June 3, 2010
Division I Regional Head Coach George Horton
June 3, 2010
Head Coach George Horton
On the season and evolution of Oregon baseball
Well its been a great ride, from incepetion how quickly everything has come to fruition. I am honored to be the head coach in a program that was basically thought of and the driving force by a gentlemen that is standing right over there Joe Giansanti and another gentlemen, Pat Kilkenny. Was the person he went to with his vision and ideas and Renee Baumgartner, the Three Amigos as I like to call them, that decided baseball should be brought back to the University of Oregon. If you know anything about those three people, they don't do anything second rate, so they didn't want to just bring baseball back, they wanted to bring baseball back at the highest level.
They flew all over the country looking at venues like this and others. They decided they were going to make one of the best venues in the country, or at least on the west coast and in the Pac-10. They did a job search that included me and several other great candidates they were not just going to settle for a baseball coach. They wanted somebody who they thought lead the ship and do a positive correction. It is kind of ironic with George Horton. They won me over and took basically a leap of faith and trust in them and the vision that Phil Knight, Pat Kilkenny, Dave Frommeyer and President Richard Lariviere.
The fact that we were so off, so far away our first year, Coach Horton thought, 'Heck, it's baseball, I've been spoiled in my career.' There was only one other world that we did not go to a Regional and that was 1991 when I was the coach at Fullerton and we got left out of the dance. We were, seemed like 1,672 miles away, which is the sign says in our bullpen at PK Park and with only 14 wins, the culture was way off and a lot of things were way off. The fact that were standing here right now, talking to you, to mprove that much, to be worthy of one of the 64 best teams in the country makes me very proud because of the collaboration and effort of Pat Kilkenny and Joe Giansanti. When they are happy, I'm happy.
On not knowing Connecticut very well
I think sometimes you can overwhelmed with information, I think we had that with our Beaver rivalry and some of the teams we play year in and year out. We get over analytical. Most of the time with these college athletes there minds are going to be wondering anyway because of the pressure and the improtance of this. I think as coach you can overwhelm them with too much scouting information. That'll be our job as coaches to give them only enough that they can digest and use productively. Quite honestly, we don't know a whole lot except before we even got selected for this regional, we knew UConn was a very good baseball team. Several other people have told me that, they did a southern California swing and a lot of my friends are down there, scouts are down there. I've heard that they were legitmate all along and I am a voting member of the USA Today Poll and I've voted for them in the top 25 because of their excellence.
So it is not going to be an easy challenge, especially with their home crowd here at Dodd Stadium.
Danny Pulfer, Second Base
University of Oregon
We know a little about them and they know a little about us, but we are mostly just excited about somebody new to play. We are going to have to compensate and adjust. We know that they can run well, we know about their left handed pitcher Greg Nappo, but it will just be fun because it will just be baseball. No scouting reports or anything, just baseball.
On facing the other teams in the tournament
We don't know too much about anyone else at this point. Every team is from a different area and league. Pretty much it is just going to be see the ball and react and that is what makes baseball great. Coach knows the Florida State coach pretty well and how he coaches so we probably have more against them, but we have to take care of tomorrow first. UConn is on our mind right now.
On the Dodd Stadium field conditions
We aren't a power team, we didn't hit a lot of homeruns this year and this field plays really big so that plays to our advantage because we are a line drive team, we hit the ball on the ground and bunt a lot. When we came here and took batting practice, our pitching coach was really happy because we are liable to give up a home run or two.
KC Serna, Shortstop
University of Oregon
On preparing for UConn
We just want to go out there and have fun. We are all very excited. It feels like we are going out there and playing Oregon State which is a huge rivalry for us. I think we are all excited for our first Regionals.
Our plan is to go out there and get more runs than them. We are going to stay calm and use the energy to help us focus on what we want to do and stick to our plan. I haven't looked past UConn. We are just going one game at a time, one pitch at a time.