Feb. 19, 2013
HEAD COACH Mitch Gaspard
“That was certainly a wild finish and that was one thing that we talked to our team about – you have to play nine innings. That was something you could see tonight. Obviously in the ninth inning they had a nice comeback, with a couple of miscues by us. The breakdown of the game by me – I thought Taylor Guilbeau gave us the best start that we have had all year. I thought our middle guys did a nice job for us as well and I think in the ninth, if we can keep it clean, I think [Justin] Kamplain is going to get through that with ease – or easier – than it was there. At the end of the day I thought our team played with really good energy. I thought we figured out a really good arm on the mound. I thought he was dynamite for three or four innings and our guys found a good rhythm at the plate and again, we scored in bunches from about the fifth to the eighth inning – which is good to see. In the end, we had made defensive plays, had good energy and good rhythm in our lineup – really a good win against a very good opponent tonight in Southern Miss.”
Thoughts on how big of a win it really was tonight
“It’s early on, but it’s a top-20 win. They were playing really well coming in. I think it’s certainly a confidence boost for our team right now – especially with as much youth as we have. I really like the way this team competes night in and night out. They make plays, they play with no fear and they really attack the game. It’s a good win for us tonight.”
Thoughts on if Taylor Guilbeau played his way in to the rotation this weekend
“Not this weekend but I think that is something. I’m not surprised by the way he pitched tonight. He’s been pitching really well and I think it’s kind of like we are treating everything right now like, you have to compete and you have to earn your way there and that was certainly a big step for him today. I thought that was our best start by far this year.”
Thoughts on the pitching situation at the end of the game with Kamplain
“Well we had [Jake] Hubbard down there and we went through a few guys and I didn’t like the matchup with Hubbard, and particularly, the four hole hitter there, who’s a dead-red fastball hitter. We felt like Kamp would give us a chance to spin some breaking balls there. We were getting close to making a move but at the same time we felt like he had the best breaking ball available and we felt like we were going to need it to get a guy out there at the end.”
Alabama Player Quotes
#5, Brett Booth, Catcher
Thoughts on this evening’s game
“I think it’s big – any time you can win a baseball game it’s big. I think the biggest thing was we keep showing what we got – keep battling to the end of the game, keep finishing out games. There’s been plenty of chances to get down – give in, let the other team take the momentum – but every time we are backed up into a corner we keep swinging, keep fighting and it just shows a lot about what the team is made of.”
Thoughts on the team’s offense this year
“I think you just see the potential the offense has. This is a young team, young offense but I think we are keeping pace with other teams. Other teams score, we score. We have a lead, we keep extending it. We play for nine innings. That’s hard to do – when you can put nine innings of offense on – whether we are scoring or putting pressure on them – that’s big.”
#20, Taylor Guilbeau, SP
Thoughts on Guilbeau’s first start of the season
“It felt really good. It felt like I had to get a definite win for my team being that this team is ranked and I just felt like I had to go out there and put it all on the line and give it to my team.”
Thoughts on what was working on the mound tonight
“In the bullpen this week and last week we started working on our two-seam [fastball] and that worked a heck of a lot [tonight]. My breaking ball worked a lot too.”
POST GAME NOTES:
* With tonight’s decision, Alabama improves to 70-27 against Southern Mississippi all-time, and 44-10 in Tuscaloosa.
* Coach Gaspard moves to 3-6 as a head coach versus Southern Mississippi all-time and 3-2 as the head man at the Capstone.
* Gaspard improves to 5-1 as the UA head man in non-conference top-25 regular season games.
* The Tide improves to 4-0 to start the season for the first time since 2011.
* Coach Gaspard started four freshmen tonight, making it all four games this year that at least four freshmen have gotten the call.
* With his second inning walk, Brett Booth extended his current streak of reaching base to 10 games. With his double in the fifth, Booth has now recorded a hit in three straight games.
* After reaching base via hit-by-pitch in the fourth inning, Mikey White has reached base safely in all four games in the early season. He also extended his hitting streak to four with a single in the fifth inning.
* Kyle Overstreet recorded his first career extra-base hit in the fourth inning of tonight’s game.
* Starting pitcher Taylor Guilbeau tied his career-high with seven strikeouts.
* Tonight’s five-run fifth inning was Alabama’s first five-run inning of the year.
* Kenny Roberts’s sixth inning triple was the first triple by any Alabama player this year.
* Brett Booth recorded his second multi-hit game of the early season tonight, his 29th career multi-hit game.
* With Booth driving in Kenny Roberts with a single in the sixth inning, Brett Booth has now recorded an RBI in all four games this year and with his solo home run in the eighth he recorded his 16th multi-RBI game.
* Brett Booth’s eighth inning home run was his first this year and the eighth career.
* Alabama pitchers retired Southern Mississippi in order three times tonight.
* Cary Baxter extended his current streak of reaching base safely to four games with a hit-by-pitch in the fifth inning.
* Righty Mitch Greer made his first career appearance out of the bullpen for the Tide tonight in the seventh inning. He went 0.2 innings with one strikeout.
* With his eighth inning double, Ryan Blanchard has now hit safely in all four games in his career at UA.
* Georgie Salem has now reached base safely in all four games this season with his ground-rule double in the eighth.
* Taylor Guilbeau improved to 5-1 with a 1.81 ERA when pitching at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in his career.
* The 10 runs tonight tie a season-best for runs in a game.