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Game 5: Connecticut vs. Coastal Carolina – Postgame Quotes

June 5, 2011


Head Coach Jim Penders “There is no pressure like the postseason and Brian Ward has really grown up before our eyes. He pitched a heck of a ballgame and got us off to a great start today. I thought we attacked a lot better than we did the other night and played our game. That was the first Connecticut baseball game that we have played this weekend.”

On any changes from playing Coastal Friday: “In college baseball it is always important to score first. I thought it was key to jump out ahead and continue to put pressure on them. We were able to execute and dictate play, much like Coastal did the other day. The shoe was just on the other foot today. We just kept coming and I thought we did a pretty good job with out at-bats all day. Doug Elliott has done a great job for us behind the plate. I have never seen anybody catch as many games as he has. He is the unsung hero and has done a great job for us.”

On starter for tonight’s game: “Elliott Glynn is going to start tonight. He is a warrior too. He has thrown some big games for us. I think it is appropriate that he gets the ball.”

On Brian Ward: “As far as Brian goes, you can’t say enough about him. I thought it was great that he was able to beat a really good team, especially a team from down south.”

On players being distracted by the draft: “If they are then they are doing a good job of faking it. I know these guys pretty well from recruiting them and being with them these last three years. I can pretty much guarantee that they are more interested in figuring out how to beat Clemson.”

On Coastal Carolina: “We had to beat a team that we weren’t supposed to beat. The 31 guys in our dugout believed we could beat them and that is all that matters at the end of the day. I think you really saw that from our dugout today. We just kept coming and coming. No disrespect to Coastal, but we were going to continue to attack there in the ninth inning and I think Coach Gilmore understands that. We had to get as many runs as we possibly can. We have to continue to attack because I don’t want to have to use some of our best bullpen pitchers. We had to continue to attack so I don’t have to in that situation.”

Pitcher Brian WardOn starting in a big game: “I have had some big starts this year. I went against UC Irvine and then the Big East Tournament. I knew what I had to do. I had to throw strikes.”

On best outing of the year: “Yes, probably. It was a good team win. We started off with a run. I had the luxury of going out there with the lead.”

On L.J. Mazzilli and getting the lead early: “We have been starting off like that all year. L.J. (Mazzilli) is a good hitter and we love him at the top of the lineup. It is great to start off like that at the top of the inning.”


Head Coach Gary GilmoreOn the season: “It was kind of how we played here. It was as good as it could look at times and at times it was really a struggle. The kids played hard. There were a couple of times during the year we could have gone really south. They held it together and these two guys (2B Tommy LaStella and LF Hayes Orton) were a huge part of that. We have to build off of that piece. It is frustrating in that both games last night and today were carbon copies of one another. Our inability to get anything done on the pitchers mound early in the game was key. It was hot. Emotionally we were not where we were on Friday after the loss last night. We needed a huge pitching performance the first four or five innings to keep the game close. I tip my hat to them. They did a great job of coming out and playing hard. It showed me how good Anthony Meo was on Friday. He made all that athleticism that they showed me today disappear.”

“UCONN and Clemson are the two most athletic teams we have played in quite a while. They are very similar in a lot of ways. They are relentless on you all the time. We were able to control it Friday because Anthony I(Meo) was so good. The biggest problem that was so frustrating was when we had to make a play behind a pitcher that was struggling we did not do it.”

Second BasemanTommy La Stella “It is terrible. There are a bunch of seniors that I am close to that I will never have a chance to play with again. UCONN, first and foremost, has an unbelievable team. Part of our inability to make plays is a byproduct of the pressure they put on opposing pitchers and defense with their speed and athleticism. Across the board they beat us–pitching, hitting and defense.”

Left Fielder Hayes Orton “It is tough. This is something we have worked our entire lives for. For it to end it really hits hard. But you have to hope you left a legacy and guys look at you next year and say they want to be like that guy and work as hard as he worked. That is what it takes–35 guys working hard. It was a great run, a great trip. I made a lot of friends I will talk to the rest of my life. It is a tough day.”