Q: Augie needs two more wins to become the game's all-time winningest coach. How nice would it be to make him wait one more season?
"I'm not really looking at that side of it. I'm looking at it from the side of our guys."
Q: When your team wins the way they did over the weekend, what are some of the benefits of that?
"I think what this weekend proved, that sometimes super-regionals don't prove, is the depth of a pitching staff. And I'm speaking of starters. We played five. The most you're going to play in a super is three. You don't have to have two (more) starting pitchers. You've got to continue to get good pitching, but you still don't stretch your staff. Three out of five, as they have in the playoffs in the major leagues – that's a way of stretching your staff. Two out of three? Two out of three is tough. It's tough on every team. It boils down, many times, as to who has the top two starters, or the top three starters."
Q: Isn't it a case where if you have one hot guy one day, it makes it much easier?
"Well, you'd better be hot twice (laughs). Hot once doesn't get it done. Not when you're playing the caliber of teams that are in this thing."
Q: Was there a point in the season where you realized that this team could be a really great one?
"Stanford (the early-season series) was a big part of my feeling. This ballclub – just from day one, did not let anything bother it. Go back and look at our season. There are a lot of things that did not exactly go right. I saw this club had the intangibles that every coach looks for, just a few games into the season. The way we overcame some tough situations."
Q: With the injuries to key guys – Marc LaMacchia, Eddy Martinez-Esteve – do you look back in amazement that you've been this successful?
"No, because I think it's made us better. It's proved that we can win without certain people. Losing Marc LaMacchia was very difficult, but yet it wasn't insurmountable. Losing Eddy for 18 games down the stretch was not insurmountable. Look what it did for other guys who got opportunities."
Q: Of course, the guy who replaced LaMacchia (Daniel Davidson) went 10-0, after you went into the season expecting him to be a middle reliever.
"I wasn't even that impressed last year with Daniel Davidson. This year, obviously, he's really been a bulldog."
Speaking of Eddy, how will you handle him this weekend?
"If Eddy Martinez-Esteve cannot run any better than he ran in the regional, he will be used as a pinch-hitter. He's not going to hit a ball down the line, where it takes 10 seconds for the right fielder to get it and throw it to the second baseman, and he can't get to second. I can tell you now, that's not going to work. You can't do that. It changes the whole complexion of the game. He couldn't go from first to home on a ball that was hit in the gap. And that would have been a routine (play)."
Q: You said the other day that you love this team. What is it about this group?
"I love a team that never looks for an excuse, that plays their heart out, that depends on their teammates, that are accountable to their teammates. That's what this is all about. That's why we're here. We would not be here had our guys felt sorry for themselves, had our guys looked at excuses. It's just astounding – I'm blessed to have guys around me like this. I've had clubs that outwardly acted like they were all looking at one goal. You can just look in these guys' eyes. I'd come in the clubhouse before a game and say (to myself), ‘I've got a feeling – I don't know about today.' I've never gone in the clubhouse (this season) with any feeling except that this bunch is always ready to go play. No intimidation, no matter what. No matter who we've got on the field – meaning not the opposition, but us – our guys are excited to play. We don't concern ourselves with them. It's us. We've got to get it done."