April 25, 2014
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Head Coach Chad Holbrook
It was a really big win for our team. We beat a really good Alabama team and it was just our night. The ball down the line there that Gene [Cone] hit for the triple was the play of the game for us offensively. Jordan [Montgomery] kept a really good hitting team at bay. We had our hands full with [Spencer] Turnbull; he was 93 to 96 miles per hour the whole game. We battled and competed against him and he walked six and that allowed us to score a couple of runs and the error in the first to get us two runs helped us as well. We did some really good things. I was disappointed in how we played in the ninth inning with that fly ball communication error. That is a pet peeve of mine. We didn’t execute that part of it and it’s frustrating because we practice that more than we do hitting. Maybe we’ll be a little bit better at that tomorrow. All in all, Grayson [Greiner] got three hits, the middle of our lineup, [Joey] Pankake and [Kyle] Martin didn’t scratch, but we found a way to win. Gene Cone continues to play impressive baseball, getting on base every time. All in all, it’s a good win for our team. We beat a really good team and we have a short turnaround and we’ll try to come back and win the series tomorrow. We’ll have our hands full with that team, though. They are a scary bunch, especially offensively and those guys in the middle, it’s fun to watch them play.
On Gene Cone’s triple
I felt it was a big opportunity [for Gene] with the bases loaded. [Spencer] Turnbull is very difficult on rightys. Going into the game tonight, he had given up twelve hits against right-handed hitters all year and they were hitting under .100. Leftys were hitting about .280, so they had a better shot. I felt like it was a good opportunity, not that I felt like Gene was going to hit a triple. It was just an opportunity in the game for us to make a play and he made it.
On Tanner English’s solid outing
Tanner [English] is a streaky little cat. He starts feeling good about himself and his hits come in bunches. He faced [Spencer] Turnbull in the Cape Cod League, I believe, so he’s had some experience against him. He got some good pitches to hit. We’re a different team offensively when Tanner is on base. I wish he would walk a little bit more and develop a little bit more of a plate approach, as far as being on base more often. When he’s on base he wreaks havoc. I know he didn’t have a stolen base tonight, but he puts pressure on people. It was big for our team that he had a night like that tonight. I was disappointed with him in the ninth inning for not catching those fly balls, but he’s as good a defender in center field that I’ve ever coached and I mean that. I include Jackie [Bradley Jr.] and Evan [Marzilli]. He [Tanner] is as good as it gets. He’s just got to catch those balls out there in center field in the ninth inning.
Freshman Left Fielder Gene Cone
On his triple with bases loaded
It just looked like he [the Alabama right fielder] hit the ball on the way down. It looked fair to me, but its tough to judge where it was going to hit.
On Coach Chad Holbrook’s confidence in him
It feels nice having coach [Holbrook] think I can do it out there.
Junior Pitcher Jordan Montgomery
On what was working for him tonight
I was just trying to get ahead of the batters, first of all. Then, when I got them in the pitchers count, I threw my change-up out there and tried to keep them on their back foot.
On getting the first win of the series
That was definitely a great team win [tonight]. The hitters were really seeing the ball well and our pitching staff has been [performing well]. We finally put together a good game, so we’ll see if we can do it again tomorrow.
On pitching with the lead giving him more confidence
For some reason, I always give out runs in the first inning and I should probably work on that. It’s always good knowing you’re either tied or have a lead. Pitching when you are down definitely is more pressure. Knowing that the team would be hitting the ball and putting some runs up was crucial.
Junior Catcher Grayson Greiner
On opening the series with a win
It’s definitely going to build our confidence a bit. They came out in the first inning swinging the bats well. It was kind of like, ‘oh [darn] here’s another good SEC team.’ We responded with two runs in the first and I felt we had a great approach against one of the most premier pitchers in the league and in the country. He [Spencer Turnbull] has electric stuff and I thought we had a very good approach against him all night. We had short swings and just tried to make something happen. Gene [Cone] had a great hit against him and from that point on we just trusted Jordan [Montgomery] to play good defense. Even when runners got on base, Jordan did was he does and made big pitches. It was awesome to get a win on Friday night against one of the best teams in the league.
On Gene Cone’s triple
For Gene [Cone] to be able to do that [get a big hit], especially as a true freshman just says what type of player that he is. Gene is going to be a stud. He is already a great player, but he is going to be a stud. He works really hard and makes a lot of contact and has quality at bats. I think he had three walks tonight and he works pitchers and plays great defense. That was a big hit and he’s been getting big hits for us, going back to the Auburn series. He has found a home in our outfield because he makes all the plays that we need him to and he gives quality at bats every time. That was a great hit with the bases loaded, a big pressure-packed situation against a top pitcher and he was able to get us three runs.