Home Press Conference: UVA-Arkansas NCAA Charlottesville Regional

Press Conference: UVA-Arkansas NCAA Charlottesville Regional


college world seriesUniversity of Virginia Quotes

Virginia Coach Brian O’Connor Opening Statement: “That was one of the more complete ballgames that we’ve played all year. What we did offensively in the first three innings, I was just really impressed. Our guys were locked in. Certainly up there taking good swings and battling. Nathan Kirby again showed how great a pitcher he is. The moment of a 1-0 game and everything that is on the line and he has just been calm and has had a presence about him all year long. Certainly he showed his ability tonight. He was outstanding for eight innings. He kept making really good pitches. Multiple times he was 3-0 on the batter and he’d come back and throw three strikes and get himself back in the count. I thought we played spectacular defense. The job that Kenny Towns did at third base handling a lot of balls was really impressive. I think in every phase of the game we did a lot of really great things tonight. We’ll have an opportunity to play again tomorrow night and we are looking forward to that.”

On how he felt with Nathan Kirby pitching in the late innings with only a three run lead:   “I felt good about it. Certainly he had his great stuff tonight. He had that stuff last weekend against Florida State in the ACC Tournament. We just decided to take him out after 68 pitches. I felt good. He was throwing strikes. He was executing what we asked him to do. He is pitching like a number one starter at this level does. Although we would have liked to have scratched across a couple more runs, the pitcher they brought in in relief did a fantastic job. He had a heck of a sinking fastball and our guys had a difficult time with him. I felt good about where we were at with Kirby on the mound.”

On why he chose to put Nick Howard into the game:  “It wasn’t necessarily work. Nathan [Kirby] was just shy of 100 pitches. He had done his job and that is Nick Howard’s role. It was a save opportunity. Tomorrow night and moving on past that if we are fortunate to, we will need to count on Nick Howard. It has been a week since he pitched. I thought it was important to get him back out there. It is plain and simple that that is what his role is. Had we scored another role, Nathan Kirby would have went back out there. But we leave that up to Nick and he has done a terrific job with it all year.”

Starting pitcher Nathan Kirby On the fifth inning “Karl always talks about not worrying about the guys on second and third. They are not going to go anywhere. Just let them hit the ball. They’ve already gotten to second and third. They’ve accomplished that. If they are going to get a hit off me, then that is what is going to happen. [Getting out of the inning without giving up a run] was big for me. I got on my heels a little bit, but we played defense well all year. That is kind of a level of comfort for me on the mound, knowing that I can throw the ball and let them hit. Fortunately for me, they missed a couple of balls and it went my way.”

First Baseman Mike Papi On whether he knew that the home run was gone as soon as he hit it “I wasn’t aware. I was just running the bases hard, trying to get two. Off the barrel, I definitely didn’t know it. It was hit high enough, I thought it might have a chance. It ended up going out.”


University of Arkansas Quotes

Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn Opening Statement: “First off, congratulations to Virginia, they played a great game. Nathan Kirby did an outstanding job. He threw a lot of strikes. He pitched out of a jam there. We had one shot at him, when we had runners at second and third with nobody out. He got a strikeout and a lineout and [a ground out to third]. It was kind of the luck of the game there. He got out of it without giving up a run. We came out and I thought we were aggressive. We took some good swings. We fouled a lot of pitches off. It looked like the first time through the lineup; he threw a lot of fastballs. He mixed it up well after that. He just pitched a great game. We didn’t have an answer for it.”

On starter for tomorrow: “We are not sure who we are going to start yet. You can say this – It will probably be a freshman. It will either be [James] Teague or [Zach] Jackson. We’ve gotta win the first one, but we are trying to win the tournament, so we will talk about it on the bus a little bit, get it figured out and get the word out.”

Pitcher Trey Killian On what was wrong when he came out of the game: “I got a blister on one of my warm-up pitches in the bottom of the fourth inning and I couldn’t go past it. Before that, I just wasn’t myself. I wasn’t hitting my spots. I was trying to be too picky with it. Their offensive, they’ve got a good lineup. A lot of guys there who can swing a bat.”

On the pitch that Mike Papi homered on in the first inning: “That was supposed to be a fastball inside. It was my mistake. I didn’t get it in there. They have a good lineup. When you make a mistake, they are going to capitalize on it. Papi is a good hitter. He put a good swing on it and unfortunately it went over the fence.”

Pitcher Dominic Taccolini On coming out of the bullpen early: “It was definitely tough coming in. I had to get warm kind of quick. My ball was sinking a lot, so I got a lot of ground balls, which always helps. I have a great defense behind me. I felt like I got my curve balls over when I needed it.”

First Baseman Eric Fisher On what Virginia starter Nathan Kirby was doing effectively:  “He did a good job of throwing strikes. The first time through the lineup, he threw a lot of fastballs. The second time, there was a lot of off speed and making things up. Throwing fastballs when he was ahead in the count. Throwing curve balls when he was behind in the count. He kept us on his toes.”



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