Quotes and Notes - Missouri Game 3



May 12, 2013

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HEAD COACH Mitch Gaspard
Opening Statement
"What a game! At the end of the day, I thought our guys had a great will about them. We talked about it prior to the game today. This is why you come to Alabama, this is why you play the game - for big games like today. We know our backs were against the wall today and I thought our guys really showed that in the ninth inning. They just continued to give one good at-bat after another to get [Austen] Smith up there to have the game winner. But with that, what a great start from [Justin] Kamplain. He gave us a tremendous start. We extended his pitch count a little bit and tried to get him through seven innings. We realize right now we've got some work to do. In our bullpen we've got some guys that have lost some confidence and are struggling a little bit, and we've got to get that corrected in the next two or three days before we head to Vanderbilt. But that doesn't take away from today's victory. I'm really proud of our team and the way that they responded in the ninth inning."

On what he told Chance Vincent before his at-bat in the ninth
"Take. We were taking until we got a strike, and then the count runs 3-0. It goes 3-1 and I give him take again. Obviously we're trying to get the lead guy on. It goes 3-2 and one thing we always say is give your best at-bat at the most critical times. He did that today. That was the best swing he took all day in that 3-2 count, and he really got the momentum going in the ninth inning."

On taking advantage of Missouri's errors
"We took advantage of some mistakes that they made, but that's part of the game. You've got to put pressure on them and when you continue to give good at-bats, that's going to pressure the defense. It didn't really show up so much until the back end of the game. I thought that, offensively, they did some things that didn't look like a team with 15 wins. They had some really good at-bats and their arms made some pitches, but they did make some critical errors that really led to our gaining momentum."

On what was said after calling the team together in the seventh inning
"That was one of those moments that we talked about - that you just can't give in. I know the guys were down after giving up the 4-1 lead and that really was motivation at that time to stay locked into what we're doing. You can still get it done. That's the great thing about college baseball. It's never over with. Then you just keep giving at-bats - you keep fighting - and that's the one thing I will say on this team. They're a bunch of fighters. They work, they don't give in, they play the game the right way and they were rewarded today."

On Castillo's recent struggles to close well
"Right now he's struggling. One, his breaking ball has kind-of left him right now and when that happens, I think he's lost some confidence too, along with some other guys right now. I think this is a time for us where [Coach] Dax [Norris] can get with those guys. We can give them a little break, try to get a good bullpen session in and as much mentally, try to get these guys back in a good place. At the end of the day, from a pitching standpoint, we've got to be aggressive and go at it. If we get beat throwing the ball and missing in the middle, that's one thing. But it's tough to get beat when you're just not throwing enough strikes. Right now they're just searching. We've got to get it back in line. This pitching staff has been so good for us all year long, so we've got to get them back on track and ready to go."

On benefit to not having a midweek and being able to make improvements
"This was a big week for us. We went 4-1 this week and at the end of it, it's a pretty good week. I know that we'd like to take out from about the eighth inning on Friday to the ninth inning today, but to go 4-1 was what we needed to do. And our guys responded and found a way to get it done."

Player Quotes
#7 Ben Moore, OF/C
On the game in general
"We like to make them exciting and that was definitely an exciting one. It was good to come back from down 2. This team never quits. We never stop fighting, and that's going to carry us a long way."

On the importance of Chance Vincent's hit in the ninth inning
"Other than [Austen Smith's] walk-off, that was the biggest hit of the inning - just getting it done to get a little momentum going on our side. He hit that ball really well and it's great to get a lead-off going. It's big on his part."

On the mindset of the team after Missouri's seventh-inning run
"We always keep fighting. We're never down. The biggest thing was just staying positive, knowing that we were going to come back. We just had to keep our heads up and keep fighting."

#18 Austen Smith, 1B
On his at-bat in the ninth inning
"Everybody grinded - starting with Vincent, who had a really big at-bat and got on [base]. Everybody else filed up. Ben got a hit, tied the game and then I came in there. The at-bat before that, he started me off with a fast ball and then came back curve ball, curve ball. He didn't look too good on those curve balls, so I sat on that in the back of my mind. He threw me a curve ball and sure enough I put a good swing on it."

On the mindset of the team going into the ninth inning
"Going into the ninth inning, you don't want to give up - especially on a day like today where you've got to get a win. Even going back to last year it wasn't too good of a year, but what we did do was battle going into the ninth. I think that actually helped us today and we battled, came back and got a W."

#26 Justin Kamplain, LHP
On his ten strikeouts
"I had a good feeling before the game. In the bullpen, I was pretty spot up with everything. The main thing I wanted to do was attack the strike zone and make them hit. I know I had a shaky outing at Mississippi State. [The coaches] really emphasized no walks, so my main thing out there was just to pound the strike zone, make them hit and I was fortunate enough for them to miss."

On his mindset before the game
"I wanted to go the whole game and give it my best outing of the year. This was a huge game; we had to have it and I just wanted to give my team a chance to win."

Post-game notes:
*Justin Kamplain finished his day with a career-high 10 strikeouts.
*Kamplain did not walk any of the career-high tying 29 batters he faced in today's game.
*Mitch Greer pitched a final scoreless 2.1 innings to clinch the first career SEC win.
*Mikey White carded a 7-for-11 weekend (.636) in the first ever series with the Missouri Tigers.
*White's two singles today are good for the 15th multi-hit game of his freshman campaign.
*Kyle Overstreet swings his way to his third three-RBI game and his eighth multi-RBI game overall of the season.
*Overstreet also tallies his 16th multiple-hit game of the season on a couple of singles.
*Overstreet's two-hit game extends his hitting streak to six games.
*With his early two-run homer and his ninth inning RBI single, Ben Moore extends his hitting streak to seven games.
*Moore's three RBI pads his sixth three-run game of the season and hoists him to first on the team with 10 multi-RBI performances this season.
*Moore's home run in the fifth inning marked the Alabama fifth home run in the series with Missouri.
*Andrew Miller's trio of singles notches his second three-hit game of the season and his ninth multiple hit game on the year.
*Georgie Salem's single in the bottom of the ninth inning extends his hitting streak and reaching-base streak to a team-high eight consecutive games.
*Austen Smith's walk-off RBI double in the bottom of the ninth marked the eighth consecutive game in which he has reached base safely.
*The 13 hits on Sunday marks the sixth straight game in which the Alabama lineup has reached double-digit hits.