Alabama - Arkansas-Pine Bluff Notes and Quotes Game 2

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

Feb. 25, 2012

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HEAD COACH Mitch Gaspard
Opening Statement:
“Back-to-back shutouts, anytime you can get that you’re going to be pleased with your pitching. Defensively, we did a very good job today, that’s been something we’ve emphasized this week. We made some nice plays, even though offensively we missed a lot of opportunities early on. We had a lot of walks and we put ourselves in some good positions, but we hit into a couple double-plays. As much as anything right now, offense takes a little time and rhythm. What I’d like to see tomorrow is more of an offensive attack throughout nine innings.”

Thoughts on moving Brett Booth to 3rd base and how it’s paid off:
“First things first, you’ve got to play defense.  I think that to win at any level in this game you have to defend the field.  Brett’s a proven third baseman, he did a great job for us in that position last year, and certainly after two games it looks like he’s going to do fine back there.  When you look around the diamond we’ve got a lot of returners out there.  We knew going in that with a young pitching staff we were going to have to defend.  We really have to get these guys to pitch to contact.  I’ve said all along that I really feel like this is going to be a good offensive team, it just hasn’t clicked for these guys yet.”

Thoughts on Jon Kelton’s positive performance today:
“That’s just kind of what he [Jon Kelton] does.  He’s a very trustworthy player that can play multiple positions.  But let me say this again, the majority of the moves I’m making here are so that we can defend.  I think that once we become comfortable with a defensive team then we’ll go to the next step, which is getting enough offense out of the team at the same time.”


Alabama Player Quotes
#10 Jon Kelton, OF/INF
Thoughts on the two back-to-back shutouts and what it means to the team:
“We had a meeting today, and we’re really working on making sure that we’re playing clean baseball.  It’s exactly like Coach Gaspard said, it’s about us.  We just have to continue to do the things that we know we need to do to get better.  Our pitchers just filled it up with strikes all day, and our offense is going to keep coming.  It’s just what we’ve got to do.”

Thoughts on the improvement in hitting for the Alabama team these past two games:
“It doesn’t matter how long you’ve played, or how much success you’ve had or you haven’t had, it’s just always good at the beginning of the year to keep getting hits.  Confidence always comes, but it’s always nice to run some out of the yard.”

#29 Charley Sullivan, RHP
Thoughts on today’s game:
“I was just trying to be better than last week.  Overall, last weekend was a little shaky with our pitching, defense, everything.  Today I tried to pound the strikes on, they [Arkansas-Pine Bluff] were a little slow with the bats.”
 
Thoughts on throwing so many strikes this game:
“I just try to throw first-pitch strikes and try to get 0-1 and 0-2 counts.  I try to avoid walks of any kind, I just try to throw strikes and then let the defense work.”

POST GAME NOTES:
* Senior Taylor Dugas steals the first two bases of the season for Alabama in the first inning.
* Starting RHP Charley Sullivan pitched for 6.0 innings, allowing no runs on three hits, while striking out a career-high five.
* Before allowing a hit in the bottom of the fourth inning, Charley Sullivan retired 10 straight batters, striking out five.
* Taylor Dugas walked three times in three appearances at the plate in today’s game for a total of 131, and he now is tied with Evan Bush for second all-time at Alabama.
*Dugas finished the day 0-for-2 with three walks, as his hitting streak came to an end at eight games. He has reached base in 17 straight games (12 from 2011, five in 2012).
* Senior Jon Kelton knocked his first home run of the season, third of his career, and first since June 6, 2010.
* Senior Jared Reaves hits his first home run of the season and fifth of his career.
* Reaves notched his first multi-RBI game of the season, after leading the Tide with 15 in 2011.
* Hunter Gregory stole the seventh base of the game for Alabama in the eighth inning, the most bases stolen in a game for Alabama since May 14, 2002 when it stole nine against Mississippi Valley State.
* In 2.0 innings of relief pitching, sophomore RHP Case Nixon retired all six batters he faced.