May 30, 2009
GEORGIA TECH POSTGAME QUOTES
Head Coach Danny Hall
“Definitely not our best effort. Baseball’s a game of momentum. We got off to a good start, and I honestly think their pitcher was maybe a hitter away from being pulled out of the game. In the third inning, we had the bases loaded and one out, and he proceeded to get a strike out and then got the next guy out, and I think that totally changed his momentum. Then we went out in the bottom of the inning and didn’t make some plays we needed to make, and they capitalized on it. They got the lead, and then the next big inning they had, again we made a couple mistakes defensively that they made us pay for, and we gave them too many extra outs. They swung the bat and did a good job, and their starter settled in and got a lot of outs in the middle of the game. In the eighth inning, we hit a couple of balls hard that were caught, and we had a good little charge at them in the ninth, but it was too little, too late.”
On your thoughts on Connor Winn’s tough day in the field:
“Well, he’s just got to pick his head up. I’ve watched the guy for nine months, and he’s a great defensive infielder. He just didn’t have a good night – that’s the bottom line. It can happen to anybody, and I’m sad that it happened to him, because he’s worked hard, and I know that nobody feels worse than him. We were hoping that Cumpton could pick him up, and I think he was close a couple of times. But give them credit, they capitalized every time we made a mistake.”
On the groundball that was hit to Winn in the third inning:
“It actually hit him in his glove. Second base can be a little bit tough because of the sun going down, and I don’t know if he lost the ball in the sun. I really don’t think he did. I just think the ball had a lot of topspin, and it just bounced out of his glove, and then he couldn’t find it. It ended up being a double mistake, because I honestly think he if catches the ball we might turn a double play, but instead, he can’t find it. If he just finds it, he gets an out and at least we’ve gotten an out on the play. It was a tough ball to miss.”
How hard was it to keep Cumpton focused with all the miscues in the field?
“I honestly think Cumpton threw the ball well. I want to look at his numbers, I know that he only gave up two earned runs. I actually think if we play our normal game defensively that he cruises in there for six or seven innings, but that didn’t happen.”
Who will start tomorrow’s game?
“Don’t know yet. I will talk with Coach Kinkelaar when we go inside. Luke hit the nail on the head – we’ll start whoever we think can beat Elon, and we’ll use whoever we have to use to win that game and then worry about the second if we get there.”
#34 Luke Murton, Rightfield
How hard is it to come back tomorrow after tonight’s game?
“Losing a game isn’t a good thing, but a loss is a loss and we didn’t play well tonight and now we have to turn the page. Tomorrow is a new day and tomorrow we have Elon now, first and foremost, and we have to take care of them. It’s tough, but at the same time, a loss is a loss and now we have to play better.”
What is your mindset for tomorrow?
“All we can do is come out and take batting practice tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a little bit more of a normal schedule for us. We’ll come out, we’ll hit, take our batting practice, get prepared for the first game. As far as I’m concerned we have one game tomorrow. Because if we lose the first game, we definitely don’t have a second game. I’m going to go out there and prepare for the one game we have to play and play it pitch by pitch and if we win, then at that point we’ll get ready for the second game.”
Did you notice a difference in Ballinger after he got out of the 3rd inning?
“I think he just did a good job. He threw the ball pretty well tonight and did a good job staying in the game. I honestly didn’t see a big difference in him from my at bats, but obviously he kept getting guys out and I feel like as hitters, we need to do a better job of grinding out our bats a little bit more throughout the middle of the game.”
Were you seeing more fastballs from Ballinger?
“I feel like he started getting ahead with his fastball because he was missing with his offspeed. I felt like in the beginning of the game he was trying to throw his offspeed for strikes and he wasn’t able to, so he got behind. Later in the game, I thought he pitched off his fastball a little bit more and it was more effective.”
SOUTHERN MISS POSTGAME QUOTES
Head Coach Corky Palmer
“J.R. (Ballinger) had a tough start, and then he really got moving – a tremendous effort against a tremendous club in Georgia Tech. Everybody will talk about our hitting, but to me, him holding them down … if we wouldn’t have done that, it wouldn’t have mattered. He did a super job against a powerful team.”
On what he told J.R. Ballinger when he went to the mound in the third inning:
“Just throw strikes. He’s got such good stuff, nobody really beats him around. Staying ahead in the count, that’s all I talked to him about. That inning, when he got the punchout and the ground ball when they (Georgia Tech) was up 3-1, that was huge that we escaped with that, because it could have been bad with one hit here or there; the game would have opened up. That was two big outs he got.”
On winning the first two games of the regional:
“It would only be special if we could win one more game, so our goal is to go to a Super Regional. We got a lot of work to do – two good clubs left in it, so we’ll push on to tomorrow.”
On how important for Ballinger to pitch into the ninth inning after using the bullpen against Elon:
“It was big for us, and he kept saying that he had a little more. I probably stretched him a little longer than I should. He wouldn’t pitch again unless it was next weekend if we were fortunate to win the next game.”
On battling to make the NCAAs and the success so far this weekend:
“It all starts with pitching, which has given our offense a chance to get going. We were a little stale for three weeks, and it took a long time to get over Brian Dozier’s injury. Nobody talked about, but I think when your best hitter and player on your team is out, they really struggled. But finally, it kicked in. B.A. (Vollmuth) been playing regularly for three or four weeks, so things are starting to kick in for us again on offense. People forget we had a real good offense earlier in the year, and went stale in April. It’s coming back for us.”
On capitalizing on Georgia Tech errors:
“We did (take advantage). Georgia Tech made some mistakes, and it probably opened the gap, but we had to get some big hits, which we did after they made the mistakes. We got some big hits, and that’s usually what happens in college baseball. A walk and an error, it doesn’t matter. Things happen. It’s hard to get away from that, that’s what hurt them.”
#20 J.R. Ballinger, RHP
On his confidence while pitching:
“I felt like I had pretty good confidence, because I couldn’t have done it without the eight guys backing me up out there. I tried to get ahead in the count later in the ballgame, and I wasn’t at the beginning. I felt like I was getting ahead of hitters later on in the game, and that put us on top.”
On getting through the game into the ninth inning:
“Starting off, I really didn’t have any off-speed (pitches), and I had to adjust and make do with what I had. I finally found some off-speed on a changeup, and my fastball was moving later on in the game, too.”
#3 B.A. Vollmuth, SS
On the pitches he saw for his double in the fifth and his homer in the seventh:
“I think on the double, I hit a fastball, and on the home run, I hit a hanging curve ball.”