"It's Not Over Until It's Over"

Ray Tanner is famous for his "take one game at a time" approach, and even after a disastrous meltdown like the first game of the 2007 Super Regionals, his players are buying into it. Read inside about the team's mental status and preparation as Tanner and his Gamecocks shove aside criticism and questions about pitching concerns and focus on battling back on the road to Omaha.

Reese Havens is one of the most highly regarded shortstops in college baseball, and despite having one of his worst games in a Gamecock uniform, he reflected Tanner's resilient mindset in the Game 1 post-game press conference as he said, "It's only one game, there's two more to play, so we focus on the next one. Georgia came back and won two against us last year. We had a big Friday (in Athens). It's not over until it's over. Super Regionals, everybody's two games away from Omaha when they come into it. It's competitive, and guys want it basically it comes down to who wants it the most and we'll see after three games what's going to happen."

Havens was frank in assessing fault for the loss, in which Carolina blew a 6-0 lead and allowed UNC 9 two-out runs: "It was pretty much four runs on me tonight. I didn't make two plays tonight that I always make, and it was just bad. I'm going to flush it and come back tomorrow and be ready to play. "

Unhappy Carolina fans focused their disappointment on the struggles of the USC bullpen. South Carolina Head Coach Ray Tanner said, "Certainly (we're a) little disappointed in our bullpen tonight. We failed to make a couple plays defensively, and when you combine that with an outstanding hitting team that they have here, you're going to get yourself in trouble. Certainly would have liked to pitch better in certain situations, but credit them with coming up with a big hit when they needed to."

Havens sought to take the blame off of the pitching staff, "I thought pitching we did fine, we did more than fine actually. We pitched well, we hit well, and I didn't make two plays tonight, and that's what it came down to. Momentum's definitely a big thing in baseball. Hittings contagious. When you give extra outs to a team, it makes it even more contagious."

Starting pitcher Harris Honeycutt who had a strong game starting against the Tarheels, was quick to come to the defense of his teammates, "I can't say anything negative about my bullpen or defense, they've been behind me all year." he said. "Now's not the time to start getting down on anybody."

Tanner had praise for his starting pitcher: "Honeycutt did a great job battling for us early, and Grinestaff's grand slam was huge." Though the mood in the post-game press room was dark and somber as Tanner and his players filed in and began speaking, as Tanner spoke about Saturday's game you could see him begin to move on and begin making mental preparations for the next day. Speaking of Saturday's starter, Arik Hempy, Tanner said, "He's a big game pitcher - right man, right spot. He'll have to be at his best, they have an excellent team. You've got to send a guy like Hempy tomorrow, and he's got to be really, really sharp. We feel confident running him out there."

Businesslike in his approach to the night's negatives and focusing on the positives of the night, Tanner had praise for one other key component at the Super Regionals: "I was delighted to see and to hear our people. Early on, getting into it. They (UNC fans) outnumbered us, but we had some great fans that were trying to even things up. That was encouraging."

Baseball is a funny game, different in it's ebb and flow than any other sport. USC second baseman Travis Jones, who has been a key part of the Gamecock's success this year said, "You're going to have your ups and downs. You know, its baseball. Sometimes you're good, sometimes you're not." Jones wasn't worried about the psyche of his team, saying, "Hey - it's the most important time of the year, you're working to make it to the national championship." Tanner added, "That's the way the game is, you're up six to nothing and it'll get you. Disappointed we lost, credit the Tarheels with a great comeback, we'll try to get even tomorrow."

Play resumes at Boschamer stadium in Chapel Hill at 7 p.m. tonight, with the game to be broadcast nationally on ESPN.

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