June 1, 2009
– GEORGIA TECH POST-GAME QUOTES
Head Coach Danny Hall
“First of all, I want to thank our fans for coming out and supporting us tonight. I started the press conference last night with that, and I want to start the one tonight the same way. They kept us in the game the whole night, were very loud and supportive and I want to thank them for that. Just had a bad second inning, Deck got the first two hitters, got two strikes on them, and give those guys credit – they got base hits. The shortstop, Vollmuth, hit a home run on one of them, and we had an error on top of it to extend the inning and then he came up and hit another home run. If we could take that one off the board, it might have been a totally different game.
I thought McInnis came in and really did a good job and kept us off balance and made it tough for us to get anything going. But, in the end, we battled hard and hit a couple of balls hard, but the second baseman made a good play to end the eighth inning against Jake Davis and then Jason Haniger hit the ball hard right at the first baseman. If I could move those balls about 4 or 5 feet either direction, we might have been able to close it out, but we couldn’t. I told our team I’m very proud of the way they battled not only tonight, but yesterday to put us in this position. Very proud of these three seniors that are up here and have contributed greatly to our team, not only on the field, but off the field, as well.
Do you think Deck McGuire starting after just four days led to his struggles?
“I don’t know, you’d have to ask Deck. I think it was just more a case where he made a couple of bad pitches, made an error. He was very close to striking out a lefthanded hitter on a 3-2 pitch, it’s inches if it’s a ball, it’s inches. But, give their team credit, particularly the shortstop. He hit a home run initially, and I think both of them he hit, he had two strikes on him, so give him credit.
Was their ever any doubt that McGuire would be your starter tonight?
“No doubt in my mind. I mean, if you want to flip it, they decided to start the other guy (Copeland) and we scored three in the first. But they immediately put McInnis in, and he’s on two days rest and he had thrown twice in the Conference USA tournament. 100 times over, I would start Deck McGuire tonight; that would not change in my mind.”
Can you comment on Derek Dietrich’s performance tonight?
“I thought he swung the bat better the last two days and had a great night tonight. I think our whole team was very emotional into the game and into the weekend and trying to do everything we could to get on the bus to go to Gainesville and it just didn’t work out.”
What was the ruling on the ground rule double?
“The rule is when the ball gets to the cement, which it did – it went into the tarp area, the ball is dead. Basically, at that time, it becomes a ground rule double. They got the call right – that’s exactly the way the ground rule reads.”
Was this year’s loss any tougher to handle than last year’s ending in the Athens regional?
“I think they are all hard. Anytime you lose the last game of the year, you suffer for quite awhile. I told our team after the game that I know it hurts them, it hurts me and I wish it was a different fate, but it’s not. But, they all hurt and I wouldn’t really compare one to the other – they hurt.”
#34 Luke Murton, Rightfield
How difficult was it to face the sidearmer (Cargill) in the 9th?
“When I was at bat, I took a strike and I got it to 1-1 and he made a decent pitch on me and I swung and missed for strike two. On strike three, I was late, I was right on the ball, but I was just late. I really felt like he was going to go to the slider and this whole weekend, when I’ve missed, I’ve missed out in front. I was just trying to make an adjustment saying that if he throws a slider here, I’m going to sit back and I’m going to wait. Usually when I do that, I’m still quick enough to the fastball, but in that last at-bat, I wasn’t.”
#29 Jason Haniger, Catcher
Your thoughts on playing your last game as a Yellow Jacket?
“Like coach said in the opening statement, I’d never played in an atmosphere like this at Georgia Tech and it was honestly the most fun I’ve ever had playing. Sadly to say, we lost, but the crowd was into it, our dugout was into it, everyone was having a blast, and not for one second did we think we were going to lose that game until it was actually over. Even though we lost, it was a good experience for me to go out and leave Georgia Tech.”
#6 Chris House, Leftfielder
Your thoughts on playing your last game as a Yellow Jacket?
“I would say the same. The atmosphere we had was the best I’ve ever seen here. I enjoyed playing with all my teammates.”
SOUTHERN MISS POSTGAME QUOTES
Head Coach Corky Palmer
“I thought our guys came ready to play. They (Georgia Tech) hit us with a three-spot, and we came right back and get those runs. B.A. (Vollmuth) hits a big home run. I felt like we were swinging the bats, and I had to get Todd (McInnis) in the game – he was on short rest. I can’t say enough about the job he did to quiet a really powerful Georgia Tech team. That gave us a shot to increase the lead and go on to win the game. (Collin) Cargill had been pretty good for us all year, and I thought it we could get to him, we’d be in pretty good shape.”
On what the victory means to him:
“It’s a special feeling. I told these players three or four weeks ago that this is their team. They took ownership of it. The seniors, and these guys in there with them, this is about the program to advance to a Super Regional. It is just huge. Say what you want to, it feels good to go to the next level.”
On USM’s defensive effort:
“The ball was knuckling – the one that James (Ewing) caught (in the eighth). (Joey) Archer made a nice play to end the game. That’s not an easy play, a 3-6 double play. I thought that was a key. The three games with Georgia Tech, whoever played the best defense won, if you really look at it. Take out the homers and the pitching, and whoever played the best defense of the three games, won the game. That just held true.”
On his final season as head coach at Southern Miss
“Three or four weeks ago, it was looking bleak. It was good that we came on, and we got to our seventh straight regional. It shows that if you play your best baseball the last three weeks, you’ve got an opportunity. We didn’t play very well in stretches. We had some things go wrong. B.A. (Vollmuth) stepped in there, and with Brian Dozier – our best player – hurt, I think it finally clicked probably about three weeks ago, and we carried to the conference tournament and here to this regional.”
On playing on the road in the Super Regional:
“It’s a weird thing. Over the last six years, we had a top-10 (winning) percentage at home. This year, we were poor (at home), but we were 15-6, before tonight, on the road. We play pretty well on the road. They (Florida) have a great team, but I’ll be honest, we play pretty well on the road this year.”
#10 Todd McInnis RHP
On his effort in the game:
“I really didn’t feel anything. I just went out there and knew that I had to get ahead of hitters. We had talked about that all week. Getting behind hitters is what will get your pitch count up. Because I had to come back on little rest, I just tried to get ahead of hitters. The off-speed (pitches) were working, and the defense played well behind me as they did all season. It wasn’t about being sore any more, it was the end of the season, and we have to win or go home. Coach (Corky) Palmer has had a great career here, and this is the way he should go out. I don’t want you to think that this is the end of the road for us, because we have a lot of confidence going into this Super Regional, and we’re going to play as hard as we can.”
#3 B.A. Vollmuth, SS (Regional MVP)
On hitting three homers against Tech in the regional:
“The ball does fly at this stadium, I must say, especially when the wind is blowing out to right. Nothing really clicked. I got pitches up in the zone I could handle, and it fell into place there.”