June 7, 2010
Head Coach Mike Martin
I guess you look to my left and you see two young men [Mike McGee and Tyler Holt] that have been such a huge part of my program for three years and another guy [Sherman Johnson] that has been a part of the program for two years trying to emulate what these two leaders bring to the program. When you are playing in an environment on the road and you play it in the post season you got to have leadership and these two guys are two of our captains and have supplied that all year. Michael being moved to the closer role was a big part of our season and if you are looking for big hits tonight, certainly two big ones the home run by Sherman and the home run by Tyler. It was a great win for us, it was one that we are just scrapping. We don't know what the future holds but we are going to keep working hard and see what happens.
On what it means to win the regional
I can honestly say that the time that it doesn't I am out of here. My handicap is fairly high I can't get it down in practice. Which means so much to me because I am a Seminole and that is what our university is about, we are going to scrap, do everything we can to do it right, we have a great administration, student athletes and we set the bar pretty high every year. The year goal is to get to the college world series every year. That's pretty stupid for a head coach to say that, but we strive to do that every year. This is gratifying I will tell you that. When you lose three in a row to Clemson, Miami pounds you in the first round of the ACC Tournament, Boston College is down five runs in the bottom of the ninth against Miami, Miami wins and we are playing just to be playing and we are playing Virginia and they are only the number one team in the country. You talk about going from the outhouse to the penthouse and that is what we have done in the last 10 days. To answer that question in a short way; it means a lot.
On how the FSU play has changed in the past few games
It is amazing how pitching is contagious and hitting is contagious. Last night Tyler [Holt] goes 0-for-5 and we win. When you look at box score and see the guy that leads off and has been such a catalyst for this team for three years, you know that the others are right there to pick him up. The fact that things have mushroomed. We played good defense, we pitched a lot better and it was just like a plague going through the club. We got some two out hits and things like that have a way of happening when you have things going for you.
Bennett was a huge part of this win. I don't think Bennett has ever thrown 62 pitches, it is a career high. That was quite a display, he had it sinking he had it sliding and he even threw a couple of changeups.
On Coach Horton of Oregon
I wouldn't know what to do starting a program. Can you imagine just going out there and for a full year recruiting, getting organized, hiring a staff. It is unbelievable what he accomplished. Just two years and to be in the final of a regional and to beat a very good Connecticut team in their state it was quite an accomplishment.
I would also like to say that Jim Penders has done a wonderful job at UConn. He has the program headed in the right direction and all the BIG EAST knows it.
Tyler Holt, Jr., Outfield
On how the team has come together
I guess you can say we got a little boost by Boston College. If or when we win it all we might send them a ring for it. Honestly a little spark plug and things started rolling for us. I guess you can say everyone came together and it wasn't about 'I, I, I' anymore it was about us. Things started rolling and hopefully they can continue.
On Mike McGee
It looks like from the stats that he did a really good job tonight. The past two outings that he has had has been really impressive and lifts the team. To have guys come off the bench, throw strikes and get people out it speeds the game up and gets your defense and everyone else around you more into the game. He is a quiet guy, but when he is called on he gets the job done. Hats off to him tonight.
On Devon Travis' play in the eighth
It was a big time play. Honestly I get on him all the time to throw it with some umph to first. It gets me worried sometimes, but then he threw it and I felt like he was staring right at me afterwards. That is a big time play for a big time player.
Mike McGee, Jr., Pitcher/Outfield
On the next step in the postseason
We are just taking it one step at a time right now. The whole season we have been trying to slow it down and take it a game at a time, this is just the step that we completed, we played really well and we got through it. We now just have to move on to supers and take it the same way and it will work out.
On Devon Travis' play in the eighth
That was an awesome play. It was a strong throw coming up the middle and his momentum was going away from first and it was just a tough ball. To put a good throw on it and get it there, close out that inning and get us to the ninth. It just builds more momentum coming in and fuels you for the last couple of innings.
On traveling for the regional
It is a big deal. This is my first regional on the road and it is a whole different experience from being at home. You don't get the comfortable feeling that you have at home, you don't have the fans behind you usually. So it is a whole different feeling and to come out here and play as well as we did in a different setting like that. Thrown into the position of being the only traveling one seed and for us to come out and play as that didn't affect us at all it just shows me about how hard they are willing to for everybody else on the team.
Sherman Johnson, So., Third Base
On having to travel as a one seed
I don't think we looked at it as being angry, I just think we looked at it as it being a challenge for us. This is my first regional period and I don't think these guys have ever traveled as a one seed for that matter and to another regional. I think we just took it as a challenge and it worked out.
On traveling and what it means to the team
Traveling all this time you have a lot of time to get closer and get to know one another. I know pretty much everybody inside out right now. Everybody thinks that Dan Bennett is quiet, but when he gets on the field it is another story. It has been great for us as a team. We do dinner every night as a team, we went bowling one night, it has been fun.
Head Coach George Horton
First of all congralations to Coach Martin and the Seminoles. We gave it everything we could, but we left too many guys on base today. We had some cracks early and they are a heck of a defensive club. As we knew coming in here, they are very well coached, they do the little things well and they made it very difficult it on us. I guess the reflection for me is how proud I am of these three guys and my warriors down there. The growth and maturity of the ball club, that we could go toe-to-toe with a traditional program like Florida State and great UConn team, and I mean great UConn team.
We came up short, but the fact that we competed that we competed at that level after winning 14 games last year and winning 40 games this year. Like I said to my team just now if we improve by 24 games, that means we go 66 and 0 next year and that is going to be pretty hard. I'm just really proud of them and probably the saddest part of this is that this group won't be together again. To compete together, not all of them. Many of them will be back and we've got bigger things in mind and that is what we are looking forward to. The fact that we are blessed that Mr. Kilkenny, President Lariviere and Joe Giasanti gave us all the opportunity to put these Duck uniforms on and compete. Hopefully we will continue to make our fans, our University and community of Eugene proud.
Joe, I would like to thank you...we've been ...the people and the hospitality. Made us feel really welcome. I just commend you for a great job.
On the call to bring Mendellson into the first game
That was Coach Checketts decision. That is kind of a unique situation, where I told the team nobody out runner at first, up by two, top of the ninth inning, so you have a lot of time to think. A lot of things slipped by the old veteran coach. We sat around, broke down, talked about how fortunate we were that first game to have Scott McGough on the mound a two-run lead, a runner at first and nobody out. I told the guys, would you take that deal if I told you before the year that we could win our second Regional game in that situation. We all agreed. So we could breakdown the hitters and so forth. The idea to put Mendy [Andrew Mendellson] in came late. At that point, Coach Checketts suggested it to me and we thought it was a great idea. It was one of the best decisions we made, obviously of the day. I would go back to KC's at bat and it kind of typifies the warrior we are talking about him. What a spectacular athlete. He had a great tournament here. I think sometimes KC has a propensity like some other great players that I have coached, a kid named Brian Hunter has that I coached years and years ago... he was so confident and so competitve that when he made an out, he sometimes to forgot to run balls out 100-percent. There was an at-bat earlier in this Tournament that KC got frustrated because he didn't square a ball up and didn't run an out. We made a deal together that no matter what he was going to give us 100-percent and that typifies his effort there, diving head first. Typifies his growth and the team's growth and how proud I am, that we are all of each other. Because it didn't come out our way, but this team grinded it out. Then ran out a fumes a little bit there in the middle of the game, but sustained and grinded out and Went toe-to-toe with a great Florida State program. Sometimes the scoreboard doesn't reward you. There is only one team that leaves college baseball really happy. This is a team that I will talk about for the rest of my career. Didn't get a ring, didn't get a championship, but sometimes things are not measured that way. In mind this team will be, they set the bar and established the bar in a new program. I will be bragging about this group to future Duck groups forever.
On the second game...
They were a little tired. We had no excuses. ...losers bracket you need to grind it out. The respect other people have for Florida State...because they are a good offesnive team. Kadell's four-run inning, that we didn't get some pithches that we would've like. Kind of went sideways a little bit, kept us in the game. Gave us a shot of coming back...
Mike Greenly, who is now the SID at Cal State Fullerton, you look for your left handed hitteres... didn't stay behind the ball as well as they are trained to do or wanted to. Coach Martin has always, in my mind, doing... we do the same things and nobody does it better than Coach Martin. When we hit a ball
On speed of the turnaround
Yes and no. I was surprised we didn't do better last year. This is my deal now, our deal now. Maybe one day Coach Horton can be talked about... who built the two programs where I was the head coach. Hopefully, I left them in a better place then when they left. It is quite to have the honor to leave a legacy. ...that caliber, so I guess... I thought we'd do a little better last year. ...teased each other early with the two out of three against Fresno State... then we hit the wall. I don't want to ever go through that again. The second half of the season.. nobody liked that. Just like I said to these guys.
We weren't much better. If somebody was going... that this club was going to win 40 games. The culture changed, the confidence changed... the culture and the family. Watch out because Duck baseball is here for a long time
On early victories this season
Extremely ...all my friends ... did they win today? There is a lot of athletes, there whole coaching staff played for me. They asked me to not ...it is hard to talk about experiences in the past. I get it and I understand it.
Well that was a special win that was a gift from this team to me... I thought the real validation for me except for that first series. Was our Fresno State... they accomplished a four-game sweep ...even on my championship teams at Fullerton. I don't usually cry ...after game four there. I was so proud of them ...shocked when they didn't get asked to the dance because I think that is a really great baseball team.
Steven Pacard, Outfield
On getting here
First practice, I cannot believe how much everyone has grown The first practice, I missed first base, I think twice. Now, I don't think I miss first base at all. As a team, after this game, I mean losing... just looking back at what we've done it has been awesome. Wouldn't want to be more than that. I didn't expect to win 40 games to be honest, but we grinded it out. Came together as a team, actually more like family to me and it has been good.
On doing well here
Mainly from practice. We prepare. Coach says prepare to prepare. During practice we work real hard, I believe. Just practice, learn to do our routines and bring that into the game. And we have enough confidence to play with anyone and we have showed it against No. 1 teams like UCLA and Arizona State in the past. Really good teams and we built confidence.
KC Serna, Shortstop
On number of players left on base
That is just the way it happens sometimes. Sometimes we execute and sometimes don't. Sometimes we want it more than others. I'm just very thankful for how far we've come this year. Like Steven was saying, we've got a family now... I'm just looking at the positive now, that is all I can do right now.
On whether or not the college baseball know you are out there
I would hope so.
On how to build upon this
I know I can't wait honestly. We all have summer ball to go to pretty soon. ...this is like we're family is. We honestly can't get back in one of these unifroms, play at PK Park and get that first win in Hawaii. I'm really excited
Andrew Mendellson, Fr., Left Field
On the final play of the last game
I know that I had two strikes on him. Our coach gave us a thinking in single, which means it is probably going to get sawed off and pop it up and we're going to have to come in and catch it. I came in two steps, thinking it was going to be in and it just kind of kept carrying. I kind of felt the wall behind me. I kind of just ran into it and caught the ball at the same time, I mean I couldn't tell if it was going to be over for sure. I know I did jump a little bit. It had been close either way. I was just, called to go in and ready to go in and was ready when I did get in there
On the challenge of coming in off the bench after the delay
It gets to be tough it. I'm used to it, a little bit. I mean I have done it quite a bit this year. I am kind of defensive guy sometimes. You get called upon and you just try to do your best when you get out there.
KC Cerna said 'game saver'