Quotes and Notes - Missouri Game 1



May 10, 2013

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HEAD COACH Mitch Gaspard
Opening Statement
“We certainly made that a little more interesting there at the end than what we’d like, but I think overall you’ve got to look at the full nine innings. I thought offensively we got off to the good start that we wanted and again, hit some balls really well - obviously drove a couple balls out of the park. I thought Sullivan gave us a really solid start for seven innings, and the bullpen let us down. And they’ve got to do a better job in that. That’s two weekends in a row that they have come in and have not been very sharp, so we’ve got to get that cleaned up immediately. But on the bright side of it, it’s a win and sometimes when you play 56 games you’ve got to win all types of games. Every now and then there’s one like that and at the end of the day you’ve got to win it, and we found a way. Ray kind-of tightened the belt there at the end, made some pitches, and got the W and that’s the most important thing tonight.”

On whether Sullivan’s pull after seventh inning was part of game plan
“He was done. Thank God we scored the seven there, but his pitch count was about 105 and we try not to get him over 110 – that’s kind-of our max on that, so it worked out. Obviously we had the big inning there in the seventh and that allowed us to hold on, but we had predetermined the pitch count there at 105.”

On whether takeaway was Sullivan’s positive start or bullpen’s falloff at end
“Right now I think you’ve got to look more at the positive. That’s always our outlook and I think you have games like that every now and then. That happens. I think you’ve got to look at the whole week. We had some new guys step up through the week; the bullpen was really good Tuesday and Wednesday. So with that, obviously, I think tomorrow and Sunday you have some new guys that need some opportunities if it arises in that way. So we’ve got to have guys come in and command the strike zone. That’s the bottom line. When you walk guys and you miss pitches, you’re going to get yourself in trouble just like we did in the eighth and ninth.”

On Sullivan’s strong start
“He’s been pretty consistent. He’s had a couple games here and there where it’s gotten a little rough for him out there but really throughout the course of the year, he’s been steady. He’s been giving us some good seven innings now just about the majority of the year.”

On offensive streak
“I don’t know the exact numbers, but I think we’ve put up 10 or 11 homers now in the last three weeks. We had about 10 prior to that. And it’s not just the homeruns, but the balls are just really coming off the bat. We’re hitting more doubles, having better at-bats. And I really like the way we’re playing. Throw out the eighth and ninth and I thought we were really outstanding for seven innings. Again, you put this one behind you. It’s a win and that’s the most important thing. Come back out ready to try to win the series tomorrow.”

Player Quotes
#7 Ben Moore, RF
On the confidence of the team in swinging the bats
“I think the change of pace has, from a mental state, given everybody a little more confidence. So we’re just going up there with better mentalities and getting after the fastball a little more. Austen Smith, Brett [Booth] and Kenny [Roberts] have really come alive here lately – hitting some long balls and giving some energy to this offense.”

On the effect Kenny Roberts’ leadoff homerun had on energy level of team to start game offensively
“It definitely sets the tone for the rest of the game – going out there and giving a punch like that. For me, Kenny’s at-bat is a crucial one. It sets the tone for the rest of the game. So his doing that was really big.”

On whether the consecutive hits down the lineup create offensive momentum
“I think so. They say hits are contagious. I also think we’re able to take a step back and breathe and know that if we don’t get it done, the guy behind us is going to pick us up. There’s a lot of freedom and a lot less pressure in that.”

#29 Charley Sullivan, RHP
On his positive start to the game
“We had two good games early in the week and we need all three of these, so I had to come out and give us an opportunity to win, which is what I try to do every start. We got two early runs. We talk all the time about how if you score early like that, it makes it a lot easier to pitch the contact and keep that pitch count down. So it broke down a little bit at the end, but like [Coach Mitch Gaspard] said, it’s a win. And at this point in the season, all that matters is getting those W’s.”

On the effect that the offensive momentum is having on the bullpen
“For me, it’s getting back in the dugout as quickly as possible. Defensively, if you have long innings, people get out of sync and get a little tired of standing out there. So I try to get back in [the dugout] as quickly as possible. Pitch the contact early, let the defense work, and keep the bats rolling because when they’re hot, you don’t want to do anything to affect it.”

Post-game notes:
*Charley Sullivan tossed seven scoreless to turn in his sixth quality start and fifth in eight conference starts.
*Sullivan’s win tonight breaks a five-way tie for the team lead with five and moves him into 14th place in the SEC.
*Ray Castillo carded his team-leading ninth save, 21st appearance and 16th game finished.
*Kenny Roberts led off Friday night’s game with a home run, the first leadoff home run for the Tide all season, and the first since Taylor Dugas stroked a leadoff shot against Alcorn State on February 9, 2011.
*Brett Booth tied his career-high reaching base streak at 11, courtesy of his seventh inning two-run home run.
*Booth’s two-run homer brings his count to six for the year, tying him with Austen Smith for first on the team and eighth in the SEC.
*Roberts and Booth are tied for the team lead with 39 runs scored this season, which are 10th most in the SEC.
*Kyle Overstreet clubbed a trio of singles to record his third three-hit game and his 15th multi-hit game overall.
*Overstreet and Booth each posted a multi-RBI game with two each. Overstreet now has seven multi-RBI games on the season, while Booth leads the team with 10.
*Georgie Salem and junior first baseman Austen Smith each extend their hitting streak to six games.
*With a pair of singles, Salem posted his 16th multi-hit game, a mark that ranks second on the team. 
*Ben Moore registered a single and a double to add another multi-hit game to his totals, giving him a team-high 20 this season.
*With his seventh inning RBI double, Moore moves up to 11th in the SEC with 35 runs batted in and 12th in the SEC with 12 doubles.
*With 14 hits tonight, this marks fourth consecutive game with double digit hits from the Tide lineup.