May 27, 2000
Middle Tennessee Coach Steve Peterson
“The way the game was going, I did not know if we were going to score a run. Like I told my team at the end of the game, they are a very difficult team to read and I am not one to try and predict if a team is ready to play or not.
“Their third baseman (Craig Marquie), and really their whole infield, made all the plays. Then he (Marquie) comes up and hits a solo homerun to give them the lead — all I could think about was back in the 70s when the Reds and Orioles were playing and Brooks Robinson single-handedly took the heart out of the Reds. It just got frustrating. The kid can play.
“Our pitcher (Kris Lammers) did a great job, and Josh (Pride) did a great job calling all the pitches for him. We got the big clutch hits which we have gotten all year. It was a huge win in this tournament for us, it was a huge win for our university and for our conference. My hat is off to this team for getting us here and getting us into the championship game.”
Illinois Coach Itch Jones
“We came into the tournament and we really did not put much offense together for the three games that we played. That was our problem here today as we only got three runs and two of those came early on in the game. In the eighth inning with two outs Middle Tennessee got a walk, a base hit, a couple of doubles and scored four runs. That was the difference in the ball game.
“We were simply trying to hang on throughout the game because we had no offense. We were hoping that our pitching would be able to hold out at the end, but as it turned out it did not. Middle Tennessee is a team that doesn’t quit and that is evident by the fact at how they have battled to win their last two games.”
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December 18, 2018