Quotes and Notes - Tennessee Game 3



March 17, 2013

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HEAD COACH Mitch Gaspard
Opening Statement:
“I told the team you have to win games a lot of different ways.  Obviously today was one of those rare commodities where you score eight runs in the first inning.  What I was most proud of the team today was that after the eight runs, we kept playing and guys had constant pressure.  All weekend we had really good energy, was very competitive throughout, even in last night’s game we were just a little sloppy at times but we continued to play.  This team has a good will about them.  Today it was nice to get the good lead from Spencer (Turnbull) and let him settle in.  He was trying to get his confidence where it needs to be and it was nice for him to stretch out and get those seven innings in today.”

Thoughts on bouncing back after yesterday’s loss
“I told the group when we left here last night, we were all disappointed.  When you play 56 of these you are going to have some nights like that.  You have to be able to put it behind you and get to the next day.  Whether it was a good win like on Friday or a tough loss on Saturday, the next day is a new day and a new beginning. I thought we came out with a little something to improve today.  I thought the guys showed some real resiliency and played really well.

On playing with the fundamentals
“I thought we were outstanding.  As I said yesterday, if we just play catch; if you look at the errors we made you yesterday it was really just the inability to make some throws and pick up a few balls.  We walked a few too many guys but overall we played extremely hard.  I thought we played as hard last night as we did any night, we just didn’t play as well.”

On Spencer Turnbull’s performance
“I thought he was serviceable.  His velocity was good; he was throwing up to 94 mph in the sixth inning.  One thing we have to get out of Spencer (Turnbull) is that the ball has to get down and in the bottom of the strike zone. You can see when he’s down there they have a tough time, but when it gets elevated they get some pretty good passes on him. The other thing is that he has to have command of all three pitches.  He is not what he is going to be.  When he really gets right and has the command going, he can be a dominant guy in this league once that all comes together for him.”

On the defense
“We’ve played good defense for the most part all year.  We’ve had a couple duds in there like last night.  You’ve got two middle infielders in there that can really pick it up. You’ve got a catcher that’s playing outstanding right now.  You saw the play that Georgie Salem made and the talent he has in center field.  Really it’s the other guys that are just staying consistent and making plays.  This is a good team and that’s only going to get better as we move forward in the season.”

On playing a lot of the young guys
“I told our guys after the game, not only was it nice to see the everyday guys but I thought our bench players played a really good game coming in. A lot of those kids had one or two at-bats and came in and put some good swings on pitches.  That goes back to the way that this group has worked and prepared, even the kids that aren’t playing.  They prepare everyday as if they are going to get that at-bat. And when you get that in a team you have the ability to have success as soon as you get in just like those guys took advantage of it today.”

On protecting your home in the SEC
“That’s what you have to do.  In the SEC you have to win series at home, and play well on the road as well.  To build that resume up as you move forward you got to take care of your home field.”

#5 Brett Booth, C
Thoughts on today’s game
“These are the games you like.  You start off early and just keep going all day.  Sundays in general you have to score a lot of runs.  Today we did a pretty good job of doing that.”

Thoughts on having a good performance from your starting pitcher
“That was big.  I think you saw some guys this weekend that kind of got challenged. Tucker Hawley threw well and it was no surprise. He was nipping at their heels. We all knew it, and it really wasn’t a secret but I think we saw some guys that kind of came out with a chip on their shoulder.”

Thoughts on how hitting can be contagious
“I think one thing about this team this year is that we have 35 guys that are in every game.  You can look in the dugout and those guys are going crazy the entire game.  They’re always in the game and talking.  They’re just there waiting for their opportunity.  You saw today, you’re in the game staying in it and picking people up and you’re doing it the right way.”

Postgame Notes
*Senior catcher Brett Booth caught three runners stealing today to bring the total to 17 this season, best in the SEC.
*With four singles in his six at-bats during the game, Booth recorded a new career high in hits.
*Freshman second baseman Kyle Overstreet recorded his third double of the season, which is tied for third best on the team.
*Senior third baseman Kenny Roberts recorded his fourth double of the season and added a single on the day to notch his fourth multi-hit game of the season.
*Freshman short stop Mikey White recorded his second double of the year on the way to reaching base in four of five plate appearances. 
*White’s double paired with a single led him to his third multi-hit game of the season.
*Freshman center fielder Georgie Salem’s four RBI game set a new career-high.
*Salem’s two singles and double for the day gave him his sixth multi-hit game of the season and fourth three-hit game of the year.
*The Crimson Tide recorded at least 11 hits in each game this series versus Tennessee
*Sophomore RHP Spencer Turnbull recorded his first win of the year and the third of his career after his seven-inning, one-run outing in his fifth start of the season.
*Freshman third baseman Daniel Cucjen recorded the first hit and RBI of his career after he singled to right in his pinch-hit at-bat in the seventh inning.
*Freshman center fielder Riley Colburn got an opportunity for the first plate appearance of his career for the Crimson Tide.
*Freshman first baseman Chance Vincent drove in two runners in the eighth inning to record the first hit and runs batted in of his career.
*Senior righty Trey Pilkington made his first appearance of the season, throwing a scoreless ninth inning.
*The Alabama lineup recorded 20 hits to give them the most they have produced since the Tide swatted 20 hits on April 7, 2009, versus Troy. It’s the most Alabama has put up against an SEC opponent since the Tide put up 23 hits at Mississippi on March 22, 2009.
*The Tide also had a season-high with 15 runs, the best since the Tide put up 15 runs against Stony Brook on March 12, 2010, and the most against an SEC opponent since May 2, 2009, at Mississippi State.
*The Crimson Tide led off the game by scoring eight runs in just the first inning.  The last time the Tide recorded eight runs in one inning was against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on February 24, 2012.
*Every Alabama starter reached base in Sunday’s game and eight of the nine scored in the first inning.