June 3, 2011
Troy Head Coach Bobby Pierce
"Today's game was much like the way we have played the entire season. As a coach, you hope your team plays the way that got them here and I was real pleased to see us come in and do that. That's kind of what we have seen all year.
"Tyler (Ray) pitched his normal game, threw strikes and is still undefeated. We also defended behind him with some nice plays and we had some big innings with everybody contributing. We pitched well and defended well, that's been our keys to success all year.
"We have been in a lot of tough series this season where I thought the nerves might show up and they never have. And they didn't show up today either.
"We'll probably go with our freshman (Jimmy Hopkins). He's a big, strong durable lefthander that will come at you. Control is sometimes an issue, just like with most young power pitchers. He's our next best guy because we lost our No. 2 guy early in the season. He has continued to get better, but it will certainly be a challenge for him. Hopefully, Jimmy can give us at least five quality innings."
Would you bring Tyler Ray back to pitch in this series?
"I did it once last year. I know he can do it. I wouldn't like for to have him to do it, but it will be hard to keep the ball out of his hand."
Talk about Tyler Hannah (who produced key three-run triple to seal the win).
"Tyler has done such a great job all year, a guy that has done a lot of damage throughout this season. It was no surprise that he delivered because he has done so all year."
How important was winning the NCAA regional opener?
"For us, having lost our two-hole (pitcher), it is extremely important. We just don't have the starting pitching depth to go deep (through the loser's bracket). I felt like we really needed to get off to a good start.
"We expected to face their lefty, but we were prepared for anything we might see. We were able to capitalize when we got the opportunities and win the game."
Talk about the heat
"Oh man, it was hot out there and I'm usually the first guy that cramps up. We are just happy to get the win and have the night game tomorrow."
"I'm one of those guys that doesn't always start strong. That's kind of the way I am. I'll get off to a tough start, but I'll settle down, take a deep breath and get more effective."
Would you come back and pitch later if needed?
"I can come back Monday for sure. I couldn't live with myself if I wouldn't do that and we had a chance to win and move on."
Oklahoma State Head Coach Frank Anderson
“I think the tale of the game actually was (Troy pitcher) Tyler Ray. I’ve been coaching along time and he’s the epitome of what a really good college pitcher is. You separate his pitches and they’re ok, but when you put in the fact that he didn’t walk people, he threw strikes, he can throw any pitch that he wants to at anytime for strikes and competes. He gives them a chance and we had to work for everything that we got. On the other hand, we put some unforced runners on and got behind in the count and hit some balls. Out defense got a little lax behind them and they’re not ready to make some plays. They turned that game around in a hurry.”
On the decision to go with Hunter as the starting pitcher…
“Mike had been a little bit tender, and Hunter had thrown in relief at the conference tournament last Wednesday and he threw pretty well. I thought he threw pretty well today. I knew that at some point he was going to hit a wall because he hadn’t been out there for huge extended amounts of time, but we liked the match-up. They had quite a few right-handed hitters in the top of their lineup. I thought he got us deep enough in the game. We’ve had to win with our bullpen late. I thought Hunter did a good enough job. He matched up for five or six innings and gave us a chance.”
On the mentality of the team…
“The players are much more resilient than the coaches are. They’ll get ready to play tomorrow. It still comes down to you’ve got to pitch. If we go out there and we get a good-pitched game tomorrow, then we have a chance to stay around a little while. The players are about as resilient as their next at-bat or next ground ball. Coaches will go back and beat themselves up over this thing. Good pitching will go out and give you some courage and we’ll take what happens tomorrow.
On playing against Tyler Ray in the Cape League last summer…
“He’s exactly like I remembered. Last summer he was an All-Star in the Cape and he was an All-Star not because he struck people out but because he just got ground balls and fly balls. He didn’t over power anybody then and he doesn’t over power them now, but he’s a really good pitcher. He gets a lot of outs.”
On playing in the heat…
“I don’t think it was an issue. We’re from Oklahoma, so we’re kind of used to it. I definitely wouldn’t say heat was an excuse at all. We came out and got ahead early. We put some good swings on some good balls. Hunter got in a little bit of trouble and we didn’t really pick him up as an offense as we should have. I wouldn’t say heat was really a factor at all.”