Postgame quotes and notes from Opening Night of Alabama Baseball



Feb. 15, 2013

Recap |  Box Score

HEAD COACH Mitch Gaspard
Opening Statement:
“For starters, I thought a couple of freshmen were keys to the game. Ray Castillo’s outing – to keep the game right there at 3-0, really on the heels of Kenny [Robert’s] great play at third after the leadoff triple, and Mikey White had a tremendous night for his debut with us. I thought the biggest thing tonight was just we showed some fight and some grit, that’s we had wanted to see. After game one, I am pretty pleased with the effort that we saw. Now it’s putting those type games back-to-back and execute and do some of the good things that we did tonight.” 

Thoughts on falling behind 3-0:
“I felt we were still confident, but we were getting at a point where we needed something good to happen to us and I said, ‘Roberts’ play was really big and then Ray [Castillo] being able to finish that inning off to keep it at 3-0, because they had all of the momentum for the first five innings. Once we got it 3-2 then you could start to feel it come our way – our at-bats got better, and we hit some balls pretty good too right at them. I thought they played a really nice game too for opening night it was a pretty solid game on both sides tonight.” 

Thoughts on Turnbull’s control tonight:
“He was up in the strike zone. I thought all of our veteran guys – Spencer [Turnbull], [Taylor] Guilbeau and Justin Kamplain – all were pitching up at the top of the strike zone. Just one of those nights, he knows he has to get the ball down, he’s been so good the last three or four weeks that was a little surprising tonight. I thought he would come out and really be good in the bottom of the strike zone.” 

Thoughts on Mikey White’s performance tonight:
“Mike’s a good player. Obviously a good player had a really good night tonight. What I’m most pleased about out of the young players is the way they played – they didn’t show any fear in their eyes and they were in attack mode from the first inning on. Even the error we made, I was pleased with [Kyle] Overstreet that he had enough about him to try to turn the double play even though the throw went high – it shows the confidence.” 

Alabama Player Quotes
#1, Mikey White, SS.

Thoughts on White’s emotions before the game:
“I was trying to stay loose – make some jokes out in the outfield when we got all the starters out there. Just try to play without any nervousness and just have a good debut.” 

Thoughts on his debut and the team’s performance tonight:
“Great job by the team, we battled back from down 3-0 and fought back into it and put some runs on the board to win it. Every at-bat I just tried to go in there and stay loose and stay comfortable and just trust myself.“ 

#23, Ray Castillo, RP.

Thoughts on what he was trying to accomplish coming out of the bullpen in his first game out:
“Coming into the game, I had some jitters at first I kind of just zoned out and tried to throw strikes and work ahead.” 

Thoughts on the freshmen’s play in general tonight:
“We have a strong class this year and a great group of guys. We just tried to come into this year and try to make a statement. Just because we are young does not mean we aren’t talented enough to compete at this level. We were all trying to fight for our spots out here, so everyone’s amped up and playing good.”


* Tonight’s game against VMI marks the first ever meeting between the two schools – Alabama now leads the series 1-0.
* Head coach Mitch Gaspard’s opening day record now stands at 3-1.
* With tonight’s win, Alabama now holds a 14-5 all-time mark against the Big South Conference.
* The eight runs in tonight’s season opener are the most since 2011’s season opening 11-0 win over Alcorn State.
* The Crimson Tide started four freshmen in tonight's lineup: Georgie Salem, Mikey White, Kyle Overstreet and Ryan Blanchard.
* In his first career game with the Crimson Tide, Mikey White recorded his first hit and multi-hit game, going 4-for-5. He also drove-in the go-ahead RBI in the seventh inning, scored a run in the seventh and added a stolen base in the eighth.
* Ryan Blanchard added his first career hit in the fifth, a double that scored the Tide’s first run of the 2013 season. He added two stolen bases in the eighth.  
* Kyle Overstreet also registered his first career hit of his Alabama career with a seventh inning single.
* Freshman Georgie Salem drove in his first run of his Alabama career with a fifth inning infield groundout.
* With Ben Moore’s two singles tonight, he now has 18 multi-hit games in his career.
* Booth also extended his current streak, dating back to last year, of reaching base safely to seven games. He also scored two runs, tying a career-high and walked twice, also tying a career high.
* For the first time in his career, Cary Baxter reached base three times via a single in the third and two walks.
* Baxter scored two runs as well – one in fifth and the go-ahead run in the seventh, tying a career-high. 
* Catcher Brett Booth caught two VMI players stealing.
* Freshman pitcher Ray Castillo made his UA debut in relief, going 3.1 innings and striking out five, and retiring seven straight to finish his outing which ended with a win.