On errors by Cody Overbeck and Tim Ferguson that led to unearned runs
It would have been disappointing to lose (because of the errors). It seemed to always stay a one-run game and our guys kept competing. It was a game of answers. Disappointed that we squandered the leads but proud of the pitchers for not hanging their heads. They could have let some of the innings get out of hand. Certainly offensively we kept battling.
On the team playing with more confidence
I think you can see it. We are playing differently. We have been saying from game one how talented we are, but there have been so many games, too many games, where we haven't played like that. Baseball is a game where you don't out-man people. That is why people love baseball. It is a different game, a team game where anyone can be the guy on a different night.
On the bullpen
Tremendous, nobody will talk much about what (Brett) Bukvich did. (Drew) Pomeranz competed well and was a pitch away from not giving up the three-run inning, but they get two-strike hits and two-out hits. That is why they are a very good club. Bukvich was tremendous, and Jake (Morgan) is probably the most underrated guy in our league. His ERA over the last month is almost perfect.
On Matt Smith's four-RBI night
He had the big early hit up the middle early, and we need those guys. Cody (Overbeck) is swinging it well, and it has kind of been cool. Michael Guerrero has been out for a while, and right now, him and Matt are just swinging it. Matt has been huge.
On getting Friday off for the third consecutive year
The day off is big. It will past 2 a.m. getting to bed, and the rest is needed and well deserved. The other thing is not playing a game. You run your No. 3 pitcher out there instead of four, and the bullpen gets more rest. Bittle gets another day of rest. We know from last year that it doesn't guarantee a win, but it is a better spot to be in.
On Scott Bittle warming up late in Thursday's game
That is why you love Scott Bittle. There is no way he was supposed to pitch tonight. He was in turf shoes, didn't have his spikes on, wasn't going to pitch, and then when we took the lead after Matt's home run, he asked (Carl) Lafferty if he could go down and throw and see how he felt.
Who am I from keeping Scott Bittle from throwing? So, I said ok, but I told him not to do anything dumb. He had to really reel like he could do it. We don't want to hurt him and need him later in this tournament and next week in the regional. He started to get loose, but they scored to quick. He would have never went in unless it was with the lead for one inning. Once they tied it, he sat down, and that was the end of it.
On increased confidence
We are playing with a lot more energy and a lot more passion. I'm not more relaxed, but we are finding ourselves. Coaches have been behind us through all the ups and downs. It is nothing confidence, and we believe we are going to continue to win.
You could tell in the first inning Wednesday that we are here to play. That 11-inning game at Kentucky may have been the game that did it. From here on out, that is how we are going to play.
On believing the offense would answer
I know our team is strong in the late innings, so it was all about minimizing the UK scoring. I have got two wins from walkoffs, so I have to one day do for them what they have done for me.
On pitchers other than Bittle succeeding out of the bullpen
It is going to be very critical. You play a lot of games, and you use up a lot of pitchers.
On his emotions following the Guerrero home run
It is unbelievable, and this is where I wanted to be. Just took it all in. It was amazing. You can't get any more excited. I was shocked and awestruck.
In Their Own Words
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