June 14, 2010
Recap | Box Score | Notes
2010 NCAA SUPER REGIONAL QUOTES
Alabama Head Coach Mitch Gaspard
"First of all, congratulations to Clemson. Offensively, they were really good. The last two games, they really jumped on us with their offense. They put a lot of really good swings on a lot of pitches. They were able to extend their lead. Pitching-wise, I thought we battled really hard. They just continued to put the barrel on a lot of balls.
"I've been coaching for 24 years as an assistant and a head coach, and I've never been more proud of a team than this group. The way we finished up the season over the last month, the way we competed, was as good as any I've ever seen. To put ourselves back into a position to win the game in the ninth inning speaks volumes about our team. I couldn't be more proud to be the coach of this Alabama baseball team."
Thoughts on his team's rally in the ninth inning:
"You've got to come out and have something to get you going. Jake (Smith) drew a walk. Then, all of a sudden (Brett) Booth hits a home run. Before you know it, you've got a couple of guys on and string a couple of hits together. That's when the belief started happening. (Clay) Jones got on with the error. The way this last month has played out, I felt pretty good with Jake Smith up in that spot with two outs. He's run into some balls pretty good this weekend. He's a guy we wanted up in that situation, and I thought he put a pretty good swing on it."
On the team's early offensive struggles:
"We just never got into a good offensive rhythm. We squared a couple of balls up, but they did a good job of positioning. We hit two or three balls in that left-center gap where their left fielder cheated over and ran a couple of them down. We just had a hard time stringing quality at-bats together."
Junior RHP Nathan Kilcrease
"I wasn't really tired. I just couldn't get into a rhythm out there. Every out I had I had to work hard for it. They did a great job of battling. I was pretty amped up in the first inning, but that was actually one of my better innings."
On the heat:
"I don't think heat was really a factor. We play in weather like this all the time. We practice in this kind of heat almost every day. I just didn't have it today."
On the run in the last month:
"It's been awesome. The way we've played together has just been unbelievable. We keep believing and battling, just like that ninth inning, all the way until the last pitch. I've never been a part of a team like that and it's just been awesome."
Junior Second Baseman Ross Wilson
On ninth inning:
"We just kept battling. (Kevin) Brady came out kind of wild, got himself in trouble and (Brett) Booth hits a home run, we got excited and kept getting guys on. You just never know what can happen. I didn't think they would pitch to Jake (Smith), or I really thought he was going to hit one out. It speaks volumes of our team that we can even start a comeback like that in the bottom of the ninth inning when everyone thought we were out of it."
On the run in the last month:
"For the longest time, we were scratching and clawing trying to get out of the funk we were in and it just happened one day. Everything started clicking like we knew it could. Pitching, hitting, defense; we kept getting key hits. I've been proud of all our guys. It's been a fun ride. We tried to just ride that wave out and unfortunately we didn't get to our ultimate goal but it's been fun."
Clemson Head Coach Jack Leggett
"That was a tremendous game for us. I thought we came out to play offensively and we did a great job of scoring two runs in the second inning, two in the third and two in the fourth to keep the pressure on Alabama. We were swinging the bat really well and had some great at bats on a good pitcher. Dominic Leone stepped up. He was very aggressive with his fastball and competed for us. When we decided to name him our starter, we knew he was going to be a competitor.
"I couldn't be more proud of my team. We came from the depths in the middle of the season. We kept our heads in the game and kept on battling and working at it. We had some adversity on the way. You just had to know the game was going to end like it did the way the season has been going. Our kids battled, they showed some great toughness and everyone here at Clemson should be proud of them."
On the play of the freshmen:
"On the biggest game of the year, we started a freshman on the mound, a freshman on 1st base, and a freshman catcher who has really stepped up for us lately. Those kids did a great job for us. We had a little bit of experience and youth out there and everyone stepped up big in a big situation. It was awesome to see these kids play like we did."
On choosing Leone vs Lamb:
"Some of Alabama's better hitters are right handed and Lamb didn't have a great outing last time up and we felt like we might need to use him in relief so we didn't DH him today. Instead we used Epps, who has been playing well lately, as our DH. He just comes on this time of the year."
"Dominic works hard, you can tell by his attitude. He's a tough kid and has a great attitude. He works extremely hard and is in great shape. I think we gave him a little bit of a positive incentive with some runs and he took the lead from there. He did a great job for us."
Freshman RHP Dominic Leone
On words of advice from coaches before game:
"Basically they just said stay within yourself and I really took that to heart. The past couple of starts have been mechanically off and I just realized I need to settle down and throw strikes and make these guys work behind me."
On not getting frustrated after going down 1-0:
"Like coach said, it has been a long season. We can never make anything easy. You just can't get down. You have to keep going out and battling and I knew if I got down we wouldn't have as good of a shot as we did. I just tried to stay as confident as possible and I knew that was just a one-time thing. I knew we would pick it up, start playing better defense, throw strikes and keep hitting."
On gaining confidence after going up a few run:
"Oh, definitely. Every time this team scores runs behind you, you know all you have to do is go out there and throw strikes. I felt incredibly confident going back out there. I knew it was my day, our day and we were going to keep putting runs on the board so I just had to keep them from scoring."
Freshman First Baseman Richie Schaffer
On adding runs throughout the game:
"As an offense we just had a great approach to the game today. We were squaring up on pitches we like and John Hinson got us started to put us up 2-1 and we kept going from there. We just had a great approach at the plate all day and never backed off."
Sophomore Third Baseman John Hinson
On ninth inning:
"It was full of drama. The ninth inning was tough. Going back to what Coach Leggett said, the whole season has been full of drama but we came together as a team and won. That's all that really counts."