NCAA Baseball Oxford Regional – Practice/Media Day Quotes

ncaa-logo-001-webAll four teams participating in the Oxford Regional of the 2016 NCAA Baseball Championship practiced Thursday afternoon at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field. Quotes from players and coaches following each team’s practice can be found below and are attached.

OLE MISS

Head Coach Mike Bianco

On hosting a regional…

“I think it is always a great time of the year to be in the postseason, but certainly to play at home. I think it is a great reward, not only for our players but for our fans alike. I heard yesterday they had already sold 6,700 books, so a lot of people are still excited about baseball still being played in Oxford.”

On facing Utah…

“We’re still studying up and still looking. Obviously, Rose is terrific and seems to have beaten everyone in the Pac-12. He’s one of the reasons why they won that league. To win a conference like that, you have to have an ace on the mound, and certainly he has been that guy for them. But offensively, they are an older group. Everyone talks about how tough they are and how mature they are and how they compete for all nine innings. They are what they are — a very good opponent.”

On Henri Lartigue recovering from his concussion…

“He took a great batting practice today. Yesterday, we tried to go with a night practice at the same time that we play, but the rain got us. I saw him in the cage and he says that he is fine. He looks fine. But he took one of the best batting practices today, so he looked great.”

2B TATE BLACKMAN

On hosting a regional…

“I keep asking Colby (Bortles), Errol (Robinson) and J.B. (Woodman) what it is going to be like here and they just tell me ‘just wait, you’re going to see how live it is.’ I was curious so I went on YouTube to see what it was like hosting a regional here. It was pretty crazy. I’m just so excited. I am ready to play the game. I’m looking forward to playing tomorrow.”

On this year’s approach…

“Anytime you can play in front of your own fans, sleep in your own bed and wake up and do the same thing you do every morning, it definitely relaxes you a little more. It keeps us calm. We know what to expect from our fans. They are always great for us. Hosting the regional is definitely a bonus for us.”

SS ERROL ROBINSON

On hosting a regional…

“It is exciting. Being in front of your home crowd is huge for us. I’m excited to be in another regional and continue the journey to Omaha. It is great to be at home with our fans behind us. I’m ready to continue our run this year.”

On playing Utah…

“We’re focused on the first game. Obviously we play Utah tomorrow night. We just got the scouting report on their pitcher so we’re going to take a good look at how he works and how he goes about things on the mound. They are another team that is ready to go out there and compete. They’re ready to do the same thing that we are ready to do. We just need to play our game and continue with the hot streak that we have been on.”

LHP DAVID PARKINSON

On his first regional…

“I’m looking forward to it. I have heard lots of things about it. I heard it is insanely packed. I’m just ready to show up and play.”

On his transition to his starting weekend role…

“I don’t find much transition at all. After my first start, the only thing different was coming out at the beginning instead of in the middle. It is the same routine during the week. Everything really hasn’t been different, just a different mindset.”

 

TULANE

HEAD COACH DAVID PIERCE

On the team’s success so far…

“We’ve just been a really consistent team all year. We have played every week and stayed consistent on the mound and played good defense and we’ve had timely hits. The team is very excited about being in Oxford and playing in this regional.”

On what gives the team confidence for this regional…

“We won our league against a very hot and good Houston team. They can really pitch. We have faced a lot of great pitching all year and seen a lot of great Friday night guys. I think we are prepared to be in this tough of a regional. We’ve been in some big venues before so I don’t think we’ll be overwhelmed by that. Our kids are confident and mature. I think they’ll be ready to play some good games.”

C JAKE ROGERS

On being in a regional outside of Louisiana…

“It is pretty exciting. We didn’t really know where we were going. We thought for sure LSU or University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Then we found out we were coming to Ole Miss in this awesome venue and we were pretty excited.”

On having fans travel to watch them…

“It’s awesome. We have a lot of parents coming to watch us. I know a lot of families are coming in too. It’ll be really fun to play here.”

On facing Boston College’s Justin Dunn…

“It’s going to be tough. We are going to have to have good at-bats. He’s good. He has the VI-LO and the breaking stuff. We have to come ready to play and have confidence when we step up there.”

 

BOSTON COLLEGE

Head Coach Mike Gambino

On the humidity…

“I was talking to Tom Peters, our administrator about it, and we were down in Georgia about two weekends ago and in the ACC Tournament down in Carolina in Durham last weekend, and honestly, the last week in Boston was really hot. It was 93 when we practiced last week. So, it isn’t going to be a factor if our boys do a good job of staying hydrated. If they are drinking soda instead of Gatorade or water, then it could be an issue. But we played a doubleheader two weeks ago to get us into this whole thing against Georiga Tech in weather just like this. The guys did a good job.”

On their matchup against Tulane and the regional …

“They are a really good ball club. They don’t have one guy that jumps out at you, but they have a solid lineup top to bottom. They have a solid pitching staff. It’s a top to bottom very good baseball club. The lineup can be scary one through nine. They have three guys that can run the ball out of the park at any time. They have two to three guys that can steal a bag at any time to keep them balanced. We are going to face a good armtomorrow night. They have quality arms in the bullpen. You don’t know exactly if their Sunday starter is available, so you don’t know what combination you’ll see. They are also coached by David Pierce. He’s won everywhere he has been and constantly gotten teams into the postseason. They are a really quality team that is well coached and we are excited about it and this Utah team that is out here, that is why everyone is talking about this being the toughest regional. However you want to say it, it is four really good ball clubs coming together this weekend.”

RHP Justin Dunn

On getting to start in the opening game of the regional…

“I’m excited. To have the opportunity to come down here and play in an atmosphere like this is awesome. To have the opportunity to pitch and get my team one step closer to the College World Series is even better. I’m really excited to get out and keep doing what I’ve been doing all year and see where we are at after nine innings.”

On the humidity …

“No, it isn’t a concern. We came back from Georgia. Georgia was a scorcher down there. We are definitely going to stay as hydrated as possible, but we are used to it. It shouldn’t affect us too much. We have some muggy days up there in Boston. We deal with it. We don’t deal with it as much as you guys down here, but we deal with it. It isn’t something we are not used to.”

On playing in an atmosphere like Swayze Field…

“This is a beautiful facility. But we see stuff like this when we go down to Florida State, North Carolina State and Clemson. This might be a little bit bigger, but we see stadiums like this. This isn’t going to throw us off or keep us in awe for too long but we definitely enjoy the opportunity to play in a field like this.”

O-U Stadium / Swayze Field - Photo by Greg Pevey, Rebel Nation Magazine

O-U Stadium / Swayze Field – Photo by Greg Pevey, Rebel Nation Magazine

UTAH QUOTES

HEAD COACH BILL KINNEBERG

On the team’s morale coming back to life…

“We played poorly the first month of the year. There was a game we played on a Tuesday night against BYU that we lost 6-0. We played that night and I could see our team didn’t have any energy. We made some changes the next day as a coaching staff as far as our attitude and the way we went about everything. The kids changed. They told us what they needed from us and there was a distinct change in our practice the next day. We came back and we swept Arizona State and confidence grew, belief grew, and from that point forward we were good.”

On playing Ole Miss…

“At this point, my assistants know more about Ole Miss than I do. I’m going to hit that tonight but we know that they are awfully good. They have been good for many years. What they’ve done this year proves that we have our hands full. Jayson (Rose) has his hands full tomorrow with that offense, but if he’s on he can match up against anybody.”

P/UTL JAYSON ROSE

On being in the Oxford Regional…

“When we found out we were coming to Oxford, the overall mood in the room was excitement. We kind of thought we would be going to Texas. Everyone was excited when we heard we were headed to Ole Miss. We’ve been told it’s a great crowd here and we’re excited to play the one seed.”

On the Pac-12 being down and the team’s success…

“I think everyone is saying that because we were at the top. I don’t think that it is down at all. The key to our success has been that we have pitched a lot better this year and we’ve had a lot of timely hits. We’ve had a lot of key hits in big moments that we didn’t have last year, and I think that has really helped us.”

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Adam Kuffner

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