Quotes and Notes - Texas A&M Game 1



April 26, 2013

Recap |  Box Score

HEAD COACH Mitch Gaspard
Opening Statement
"I thought Charley Sullivan did just what we needed, he went out and gave us a solid seven innings. I thought he competed extremely hard.  He's been in a tough spot the last three weeks as he's had to face three potential first rounders.  I felt like he was going to pitch well tonight. He had a really good bullpen during the week.  You could see he was really focused as he went into tonight.  After that I thought Tucker Hawley was really sharp and Ray Castillo did his thing, what he's been doing, finishing it out.  We had the early offense as Ben (Moore) had the huge two-run homer in the first and Brett (Booth) comes back and follows that up with a solo shot in the second.  It was one of those games; you knew they were going to make a run at us.  I thought it was really big when they got the two runs.  Charley (Sullivan) made some pitches to keep that lead.  Then he comes back and throws a clean seventh that allowed us to pitch the single innings by both Tucker (Hawley) and Ray (Castillo)." 

On getting an early
"That's how you have to beat good arms. I thought their guy was a little up in the zone early and then you can see he settled. Once he settled, his velocity was good and his secondary pitch got good. That's always the plan on Friday, to try to attack that guy early and try to hit some early mistakes. Tonight we were able to do it."

On the home-runs tonight
"It's back-to-back games where he's (Ben Moore) found the barrel a little bit. He squared up to balls at Southern Miss and I think he's starting to feel better about his swing. When you run one off the scoreboard in the first, that's going to get your weekend off to a good start. He's the guy in the middle that we are all counting on. When he does that it really energizes our team.

On Ray Castillo
"He has that rare mentality. He wants the ball in that situation because he's got good stuff. Every time out, we can count on Ray (Castillo) to be 91-94. His secondary stuff is still developing, but he's going to compete and make quality pitches."

On the double-plays tonight
"The one in the ninth was really big. Kenny (Roberts) did a good job making a solid feed to Kyle Overstreet and then Overstreet sticks it right to first base. That's the difference, when you pitch, you play good defense. You're always going to be in games. Now with the offense not what is once was, you have to have those two elements of your game. That's where really have improved this year, pitching, pitching depth, our defense and particularly on the in-field. Those guys have the ability to turn double plays."

On the crowd for tonight's game
"I guess we need to have a concert before each game to get them going. It's like I told the team, you're going to continue to get better crowds when you're good. They are starting to realize that this is a good baseball team and they play the game the right way. They play extremely hard, and when you do that people want to watch. We need our support from our fans to continue to grow. When we go on the road and play in front of 10,000-11,000, it makes a difference. It's just like when teams come here; we need to have 5,000-7,000 at The Joe when we play.  We also have to do our part and be a good baseball team. Right now, we're doing that and the fans need to come out and support us."

Player Quotes
#7 Ben Moore, RF
On the win
"It's good to come out and get a win against a Friday night guy and score some runs on Friday night and play all around good baseball."

On scoring early to make it  easier for your pitcher
"We got on top first and got at them early.  We put some pressure on them and had some momentum our way.  Anytime you get Charley (Sullivan) some cushion he's going to go out there and throw strikes and give you your best chance to win.  I was just happy we got an opportunity to get a win tonight."

On the pitching staff
"Our bullpen has been great all year.  Tucker (Hawley) is going to come out and fill up the strike zone. Ray (Castillo), all year long, has been a shut down guy. I don't think he's blown a save yet, he's been outstanding."

#29 Charlie Sullivan, RHP
On tonight's win
"It's good to get a Friday night win. It's been a tough three weeks as we've played some really tough competition. With Texas A&M coming in and never playing them before, we just wanted to come out and play clean and get the win. It worked out for us tonight."

On seeing his teammates give him a lead early
"I try not to change my mind set a whole lot.  I try to go out there every inning like its zero-zero and throw up a zero for our offense to get back in there.  It makes it a little easier to know I can pitch to contact earlier in counts and let the defense work.  That's what we try to do all the time but it makes you a little more comfortable with throwing your first pitch for a strike."

Post-game notes:
*Senior righty Charley Sullivan allowed two runs in seven innings pitched tonight, marking his fifth quality start of the season and his fourth in seven SEC games.
*Freshman right-hander Ray Castillo allowed only one walk in a scoreless, hitless final inning to record his team-leading seventh save of the year and remain a perfect 7-for-7 in save chances.
*Junior righty Tucker Hawley allowed one walk and no hits or runs in the eighth inning and continues to lead the Alabama bullpen in ERA with a 1.80 mark through 35 innings pitched.
*Senior catcher Brett Booth recorded his team-leading fourth home run of the season in the second inning of Friday's ballgame.
*Freshman center fielder Georgie Salem had two singles to put together his 14th multi-hit game of the season.
*Salem's night also stretches his hitting streak to eight games and his reaching base streak to 10 games. Both are the longest active streaks on the team.
*After defeating the Texas A&M Aggies on Friday night, the Alabama Crimson Tide records their first ever win over the Aggies.
*Through 19 conference games this season, the Tide's win tonight moves their record to 10-9 to give them more SEC wins than they had all of last year (9-21).