June 5, 2011 - by
GAME FIVE: Alabama/UCF Postgame Press Conference

June 5, 2011

Alabama Head Coach Mitch Gaspard

Opening Statement

“I’m really proud of our team, that was a very quick turnaround from last night and a real tough game. I thought we showed some real toughness and character today to come out and play with the energy we played with. It started with Jonathan Smart on the mound who was tremendous again, they scored some runs early but he was able to keep it at singles and settled in. Offensively we had good pressure throughout the ballgame for the third game in a row. It was a very satisfying win today after coming back from last night and obviously still alive as we head into tonight’s game.”

On the transition from last night’s game to today vs. UCF

“I think anytime you have two teams competing at this time of year a small play can become a big part of the game and that’s something we had more success with today than we did last night. Today’s key was hanging in there and maintaining the lead, the seventh inning was huge and for us, offensively, it’s the best we’ve played all year. As long as you hitting you’ve always have a chance and even when you get really deep into your pitching your offense can always give you a lift.”

Alabama starting pitcher Jonathan Smart

On his pitching outing

“We were able to score four in the first which helped. I didn’t get overly comfortable after that as they came back to tie it up later on. I tightened my belt from there on out and let the offense get rolling.”

On any adjustments made after getting hit off of early

“I tried to come out pretty aggressive today, trying to get the first strike and they swung the bat pretty good. I was fortunate to get going after that and woke up a bit.”

Alabama outfielder Taylor Dugas

On his leadoff homerun and teams successful hitting

“We were pretty confident coming into the game, we had seen their pitcher before earlier on in the season, he gave us a lot of pitches to hit and our guys did a great job of swinging the bat and getting runs on the board.”

Head Coach Terry Rooney

Opening Statement

“First and foremost I would like to congratulate Alabama on advancing.  They played very well today; they have an outstanding team.  They certainly played better than us today.  From our standpoint, unfortunately today wasn’t our day.  I felt like we did not play very good fundamental baseball which us uncharacteristic of us.  We didn’t quite play as fundamentally sound as we have throughout the year. 

“Certainly some individual strong performances, but, regardless of the outcome today I am extremely proud of this group of kids.  I told them after the game that although today specifically in our final game wasn’t our day that these guys have so much to be proud of and what they accomplished as a team in bringing UCF baseball back to the NCAA regionals after seven years.  It’s an unbelievable group of kids who I feel for right now.  I know their ultimate goal is to get to Omaha (College World Series) but one game unfortunately doesn’t make a season – I want them to continue to focus on the bigger picture.  Those guys did a heck of a job and have a lot to be proud of – they represented UCF tremendously all the way right here to the very end and I am really proud of them.”

“Our goal first and foremost from the very first day was to put UCF baseball back into the postseason – the NCAA’s – and these kids did it and they deserved it.  These guys came here to win without any question as Beau just said I think the next step for us is obviously to get back here and put ourselves in position to win this regional without any question.”

Pitcher Nick Cicio

On the flow of the game

“Little things just kept happening, spiraling and spiraling and we tried to slow the game down.  But it kept going.  They are a good ball club and they know how to get runs when everything is going their way.” 

Catcher Beau Taylor

Thoughts on the season

“There are a lot of expectations for next year’s team.  This team has to get back to regionals and just push farther and get to super regionals and get to Omaha.”  

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