Alabama-Vanderbilt Quotes & Notes

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

April 21, 2012

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COACH Mitch Gaspard
Opening statement:
"With this being our third Saturday (at home) in a row with a walk-off homer, something I don't think I've seen in 24 years of coaching, this is certainly a win we'll take. As far as the game went, I thought Taylor Guilbeau gave us his best start of the year through his six innings. We kind of ran into a little trouble there in the seventh inning, we threw a lot of pitches, but we were able to minimize the damage. The walks bit us again in the back end of the game; we walked too many guys and gave up the lead. I thought that Pilkington was serviceable in the back end of the game; he did a good job in the eighth and kept the game close in the ninth.  That really set the stage for another good job by our offense in the ninth inning, when our guys just continued to battle. It took a lot of quality at-bats to get Austen Smith to that situation where he could get his home run."

On Austen's home run in the ninth:
"It was good for Austen, and certainly good for our team.  He certainly has grown, there's no question about it.  He swung the bat early, and he kind of went with it.  It was obviously the right call to put him in today.  It's a really big hit for him, and hopefully this will get him going in the right direction just like Kenny Robert's big hit did for Kenny.  Those two guys are players that can be an offensive presence for us, though we haven't gotten a whole lot from them yet.  But in the 30-something games that those guys have shown up in they have shown us that they are capable of becoming part of our offense."

On the fighting spirit of the Alabama Baseball team:
"I'm proud of this team, especially after everything we've been through this year, all the struggles we've faced.  They have continued to play hard, even at times where it's been ugly out there on the field.  The team certainly has some character to it.  You never really know what's going to happen.  You keep going through the baseball season, and you can get hot and you can wheel off a lot of games.  I thought that our last two games were about as clean as we've played.  We've still got a couple bumps to work out, but we have certainly played the game with a lot more ease over the last couple of days."

#18, Austen Smith, INF
On how big it would be to win the final game of the series against Vanderbilt:
"It would be huge to get a sweep right here.  It would help us make up for our loss to them last year, and it would help keep us in contention for the SEC tournament."

On how good it feels to hit a home run, especially at this point in the season:
"It was great.  It helps your confidence to have a hit like this.

#5, Brett Booth, C
On how Taylor Guilbeau was out on the mound today:
"First off, Guilbeau did a really good job of mixing in all four pitches.  He did really well with his fastball, and he had his off-speed working well to keep them off-balance.  And of course, he threw a ton of strikes today."

On what part of the team is able to come through against the big SEC teams:
"This team just keeps going.  If you keep going and keep putting yourself in position for a victory, you'll eventually get it.  I think that if you look at our games all year long we've been there in pretty much every game.  At home, on Saturday, late in the game we just tend to get that game-winning hit; it seems to be common theme for us.  The biggest thing is just building off this and trying to put something together, and to not let this just happen on Saturday at home.

POST GAME NOTES:
* Freshman LHP Taylor Guilbeau pitched a career-high 6.0 innings against the Commodores, allowing two runs on one hit with four walks and a career-high seven strikeouts, surpassing his previous career-high of four strikeouts.
* With his RBI in the bottom of the sixth, junior infielder Brett Booth collected his team-leading 26th of the season.
* Freshman Ben Moore was 3-for-4, posting two runs and one RBI. Moore registered his 13th multi-hit game and his fourth three-hit game of the season.
* Moore now leads the team with 51 hits and a .362 batting average. Jared Reaves in second with 50 hits and Taylor Dugas in third with 49.
* Alabama took the win with a two-out, three-run walk-off homer by Austin Smith in the bottom of the ninth inning.
* Smith's home run was Alabama's third consecutive walk-off home run in an at-home Saturday game against an SEC opponent this season.
* Smith's homer was his first home run of the season and first since June 3, 2011. It was Smith's sixth career home run.
* Smith had two hits in the games, notching just his second multi-hit game of the season and 20th of his career. It was also his second multi-RBI game of the season for his 13th in two years with Alabama.
* The win for Trey Pilkington was his second of the season, with both coming in relief appearances.
* With a hit this afternoon, Taylor Dugas now has 312 hits in his career to rank third all-time at Alabama. He needs one more hit to tie Brent Boyd for second all-time and 11 more to match Andy Phillips for the school record.
* Dugas also tied Allen Rice for sixth in games played (226) and tied Andy Phillips for games started (224) in a career. 
* The 11 hits collected by Alabama is the Tide's fourth-highest total in 17 SEC games and sixth-highest of the season overall. It also marked Alabama's 10th double-digit hit game of the season.
* Today's game marks the first time that the Crimson Tide has won back-to-back games against the Commodores since the 2010 season.
* Jon Kelton added his 19th career sacrifice bunt to move into a tie with Darren Wood for sixth all-time.