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Virginia Head Coach Brian O’Connor
Opening statement:

“I would first like to welcome everyone to Charlottesville. The University of Virginia is honored to be a host site for this year’s tournament. We have three outstanding teams joining us and all have earned the right to be here. I believe that the fans that attend our regional are going to see great baseball. Our team is very excited about playing. We were fortunate to have a very successful week at the ACC Tournament. We are excited to get started in postseason play.”

On his pitching staff:
“If you are going to point to anything with our club that has put us in the position we are in right now, it would be the consistency of our pitching. It has been there for us all year long. Even when we lost all three games at North Carolina in the last weekend of the regular season, we pitched very well down there and lost two one-run games that were low-scoring. They have been right there for us all year long, both our starting pitching and relieving. That being said, this is a new season. They draw confidence from what they’ve accomplished all year long, but this is a whole new deal. Hopefully we can continue to pitch like we have all year long.”

About Navy:
“We have played Navy a handful of times in my eight years here. I know the character, the toughness and the qualities for someone to play at a service academy. I promise you the players on Navy’s club are what you aspire your children to be like. They have a lot of pride, they are tough and they are competitors. They are winners. They won the regular season in their conference and they won their conference tournament. They have earned the right to be here. Looking at it statistically, it looks like they have a well-balanced offensive club. They run the bases. I did read that they set their school record for strikeouts in a year. If you do that, it is impressive. There is no question that we will need to continue to play as well as we have been.”

On hosting:
“We are honored to be a host site again. We have been fortunate to host five of the last eight years. You earn that right by what you have done during the entire season. That being said, that doesn’t guarantee us anything. We have played four previous regionals here and we have only advanced out of one of them. There is no guarantee that because you host that you have a major advantage. It is still baseball. I think it is a nice tribute for our fans. Our fans have continued to come out and support us and set record crowds. This will be a great opportunity for them to see postseason baseball here in Charlottesville.”

Navy Head Coach Paul Kostacopoulos
Opening statement:
“For us, this is real special. It is a chance for the kids to get off the yard for a while. Our guys come in here wide-eyed and ready to go. We had an end to the season that was great for us. We were not only able to win the league, but beat Army. If you beat Army running to the corner and back, it is a big deal. So to beat them in a championship game, it means a lot to us. We are proud to be here with three of the best baseball schools in the country.”

About Virginia:
“They are the No. 1 team in the nation. Coach [O’Connor] and I go back to different era. I remember when Virginia’s baseball program was on life-support. Then this guy [O’Connor] came along and here we sit in Charlottesville with the No. 1 team in the country and we are playing them. I think that is a testament to what coach has done here. It is a great feel-good story. For us, to come here and play, we are just going to go at it. There is no secret formula to this. We are a No. 4 seed [in the regional], coming from a smaller conference. We just need to break the game down into small pieces, inning-by-inning, pitch-by-pitch, and play the game fundamentally well. Baseball is one of those games where on a given day, if you do the right the right things and catch a few breaks, you have a chance to shorten the game. And when the game is shortened, you never know what can happen.”

On being in the tournament:
“We haven’t been able to get to this level for a while. There is certainly some gratification with that. At the same time, we want to compete here. I think sometimes you can get caught up in the things going around us, especially when you haven’t been here in a while. You forget that you need to go out and compete and play. There is a sense of achievement for what we have done, but we know we have our biggest test of the season coming up. As a competitor, you want to play better when the competition is better.”

East Carolina Head Coach Billy Godwin
Opening statement:
“It is again an honor to be selected in the field of 64 for the NCAA Regionals. I would like to thank University of Virginia for their hospitality. I hope you are as hospitable on the field if we play you. It is a beautiful venue and a great facility. Our guys are excited about being here. We played here back in February and it had a regional environment. Our guys are playing well. We went 2-1 in pool play [at the Conference USA Tournament] and won 12 of the last 15 down the stretch to make this happen. This is going to be an outstanding weekend of baseball.”

On his pitching rotation:
“It was pretty easy because I don’t have much of a thought process. Mike [Wright] has been our Friday guy, mainly because Seth [Maness] had some arm issues midway through the year. At this point of the year, you are approaching it one game at a time. You are not looking ahead. We are playing a very good team in St. John’s. Mike has been our Friday guy over the last half of the season, so that is why he got the nod. We are not going to go ahead and presume what is going to happen. We will announce our pitching rotation after we see what happens the first day.”

On playing in Charlottesville during the regular season:
“That was a great weekend of baseball. Brian’s team is very fundamentally sound and they don’t beat themselves. We were able to play in this stadium, in this environment, and that feels good. It is better than not having been here and not knowing what to expect. That doesn’t guarantee us anything. This is the time of the year when they team that plays the best wins the games. I am fortunate that this is my fourth NCAA Regional in six years and we have experience in this situation. You just hope your kids play well at the right time.”

St. John’s Head Coach Ed Blankmeyer
Opening statement:
“It is nice to be back. I just checked with the real estate agent. I will be back next year again. It is great to be back. From first-hand experience here last year, Virginia does it right. It is a great venue to play in and they have a great fan base. We enjoyed ourselves very much last year. This is going to be a great regional. The host team is the No. 1 team in the country, so it will be a tough challenge for all of us. We are glad to be here as an at-large. I thought we deserved our shot in here and we are looking forward to some good baseball this weekend.”

About East Carolina:
“I think we played Billy’s club in 2009. They are well-coached. Offensively, I think they have a little bit of power and some balance to their lineup. At this stage of the game it is about pitching. I think that is their strength. We are going to have our hands full tomorrow.”

On coming to Charlottesville for a regional two years in a row:
“It is an advantage knowing the lay of the land, so to speak. Billy [Godwin and East Carolina] have been here this year, so I don’t think we have that advantage over them. It is nice to come back to a place and there is a comfort level. They are at ease with the environment. It is all about the game now and we just need to play ball.”

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