Baseball
Postgame Quotes - Game Two vs. UL

June 9, 2013

Recap |  Box Score |  Howell's Photos 

Vanderbilt Head Coach Tim Corbin

Opening Statement
"I want to congratulate Louisville, I think you have to. They did what no other team has done to Vanderbilt all year, which was come in and beat them twice. That's a tall task for a team, especially with the gang we've assembled. I thought they pitched very well. I think they just held us down. Today's game was labor intensive. It was tough, it was a grind. Those first five innings seemed like we were uphill and couldn't really gain any rhythm, but Carson really got it together and kept us in the game. Certainly holding the team down to two runs, you would think you have an opportunity to win. They were more effective from a pitching standpoint. To stop our hitters, you have to do something special because our hitters are very good, but they did. We played some great defense, had some clutch double plays that kept us in the game. We just couldn't get the hit when we needed it, so congratulations. It's unfortunate that maybe the most unselfish baseball player that I've ever been around finished at the plate. That's a tough one to watch because that kid's different. I probably won't coach too many more like him. I would've loved to have seen that go in his direction. He deserved better than that, and it just didn't work out. I feel for the group, I feel for the kids. They had one heck of a year, and I won't be able to sum it up right now."

On his memories of this season...
"It was very successful. What I'll remember about the team was the seniors, because Mike Yastrzemski didn't have to come back to school, Connor Harrell didn't have to come back to school. Male athletes today just aren't wired like that. Those guys are different. They're humble, they're accepting of young people. Leadership qualities for them come naturally. The locker room, the environment was very good to be in as a coach. It was like your kids were doing the rights things. They were getting home on time, getting their homework done. I didn't have to worry about them off the field. I didn't have to worry about them going to class. They just policed themselves very well, and they took a lot of pride in serving one another. As I said, that's tough for male athletes to do."

Vanderbilt designated hitter Zander Wiel

On missed opportunities...
"You want to get the hits, definitely, but we have to give credit to Thompson and the rest of pitchers. He was BIG EAST pitcher of the year, definitely a quality arm. It's tough to hit against him. We definitely wanted more hits and opportunities, guys on base, and when we had those, we just struggled to get that one big hit."

On this year's team...
"This group was special, definitely, just because of the unity that we all had. All the older guys were just so accepting of me, the younger guys, the freshmen who came in, and we all just really grew together and we bonded. It's definitely tough to see some of these guys go. It's going to be tough to part with them"

Vanderbilt second baseman Tony Kemp

On the result...
"They shut us down. We were just one click away, one hit away, finding one hole, one little dribbler through the hole, and we just didn't get it. We've been getting those big hits all year, and Thompson did a good job elevating the ball and his curveball was very effective today. He had a lot of K's with it. Just missed opportunities."

On the end of his collegiate career...
"Can I believe it's over? No, just because these guys mean the world to me. We've been through so much together. All good things must come to an end sometime. I guess you just chalk it up like that."




Louisville Head Coach Dan McDonnell

Opening Statement
"Those who know me know how much respect I have for Vanderbilt, Tim Corbin, the coaching staff and their players. I think this is three times in the last five years we've had to battle and hopefully the NCAA will split us up one day where we both can go to Omaha. They had an unbelievable year and it's a shame that only one of us can advance."

On bringing in Cody Ege in the ninth...
"You have to go with your gut and you have to go with what you believe in. You look at matchups and I trust Coach (Rogers) Williams. He deserves the credit. (Tony) Kemp just didn't look like a good matchup for (Nick) Burdi. He just looks like he's going to put the ball in play every time. I felt like he was going to flick one over third or flick one into left and obviously Rog (Williams) did too. He was convinced we should go with Ege and I just agreed with him."

On getting back to the College World Series...
"I think in 2007 when we went, we caught people off guard, even our fan base. I guess it's a little disappointing LSU made it yesterday because I'm afraid their fan base is going to take up all the hotels in Omaha, but I've been saying it since our leadoff banquet in January, we're going to represent. Our fans are going to represent and I think we're going to give LSU a run for their money there in fan support."

Louisville pitcher Jeff Thompson

On his success today...
"I felt good the whole time. I was trying to get Coach (Roger) Williams to let me keep going and I think it was all adrenaline. I was really all around the zone the whole game, but later in the game they started swinging at some pitches to help me out. I was 3-2 (counts) way too much and that's why my pitch count was so high, but we ended up getting the win."

On what this means to the team...
"This is huge for us. We came in as freshmen and Coach (McDonnell) always says he threw us into the fire, but after that we responded pretty well the next season by getting out to Arizona. We ran into a great team there, but it's finally happening for us. We get to go to Omaha."

Louisville left fielder Coco Johnson

On the emotions during the game...
"Going into the game I was like, we're one win away from going to Omaha. It hasn't really sunk in yet. I'm excited, but later tonight when I'm sleeping in bed it will hit me. I'll be 10 times happier than I am right now, but it's huge for the team. This is what we talked about from day one that I stepped on campus, so it's exciting."

On the pitching staff...
"Our pitchers have been doing the job all year. The pitchers and the hitters get in arguments every now and then at practice about little things, but they make us comfortable to hit when they are shutting teams down. They make it easier for us."

 

 

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