Alabama - Mississippi Notes and Quotes



March 24, 2012

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HEAD COACH Mitch Gaspard
Opening statement:
“It starts on the mound with Justin Kamplain. I thought that was the best start we’ve had all year, and particularly for any of our freshmen guys that have gone out. You could see that he really slowed the game down today and was able to execute his secondary pitches. That was the plan with Coach Norris; we wanted to pitch backwards, which means we were going to throw a few more breaking balls today. It worked really well against a left-handed dominant lineup with Ole Miss. (Jay) Shaw came in and worked a good inning and then (Taylor) Guilbeau wiggled out there in the ninth inning of a tough spot. All week we had been talking about just competing and really having an understanding of what that is at each per bat. I thought Brett (Booth) just really showed that in the last at-bat, same with (Josh) Rosecrans, to start the inning. Overall, I’m happy for our team. It’s been a tough month and certainly the last week and a half has been a grind. They’ve continued to work hard and stay at it. I’m happy for those guys and hopefully we can take this win into tomorrow.”

On if they had planned to use Kamplain for six innings:
“No, our plan today was to split the game up in threes. We wanted to kind of give them a finish line, but he was just so good today that we just rode the wave. They’ve been at about 80 pitches; I think he was just under 100 today, but he was still sharp even when he came out. Hopefully that’s the first step for one of those freshmen to step out to grow up a little bit. I thought he was awfully good today.”

On Brett Booth’s play today:
“I thought defensively we were really good. Booth just had a big game. He played very well with the glove and obviously the big home run at the end. We had the one breakdown today in the middle infield on communication, which could have cost us the game on the hit and run. Those are the things we’re talking about that we have to clean up because in this league, one play can be the difference in the game. We were fortunate that Booth picked us up today and hit the two-run homer at the end. It’s what makes this game great. The game is never over until that last out is in a glove. I think particularly when you’re that competitive and you keep giving those kind of at-bats and you don’t give in, you can win in a lot of different ways. That’s who we are; that’s what we’ve always been. We have to fight and claw; we’ve never been a super, ultra-talented team. We’re always going to be a hard-nosed, blue-collar team that has to grind out wins and this team has to understand that.”

On what he will do to turn the spark into a fire:
“I think it comes now with, you’ve got to get a good start from Jonathan Keller tomorrow. Offensively, I think the biggest key for us right now is hopefully this will relax our team and we start maximizing our potential. That’s been a big issue with our group right now, that we’ve played tight and we’ve played passive because of some tightness. We needed that relaxed moment and hopefully this is the moment that we point to.”

#5, Brett Booth, 3B
On how he’s feeling:
“We needed that win right there. The past week and a half we’ve really been struggling. (Justin) Kamplain came in and gave us a great outing. The bullpen came in and kept it close and I just got a good swing off there at the end.”

On what he was thinking at the plate:
“With a runner on third and two outs, I really was just thinking ‘don’t strike out.’ I knew if he threw a good pitch, I was going to put a good swing on it. I was really just thinking about not chasing anything.”

On how his previous swing affected his thinking:
“I was confident the whole time. I knew if he threw a pitch in the zone, I was going to get a good swing off. The pitch before that, I got jammed a little bit. The last pitch I just got a good swing off on it.”

#26, Justin Kamplain, LHP
On what his goal was going into the game:
“The main goal was to get ahead in the counts and throw strikes. The game’s a lot easier to pitch when you’re ahead in the count. 0-1, 0-2 really changes the way Coach (Norris) calls the game. It gives him more options once you’re ahead in the count, gives you more weapons.”

On Booth’s home run:
“It’s huge. He comes to practice every day talking everybody up. He pushes everybody; he works. He’s a tremendous worker. I’m really glad for him that things really fell his way tonight.

*Junior third baseman Brett Booth notched his first homerun of the season with his game-winning, walk-off effort in the bottom of the ninth inning. Booth added to his team-leading total of 18 RBI.
*Making his first career start at second base, freshman AJ Cole recorded his first career hit and scored his second run of the season, finishing the day 1-for-3.
*Freshman catcher Ben Moore had an RBI in the third inning, his 12th of the season as part of a 1-for-4 day at the plate..
*Freshman LHP Justin Kamplain recorded the longest outing of his UA career, pitching 7.0 innings while allowing two runs on three hits. Kamplain struck out six batters, tying his career-high in strikeouts.
*After being hit by a pitch for a team-leading ninth time this season, Taylor Dugas has now reached base in all 23 games this season and extended his streak to 35 consecutive games dating back to last year.
*Freshman RHP Jay Shaw made his seventh appearance this season, allowing no runs and no hits in an eighth inning relief stint.
*Alabama pitchers allowed just four hits and two runs on the day, the second fewest of the season for the Tide in both categories.
* Josh Rosecrans led Alabama with two hits on Saturday, nothing his third multi-hit game of the season and 11 of his career.
* Jon Kelton produced his 15th career sacrifice bunt to tie Joe Caruso for ninth all-time at Alabama.