June 5, 2010
NCAA Regional - Vanderbilt at Louisville Louisville Assistant Coach Roger Williams:
Jim Patterson Stadium - Louisville, Ky.
Post Game Quotes
Louisville Assistant Coach Roger Williams:
"I thought it was a nice win for our club. Both teams fought hard. We played excellent defense, got great pitching on the mound. Obviously, Phil (Wunderlich) gave us a big blow in the first, and we were able to tack on some runs late. It puts us in a great position but we aren't done yet. There's obviously another game to win, so we have to stay focused and do that. Our crowd support was great."
(ON STARTING PITCHER Matt Koch): "His last several starts he has been aggressive ... command with his fastball has been better than it was earlier in the year and he handles himself well on the mound for a freshman. He stays focused and he is a tough kid, and, obviously, to go against a team as good as Vanderbilt and handle the atmosphere in this situation we're extremely proud of him."
(ON PITCHING NEAL HOLLAND THREE INNINGS): "He was prepared for that. I talked to him before the ballgame. He's had a nice long week of rest, which he needed. He's been a workhorse for us all year. So, he knew what my thinking was, if we needed to go to him in the seventh inning, then we were going to do that." (ON WINNING THE FIRST TWO): "Obviously, it puts you in a great position, but you have to win one more. Our pitching staff is in pretty good shape, but, at the same time, you have two other clubs (Illinois State and Vanderbilt) who are fighting for their lives. Nothing's going to come easy for us-we're going to have to be ready to meet that challenge."
University of Louisville Players
Third baseman Phil Wunderlich
Third baseman Phil Wunderlich
(On his first inning home run)"Sonny (Gray) is a good pitcher and most pitchers try to establish their fastball first time through the order. Coach Lemonis was preaching to us all day 'Be ready to hit, be ready to hit the fastball.' The guys in front of me did a great job of getting on base because like I said he (Gray) is a really good pitcher and just got a good pitch to hit and tried to put a good swing on it, got it up into the wind a little bit and it went out."
(On the home run pitch)"He made a decent pitch and it was probably on the outside corner I would say. I stand on the plate pretty good, so the outside corner doesn't look that far away I guess if that makes sense, but I think he made a pretty decent pitch. I was just fortunate enough to put a good swing on it."
(On if he thought it was going out)"I did, yeah. Usually when it's warm here the ball carries pretty well and I hit it pretty well, so I thought it was going to go out, but then I saw the center fielder running after it like he had a beat on it and I got a little nervous, but off the bat I thought I got it."
(On how big this win was)"Obviously it was big. To be 2-0 to start is huge because if you lose your back is against the wall and you're fighting for your life which is never easy. There isn't a lot of margin for error. Like Coach Williams said, it is important to stay focused because we were in this position last year. Vanderbilt came out and won two games on Sunday and beat us in the first championship game. They played hard and I'm sure they will tomorrow, whoever wins tomorrow is going to come out because they are playing for their season. Although it is huge to be 2-0, but you can't become content. You can't sit back and relax because whoever we play will be getting their best shot. I'm sure they are going to throw everything they got, but it is huge to be 2-0."
(On if a rivalry is starting)"I would say so. We always seem to play tight games with them, obviously earlier this season we played a 17 or 18 inning game with them and last year in the regional we played some tough games with them and go down to the wire with them in the last game. It's two quality teams with really good players and a couple of hours away from each other. So, I would say there is a rivalry starting with them."
Pitcher Matt Koch
(On going against Vanderbilt's ace pitcher) "I was very excited to have the opportunity and it makes me feel good to know that the coaches have the confidence in me to throw me in a game like this. I was just amped up and had a lot of adrenaline and was ready to go."
(On what was working for him) "I was mixing my fastball and slider. I got to thank Coach Williams for doing all the thinking and all the mental stuff. I didn't have to think much. He calls the pitches and I just throw it. Hopefully it goes where it needs to go."
(On the 14 groundouts) "I was hitting the corners. I had a sinker and fastball to keep them off balance with the slider, so hopefully they don't put a good swing on it and bounce it up the middle, hopefully get them to hit to a guy."
(On how much help it is when the offense scores runs early) "That's a huge help. That just gives you the opportunity to pump up on the zone and know that you don't have to make a perfect pitch and have a couple runs to work with, but you can just pump it in there and have your defense help you out."
(On how big the defense was) "Adam Duvall was amazing tonight, he helped me out a lot. In between innings, almost every inning I had to go up to him and thank him for how much he helped me throughout and all our defense has improved throughout the season and have always done a great job with me on the mound."
Pitcher Neil Holland
(On how he felt) "I felt fine. Like Coach Williams says, I had like a week off or something like that with elbow problems and things like that, but nothing big. So, Coach Williams came up to me about two hours before the game and kind of told me they may need me right after Matt (Koch) tonight, hoping Matt might go six or seven innings and I would do the rest. I was rested up and ready to go and we really needed this win, so I felt fine. Besides being a bit rusty from having about a week off, but after that I kind of zoned in, I was fine and felt good."
(On how impressive Matt (Koch) was) "Great. As a freshman, he has great pose out there and we have started to throw him more and more and put him in a starting role. So, that shows he has a lot of confidence in himself and we have a lot of confidence in him. We just know that he is going to pump it in the zone like Coach Williams likes and like he said he has that sinking fastball and will get a lot of groundballs and get our defense working like Adam Duvall did today. So, I have a lot of confidence in him and hoping that next time he throws he'll do just as good or better."
(On his availability for tomorrow) "I don't know. I will probably be on the shelf tomorrow, but it all depends. I'll sleep on it and I got some medicine. Coach Williams will ask me and we will go from there. I love to throw, it just depends on how my arm feels."
Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin
(Opening Statement) "I think it is pretty self-explanatory. You saw what happened. They had a freshman who went out there and pitched well, held us basically to three hits. We had one hit off of Holland, just the solo home run is what we came up with. You have to give credit to them, they pitched well, played good defense, and our guy did not pitch a shutout and we lost 7-1.
(on Matt Koch's performance) "That kid is pretty good. He did not look like a freshman to me. He hit his spots pretty well, he was away early and in late and he was tying up our hitters. A lot of those outs were easy outs, we did not put any pressure on him.
(On coming out of the loser's bracket, like last year) "We came out of the loser's bracket a little differently. We won the early game against Indiana which Sonny [Gray] pitched. It can be done, it is just a little more difficult road. We are going to have to play better from an offensive standpoint than we did today."
(on Sonny Gray) "I thought he did a real nice job. We had no momentum during the course of the game so we were pitching uphill the entire time. I thought he rebounded well after the first inning and contained them. It is a very potent offensive team, they have been around for awhile, they carry themselves well. Everyone in their lineup thinks they are going to hit. It is a tough lineup to contain.
(On Illinois State) "We have seen a lot of their pitchers. They can hit too. They have a pretty good left-handed lineup that is going to present a challenge tomorrow. We have seen enough of them to understand what they can do and what they cannot do.
(on fatigue) "No fatigue. We just did not swing it that well. We were rested, we came in feeling good. The pitcher just pitched a good game.
(On whether Jack Armstrong will pitch) "Yes. You cannot hold back anything.."
Vanderbilt University Player Quotes
RHP Sonny Gray
RHP Sonny Gray
(On the first inning homerun): "I tried to get a fastball in there and he jumped on it first pitch. I walked a guy with two outs and the next batter hits a homerun. That's how it went today."
(On if it was surprising that they struggled today: "You never expect to struggle. I thought we'd come out and play a little better, but as coach said, that kid (Louisville's Matt Koch) did a good job and that's how the game turned out."
(On retiring 14 out of 16): "I was trying to get my changeup for strikes. I think their game plan was swing early and get the fastball early. So I started to throw changeups for strikes and getting them to roll over and getting them to ground out. I think in the eighth inning I left it up two or three times and give them credit they didn't miss it."
INF Jason Esposito
(On if it was surprising that they struggled today:) "I don't think it's from a lack of effort. Tip your hat to the pitcher. He did well. I thought we put good swings on the ball, but didn't make solid contact."
(On the mentality of winning three straight games to advance) "Same mentality as before. Looks to get guys on base, look to score them, and look to play defense behind our pitcher."
(On Esposito's homerun and using it as a spark) "Any time you can get some momentum in our favor, you hope to spark the offense in some way. It just didn't happen for us."