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St. John’s Quotes

Head Coach Ed Blankmeyer
Opening Statement:
“After that first inning when the ball was carrying, I thought it was going to be a 17-16 game. I thought our guys had good swings on the ball early and that we had several opportunities during the course of the game to put them away, but we just didn’t do it. I thought Sean Hagan pitched very well and then Kevin (Kilpatrick) pitched extremely well but he backed off the accelerator late in the game. I don’t know whether the rain affected him or not, but he walked some batters and made it interesting toward the end. We survived though. We survived and now we advance so we’re looking forward to playing tomorrow.”

On Sean Hagan:
“Sean Hagan has been pitching really well. When you stretch him, he pitches 89-90 mph. He’s a mature freshman. He has gotten a lot of confidence lately. He pitched well against Boston College and North Carolina. He pitched against a very good Louisville team that couldn’t hit him for four innings. He has just been getting better. He moves the ball. He has a pretty good cutter and a bit of a change.”

On Matt Wessinger:
“If you throw a fastball, he’ll get you. He has good bat speed and I like him in that two-spot. The kid can hit and he’s only getting better.”

On avoiding elimination:
“We play tomorrow. I don’t care who it is because we’re alive and anything can happen in baseball. Virginia is a very good ballclub and we played Ole Miss last night but you have to play nine innings. One thing about baseball is that anything can happen.”

Sean Hagan
On the two homeruns he gave up in the first inning:
“The first homerun that I gave up, I thought it was a popup and I started walking off the field toward the third base side to back up because I thought it was an out. Then I thought that it was a freak thing but the ball started to carry and kept flying like that in the bottom half of the inning. I wouldn’t say that giving up those homeruns really rattled me that much. They just made me realize that I needed to keep the ball down and on the ground because any ball that was hit well in the air was going to get over the fence. From then on, they didn’t hit many fly balls so I wasn’t in that much trouble. They hit them hard but they were usually on the ground or line drives so it didn’t really rattle me too much.”

On VCU’s ninth inning rally:
“I have a lot of faith in our bullpen. Kevin Kilpatrick has been lights out this year. It looked like the ball was slipping out of his hand a little bit in the rain and he kind of backed off. Dan Burawa has also been lights out. He has been unhittable for the most part. He gave up two hits, one of them was right up the middle and the second was pretty hard, but for the most part, he came out there and threw 93-95 mph. There really wasn’t a thought in my mind that he was going to fail.”

Matt Wessinger
On his batting today:
“I just wanted to put a couple good swings on the ball and then I realized that the ball was carrying after that homerun in the first inning. I just wanted to make good contact and the ball just went. I didn’t want to try to hit for the homerun though because when you do that you start rolling over balls and not hitting them well. I just tried to stay up the middle and keep making good contact like I said.”

VCU Quotes

Head Coach Paul Keyes
Opening Statement:
“I thought it was a typical loser’s bracket game where we started out with the wind blowing and neither team was really making any pitches – some balls were getting up. The wind settled down – the pitchers settled down and turned out to be a pretty good game in the end. We sort of got them were we wanted them to be – got some guys on and had a guy up with the chance to win the game and couldn’t do it. The guys battled like this all year long – it’s a shame that it has to end, but it always does, but I think they can be really proud of how they played today.”

On VCU’s Joe Van Meter:
“He had a phenomenal year – I don’t think anyone in the country has had a second half like the one he has had – he is hitting close to .570 or .580 since about April. He has been a very solid player, works hard and gets what he deserves.”

On NCAA Regional experience:
“The idea is to get back to the regional as a higher seed. You come in as a No. 4 seed and you sort of play like a No. 4 seed – you play a really good team in Virginia and again today. We went with Blake [Hauser], who hadn’t thrown in a while, but he is going to be a guy for us. We tried to get three innings out of him and it was a shame – I thought the first home run was blown by the wind – I thought the second one was legit and the third one barely crept over. It’s good experience – you can talk about going to regionals and don’t go for another five years, or you can work on it. We have a lot of good, young players.”

VCU starting pitcher Blake Hauser
On adapting after giving up three home runs in the first inning:
“It was a little rough – I had my fastball up and they put good swings on it. I tried to work off my slider a little more after that – and pitch off that – and use my fastball off the slider.”

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