Alabama-No. 23 Auburn Quotes and Notes



April 7, 2012

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COACH Mitch Gaspard
Opening statement
“What a great big-time hit from Dugas at the end, a flare for the dramatic. The last two Saturday’s at home we’ve had that with Booth and now Dugas. I’m happy for our team. As I’ve said the last week or so, they’ve continued to battle and compete each day and fight through a lot of adversity. They are being rewarded right now. On the pitching end we were good today. Kamplain gave us a really good start. Pilkington worked through some really tough spots to keep the game where it needed to be. I felt like in the ninth inning if we could get Dugas to the plate, we were going to have a shot. A lot happened to get to that two-run homer. Carlisle had the good at-bat to get on then Gregory legs out the potential double play ball to set that up. That’s just playing hard and giving Dugas the opportunity and then he delivered the big hit.”

On what he was thinking as that ball was in the air:
“The ball was not carrying well today so obviously we were blowing as much as we could to get that thing up and out. Fortunately he clipped it just enough to get it out of here. It’s huge for our team. It’s the first SEC series that we’ve won and now we have an opportunity to sweep it home.”

On the ninth inning:
“I thought there were two keys to that inning. One was Carlisle’s at-bat to draw the walk and then Gregory busting his tail down the line to beat out the double play. If neither one of those had happened, we would have never gotten Dugas up to the plate to win the ball game.”

On two different ball games against their in-state rivalry:
“Right now, any win is good. It’s been a battle all year. We are starting to get a little better pitching. The young guys are starting to take us deep into the game. We are starting to find a little bit of a bullpen. I thought today we had some other opportunities offensively where we didn’t get the hits but obviously we got the big one at the end when we needed it.”

#1, Taylor Dugas, CF
On whether he knew he had the home run:
“I knew it was close. Right before I went up to hit, I saw the coach tell them no doubles so I knew the guy was deep. The ball was not traveling well at all today in the outfield. I ran a few balls down that didn’t go anywhere. I hit it good and I knew it was going to be close. I thought it had a shot initially then I saw it die a little at the end. I was talking to the ball telling it to get up and it worked out.”

On how it felt to get that home run and also know you’ve won the series:
“It’s huge, especially against those guys. It’s such a big game. We’ve had our struggles early on this year. Winning the series is good but we know that we need to do more than win the series. We need to come out tomorrow and have a good day. Building off of last night and today we will have some big momentum going into tomorrow.”

#46, Hunter Gregory, INF
On whether he looked back at the home run going out:
“I started to but I knew I wanted to score if it stayed in the park, so I made sure I was running hard just in case. I wasn’t really sure if it was gone or not. I couldn’t tell. Everybody at home plate kind of gave it away. I had no idea until I got home.”

On how close the play at first was right before the home run:
“I knew it was bang-bang. As soon as I hit it I was just trying to make sure I got out of the box to give Taylor the chance to make something happen. We know he’s a great player. All I was trying to do was get him up to the plate.”

On clinching their first series in SEC play this season:
“It’s been a long time coming for us for sure. We know we’ve been working hard. We’ve been grinding out a lot of tough weekends and it was great to get our first win. Hopefully we can keep it rolling and get some momentum. I know this has given us some confidence and I think we will be able to continue throughout the season with it.”

*Senior Taylor Dugas hit his second home run of the season and the 14th of his career in the bottom of the ninth inning. It was Dugas’ first walk-off home run of his UA career.
*Combined with Friday night’s 2-for-4, three RBI performance, Dugas has now hit for the cycle in two combined games versus the Tigers. He has a single, double, triple and a home run while driving in five runs in the series’ first two games.
*With Dugas’ walk-off home run, Alabama has now registered walk-off home runs in back-to-back Saturday SEC games at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. On March 24, Brett Booth’s two-run walk-off effort gave the Tide a 3-2 victory over No. 17 Mississippi.
*His walk-off home run also moved him into a tie for fourth place on the all-time list for runs scored with 214.
*After today’s start, Dugas moved into a tie for fifth all-time in games started at UA with 215.
*Dugas was hit by a pitch today, his 14th of the season and 34th of his career, placing him in a tie for sixth all-time at UA.
*Dugas has reached base in all 31 games this season, and 43 consecutive games dating back to last season.
*Hunter Gregory tallied a 3-for-4 one run, one RBI day at the plate. The three hits are a season-high and his ninth multi-hit game of his career.
*With a hit in the sixth inning, Alabama right fielder Ben Moore extended his current hitting streak to 10 games. He has now reached base in 22 straight games.
*In 3.2 innings of relief work, Trey Pilkington allowed just one hit and no runs while striking out two to earn his first victory of the season.
*Justin Kamplain pitched 5.1 innings facing 23 batters allowing three runs, two of them earned, while striking out five.