day if I thought I could play third, and I said I would give it a try.”

On handling the new position in the South Florida Series

“It wasn’t any different from playing first base, really. I decided that I was just going to do the best I could, and that’s what I did.”

On bunt coverages at the new position

“No, we go over that ever day in practice, so I pretty much know what the third base guy does anyway, so I knew them before I started playing third base.”

On the offensive injuries

“It’s made it tougher for us, but like I said, we came together as a team and went out there to do the best we can.”

Steven Blackwood

On Stetson

“It’s definitely a driving force to come up and put some runs up early, so we don’t get behind. We don’t want to slack off at any point. It’s definitely in the back of our minds [falling to Stetson in the 2003 NCAA Atlanta Regional] when we got matched up with them. I remember them talking about it that first year.”

On the health of the team

“We’ve had some big injuries, but we’ve had some guys step in and fill some big holes for us at third base and in the outfield. With Danny Payne going down, with the team that we have, and to be doing as well as we have, out top two hitters going down early in the season, it just shows the depth and strength of this team and how far we can go.”

On hosting the regional

“To be able to not have to travel and worry about playing on somebody’s else’s field, worrying about how they play and where the sun is going to be at certain times, is a big advantage for us and hopefully in front of a lot of fans.”

Mike Trapani

On the camouflage t-shirts Tech wore at practice

“I came up with the idea of supporting my friend [Lt. Will Sullivan] who played football at Army and just graduated from West Point and is training to go over to Iraq. Everyone liked them for looks, and here I am trying to send a message, so it’s got a dual message for me, because I have a good friend who’s getting ready to take off over there. I think about him all the time, he will be in my prayers when he gets over there and I will be with him.”

On the back story of his friend

“We both dreamed of playing football together at the Naval Academy, and I was not allowed in because of my Tourette’s syndrome, so my friend [Sullivan] wrote them a letter attesting to my character and ability and told them it was either both of us, and none of us. He sent me that letter years later and it brought me to tears that somebody would go to bat for me like that. It’s all can do to try and return the favor.”

On telling him about this

“No, we haven’t talked about this yet, because he’s in training, but I will have to call him and tell him that we finally got it, and let him know that they [Tech] was inspired by him.”

Blake Wood

On the importance of winning the first game in the regional

“I’ve done it before, and hopefully I can do it again. It’s a big game, we need to win it, and I feel like’s it’s my job to give a great performance, not only for our team, but to save our bullpen for the rest of the tournament.”

On playing at home

“It’s definitely a lot better than having to go on the road. We feel like we play well in this park and that’s shown over the past couple of years, and we feel like we should be able to do it again.”

On Stetson

“I don’t know a whole lot personally, but I’m sure the coaches know a whole lot more than I do. I feel like as long as we play our game, and if I work to my strengths, hopefully it will come out the way we want it to.”

NCAA ATLANTA REGIONAL
JUNE 1, 2006
GEORGIA TECH QUOTES

Georgia Tech Head Coach Danny Hall

On the health of the team

“We are as healthy as we can be. [Jeff] Kindel is still a little banged up, but he ran around pretty good today and has been able to take batting practice, so knowing Jeff Kindel and the competitor that he is, he’ll be ready to go. [Wes] Hodges is still playing on one leg, and he will not get any better until our season is over with. [Tim] Gustafson threw yesterday, but won’t be available to pitch this weekend, and Danny Payne is having surgery so he’s out for the year. So, we basically have the same cast of characters that we’ve had the last few weeks, it’s a good cast of characters, and I think they’ll be ready to go.”

On signing so many players

“There’s no question, just look at what we’ve done. I took Whit Robbins and moved him to third base, I took Luke Murton off the bench and put him at first base, and [Wally] Crancer came off the bench in for Danny Payne. So those our the guys that deserve the credit for staying ready to go, waiting for their opportunity, getting it and making the most of it. I’m very proud of them, because it’s one thing to draw it up and say you do this, this and this, but it’s another thing for the players to really take it upon themselves to make it work.”

On the new outfit for the players today

“Well it was kind of a players’ thing, along with our strength coach Steve Tamborra, and they came up with the idea and I kind of like it, it looks pretty flashy and they seem to like it, and that’s all that matters. If they like it, then I am all for it.”

On the mood of the team

“I think they are very loose, but I know that when the bell rings, they will be very competitive. That’s the biggest compliment I can give these guys is that they know how to compete and they are going to give it everything they got to compete in this tournament.”

On Stetson

“They’ve come in here and beaten us before, so that definitely gets out attention. Pete Dunn is an excellent coach, he has an excellent hitter in [Chris] Johnson, and they won the A-Sun Tournament for a reason, playing well last weekend, so they are a hot team that we have to be ready to play well in order to beat them.”

On the importance of winning that first game

“I think game one is very important. To win that first game, gives you a chance if you can win that second one, to have somebody have to beat you twice to advance to the Super Regional. We’re taking that game one very seriously, and we want to play well in it.”

On the pitching staff last weekend

“It was very important and it gave all those guys a lot of confidence heading into this weekend. It gives our team a lot of confidence, knowing that those guys threw well, so I feel that it was extremely important.”

On the bullpen

“It’s a major reason why we have been able to win the amount of games that we’ve won, and probably a major reason why we are getting a chance to host a regional. They really carried us over the last one-third of the season. We [coaching staff] felt like it was important to have a strong bullpen and it’s worked out.”

On Lee Hyde leaving the bullpen and the impact

“The reason I can do that is that Tim Ladd has really stepped up and pitched well, kind of left-on-left for us. He’s very durable, can throw just about everyday, so it’s allowed me to take Lee Hyde and his experience and put him back in to the starting rotation.”

On Tim Gustafson

“Not this week. He did throw yesterday and was pain free, which is very encouraging, it was the first time he’s faced hitters. It’s just more of him not being in shape yet, so we hope that we can use another week of throwing to get him closer to being in game shape, and if he is, and we can survive, maybe we can use him next week in the Super Regional.”

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