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June 3, 2016

Recap | Final Stats | Notes

2016 NCAA Division I Baseball Regional – Game 1
June 3, 2016 – 11 a.m.
William & Mary (29-30) vs. Virginia (38-20)

University of Virginia Quotes

Virginia Coach Brian O’Connor

Opening Statement:
“First, I’d say that I thought that was a tremendous start by Alec Bettinger. He did a terrific job getting us started and giving us six innings. I think that there are guys who are givers to our program and Alec has been a giver for us all year. He started out the year in that closer role and made a nice transition into a starter, and has done a terrific job for us and I think that was the story of the game. When you look at all the runs, William and Mary has a really good offensive ball club, and it says a lot to what he did to go out there and give us six strong innings in the heat of the day. Certainly, we were pretty locked in offensively after the first inning. Throughout the entire lineup, there were guys who were right on the middle of the ball and taking aggressive swings, battling with two strikes. It was a collective team effort and I thought we played really well defensively as well and we look forward to being back out there tomorrow.”

On how this year’s lineup compares with some of the past:
“I think this is one of the better lineups in recent years. It might not quite have some of the star power as some other ones do, but our guys are pretty good players. I think the balance throughout the lineup is one of the better that we have had here. They are consistent with what their approach is and they are aggressive and we had very, very few strikeouts. That is a sign of a team that is both aggressive, but also can make adjustments with two strikes and battle.”

On Alec’s performance:
“I thought he was tremendous today. It gives us a lot of momentum to start off with a win like this, but let me make this very clear: we are here to win this thing. We are not here to place. Coach [Karl] Kuhn and I had conversations for days on what the right thing to do is and collectively we mapped this thing out and felt that Alec Bettinger was the right guy to get us off on a good start here. That will lend itself to Connor Jones being able to start game two tomorrow.”

On the lack of postseason experience for some guys:
“I hope that the program has something to do with it, because certainly there is a level of expectation in this program for performing in the clutch and winning, and doing it when it matters. Players like Jack [Gerstenmaier] Cam [Simmons] and Charlie [Cody] have great examples hitting in front of them and hopefully the culture that has been built in our program over the years certainly impacts those guys and gets them ready to play. That, and, those guys, for 30 ball games are playing in the number one league in America and that prepares you for the close ball games, the difficult situations that you play in when you play in 30 league games in the ACC.”

Jack Gerstenmaier

On playing with little postseason experience:
“Before the game, Coach O’Connor came up to us and told us to be aggressive, so I think that was everybody’s approach: to just go up there and see the ball well and put good swings on it.”

On his home run:
“It was a lot of fun. I just went with the approach of being aggressive and getting the barrel of the bat out there and putting a good swing on it.”

Alec Bettinger

On the game:
“I really didn’t feel any pressure out there. It was just another game, I’ve played this team before, so you can’t make the situation any bigger than it is and I think we did that well as a team. Like Coach said, those guys are a great offensive team and that’s how they got here, by putting a bunch of runs up on the board. They never really let me settle in, making me have some big pitches in some big spots. Thankfully I was able to do that. Coach [Karl] Kuhn just came out there to give me a breather. That inning was kind of taxing on me, so he was just trying to give me a breather so I could make a good pitch.”

On playing well under pressure:
“I’ve been in plenty of tough spots and I’ve had to learn from those experiences, so I think I’ve built on that skill. In the first inning they were hitting me around a little bit and I just had to keep throwing strikes and not get discouraged.”

On being a closer helping with starting:
“Obviously none of those pitches were in the ninth inning, but knowing I have a great offense behind me and that they could pick me up makes it a lot easier. Knowing that you can give up a run and still be in good shape, with an offense like that putting up 20 hits today, made my job a lot easier.”

On his pitch selection:
“In the first inning, I was just trying to get it out over the plate, but then I talked to myself and said you just have to throw it knowing that’s when it’s at its best.”

Adam Haseley

On the bottom of the lineup’s impact:
“Jack [Gerstenmaier], Cam [Simmons], and Charlie [Cody] all had big days. The whole lineup throughout was swinging the bat well and having an aggressive approach, swinging at good pitches.”

William and Mary Quotes

William and Mary Coach Brian Murphy

Opening Statement:
“As a program we are really appreciative of the support from the town of Williamsburg. There was a really good representation of fans here who we really appreciate. As far as the game goes, when you play an opponent like Virginia, we didn’t really play well enough to give ourselves a chance. I thought we had a really good first inning. Our guys were ready to go, and I don’t think the moment was too big for us. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t keep them off the scoreboard and they got too far away from us. I thought we played competitively and had pretty good at bats, but they were able to build on us and creep significantly too far.”

On playing against a team like Virginia…
“The defending national champions and an extremely well coached team is a team that is going to make you pay for mistakes and pitching yourself into bad counts every time. We were well aware that we would need to play and pitch close to our best, and today obviously wasn’t good enough.”

On the bottom of Virginia’s lineup sparking the team…
“If there was a weakness we certainly didn’t find it. There were two out RBIs from Charlie Cody, Cameron Simmons, Jack Gerstenmaier, and they really got going with the two strike hit from Daniel Pinero. This got them into their offense a little bit, and once they got rolling we kind of had to deal with everybody. It is a really good lineup this season and definitely not their first rodeo.”

On Alec Bettinger’s performance…
“He pitched five or six full, and what he did is he found his breaking ball and held his own from basically the second inning on. The second inning was way too quick. We had two early outs and were able to let him settle. They weren’t necessarily bad balls to swing at, but it was a ground out, fly out, and he finished with a strikeout. That kind of got him settled in and from there they were able to play from in front.”

On Bettinger pitching well with guys on base…
“Honestly I was pretty pleased with our at-bats today. We hit some balls hard, and we managed the strike zone pretty well. He was able to pitch with a lead that grew inning-by-inning, and his comfort level allowed him to throw some strikes and make the pitch he needed to make.”

On Daniel Powers going 0-3 and the impact going forward…
“We are going one day at a time now. It’s about finding a way to extend and use absolutely anyone we need to use tomorrow out of the bullpen. Nick Brown is likely to start the game assuming he felt alright in the bullpen.”

Ryder Miconi

On approach against Alec Bettinger
“He started mixing a lot more first pitch off-speed stuff. We just couldn’t get anything together and get it across, but I don’t think it was necessarily him changing anything. We just weren’t able to produce anything.”

On having the lead in the first inning and eventually losing that…
“I mean we obviously expect them to have good at-bats and do a lot offensively. We have a lot of confidence in our pitching staff, but today it obviously wasn’t perfect. It’s not necessarily frustrating because we know what to expect here. We expect to do well and win games, and we are confident moving forward.”

Ryan Hall

On approach against Alec Bettinger
“Similar to what Ryder said, it had a lot to do with him changing his pitches. He started to get ahead of batters. I know he started me off behind the count in the first inning. In the next innings, he settled in and started to throw more strikes in the count.”

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