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Press Conference Quotes

Division I Regional
Norwich, Conn.
June 3, 2010

Head Coach Jim Penders
University of Connecticut

On why he started Greg Nappo
We think Greg [Nappo] is going to do a great job for us on the mound. He is the most rested. We have had three or four aces throughout the year and he is one of those aces. He is more than capable of pitching a great game for us. We thought it was a good match up with Oregon. They like to run a lot and he controls the running game very well. They like to bunt a lot and he is a very good fielding pitcher. He is more of a fly ball guy and this is a big yard so we are confident that he is going to do a great job for us.

On the Pac-10 Conference
The Pac-10 conference is one of the strongest in America; there is no question about that. They have had a great year this year, an extraordinary year for the Pac-10. It is amazing what Oregon has been able to accomplish in two years and what Coach [George] Horton has done. We have an awful lot of respect for our opponent tomorrow that is for sure.

We are both kind of first timers to this tournament, not the first time in the tournament, but the first time in a long time that we have been in an NCAA Tournament. I think it is going to be very exciting.

Nick Ahmed, So., Shortstop/Pitcher
University of Connecticut

On his NCAA experience
It has been a fun experience so far. We are hosting so we are excited about that and we got a practice in last night and this morning. The field is great and I think we will have a big crowd for the game Friday night.

Pierre LePage, Jr., Second Base
University of Connecticut

On bouncing back in the BIG EAST Tournament
It was good to fight back in the loser's bracket and get away with those two wins against Rutgers. It was a big testimate to our team and how we have fought and fought all year. It was unfortunate that we got back late we were on the field all day, but there is no excuses. It could happen this weekend and we might have to play a championship game on four hours sleep. The only good news we had that day was that we were hosting the Regional and took us a little while to get over, but we've turned the page and this is our focus.

On the confidence gained in the regular season series at Louisville
That was a definite boast for us... our pitching staff set the tone for the whole year that weekend. They held them to one run here and two runs in another game, we just didn't have enough timely hits. That was huge, they are one of the top teams in the country and we battled and competed thinking that we could've come away with two games. That definitely set the tone for our attitude and conference for the whole season.

Greg Nappo, Redshirt Jr., Pitcher
University of Connecticut

On getting the start in game one
I'm excited for the start. Oregon is a great team so it should be a good match up. Coach Penders said that I was one of the best players capable of pitching against them. They bumped a lot, they are a west coast style offense and they like to hit and run so I am going to hop on the bump and do the best I can. Basically I am just going to pitch for contact like I have been doing all season and my defense will make the plays.

On his NCAA Tournament experience
We have to thank Dodd Stadium for having us and it is great to be here. We are excited for the opportunity to play great teams like Florida State, Central and Oregon. Hopefully we will do well and we will see how it goes.

Mike Nemeth, Jr., First/Third Base
On the NCAA Tournament experience
It is a little different. It is nice being home or close to home and not having to fly somewhere, land and get to a hotel. It has been a good experience so far.

I feel good. I am ready to go and I'm hoping to carry over from the BIG EAST Tournament because we were all swinging very well. It will be an interesting game tomorrow night.

Mike Olt, Jr., Shortstop/Third Base
University of Connecticut

On the NCAA Tournament
This is exciting for all of us. We are coming off of a tough loss in the BIG EAST Tournament so we are using this as fuel to redeem ourselves and we are excited to get back out on the field in front of a big crowd and hopefully put on a good show for them.

On getting some rest after the BIG EAST Tournament
I think the rest has really helped a lot of people. The weekend in Florida led to a few bumps and bruises and a couple of kids went down. I think the rest helped us all and now we are ready to just get back on the field and keep playing.

George Springer, So., Outfielder
University of Connecticut

On adjusting to everyone pitching to you differently this year
You have to take it at-bat by at-bat, but it probably took me three or four games to get the hang of what was going to happen.

On Connecticut hosting the Regional
It is something special. It is something special for us, for the state and for the players. The fact is we have CCSU, Florida State and Oregon all here. That is something special.

On playing at Dodd Stadium
I have played here once against Pittsburgh and other than that I have not.