Nashville Regional Postgame Reaction
No. 2 Seed Oregon 18, No. 3 seed Clemson 1
Clemson Head Coach Jack Leggett
On the game:
“Obviously, a rough day for us. We started out pretty good then the fourth, fifth and sixth inning I think we ran into trouble controlling their bunt game and run game. Bottom line is that they outhit us, outpitched us, outplayed us, but the good thing is, regardless of the score, it’s one game. We’ve been here before. Our mindset is this one is behind us, and we are going to move on to the next one. Tomorrow’s a new day for them. Tomorrow’s a new day for us. Immediate thing is you got to put this one behind you because if this one festers for a long period of time it will fester right into tomorrow. My message to the team is this one is over.”
On Oregon’s offensive play: “I expected to see what I saw, I just expected us to handle it a little bit better.”
Second baseman Steve Wilkerson
On defense against Oregon offense:
“They have a lot going on with the bunt game. That is kind of the game they play – West Coast style. The bottom line is they executed what they were doing and they put the ball in the right spot. We were ready for it and we had a game plan for it they just executed a little bit better than we did.”
On mindset for the rest of the Regional:
“Everyone has got to believe. Everyone has to be 100 percent behind your teammates in every aspect of the game. We’ve just got to believe in each other, believe in ourselves. Our mindset is that we are going to win four games, and we think we can do it.”
P Matthew Crownover
On today’s outing:
“Give them credit. They swung the bats pretty well, and I threw a couple pitches I’d like to have back today and I got behind in counts and they took advantage of it. They get all the credit. I credit myself with being pretty consistent, but today they were the better team. In the first inning I had pretty good fastball command. In the second inning I had the guy on the ropes, and the leadoff man got on. That kind of hurt me, getting the leadoff guy on. I mean the two innings they got multiple runs was because they got the leadoff guy on.”
Head Coach George Horton
“We feel really good. It's one day, one game. Certainly, it was a combination of a lot of good things. From the defensive side, I think Tommy, as expected when you start a regional and have great respect for an opponent, sometimes the emotions are more amped. I thought we all were a little excited there. It was a really good one in the first. It could have been worst. The zero in the sixth from the defensive point, even though the game at that point we had what was assumed to be a comfortable lead, the fact we got out of that with a zero was probably a real devastating thing to the other team. It was a combination of a lot of good things defensively, a lot of good pitches from Tommy and Porter. But, most importantly, a lot of great at-bats and execution and some fortune. When you're on the good side of things and you mix a little luck with some execution, it definitely goes your way. The strikeout that went through our catcher’s leg and got an out on that, it was a definition of how things went our way. Not taking anything away from our effort or athletes’ effort, we feel good about winning our first game.”
On moving Catalano up in order:
“Players make coaches look good. They shuffled around a bit and gave Cat the opportunity to move higher in the order and also the opportunity to stay in the lineup every day. I think Nick Catalano has taken full advantage of it. We have a little reward we give out each game and he was the player of the game for the Ducks.”
On carrying momentum in tournament:
“I’ve said many a time up north that baseball momentum is only as good as the next day’s starting pitcher. We’ll play a different team tomorrow. Sometimes what you hope is 20 runs one day and zero the next. I think getting our guys in the mindset that there are hits at this facility if you get the right pitches. We’ll be facing a different pitcher. The objective will be the same. If they get off to a slow start (in the) first round of at-bats, that monster of doubt will creep in again. Sometimes as a coach, you go let’s save some of those hits for tomorrow. We’re not going to hit 20 hits every single time out.
Catcher Shaun Chase
On second/third inning defensive plays and what it does to energy in dugout:
"The energy is always increased with a big play like that. We got the momentum on our side and just try to build on that momentum and keep going from there."
On hitting game today compared to last weekend against Cal:
"Playoffs are a whole new season for us. Our regular season is over and it's playoff time. It's all about who is hot right now and we started off pretty good. Just trying to continue being hot.”
On back-to-back homers with Tyler Baumgartner: "It was awesome. Me and Baum always have a running joke that if he'll do it, I'll do it. I haven't been in front of him lately so I haven't had the opportunity. But we got the opportunity tonight. It was just fun. Hitting back to back bombs doesn't really happen that often. I was just pumped for Tyler and we just kept going. We need Tyler to get where we want to go. He started off the regional pretty good in my book, so hopefully he will continue that. We need all the hitting we can get."
On Oregon’s inside play:
"I mean we do like to run and bunt. We love our inside game and when people aren't getting outs on our inside game, it causes a lot of trouble. Free runs and bases, they start tallying up. They didn't do the best job with our inside game and it paid off for us.
Pitcher Tommy Thorpe
On performance as the game progressed:
"I just zeroed in on the glove and focused more. I was going out there in first inning and things weren't going my way. My first inning could have gone sideways on me real quick. But I just bared down, threw strikes and got out of it."
On bullpen and going deep into the game
"It actually did cross my mind. I felt like I needed to go deep in the game to keep our bullpen ready to go."
On feeling comfortable with big lead:
"Probably around the fourth inning, I was getting comfortable and looking up at the scoreboard and saw a bunch of runs. That helped me relax a little bit on the mound and pitch the game that I know how to pitch."