On the after first inning... I felt fine; I just went 2-2 with on the leadoff guy. I tried to go in, and our scouting reports said he was a slap guy and I elevated the pitch a little bit. He hit it and got out. I think in my younger days, I would have let that fluster me, but I was able to forget about it, and just try to stay focused and make quality pitches.
On his off-speed stuff... It was working with certain hitters in different counts, so I was able to mix my pitches. It's a guessing game out there, and I was fortunate enough to throw some good pitches, when they were sitting on something else. It's just one of those things that just happens there's no rhyme or reason.
On the reception the fans gave him coming off the mound in his final regular season start at South Carolina... Our fans are great. They give us a lot of support and they come out all the time, and support us. I'm not the emotional type, but if I was, I might be more emotional.
On the way the team swung the bat tonight... LB's carried us all year, some guys have pitched in now and then, but he's been our rock. It was really good to see everyone spraying the ball around the field and barreling a lot of balls up. There weren't many weak outs tonight; even our outs were on good swings. It was very encouraging to see from 1 through 9, us put together a whole night of good swings and fortunately we were able to get a win.
On catching for Nolan Belcher... I've been spoiled the past couple years, coming in as a freshman I was able to catch for guys like Roth and Belcher, who have big league-type stuff. They go out there every night and battle. Belcher jokes around that if he were six feet tall, they wouldn't let him play this game, because it'd be unfair. It's fun catching guys like that. He doesn't make me do much work back there and I don't have to drop and block much, unless he wants me to. He's a soldier out there and it's really fun catching for him.
Opening statement... It was a big win for our team, it was our 14th win in the league, 35th overall. I though we played a very clean game. I think the story of the game, and rightfully so, was Nolan Belcher. As a coach, we coach for a lot of reasons, but one of the reasons is to be around kids like him. As a coach, I know what that kid has been through for the past five years, and its really nice to see all the hard work pay off. He's from Georgia, and him pitching against Georgia means a lot to that kid. With this being his last regular season start here at South Carolina, it's a special moment for Nolan (Belcher) and his coach. I'm glad I got to witness that. I've said it before, but he's what our program is all about. Westy (Adam Westmoreland) was good as well, and so was Tyler (Webb) in his first outing in two weeks. It's good to get the first one this weekend and hopefully we'll be ready to go tomorrow.
On the way the team hit tonight... We did some nice things. In the first inning we got two runs after the first two guys got out. Joey (Pankake) hit a single up the middle and LB (Dantzler) got an RBI double. We pushed across two runs after two outs and no one on. That was good to see and we had some nice at bats. Through the first five innings I thought we were lighting them in pretty good, fouled a lot of balls off, and (Sean) McLaughlin's pitch count got up. When you foul off a lot of balls with a kid that has a fastball like he does, it's a clear indication that our hitters are locked in pretty good and we were. We came out of the gates ready to go with some energy and we played very well. Grayson (Greiner) got a big hit in the gap, and he got a big hit down the line in the third, which got us going. It was a complete game for us. No errors, we pitched very well. We did some nice things, so it was a complete game for us.
On Nolan Belcher... His freshman year, he had an incredible outing at home against Arkansas, I think he pitched almost a complete game at Ole Miss, and then he started wearing down. Towards the end of his freshman year was probably the onset of his elbow issue. He's a tough kid and he tried to play through it, and then he starting breaking down. He had an elbow issue, shoulder issue, and he broke his foot. After all of that, this year is what I'll remember most about Nolan (Belcher). This is why he was recruited by South Carolina, to be a weekend starter, and pitch in games like this. He beat Georgia his freshman year in a big weekend series, in the last SEC series of the year. It's nice to see him pitch so well against those guys again today. He's been incredible for us. He's 7-5, but boy he could easily be 9-3 or 10-2. He's a joy to have around, and he's even be a joy to be around if he wasn't pitching. I'm lucky to be his coach.