Senior RHP Scott Souther now stands 7-1 on the season. He has 48 strikeouts.
Game #5 Quotes
June 4, 2006
Brian O'Connor, head coach
On today's game
This is a tough one to swallow. I'm not going to take anything away from Evansville, but I thought that this ballclub was really special and had worked itself through a number of things throughout the season. The bottom line is that we did not pitch during this weekend like we have all season long. We needed to get some good starting pitching, and quite frankly, it just didn't happen.
This team has a lot to be proud of. We had 47 wins this season, and we have changed the way baseball has been seen in this town. We had record crowds all weekend long, and the expectations of this ballclub have changed in the last three years. I've got no problem with people screaming from the stands, questioning my decisions, because it means there are people in the stands who care about us. That's nothing to be ashamed of.
We are a talented club, and this team has a special quality to it. I thought that we had a lot of momentum coming into this weekend, with the right to host the regional. I know I will need to take some time, like any good coach will do, and re-evaluate my approach to the post-season. Are there things that I could have done differently? I'll take some time to evaluate all of that.
Our opposition took it to us this weekend like we have been taking it to the opponents all year long. I'm not going to second guess myself or our decisions from this weekend; they have worked all year long to get us to this point, and we have so much to be proud of. Omaha is now and always will be the goal of this program. I said three years ago I wanted to be consistent, and in the last three years this club has advanced to the regionals. One of these days we are going to kick in the door and get past to the next level.
We have to be clicking on all cylinders, and we didn't get it done offensively either. Did we have a better offensive team this year than we have in the years past? I completely believe that we did. We didn't show it this weekend, and that hurt us.
Sixty-five percent of the team that started with us in fall ball was brand new for us, and that is part of the excitement that will get me through these next couple of days. We started a true freshman at third base, shortstop and second basehow many teams that are playing in regionals have that situation? The poise that these men showed all season long will be a big part of our season next year. We have everyone back in our lineup with the exception of Tommy Hagan, and we have some big players coming in. We have our Friday night starter back in [Sean] Doolittle and our Saturday guy back in [Jacob] Thompson. That's not a bad starting point.
There is no question that these guys all have learned something from this year, and I'm talking off the field as well. You don't need to look any farther than the story of Mike Campagna. Last year he started every game at shortstop as a junior, and this year I made the decision to start the freshman [Greg Miclat] in front of him. Not once was he at my office door questioning my decision; he went with it. He handled it the way you would want your son to handle it. I know I learned something from him, and I can guarantee that every one else learned something from it as well.
Beau Seabury, Virginia catcher
We didn't really attack the zone today. They were putting the ball into play, and we weren't able to use our out pitches.
Sean Doolittle, Virginia first baseman
They were trying to get up early and they were aggressive. They got runners in scoring position, and our offense wasn't attacking today. I wanted to get up there and try to make something happen.
We can't take anything for granted. They might not have been a big name coming in, but they sure played like it today and over the weekend. Once you get here it doesn't matter who you are or what you did.
We have a lot to be proud of. Forty-seven wins is a lot for a team, and we had an unbelievable season. We showed what this program has done over the last couple of years, and we know where it can go as well.
Game #5 Quotes
June 4, 2006
Dave Schrage, head coach
On high scoring game like this:
We have a little déjà vu going on. We talked to the team beforehand that last week we were in the same situation. We played Wichita State in an elimination game in front of a big crowd and won 14-3. So it was very similar to that game. Did I envision it? No, not the way their pitchers throw and not the way Thompson's pitched all year.
I thought it was real important for our guys to score in the first inning. I thought it was real important to keep the momentum we had from yesterday, and I thought it was real important that we keep putting pressure on Virginia. I didn't think yesterday that we swung the bats very well. We just weren't aggressive enough. We talked a lot about that last night and this morning with our hitters. I thought we did a great job today.
On Kasey Wahl's home run in the third:
Maybe the wind picked up at the right time; I don't know. He's our one power guy. That was his 12th (home run) of the year, and that really got us going. It was a huge hit to keep our momentum going from yesterday.
On starting pitcher Scott Souther:
Scott's a great story. It shows you how smart we are; he pitched one inning last year. Our new pitching coach came in this fall and taught him the slider. He saw a couple mechanical flaws in him and his velocity increased from about 83-85 to 85-88. He's had days where he's touched 90 (mph). He's a senior. (This is) a great tribute to him. He stuck with the program. Two years ago we used him as a set-up guy; he pitched 15 innings. He was throwing the ball so well coming down the stretch in the Missouri Valley (conference). We bumped our Sunday starter, who had won four straight starts, to Saturday and used Souther on Sundays for two straight weeks, because we knew we had to win six in a row to win the league. Scott followed that up with beating Wichita State last week and another good performance today.
He's just a gutty kid. He's a character guy. It's one of those situations where if he only pitched one inning as a junior, then you come into your senior year, Scott wanted to do something about it. To his credit, he really, really worked hard to get himself. I have a lot of respect for someone who does that. He deserves everything he gets, because he's worked himself into that spot.
On aggressiveness vs. UVa pitchers:
We felt that we did not want to get into pitchers' counts today. Thompson has a very good breaking ball. When he gets ahead in the count, he uses that a lot. That's his tough pitch. We wanted to make sure that we didn't get in any pitchers' counts today. We were trying to be as aggressive as we could with his fast ball.