March 13, 2013
HEAD COACH Mitch Gaspard
“We got the big hit by Kyle Overstreet in the first to put us up three. Tucker Hawley, in his first start since his injury, I thought he was dynamite. He pitched six innings and threw the ball well; there were a lot of strikes. Jake [Hubbard] threw the ball well, we have actually made some adjustments with Jake and I thought that he threw the ball exceptionally. We got the drag bunt there in the eighth to get the insurance run from Georgie [Salem]. Where we are at right now, it is good to win. We have been scuffling here for about a week and a half. It was nice to get the win and that good vibe as you move into the SEC.”
Thoughts on the life in the dugout
“It was a combination of a few things. We had a pretty spirited meeting last night, the coaches started and then the players had a little get together. I think that they all know, as we relayed, what we saw last night was unacceptable. You are going to win some games and lose some games, but it is unacceptable to go out and play without great effort every night. That is what is expected, that is what we do every day. They did a good job tonight; the dugout was really into the game on every pitch. Offense is obviously not where we want it right now but you have to find a way till it comes. When we did that we slowly started to put a few good swings on the ball tonight. It is a better offense than what has showed up the past two weeks. I trust that it will come here soon.”
Thoughts on Tucker Hawley’s performance
“From this year, that is as good as I have seen him as far as the endurance and length of the win. He was still throwing the ball 86-88 in the fifth and sixth innings, which was a big step from where he was two weeks ago. He would be good in the first then jump down to 83-84 after his second inning. That is a good sign. If that guy gets going he is a guy that can be a starter and work his way into a weekend starter. He is a strike machine. Tonight his velocity has gotten up as high as it has been since the injury. I think he hit some 89’s tonight. If he can pitch in that 86 to 89 range with his slider and changeup that is where he can really be effective because his location is going to be good. I thought that was another thing tonight that he did well. He really spotted up a lot better than he has the last couple of outings.”
Thoughts on the drag bunt in the eighth
“It was called but we have a sign, particularly with a guy at third base with the third baseman back and a guy as fast as Georgie [Salem], we have a verbal and a touch sign that lets him know. He executed it perfectly.”
Thoughts on going into the weekend with a win
“It is a lot better to have the win tonight. Particularly with the way we did it. Our pitchers knew we were down in the bullpen and we needed a couple of guys to step up and go the distance. That has allowed us to keep the other guys fresh for Friday and Saturday. Anytime you can win it is a better feel going into practice tomorrow and the Friday night series. I think this team knows that we are a better team than what we have played the last couple of weeks.”
#44 Tucker Hawley, RHP
On his first start since the injury
“It felt good to get back out there. It doesn’t really matter either way, whether I start or come out of the pen. We had to do whatever we had to do to win after dropping another one last night. We needed to get the win tonight to get things going back in the right direction.”
On his role tonight
“I was just trying to be the best I could be out there on the mound and give the offense a chance to come in and score some runs. I tried to execute every pitch that was called and keep the game under control and give them a chance to score runs and win.”
On pitching with a lead
“It felt real good. To come in after the first inning when the offense gets going, it gives you that much more momentum to go out there and keep pounding the zone. When the offense can score you some runs you feel better going out there and attacking the hitter.”
#6 Kyle Overstreet, 2B
On the win
“It is always great to get back on the winning side. It is so important when you are on a five-game losing streak to get the win going into the SEC.”
On the hit in the first inning
“I was trying to stay with our approach up the middle and get a hit and run for this team. I got one I could handle and did my job.”
On the three-run first inning
“It was huge. The last five or six games our offense has been down. It’s huge getting the three runs and getting the dugout pumped up to get everyone going.”
*With six putouts tonight, first baseman Austen Smith moved into the top 10 career putouts at Alabama with 807, passing Frank Velleggia and Matt Frick, who are tied with 805.
*Tonight was the third time this season that the Crimson Tide has started five freshmen in the lineup.
*Right-handed pitcher Tucker Hawley made his first start since April 4, 2011.
*Sophomore Jake Hubbard tied his career-highs with three innings pitched and three strikeouts.
*Freshman Kyle Overstreet recorded his second career three RBI game.
* Overstreet also notched his third two hit game of the season, going 2-for-2 with two walks.