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NCAA Regional – Coaches’ Quotes from Thursday’s Press Conferences

May 28, 2009

Tennessee Tech Head Coach Matt Bragga

On being a “Cinderella Team” “Yeah, you could say that. We don’t look at it that way. It is definitely going to be a great challenge, but I think our guys are up for the challenge. We are just excited to be here.”

On their fourth NCAA Tournament berth “We are very proud to make it here. Especially this season, we have been through a lot of adversity and had to overcome injuries. I believe we were 1-7 in conference play at one point, but we came together and turned our season around and finished the season off 14-3 in conference play.”

On Message to his team “We expect to win. I don’t think you should be coaching if you don’t expect to win. We certainly have great respect for the teams that are here. They all have been to many regionals and this is our fourth, they have each been to the College World Series and we never have. So we have great respect for the teams that we are playing.”

On using Fresno State as an example “We have not used them in any speeches yet, but our guys understand that once it is done by someone, then there are usually other teams that follow. It definitely is a good example for us.”

Oklahoma State Head Coach Frank Anderson

On their pitching rotation “We have not set anything yet. We wanted to get through the first practice and then do some scouting and we will get together and set them tonight.”

On the Clemson Regional “Anytime you are playing in an NCAA Regional, there are going to be good teams. It is no different here. There are four really good teams playing this weekend.”

On Alabama “They might be one of the most offensive teams in the country. They also have really good pitching. Playing in the SEC is tough, just like in the Big 12. We are going to have to be ready to play. They have a lot of older kids that have been around the game, which helps them out a lot. The veterans really lead that ballclub, but they also have some other guys that can really hit the ball well, so we have to watch out for them too.”

On the importance of winning the opening game “It is extremely important that we win that first game. We are going to do everything that we can to win. If it is putting a starter in late in the game, then we will do it. We will do something different if we need to so we can get that win.”

On traveling far from home “It is actually one of the easiest trips we have made all season. This is the farthest we have had to travel, but it was pretty easy. Other trips we had to deal with layovers and things.”

On scouting for Alabama “We were able to get some footage from satellite…you are always able to get things that way. We have been going through video of them.”

On Alabama’s Kent Matthes “He is one of those top 5-to-10 guys in the country that really stands out. This year there aren’t players like Buster Posey and (Matt) Weiters, but he is their target guy and we have to watch out for him.”

On Clemson “We have not looked at them yet. Right now we are focused on Alabama. They are such a fundamentally sound team and we really have to be ready for them.”

On scrutiny of making the tournament<br> “It hasn’t bothered our guys at all. A few years ago we got into the tournament as the #2-seed in our conference, but we barely made it because our RPI was low. The NCAA parameters are pretty black and white and we have raised our RPI now.”

Clemson Head Coach Jack Leggett

On his young team being tested “We have come a long way since the beginning of this season. Hopefully we can keep it up. We will definitely be tested this weekend. Tennessee Tech is coming off of a tournament win and are playing very well right now. We are going to have to play our best to win.”

On lineup “We are figuring out our strengths and weaknesses. We do have some power in there, but we don’t rely on that. We want to have good, consistent hitting.”

On Tennessee Tech “They have a great lefthanded pitcher who is a senior. He has the best arm on the staff and he will be a big challenge. They also do a good job behind the plate and holding runners on. They finished their season strong.”

On #4-seeds “The competition is always heightened…they are always formidable opponents. They come in with a very relaxed atmosphere. It will be a tough game.”

On Trey Delk “He is a very consistent pitcher for us. He had a back injury earlier in the season and he is getting stronger now. He has poise and seriousness about what he does.”

On the ACC Tournament “We did a good job coming back. I thought we only had a few bad innings during the tournament. The way we played against North Carolina, I couldn’t have been happier to get the win.”

On NCAA Regional success “I think we are very comfortable here. Usually when you get a regional, it means that you have a good enough team. We have a great atmosphere and fans here. You have to go out on the field and play ball and prove that you earned it.”

On his pitching staff “We have a lot of depth and versatility this year. They are in shape and know their roles. We have done a nice job against tough pitching.”

On using several guys “They all had to play their roles against North Carolina because we were trying to get the win. We were not just trying to get work for our pitchers. It worked out that we were able to get them work while also getting the win.”

Alabama Head Coach Jim Wells

On recovering from a tough end of the pre-NCAA Tournament season “We have had good practice sessions. Physically, we are where we should be, we just need to get their emotionally.”

On Oklahoma State “They are a very talented team. They are an older club and a very capable team. They are a scary ball club because they are good.”

On the importance of a Game 1 win “It is pretty important to get that first win. If you win you can play three games, but if you don’t win then you would have to play four more.”

On selecting pitchers “We are using our best guy in the first game. We are using the same guys that we have all season. It will be that way no matter who we play in the second game.”

On Austin Hyatt’s control “He is just a strike-thrower. People ask how he wins, and there really isn’t anything special…he just throws strikes. He is very quiet and competitive and just finds a way to win.”

On Kent Matthes “We were surprised to some degree that he would have as good a season as he is having. We did not see it coming. He just started hitting the ball really well and we thought it was just a nice streak, but it is still going. He is the kind of player that is good at everything. He runs well and fields well. He is the same guy every day.