April 8, 2012
COACH Mitch Gaspard
“We got another really good start from Jon Keller today. What I think was the key to the weekend was that we got some timely hits. Going from Friday to today we had Booth’s two-run homer that really got us going. But throughout the lineup, the at-bats were really competitive. We’re pressuring the defense a little more from an offensive standpoint. Then, we made some really good plays defensively today as well, and the pitching and the defense go hand-in-hand. We’re throwing more strikes and we’re defending the field much better as well.
On the aggressiveness of the team today;
“Before the game, what we wanted to do was to out-energy our opponent today. Coming off the game yesterday we had an opportunity to do that. I thought our guys had good energy all day, and I thought that we competed really hard throughout the entire weekend.”
On stand-out defensive plays of the game:
“I thought there were three that really stood out. I thought the double play that Kenny Roberts started was really big. Reaves’ ball in the eighth inning I thought was huge to get to cut the runner out at second and Ben Moore’s play in right field. Those three really jumped out and helped turn the game a little bit for us.”
On having timely hits, solid pitching, and decent defense all in the same game:
“This was really the first week of play that we started putting everything together and we caught a few breaks with that. Quite honestly, I don’t know that we played a whole lot differently at Tennessee than we played this weekend. We just could not deliver a big hit. All of a sudden we started getting some of those, and we got a couple breaks. A couple balls fell in, we made a couple plays, and it really starts to change the whole mindset of your team.”
#10, Jon Keller, LHP
On the three-game sweep of Auburn:
“I love it. We had a blast out here. Getting these wins mean a lot to our team. It gives us a lot of confidence going into next week’s series.”
On getting used to the mound:
“I was more comfortable. I’m starting to accept my role and all the things that I have to do while being a starter, because coming out of the pen it’s a little different. You have to establish your fastball, that way you don’t really give away your pitches early in the game.”
#9, Jared Reaves, INF
On how it feels to put together all the pieces of a successful game:
“It’s just nice to see. Starting with Tuesday, it was a different feel, more like just relaxing and playing. We went out there Tuesday, and after winning against South Alabama we just kept it going. And you just couldn’t ask for a better team than Auburn to continue making strides against.”
On how it feels to play more aggressively:
“It’s a lot more fun. From base running to defense to just swinging the bat I feel like we’re finally starting to catch our stride. We’ve just got to enjoy it while it’s going.”
POST GAME NOTES:
* Starting pitcher Jon Keller finished the day with 5.2 innings pitched, with one run on seven hits, one walk and a career-high six strikeouts to earn his first career win.
* Senior infielder James Tullidge hit a single to center field in the bottom of the second inning, batting in Ben Moore for the first run of the game, and Tullidge’s second RBI of the series.
* Senior Taylor Dugas has now reached base in all 32 games this season, and 44 consecutive games dating back to last season.
* Dugas ends this series with a combined record of 6-for-13, with three singles, a double, a triple, and a home run.
* Senior outfielder Hunter Gregory wraps up this series with a combined record of 5-for-11, with four runs total.
* After today’s performance, freshman Ben Moore’s hitting streak now totals 11 games, reaching base in the past 23 straight games.
* Junior Brett Booth registered his team-leading third home run and team-leading 22nd and 23rd RBIs with a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning.
* With Booth’s home run in the fifth inning, Alabama hit a home run in each game of the series for home runs in three straight games for the second time this season.
*This series marks the first time the Crimson Tide has swept an SEC series since last season’s March 25-27 series against Kentucky. It is also the first sweep of Auburn since 2002.