Feb. 28, 2012
HEAD COACH Mitch Gaspard
“I thought Spencer Turnbull was outstanding in his five innings, particularly in his first collegiate start. You can see why we’re excited about him, he’s got a great arm, his secondary pitches will develop as he goes and I think he’s going to be outstanding. (Jon) Keller came in and did a nice job, then I thought in the back of the game (Jake) Hubbard and (Ian) Gardeck did a nice job shutting it down. I was a good win for us. Offensively the hits didn’t show up quite like I thought, but our approach was much better and (Jared) Reaves got the big hit when we had to have it.”
On Spencer Turnbull’s performance:
“His pitch count got up higher than we wanted it to, but he’s a guy who has very good command and tonight he kind of bent a little bit, but he continued to make the pitch when he needed to and kept them in check. I was proud of him and thought he did a really good job.”
On Turnbull starting off each inning with an out:
“It’s big for both your defense and the guy on the mound, especially against a team that like to do a lot of things with hit-and-runs and bunts and those things. It keeps the pressure off the defense when you can get that lead guy out.”
On Ian Gardeck’s performance as a closer:
“It’s nice. He’s going to put us on the edge of our seat a little bit, but when it’s all said and done, I think the results will be pretty good. Right now we’re seeing his fastball in the 93-95 range and I think as it warms up you’re going to see it in that 95-97 range. He’s done a really good job and (pitching coach) Dax (Norris) has done a really good job with him throwing more strikes. The next step for him is to command the slider, which is a great pitch for him, but he’s got to be able to throw that for a strike in the SEC to close out games.”
On the game-winning runs in the eighth inning:
“We were able to get the running game involved and that’s something that has to stay in our offense. I think that’s the biggest thing now, we’re starting to find our team. What the right pieces are, the lineup and everything else. The majority of those guys in the lineup can handle the bat, are good in the bunting game and can run a little bit as well.”
Alabama Player Quotes
#55, Ian Gardeck, RHP
On recording his first career save at Alabama:
“It was great to come out tonight and get my first save. It means we’re winning. In a close ballgame you’re just looking to do your job and a lot of credit goes to our hitters getting the lead back when we were down and giving me that opportunity to give me my first save opportunity.”
On getting the lead in the eighth inning:
“When you see that single you know it’s go time, you know it’s about to happen. You just keep preparing and stay mentally locked in and be ready to go.”
On getting tonight’s win:
“Getting a big win tonight is huge. The morale of the team feeds off of it. With three wins last weekend we’re really starting to get into a roll. Heading on a road trip, it’s always a good feeling.”
#9, Jared Reaves, SS
On the game-winning hit in the eighth inning:
“The infielders were in and I was supposed to hit it in the air, but we’ll take them anyway we can get them.”
On the game-winning at-bat:
“The first couple of at-bats they were pitching away and the last two were in. I had an idea what the pitcher was doing, and I was just trying to get a ball in the air and fortunately for us, it just worked out.”
POST GAME NOTES:
* In his first career start for Alabama, freshman right-hander Spencer Turnbull pitched 5.0 innings, allowing no runs on three hits while striking out four batters.
* Senior shortstop Jared Reaves finished 2-for-4 with two RBI, including the game-winning RBI, against USA. Reaves now has six RBI in his last four games.
* Junior pitcher Ian Gardeck recorded his first career save in his first career save opportunity for the Tide, pitching a scoreless ninth inning to close out the game for Alabama. Gardeck has not allowed a run in his five appearances this season for UA.
* Sophomore infielder/designated hitter Austen finished 2-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored versus the Jaguars. The triple was his first of season, and the fourth of career. The two runs doubled Smith’s season total, giving him four on the year.
* Senior first baseman Jon Kelton notched his first triple of the season and second of his career in the third inning of tonight’s game. The only other triple of Kelton’s career came on June 6, 2010 in the NCAA Regional against Georgia Tech.
* The two triples versus USA marked the first time Alabama has recorded two triples in a game since a May 17, 2003 contest against Mississippi State.
* Senior outfielder Taylor Dugas reached base in two of his four plate appearances, registering two HBP’s along with one run scored. Dugas now has 198 career runs at UA, placing him sixth on the all-time list, just eight runs behind fifth place.
* Junior infielder Brett Booth finished 1-for-3 with two RBI versus USA. Booth has now hit safely in four straight games with six RBI over that span.
* Freshman catcher Ben Moore registered a 1-for-4 night at the plate, giving him a hit in his last five games. Moore is 7-for-14 over that span with five RBI.
* Freshman Jon Keller made his third appearance of the season, pitching a perfect sixth inning for the Tide. The lefty has not allowed a run in each of his relief appearances while totaling two strikeouts.