Mike Fox, Hobbs Johnson & Landon Lassiter
Listen to Audio (10:18)
“Obviously the key to the game was (Jordan) Montgomery. He was sensational for them from the first pitch to the very last one. A complete game for him and we couldn’t get anything going. Again, I just thought that was the key to the game is just how well he pitched against us.”
How much of a disruption was Tanner English’s performance today for South Carolina?
“He can really run. We knew the bunt was coming there more than likely with the safety. If you put the safety squeeze in the right spot then it’s sort of indefensible. That’s how well he can run from the right side. You don’t see to many kids that can run like that and get down the line from the right side. It was a big play of the game.”
How do you feel about the state of the pitching staff?
“Well obviously we didn’t use a number of guys today. That’s where you’ve got to look at the silver lining. The score really doesn’t matter when you lose. Really, now that we’ve lost it’s better that we lost this way than not a 1-0 game or a 5-4 game. You’d use Trent Thornton and Chris Munnelly and Chris McCue. They got the same thing so I think we’re probably both in similar situations in terms of relievers. I think Benton (Moss) will be ready.”
Did you expect a competitive series like this with South Carolina coming into the Super Regional?
“Yes, they’re a very good team. I didn’t say it yesterday but we knew it was just one win. They beat us in all three phases of the game today pretty handily. If you look they have half the number of hits today than they got yesterday but obviously the walks played a huge part today.”
How do you think a shutout is affecting your team compared to other losses on the year?
“It won’t. Tomorrow’s tomorrow. I mean it doesn’t get any better. To be able to play just one game for the right to advance. Momentum in baseball is really from pitch to pitch. It’s certainly from day to day. These are young guys we’re talking about. The forget things pretty quickly. You’ve got to remember that. They’re all on their phones already.”
Comments on Hobbs Johnson’s performance and thoughts on early exits from both starting pitchers in the series:
“It was certainly disappointing. I really thought Hobbs was going to be ready and again the key with him is fastball command. We get to a situation where we’ve got two strikes on (L.B.) Dantzler. The walk to (Chase) Vergason was the killer there in the second inning. That was the killer because it opened the door for the next three batters. We make a good pitch on (Joey) Pankake and to his credit he fights it off and hits the ball down the line. Then we’ve got two strikes on Dantzler. He throws two really good pitches and then leaves a ball up right where he likes it. I thought that was the crushing hit of the time to take them from three to 5-0. It was disappointing but you know he’s doing the best he can.”
On his team's inability to produce any offensive sequences:
“Jordan Montgomery was really good today so it doesn’t matter how resilient you are. If that guy out there on the mound is making pitches like he is today then…The game is all about the guy on the mound and he was sensational today. I don’t know how many three-ball counts he had. Not very many at all and of course he only walked one batter and that was late in the game. A lot of first pitch strikes and our kids weren’t quitting. He was just beating us.”
What do you say to your team to get them ready for tomorrow’s game?
“If I have to say a whole lot then they’re missing the big picture here. We knew this wasn’t going to be easy. Our last two or three weeks haven’t been easy. Less is more at this point. Just rest and be ready.”
Chad Holbrook & Players
Listen to Audio (17:26)
“Obviously our team played very well today for the most part. Jordan was incredible. To shut out a team like North Carolina that’s an awfully hard thing to do. He was terrific from pitch one. Tanner (English) made an incredible play there in the ninth inning. He also got a bunt down that got a run in for us and stole some bases. Joey (Pankake) with the big hit and double down the line kind of gave us a little bit of breathing room there in the second inning. Jordan was able to pitch around a couple errors there, three errors, and that’s how good he was.
"Usually, you make three errors against a team like North Carolina they’re going to make you pay but Jordan was just too good today. He was terrific and I’ve seen him do that before. I’ve seen him do it in high school. I’ve seen him do it in Omaha so I can’t sit up here and say I’m surprised. He’s an unflappable kid and he was in total control today. That’s a start and an outing he’ll never forget.
"That being said, the series now is 1-1. We haven’t really accomplished anything or won anything. We’re not in a position where we can feel too good about ourselves. We have nine innings to go. Hopefully we can come out with some energy and play well tomorrow.”