Head Coach Chad Holbrook Opening Statement… What a difference six days makes I guess. I’m proud of our players they picked themselves up off the mat, that’s what we talked about all week. We beat a really good team. Each game could have gone either way and this weekend we got the breaks. Last weekend, maybe, we didn’t but we got them this weekend. This league has a way of, Coach Tanner used to say this all the time, “This league can give and this league takes away.” And you have to try and keep an even keel, as you go through these 30 wars, of what is SEC baseball. Our kids didn’t get too down after the week last weekend and I think they played, for the most part pretty solid baseball. We could have done some things better but 3 wins against a top 15 team in SEC play is an awful lot to be proud of. We’ll take it and move forward and get ready to play Tuesday.
On hesitation to pitch Adam Westmoreland… Adam wanted to pitch yesterday. His arm bounces back; I didn’t want to pitch Tyler (Webb) today. But Adam (Westmoreland) wanted to pitch yesterday, he said his arm felt better today then it did on Thursday. When guys feel good, and guys come back to school for their senior year and this might be his last hoorah playing baseball, and as long as it doesn’t put the kid into danger, we’ll pitch him. If he’s healthy and ready to go, he feels good. Tyler (Webb) again said today that he felt good. I went into the game saying and my min was saying I’m not going to pitch Tyler, but we’re getting close to a big win and he wants the ball, he’s one of our guys. And why our program has had tremendous success, we’ll give him the ball.
On LB Dantzler as a power guy…. He’s a pull-hitter. He’s obviously been the threat in the middle of our lineup that we need. He’s given us some good at bats, I still get on him about his strikeouts but I think that has gotten better, I don’t think he’s struck out that much, he’s just that gifted of a hitter. We wanted to be aggressive. This park is made for left-handers with some pop; the wind usually pushes the ball. With that being said, those were some big swings. He’s having a big time year for us. Obviously, we wouldn’t be 22-6 without his productivity in the middle of our line-up.
On Westmoreland being too valuable to be a weekend spot… No. He’s too valuable, don’t get me wrong, but would we hesitate starting him? No. He’s been so good. That’s one of the things I’m most proud of this year, is the performance of Adam (Westmoreland). He’s deserved something good to happen to him this year after all he’s been through. Boy, he’s been special. I have no, Coach Myers and I may argue on that, but I have no problem starting Adam (Westmoreland) in a game. With that being said, he helped us win 2 games this weekend, and if he starts he only helps win one. So, we’ll have to keep that in the thoughts as well. When Jordan (Montgomery) comes back we have a lot more options.
Any doubt after last weekend… You just try to win each series. You go in with the thought process, in this league, not with a sweep in mind because it rarely happens; you just try to win the series. If you win the first two days, then you try and pump your guys up saying, ‘hey this isn’t enough; we have to get another one.’ The opportunities, you get 30 opportunities. I try and get our guys to look at it as 30 SEC games. This, today, was just as important as Thursday and Friday, and it’s going to be just as important as next Friday. When a games being played, you’re going to try and go out and win it. And trying to win out next game is kind of our motto around here. In the thought process, you’re never dissatisfied winning 2 games in a weekend in this league, it’s just too hard. This team last weekend beat Ole Miss at Ole Miss. These teams are very evenly matched. You have to will yourself to win each game. Coach Tanner always said, and our guys believe this, “You only go away if you choose to do so.” In other words, you have to have the strongest will to win in this league and if you do, you can keep your head above water and honestly that’s what you try to do in this league. You just try and stay on the positive side end of the .500 record. When you have the opportunity to sweep a series like this, boy you have to try to do it. We had a great crowd today and great weather and a great performance by LB and it was enough. We got a little luck on that sun ball, too.
LB Dantzler On the pressure… I wouldn’t say I was feeling any pressure; I just wanted to put a swing on it. I knew they were putting a really good guy out there, he threw a 0-0 fastball and I just put a pretty good swing on it, neither time I was trying to hit home run, it just kind of happened.
Putting the bat on the ball... I think mainly just confidence; last year, I kind of started out a little slow and I let that compound a bit. I kept telling myself I needed to do more and before you know it you start to look at your average and you’re hitting .230 and you think you have to hit a 10 run homerun, which you can’t do. So this year I was 4-20 going into this week but I didn’t let it bother me, and you just take it one game at a time.
On the pitching staff… It’s awesome. I cannot say enough about our pitching staff. It’s no secret, there has been no surplus of runs, we haven’t been scoring too much. Without them, we don’t win. Hats off to them, and hopefully we’ll start swinging at it a little better and start winning by more then just one or two runs.
Adam Westmoreland On is new role… I enjoy it. I enjoy the opportunities I get and try and go out and make the most of them. In the past, I’ve started some and spot-started some last year and been trying to work out of the pen but it feels a lot better this year than it has in the past. I’m a lot more comfortable.
On he felt out there… Felt good, felt actually really good, considering I threw 58 pitches on Thursday. We do a lot of cardio in-between to get ready and to stay on top of things but I felt good, felt good the whole time I was out there. I was just trying to keep us in and get us to Webb.
On worried about overuse… Honestly, I’m trying not to think about it too much, just try and go out and make the most out of every opportunity. I’m a bigger guy so as long as I stay on top of cardio and stuff and stay somewhat in season shape and get my throwing in I’ll be okay. I don’t really feel that I’ll wear down any.
On Biggest differences this year… Throwing more strikes and trying to stay ahead of hitters, and going out there and turning it loose and not holding anything back, not that I have in the past. Just coming off surgery and everything, you’re kind of still hesitant no matter how much you go through. I mean, there’s guys that go a long time with the same issue and finally just get over it and when you finally do everything just seems to click and you just go from there.
On his confidence… I guess because everything just feels good, so going out there just trying to throw strikes. I mean, we’re facing some tough hitters and when you get those out it kind of help you, kind of helps you a lot. Starting from the bottom, and getting to where we are now, just trying to keep throwing strikes
Connor Bright On getting the sweep… Its huge, obviously last week was not exactly what we wanted so we want to come out and play the game we knew we could play and I think we did.
On getting into a rhythm… Getting more chances is always a good thing. I feel like I’m seeing the ball well. My first two bats weren’t pretty, and I told myself go up there and get aggressive early in the count and I did the last to, and it worked out.