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June 2, 2013

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2013 NCAA Division I Baseball Regional • Game 6
June 2, 2013 • 6 p.m.
Elon (34-30) vs. Virginia (50-10)

UVa coach Brian O’Connor
Opening statement:

“This was a great baseball game obviously. Nick Howard and Derek Fisher had terrific offensive games today. David Rosenberger, for a freshman to pitch in that situation, to come in in the fourth inning and pitch was just tremendous. He really did his job. I know he was waiting for the right opportunity, and tonight was that opportunity. He certainly made the most of it. A lot had been made of the first two ballgames and how they had been won on pitching and defense, but tonight we continued to play defense, but we had a tremendous offensive day collectively as a group.”

On the team, specifically Jared King and Derek Fisher, breaking out tonight:
“I think you first have to start by looking at the quality jobs done by the first two starters that we faced this weekend. You go back and look at the video and see the pitches that those guys made in our games and you have to give them credit. They made a lot of pitches they were trying to make in good locations. You know what someone like Jared King is made of, and you know how much talent Derek Fisher has. I just knew it was a matter of time before a lot of those guys broke out. They’ve worked too hard to put themselves in this position and worked too hard for it to not go their way. If you stick with what you’ve done and don’t try to change much, good things will happen guys get in trouble when they try to make quick adjustments rather than stick with what has given them success in the past. Fortunately it worked out tonight.”

UVa designated hitter Derek Fisher
On his 2 RBI single:

“The best thing for me was that it was with two strikes. I think that’s a swing I need to be taking all the time, instead of changing things with two strikes. I felt good, obviously I’m seeing the ball better and putting better swings on the ball, and that helped carry us through.”

On coming up to bat with the bases loaded:
“It was obviously something I’d been in for a week and a half, coming up to bat with runners in scoring position. To actually come through and be clutch for the club in that point in time was nice. I pretty much stuck with the same thing id been doing all weekend and tried to produce a hit, and fortunately it went through.”

UVa shortstop Nick Howard
On his transition to shortstop:

“I’m starting to settle down at shortstop. I’m finally starting to understand where I’m supposed to be on the field on certain pitches, and me and Reed and the rest of the infield are starting to get a little chemistry. We’re trying to just keep making plays behind our pitchers. .”

On the bottom of the order’s offensive success:
“It just goes to show how great our team is, one through nine. Any given night we can have anybody who gets a clutch hit or has a clutch at-bat an it think hat really goes to show how great our lineup is.”

UVa pitcher David Rosenberger
On his performance

“I just tried to stay ahead of hitters and throw strikes. I wasn’t too concerned about when I was going to be pulled from the game or what the bullpen was doing. I was just trying to focus on my game.”

Elon Coach Mike Kennedy
Opening statement:

“I’m proud of my club and the effort we have put forth the past two or three weeks. It was really what we have expected out of the group with a bunch of older guys who have played some quality baseball for us. There have been some switches with all of the injuries over the year but they never quit. They showed a lot of character and a lot of grit, a lot of what we believe is important in a player. When you play hard and won’t quit good things can happen for you. I hope they take this with them and learn that a lot of good things can happen if you stick to it and they did. I’m thankful to be on this ride with them. These are good kids who finished unbelievably. They will have these memories with them for the rest of their lives and that’s why you coach.”

On changing pitchers:
“I love my players. They work hard, they practice hard for me all year and they may never get this chance again. They can tell their children they got the chance to play in a regional final and I will do it again.”

On playing a second game today:
“In every aspect of the game, from physical conditioning to mental conditioning, how your guys feel added on top of having guys and arms available, it plays a factor. Today for example, when I took Nate (Young) out and put in (Ryan) Pennell, he threw two innings and saved the game for us earlier in the day and it’s tough to ask a kid to do that. There are so many advantages of being in that position. It’s a lot to do with the physical and mental aspects of the game.”

Elon catcher Alex Swim
On riding momentum:

“Casey (Jones) hit that double and we got up three nothing. In these past two weeks, its tough to play so many ball games in such a short time. Trying to come out of the losers bracket is tough. It was just how the chips fell”

On ending on a high note:
“It’s a little bittersweet obviously. My career is over along with the other seniors. We were holding back tears on the field but we definitely had a good ride these past two weeks. It has been a lot of fun taking our team to where we have never been- a regional championship game. We were all really excited.”

Elon left fielder Casey Jones
On having 3-0 lead:

“Every game we go in feeling like it’s going to be our game. It hasn’t been done in a while these past two weeks. The hitters were going to hit and the pitchers were going to pitch and being at 3-0 was just exciting, but we knew there was still a lot to play.”

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