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Postgame Quotes: Georgia Tech 12, Notre Dame 6

Georgia Tech Postgame Quotes (Game 55)
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (39-16) 12, Notre Dame Fighting Irish (24-30) 6
May 22, 2019 • Durham Bulls Athletic Park • Durham, N.C.

Georgia Tech Head Coach Danny Hall

Opening statement:

“Good win. I thought Amos did a tremendous job of going six innings, kind of settling the game. Jackson obviously got a big hit in our big inning.

“I thought we did a tremendous job on Sheehan. I thought he kind of had our number early on, a lot of swing and misses, chased him a little bit out of the zone. But then we got his pitch count up pretty quickly, 85 pitches in three innings.

“And then looked like we had kind of a comfortable lead, and then we decided to put them back into the game a little bit. But then at the end Keyton Gibson came in, did a tremendous job in relief behind the other two guys.

“So happy for the team that we’re 1-0. Now we have a chance to play against Duke Friday for a chance to go to the semifinals.”

On whether the approach is different when a game doesn’t weight much in terms of the ACC Tournament:

“We wanted to win this game. We feel like we need to win every game we’re playing right now. We want to be playing our best baseball. One of the things we talk about as a team is winning an ACC Championship.

“So right now that’s our focus. We’re just trying to win this tournament and play our best baseball.”

On Tristin English warming up in the bullpen, but leaving Keyton Gibson in:

“If it stayed at three runs, Tristin English was going to throw the ninth inning. When we added a couple more runs there in the eighth and then added a run in the ninth and kind of had the lead back comfortably, we just felt like Keyton’s throwing strikes. Let’s put him in there. And I think he only threw 31, 32 pitches. So we felt it good about it.”

On how you work through an inning where a team isn’t killing the ball, but they’re still scoring (ND’s seventh inning):

“You just hope they don’t hit one over the wall. That’s all I’m thinking. And they’ve got Gilgenbach up there, which is one of their home run guys. So we didn’t play real good defense. They benefited by chopping a couple of balls and got them in the right spot. But felt like they had a chance to get a couple of outs if we just make a play defensively and we didn’t do it.

“But give Keyton Gibson credit. He came in and kind of bailed us out of a tough spot against Gilgenbach, who is one of their home run guys.”

On whether relief pitchers used today will be available on Friday:

“Yeah, I think all those guys will. We’ll see how Gibson feels tomorrow. He threw 32, but I think everybody else will be good to go. Bartnicki was the one that kind of just, a couple of bouncers that we just didn’t handle for him. I thought he threw the ball pretty good. We just didn’t make a play when we needed to. But he’ll be fine.”

On the matchup with Duke:

“I think Duke is really good. I don’t know who they’re going to pitch. But I assume it’s probably Gross, who is their Friday night starter. And he’s good. He was good against us up here.

“So, it’s a game to put you into Saturday, which is semifinals. And so two really good pitchers going at it.

“The thing I like about Connor [Thomas] throwing on Friday is that he’s on kind of normal rest. He threw Friday last week so he’s had a full week of time to kind of recover and kind of a normal rest for him before the start.”

Georgia Tech Right-Handed Pitcher Amos Willingham

On struggling through the first couple battles but settling in and having a nice game:

“I felt really good. I threw just a lot of fastballs, tried to attack their hitters. Probably my biggest thing that’s hurt me this year has been walks and free bases. So I just went into today with the mentality I wasn’t going to allow walks to beat me, and if I was going to get beat it was going to be by them and not by myself.”

On what it means for the team to have a big offensive inning in a game:

“It just takes a lot of pressure off. I’ve been pretty lucky in the games I’ve thrown this year that I’ve had just tons of run support. And it just makes you relax more as a pitcher. And you just kind of — one thing you can’t do is relax too much where you’re not executing your pitches as well as you should be. And so you just have to be mentally in the game regardless of what the score is.”

On the importance of the big strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out play in the second inning:

“That was a big momentum play just to kind of get me going and I think it helped the team as a whole as well just because double plays are inning killers and they’re a pitcher’s best friend. So to get the strike ’em out, throw ’em out was pretty big.”

Georgia Tech Third Baseman Jackson Webb

On the success of the team’s trademark approach to working pitchers deep into the count:

“Yeah, for sure that’s kind of been a mindset of mine throughout my career. That’s kind of what I try to do when I go up is I feel like I know my role as a hitter, and I feel like I can still get hits and still put good swings on the baseball deep into the count.

“So I just go in there every at-bat just trying to work the guy, get a good pitch. And sometime it works out in my favor, sometimes it doesn’t. I feel more often than not I’m able to put a good at-bat together.”

On what it means for the team to have a big offensive inning in a game:

“I know offensively it takes some of the pressure off because you’re thinking, oh, shoot, we haven’t put up that five, six, seven spot that we’re accustomed to putting up. So offensively it just kind of let’s you take a breath, kind of a sigh of relief, okay, like, we’re back, we’re rolling. And it’s a good time to get rolling. So it’s very good.”

On his fourth-inning at-bat and the play of teammate Colin Hall, who saw 17 pitches in his first two at-bats:

“Definitely, Colin had a great day. I think he had three, three hits, maybe four hits. That line drive off the wall was huge. Having him in front of you, he always works deep into at-bats, and you get to see a pitcher’s stuff, see what he likes to go with in certain counts, and especially if there’s a righty up I get to see how he approaches a left-handed hitter. So that’s big up having him up there. He always gets the pitcher’s pitch count up.

“And the at-bat in the fourth inning, it started off with a fastball outside. I didn’t really think it was a strike. I kind of let my emotions get the best of me right there. And then I said I have to get something in the air in the outfield. I got a pitch, it kind of bared down in on me. Didn’t quite get the barrel there, but was able to squeak it in there. So I’ll take it.”

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