June 2, 2006
Brian O'Connor, head coach
On today's win:
I told the team the other day that the regular season, we could throw it all out the window. The season starts over today. I was just excited that our guys came out and battled (Kyle) Collina. I think he's a good pitcher. He's got numbers, and I knew our guys were ready to play.
On playing the first game and weather problems:
There are probably about three regionals across the country. I know that Nebraska is one of them, where the top seed played in the first game. I was very confident we were going to sell our regional out; our crowds have been very good over the last couple of home series. I just really wanted to play the first game so we didn't have to sit around all day. We could go through our normal routine of taking batting practice on the field. There's comfort in that.
I feel bad for Evansville and South Carolina. Nobody wants to be in that situation, but we can't control the weather.
On hitting and offensive execution:
It did come back today. That was exciting to see. It seemed like the homerun that (Matt) McBride hit in the first inning, I think that did something to our team. Maybe it was a good thing to give up two runs, because our offense felt the burden to say 'hey, we're going to have really to step up'. That was one of our better offensive performances all year. It was great to see.
I started Mike in the opener, because he's a veteran captain. He has a lot of poise. He's pitched in a lot of big games for us over the last couple of years. I don't think he had his best stuff today, and that's not to discredit Lehigh at all. I just don't think he was sharp in the first three innings, but he gutted his way through it. He battled and pitched us deep into the game. I think that's going to serve us well from this point forward.
Matt Ballard, Pitcher
On today's start:
I was pumped up. The first couple of innings I was just a little too excited. Then I started to settle down when the offense put up some runs. Then it seemed just like any other game.
The defense made some great plays behind me. Our offense really exploded and allowed me to attack the hitters more.
On first NCAA win:
I was definitely excited about the opportunity. From last year's standpoint and not getting a chance to pitch, I was definitely excited to get there and help our team get off to the right start.
It's a big momentum builder going into the rest of the weekend.
Sean Doolittle, DH
On lively ball:
We were able to use that to our advantage. We knew that if we could get back on the board in the first couple of innings and give Mike a chance to settle down that he would settle down and take us deeper into the game.
We did a good job of staying poised and we knew that it would take more than two runs to win the ball game. Our offense has done a good job all year of bouncing back when we've been down. We had a lot of confidence.
Sean Leary, head coach
On today's game:
We lost to a very good team today. Virginia has 47 wins for a reason. They have talented players and unfortunately for us our best pitcher didn't have his best stuff today.
On starting the game 2-0:
We came into this game with the mindset that we were going to win. We knew we could compete, and sure, we wanted to get ahead early. We wanted to stick with the pattern that got us to this point, and being ahead didn't hurt.
On the two pickoffs in the first two innings:
We wanted to send a message to Virginia that we were going to play aggressively. We were also going to play the type of game that got us here in the first place. In some ways it paid off because after we stole the first base it sent a message, and who knows, perhaps the home run was in a small way because of it.
On the weather conditions:
Being as we are from Bethlehem, we are used to weather conditions like this. We have the attitude that it's not an excuse, but we would have to play in whatever the conditions we were given. It affected both teams, and that's just the way it was.
Matt McBride, Catcher
On hitting only the fourth home run by an opponent at Davenport Field in 2006:
I just hit the ball hard. We had a man in scoring position, and that was a nice bonus. I thought all we might have to do is hit line drives and just go for it. I did, and I connected.
On the early lead and then seeing Virginia score in each of the first five innings:
We started to press the issue in the middle innings. We started with a few runs, and we had men on base, so things were not as bad as they might have seen on the scoreboard.
Matt Geiger, Third Base
We were putting the ball in play, and we were making them make plays. Granted, there was water on the field and we all had to play in it. Our goal is to come back tomorrow and win.
Mike Sandonato, Second Base
We had a couple of bad breaks. We tried to steal twice, and we got caught, but we still stole some bases. That's what got us here.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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