June 8, 2002
NCAA ATLANTA SUPER REGIONAL
Game 2 – Georgia Tech vs. Florida Atlantic
Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall
“Just an awesome feeling. I brought these three seniors with me because they’re the reason we’re here. I believed in these three guys and they believed in themselves. I knew we had a very good core upper classmen. I think people failed to realize how good our upper classmen are. I’m sitting here, but my staff deserves as much credit as anyone. The bottom line is, these guys played hard every day, and they found a different way to win every time they were challenged.
“There are a lot of great college baseball teams out there, and to get to Omaha is not an easy road at all. I do want to say that Florida Atlantic is a great club. To see like a team like that get to the Final 16 says an awful lot about their players and coaches. They played good, and they played great to get here, but I think that’s how well we played these two games.
(On Eric Patterson) “I knew he was going to have a good tournament because he had swung the bat better during the week. I kiddingly said something to him that “You can’t keep a good man down forever.” I think Eric may have gotten a little tired at the end of the season, but you could tell during batting practice that he had his swing back. He’s a great young player and I knew sooner or later he was going to get the job done.
“We couldn’t have pitched any better, from a starting standpoint, than we pitched in all five NCAA games. Chris Goodman tonight was outstanding. He didn’t give them anything to get going, and it’s been that way really for all five postseason games. Pitching can definitely make you look good, and we pitched great these five games.
Georgia Tech Third Baseman Matthew Boggs
“I think last year everybody in the country thought we would be in Omaha, but things just didn’t work out the way we wanted them to. We said after the season that we were going to let that happen again; we said, this year, we were just going to be about the team and about winning. Since the fall, that has been our focus, and we tried to relay that to everyone on the team. I think today, hopefully you can see that we did a pretty good job. We three did think we had a chance. I know nobody else in the country believed in us, but we believed in ourselves.
(On his last at bat) “I was thinking about trying to hit number two (home run). I was pretty much just swinging as hard as I could, and it found the bat.”
Georgia Tech Third Baseman Victor Menocal
“A lot of people don’t know what we go through off the field, in the weight room, conditioning, everything. It took a lot of heart. I think today you can definitely see that the Georgia Tech baseball team and the coaching staff definitely put everything they had into getting to Omaha.”
Florida Atlantic head coach Kevin Cooney
“First I’d like to congratulate Georgia Tech, their players and coaches. They’re a great ball club and they played great. It’s your hope at this point of the season you’re playing your best, and certainly Danny and his kids did all that. Eric Patterson and his friends were the difference in the ball game and the series. My congratulations to those guys. They’re a fine ball club. They made every play they had to make. They have tremendous team speed which stopped us from turning double plays. We had five plays that would have been double plays against some of the other teams we played. Every play they had to make they made. We didn’t play as well defensively; we didn’t pitch as well as obviously as we needed to pitch to beat a team of this caliber. But we’re real proud of the season our kids had. We had tremendous senior leadership and we wouldn’t have been here without that.”
(On Georgia Tech’s early lead) “Deja vu all over again. It was their speed again. Like I said before, speed keeps things alive for teams. It’s a real tough thing to defend against and that’s one of the main things that hurt us. We knew they had really good team speed. Almost every scouting report we had talked about their speed.”
(Where he ranks Georgia Tech) “The last two days, they’ve been better than anybody I’ve seen the entire year. They brought good arms out of the bullpen; their starting pitching was excellent. The pitcher today was outstanding. You’ve got to look at teams over the course of the season, but in this two-game series ? and it’s now officially a two-game series ? Georgia Tech is the best team I’ve seen this year.”