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NCAA Atlanta Regional Post-Game Quotes

May 29, 2009

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes


Head Coach Danny Hall

Opening Statement:
“I thought it was a very good ballgame, and they took a pretty good shot and scored three off Deck (McGuire) in the one inning. As Deck has done all year, it seems like he has one inning where everything is not quite right, and he locks back in and put all zeros on the board from there. I thought that was a critical part of the game for us, as he settled in and kept them from scoring. Then I thought we did a good job of building an inning with some bunts and executing some bunts to get some guys on. Then, Matt (Skole) hit that big home run to give us the lead. I thought our bullpen did a good job, we played good defense and it was a good way to start.”

On Connor Winn’s play:
“He played well. I kind of made a decision when we were at the ACC Tournament. The story for Connor Winn was that we didn’t even take him to the ACC Tournament, and I just made my mind up that he is our best defensive second baseman, and that I was going to play him at second base because he gave us the best defense. But yet, he had a great night with the bat and just missed a home run in his first at-bat that put the guy right against the wall in center field. Then, he had a great push bunt to get an inning started, had a great sacrifice bunt, executed a fake bunt-and-hit and made a diving play at second, so he had a great night. I put him in just for defense, and nothing against the guys who had been playing second for us, but I just felt like he could give us a lift defensively at the position.”

On if the back-to-back bunts in the fifth inning were planned:
“Connor had asked me before he went up there if, it was there, should he bunt? I just told him that he was kind of on his own. If he felt like he could it, do it. Then I gave (Jeff) Rowland the bunt (sign). If he gets the bunt down, he’s tough to throw out because he can really run. Connor kind of did it on his own. He asked me about it, and I told that if it was there to do it.”

On how important it was to start Deck McGuire:
“I think it’s important to win the first game of the tournament. My thought was the first game is important, so I wanted to throw our best guy, and then I also felt like, that if by chance, we had to play on Monday, that I could use him. If I threw him Saturday, and we ended up playing on Monday, then in good conscience, I would not throw him. So that’s where it came down to.”

#25 Deck McGuire, RHP

On what changed between the third and fourth innings for him on the mound:
“It’s been the same thing I’ve done all year. Like coach Hall said, there always seems to be one inning where it doesn’t matter what happens, how good I’ve been going the rest of the game, there is always that one inning where I hit a little speed bump. I try to come in, collect myself, and go back out and start a new inning.”

On if the home run he allowed to Bradley Logan in the third inning was a location issue:
“To be completely honest, I didn’t want to walk him, and so I figured that hitters get themselves out 70 percent of the time anyway. But he didn’t get himself out (laughter). Logan is a tough out. The first at-bat, he saw every pitch I had, and he smoked a fastball pretty good. His next at-bat, I got behind him again, evened it up, and thought I’d flip one in there, and maybe he’d take it. He hadn’t really seen a good one yet. It was a good one, and he still smoked it. He had my number.”

#16 Matt Skole, 3B

On his home run:
“When I went up there, I wasn’t thinking at all about a home run. I was just trying to get a pitch that I could put in play hard and do something with – maybe find a hole and get a couple of runs. At that time, we were down and needed one big hit to get us going. Luckily, he (Will Palmer) threw a fastball in, and I got the turn on it.


Head Coach Greg Frady

Opening Statement:
“First off, I want to say that I’m very proud of our team. I thought our team played very hard tonight. We gave a fantastic effort, the kids never gave up. We did a really great job in some areas. The game basically came down to two situations where we had a lefty/lefty matchup with two outs and Skole hit the home run. And then the other was Luke Murton’s ending two-out RBI. I think the game was really well played, it was very close and I give Georgia Tech a lot of credit, they are very good. McGuire is a fantastic pitcher and I thought our kids competed very well against him and front line pitching.”

“I think we saw tonight why we made a run in our own tournament because our team never gives up – they played hard to the end.”

How frustrating was the 5th inning, when Georgia Tech seemed to play `small ball’?
“Well, of course it’s frustrating when you see your guy going well and then give up a couple of runs. But you have to give them credit, too. Good teams make adjustments when things aren’t going well and I thought they adjusted well and I think that we would do the same thing if we were in that situation.

“Will Palmer has been an absolute consistent stellar performer for us for three years. Will always seems to have an outing where he has one inning that troubles him. And, if the team can do something in that one inning, then that’s the only way he’s going to lose. And, tonight, they had a big inning. Our goal coming into the game was to not give up a big inning and if we could get the game to the back half of the game close, I thought we’d have a chance to win it.”

How does this experience of the NCAA Tournament differ from the regular season?
“As you guys know, this is our first NCAA Tournament – it’s our first time on this big stage. I thought our team handled themselves very well. We came out and were a little bit nervous – I think you saw our second baseman throw the ball away in the first inning, I think there were some nerves in that. But, Will is a mature pitcher and he handled things well and settled down. In general I think our kids were very ready to play, I think they handled themselves very well and this is only going to help us in the future as we go forward and hopefully we can put together another regional, and then another and keep going back to back and have more experience on this stage.”

On tomorrow’s game, which should feel like a home game to their players:
“Well, it’s always great to have fans, that is for sure. Elon is a very good team – a top 25 team – you guys saw today that they can hit and we’ll have a tough challenge tomorrow. But, we’ll come ready. This is a championship team. We’re very proud to represent the CAA as the champions. The best thing I can say about this team is that we’ve made every day its’ own very special day. Tonight we lost, but we’ll go to bed and we’ll eat something tonight and tomorrow will be its’ own special day. Tomorrow we’ll come to the park with the opportunity to win our very first NCAA game, that in itself is a wonderful opportunity and we have tremendous respect for all the teams that are here, especially Elon in the way that they can hit. It offers us a great challenge, but our kids will come ready to go tomorrow.

# 40, Will Palmer, Pitcher

How did that inning add to your frustration?
“Yeah, it was a little frustrating. I threw him a fastball and didn’t make my pitch – just one pitch that I missed. But, they did the job in getting the runners on base.”

#44, Bradley Logan, 1B

How does Deck McGuire compare to other pitchers in the CAA that you typically see?
“Well, we faced him last year in a mid-week game, so some of us had seen him before. He’s a great pitcher and we face a lot of guys in the CAA that are very good. He’s not a first team all-American for nothing. I think we got him out of his comfort zone early and we put a lot of pressure on him and put them on their heels and we had a lot of emotion. Will pitched well for us all game, it was just one pitch that changed the whole momentum of the game.”

On the home run you hit, what were you looking for?
“It was basically a fastball inside and I just reacted to it. I had noticed that he was throwing guys away, away, away and I think he meant to do that, he just missed his spot and I just reacted to it.”

What were the feelings in the dugout during the game?
“We are a very confident team and anytime we get down, especially with Will on the mound, we know that we are going to get a solid effort – six or seven innings. He’s always been a rock for us. We were hoping to keep it close and just win it in the back half, we’d have a good chance, but unfortunately


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