June 11, 2005
Head Coach Danny Hall:
“Certainly we’re disappointed in the outcome today, but give Tennessee a lot of credit. We didn’t have any answers for Adkins. He pitched very well. We have a lot of left-handed hitters and he’s very tough on lefties. Both of their guys have two different breaking balls, a slider and a curve ball, and they threw them both for strikes. That’s kind of hard to lock in on a guy who has two different breaking balls, a pretty good fastball and every now and then a changeup. So give him credit. The third inning was big. We felt like we had chance to get out of the inning. We had a bang-bang play at first that went against us, and then (Rivera) hit a three-run homer right behind it. Then we made an error and gave them two more runs to kind of blow the game open. But that was a pivotal part of the game because we could have got out of that inning with the score 1-0.
“I got a phone call about 10:15 last night from Coach Moranda. Tim Gustafson had called him and said he felt like he needed an extra day. So at that time we made the decision to put Lee out there. We needed somebody other than Gus to win a game for us to go to Omaha, and we felt like Lee was the guy.
“I just tried to approach today like we’ve approached things all year. I tried to prepare them for what Adkins was going to throw. I can’t say it enough times * he’s a unique guy in that he throws two different breaking balls. Particularly if he gets ahead, he can bury that thing and make it tough to hit.
“It’s been a great year, and this has been a great group of guys to coach. Back in the fall, a lot of people probably didn’t think we’d have a very good team, other than the people that count, our coaches and our players. You’re always disappointed when you lose, that never changes, but I’m very proud of our team.
P Lee Hyde
“Coach Moranda called me around 11 (last night) and told me. I had a feeling, because I with Gus when he called Coach Mo and told him he didn’t feel like he was 100 percent, and Coach Mo called me right after that.
“I just have to be ready to throw. I was either going to throw today or tomorrow. It didn’t affect me knowing later; I was going to throw one day or the other. I just didn’t execute my pitches.
(Home run pitch)
“Just an inside fastball, and he put a good swing on it. I felt like I got it in there, but he put a good swing on it and kept his hands inside.
“Nobody like to lose, but we were kind of under the radar coming into this season. Nobody knew what we were going to do because we were young, but I feel like we put together a really good season.
SS Tyler Greene
“Both their pitchers were able to throw those two breaking pitches for strikes. It’s tough to hit off a guy who can consistently throw those pitches for strikes, especially when he’s putting it in those low and inside corners. There weren’t too many pitches over the plate, and it’s tough to get innings going when guys are making pitches like that.
“It hurts right now, but I’ve had the time of my life this year with these guys. This is a really special group of guys. We’ve had a lot of fun and fought through adversity together. I wouldn’t trade anything for this year. These guys are special, and I had the best time of my life this year.
Head Coach Rod Delmonico
“I’m very, very proud of our guys. At the start of the season no one thought we were good. We were picked fifth in the East and probably 11th overall. From our administration to our fans to our media no one thought we could hit and that really fueled our guys. They did everything that they could to prove those guys wrong. We really came together as a team and in many ways, we should probably thank all those guys that didn’t think we were very good because it allowed us to come together as a unit and play as one. This is probably the best team I’ve ever been on and coached. I’m very lucky and blessed to have the opportunity to coach these young men this year. It’s been a lot of fun, but we’re not done yet.”
“One of the factor is that we had low numbers on our roster. Our guys got a lot of reps, a lot of at bats, a lot of swings, a lot of ground balls. Our guys just kept working and working and working, and they got better. I don’t think there’s a guy on our team from Beasley, who’s our backup outfielder who literally walked on in the fall, to Isaiah Newson that just all he does is shag fly balls, they’ve all improved and really worked hard. It just shows you what happens when you put your time in that good things happen.”
“I believe in this team and this team believes in itself. It hasn’t surprised me what they’ve accomplished, but it is hard to do. Georgia Tech has an awesome program, great coaching staff. They know how to play. They won the ACC, so to be able to do what we have here on the road was incredible, but it wasn’t easy. Today’s game got carried away a little bit, but it could have easily have gotten back in their favor. They have a great team, a great hitting team, and to be honest, I didn’t rest until we got that third out.”
Second baseman Michael Rivera
“I don’t even hit it out in BP. Coach D, ever since we went in the playoffs has said, ‘Mike you have one big one in you. I know it’s going to be a big one.’ It was a fastball in and I turned on it. I knew it was gone as soon as I hit it. I didn’t think it was going to stay fair. It’s an unbelievable feeling rounding those bases. It was huge. Huge game, huge moment. I’m so happy for our guys and they’re happy for me, but for me this homerun counts as 15. I’m just thrilled we’re going to Omaha.”
“Honestly, no one believed in us but ourselves. We knew we had a good team. Many people doubted the fact that we were going to hit due to our low numbers from the previous season. It just came together for us. Fortunately it came. We fought hard each and every game. It started out rough down there in Houston. I think that was a great experience and it prepared us for a long run. In the regionals we played some pretty good ball clubs and had to come back to win some ball games and that prepared us well for this. We all believed we were going to get this far this season.”
Third baseman Chase Headley
“It’s no surprise to us. We felt like we have a good club from the beginning of the year and we knew what we were capable of. We go out there to win every single game, and when we don’t win, we’re disappointed. I’m not really surprised, especially the way our pitchers have been throwing. They’re going out there and keeping us in games. All we have to do is score three or four runs and we feel pretty good about ourselves. Sometimes when you get that pressure taken off ourselves, we explode and get 10 or 11 like we did today.”
Starting pitcher James Adkins
“I am real excited for our team. It’s pretty easy to pitch with a 10-spot. The only I had to concentrate on was throwing strikes. That’s a big chunk off your shoulders. As a pitcher that’s what you want. You want those close games, they get you pumped up. It’s good to have a 10-spot every now and then, just go out there and throw strikes and work on stuff. I just have to thank my hitters for that.”
“I always want to punch somebody out. That just gets the fire inside me going. I knew as long as I pitch my game, I have a great defense and great hitting behind me. I knew if I put that together we’d win.”
“It seemed like everything was working for me. I spotted my fastball a lot better than I’ve been doing. My curveball is not as effective but it helped me get out of key situations. My slider and fastball are my main two pitches.”