Quotes and Notes - Texas A&M Game 2



April 27, 2013

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HEAD COACH Mitch Gaspard
Opening Statement
“I thought that the start on the mound today that Justin Kamplain gave us was just a really good start. We liked the matchup on the pinch-hitter with the breaking ball on the book, hindsight we probably should have taken him a hitter or two earlier. He was up on his pitch count, but [Keaton] Haack comes in and bails us out – does a great job and gets the hold in the eighth inning. Then Ray [Castillo] comes in and does the same in the ninth. I thought it was a tremendous job on the mound all day led by Justin and then Haack and Ray and really we made the most of our hits today. We executed well. I thought our bunt game was pretty good to move guys over. We just found a way to use the middle of the field to get a couple of extra runs here and there. I thought today we swung the bat pretty good – it was one of those bad days to hit with the wind blowing straight in. Kenny hits the ball on the nose, Ben, George – there were multiple guys that really hit some balls hard that didn’t get anything to show for it. I like the energy that we are playing with, we have a lot of confidence right now and the more you can win the close ball games like that, the more the confidence starts to elevate.”

On what has been the difference in close games recently:
“I think a combination [of hitting and pitching]. I think we are getting more confident. Two, I think some guys are getting started and they are starting to understand what it is to let that barrel fly a little bit, get it out there. We have probably squared more balls up in the last three games – you are not seeing as many plays where the ball is beating the bat up as much. I think we are on the right path right now offensively, we just have to stay with it and stay consistent with what we are doing.”

On if it is a smart idea to run on Brett Booth
“Well that is part of their game and that’s what they do, but Brett has proven that he is going to throw guys out – whether that be the conventional steal or on the dirt ball – he’s so athletic that sometimes the dirt ball is more risky than the conventional steal. He’s just done a great job. For a guy that’s caught 44 of 45 games, it’s like he is just getting stronger back there. I can’t say enough of what he has done for this team and what he has meant to this team. Obviously, defense and offense, but his leadership and all of those things – he has that innate ability to come out and have energy, ready to play every day at the toughest position in baseball.”

Player Quotes
#7 Ben Moore, RF
On this afternoon’s game
“We got on them early, and we kind of had the momentum the whole time. We just played clean baseball and everybody had great at-bats, we were hitting balls hard – a lot of them didn’t fall, the wind knocked down a few of them. It was just good baseball, all around we played pretty clean.”

On the team playing loose
“I agree with you, we are playing loose. I don’t know why we are, I don’t know where we started playing loose. I definitely feel like, as a whole, we have more confidence in each other. I think maybe we took a step back and stopped putting pressure on each other and on ourselves and just have fun and play baseball – and it’s been working out for us.”

On Justin Kamplain
“Kamplain was outstanding. He had three pitches for strikes today, filling it up, getting ahead and pitching to contact and letting the defense work for him. Kamplain has done a really good job.”

#26 Justin Kamplain, LHP
On how big his performance was today
“It was really big. We are coming into that crucial part of our season and everyone of these games matters so it was really good to come out and give a good start and give our team a chance to win.”

On what it means to go deep into the game
“It just gives me confidence going into next weekend. My location with my fastball away is getting a lot better and I’m getting better command on my changeup. So being able to go out and go 7.1 innings really gives me a confidence boost going into next week against Mississippi State.”

On if he is starting to stretch out his arm
“Just getting used to the workouts now, and building that stamina up to where I can go into the seventh and eighth inning. I’m still not where I want to be – I wanted to close that game out, so I won’t be satisfied until I go nine.”

Post-game notes:
*Sophomore southpaw Justin Kamplain had his longest outing of his career, pitching 7.1 innings.
*With his 112 pitches, Kamplain registered the most total pitches he has thrown in a game at Alabama, as well as the first 100-pitch game in his career.
*Kamplain performance Saturday led his first win of the season and the second of his career.
*Freshman righty Ray Castillo recorded his eighth save of the year, converting every save opportunity he has had. His eight saves are good enough for ninth in the Southeastern Conference.
*Castillo’s shutdown performance on Saturday lowers his ERA to 1.80 in his freshman campaign, tying him with Tucker Hawley for best among Alabama pitchers.
*With his 2-for-4 performance today, sophomore right fielder Ben Moore recorded his team-leading 17th multi-hit game and has currently hit in five straight games.
*Freshman second baseman Kyle Overstreet put together a 2-for-4 game with two singles en route to posting his 11th multi-hit game of the season.
*Alabama improves to 2-3 all-time versus SEC newcomer Texas A&M with today’s victory.
*With their third inning run, Alabama improves to 16-3 when scoring first.
*The Crimson Tide improves to 24-0 when leading after six innings, 25-0 after seven, and 27-0 when leading after eight.
*With today’s win, Alabama has now won the series versus SEC-foe Texas A&M. This marks the fourth series win of the 2013 season, eclipsing last year’s three series wins.