June 11, 2011
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2011 NCAA® DIVISION I SUPER REGIONAL
Stephen Schott Baseball Stadium • Santa Clara, Calif.
POST GAME PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS
HEAD COACH David Esquer
"Well, I was really happy with our starting pitching. Justin [Jones] was fantastic. He was in control the whole time he was in there. He experienced some tightness in his bicep--some discomfort--so we didn't want to take any chances with that. We had it checked, already, nothing structural with his shoulder or elbow, just muscle tightness in his bicep. So, we're going to test that further, and go from there. I'm happy with the way we came out. The key with our team is to be able to play loose and in the moment. We don't play any better when we try harder, or if we focus more, or try to do more. One of the keys for us, as a club, is can we be relaxed and stay relaxed. A big part of that [was] the three-run homer that let us take a little bit of a deep breath and get relaxed in the atmosphere, here. [We] couldn't have asked for more from the home crowd. They came out and supported us. That was a big lift that was obviously in our favor."
On how the first three-run homerun changed the tone of the game
"I think it just let us settle into the ballgame and let Justin [Jones] pitch ahead. [It] gave us a good feel for what they were going to be offensively. They are an aggressive club, too. By no means at any time in the game did I feel comfortable with a three and four-run lead with their offensive numbers. I thought the ball was carrying pretty good. Their offensive style is to get the ball, airborne, and let it carry for them. I thought it was just a tribute to Justin, how he was able to hold them down because they are a good offensive club and a good team. We obviously have the utmost respect for them. We aren't taking them lightly, one bit."
On RP Logan Scott's effort
"It's so important because if someone comes in with a four-run lead, and is a wreck, it can change the game. If the guy walks one or two guys, or if they pop one, it's a different game. So to be able to stabilize and take the baton from Justin [Jones] and rolling pretty good was big for us. He had the changeup, which was able to neutralize the left-handed hitters and that's what you need with [Dallas Baptist's] lineup, because they're tough."
On the importance of the two foul catches and the double play in settling the team down
"It seemed like every time it was getting to a critical moment, we came up with a defensive play or a big pitch. Again, two foul balls and a nice double-play turned with Marcus [Semien] and Derek Campbell. Those are great pickups for the whole team because then you didn't extend the inning and get another hitter to the plate."
On taking out DH Tony Renda
"It's not worth it. He's nursing that quad injury and we're going to watch him pretty carefully. He's going to get his three or four at-bats when we need him, but at that point, we felt like `let's get him out of there and get him rested.'"
On the decision to pitch RP Logan Scott
"The circumstance did change. We might have gone with him, only for an inning. We've got Matt Flemer in the back-end of the pen, and Kevin Miller, as well. But when [Scott] got in there and got into the groove of the game, I didn't want to chase that moment that he was having, so we let him run a little bit."
On choosing a starting pitcher for game two
"We're going to think about it. We're leaning towards Eric Johnson, who we think is rested enough. He pitched twice in the regionals. He started on Friday and again on Monday, so we felt like backing him up, at least one day, would be good for him. I think with a night-game, tomorrow night, feeds into what he has a little bit better."
On the crowd's energy
"It was outstanding. To have an atmosphere like that at a Cal game, it was different. It's kind of cliché to say the `10th man', but it was something extra out there for us; and that's unusual. Our kids really appreciate it."
On what it feels like to be one win away from a trip to Omaha
"We can't even think about that at this point. We're not going to spend a whole lot of time thinking about that. We are pretty good about where we're at, but we've got a lot of work today. We've got a tough opponent on the other side that is going to play for their lives. We know what that's like. We respect them enough, and respect the game enough, to come out ready to play tomorrow."
LHP Justin Jones
On what was working for him throughout the game
"In pregame, I felt pretty good. I just went out there and had all my stuff. Once I had everything, they weren't going to hit me. It takes confidence to be out there and tonight, I had tons of it."
On his injury
"[After] the first pitch I felt a little tightness, the last pitch, I said `let's see what I can do at 100 percent.' I threw 100 percent, and I felt my bicep cramp up a little bit. I knew I couldn't throw from there. So, we'll see how everything goes."
On the Cal crowd
"It was pretty awesome. It's not a normal thing over at Evans Diamond. To get this big of a crowd, to have everyone in it, backing us up; they are part of our team and it was wonderful."
On his dirty hat
"It's love. This hat has a lot of character, and he's been with me through a lot, so I don't plan on changing. This is my hat from last year."
OF Chad Bunting
On his homerun
"He got ahead of me with a fastball. I figured he wasn't coming back with a fastball over the plate. Lucky enough, he left a changeup over the middle part of the plate. It was up a little bit. I was able to keep my hands back and put a good swing on it. I was able to put it out of the yard."
About the hitters-backdrop and picking up the ball at Stephen Schott Stadium
"Personally, I've never really noticed that kind of stuff. It was fine today. I didn't really notice anything out of the ordinary, in terms of not being able to see the ball out of the hand. I saw it pretty well. I was out in front of a few balls. I had a couple strikeouts that I would have rather not had. Other than that, yeah I saw it pretty well."
IF Marcus Semien
On what he saw in the at-bat where he hit a homerun
"It was a curveball; I think. An 0-1 curveball. I just tried to keep my hands back like Chad [Bunting] did. [The ball] seemed to be going today so I was happy about that."
On the team's deceptive power
"We always take good swings. We want to focus on staying low and hard because we play at a home field where the ball doesn't really go, but if we keep that low-and-hard approach, sometimes we'll get a ball up that will get out of there."
On DBU pitcher Brandon Williamson throwing strikes
"It's good. In the post season, we have made an effort to be more patient up there, especially earlier in the game. We were on his fastball and his off-speed too. So, we were patient."
DALLAS BAPTIST HEAD COACH DAN HEEFNER
"First you've got to give a lot of credit to Justin Jones. I thought he threw really well. He was throwing three pitches for strikes. I thought his changeup was really good. I hope there's nothing wrong with him that prevents him from pitching again. He really competed well today. I thought we didn't do a great job of executing our plan up there but we'll give him credit first on that. We definitely need to come out tomorrow and do a better job with that. One thing we talked about afterwards was that the good thing about a super-regional that's different from a regional, if you lose the first game it's not like we're in the losers' bracket and have to win an extra game or anything. It's still come out here, it's a three game series and you've got to win two out of three and so obviously it's a little tougher. We have to win two in a row with no room for error but just looking to come out tomorrow and play the way we did all year and just be a little better."
On what Justin Jones did to keep DBU out of their game plan
"I think the best thing he did was using his changeup. We knew that he had a good breaking ball, a hard breaking ball, you know, left-handed, got enough velocity to keep you honest. But I think one of the toughest things on a hitter is when you've got a good changeup that you throw with good arm speed and I thought he did that tonight. The mistake that we made on it was, when he threw that, it affected our timing on the next pitch. I think that's why he was able to do such a good job. He was throwing that for a strike and really dictating their timing up there; got to give him a lot of credit on that. I also thought he did make a few mistakes, he left some balls up, but we didn't take advantage of those. Overall I thought he did a good job mixing pitches and his changeup was what I thought was most impressive for him."
Brandon Williamson's pitching
"We knew coming in they were a good offensive team. The report was they had great pitching but they're also a scrappy team offensively. They're going to put pressure on you and I thought they did that. I thought Brandon threw really well though. He did was he's done all year long for us, he competes. He had us in the game for the majority of the game when he had us within four. But I even thought that the two homeruns he gave up were decent pitches on his part. It wasn't like he just made a mistake and they took advantage of it. The first one was a changeup I believe and the guy got the bat head out on it and it was even in a decent location. The second one, I thought, was down in the zone as well. So give credit to them but I thought Brandon did a good job competing for us. He kept us in the game for quite a while there and if we'd done a better job, we just put a lot of pressure on him not having any run support."
On Williamson being so aggressive to the strike zone
"That's kind of the game plan every game with Brandon. He pounds the zone, he competes. He's got four pitches that he can throw for a strike and I think he does a great job of mixing them. He did that the majority of the game but there were a couple of pitches they took advantage of. I don't think the score really reflects some of the pitches he made through the game, in my opinion."
Who are you going to start tomorrow?
"We'll start Jared Staffer. A senior right-handed pitcher and he's done an outstanding job for us this year. We feel really confident coming in to an elimination-type situation for us with him on the mound. He's a guy we love to have out there. He's really steady, he's consistent, he's unshakable and so no better guy to have out there than him right now."
PITCHER BRANDON WILLIAMSON
On how he pitched and if his breaking ball was heavier than usual
"I felt like it was pretty much the same. We do tend to mix quite a bit. I thought they did a great job. Like coach said, I thought I made some pitches down in the zone but they got the bat head to it and elevated it and two of them happened to go out. They did a great job and hit some balls hard. I felt like I commanded the zone well, with at least three, if not four sometimes, so I thought they did a great job like I said."
OUTFIELDER LANDON ANDERSON
On the team's offensive effort
"Like Coach was saying earlier, we just sat in the middle with our timing and when you do that, you miss pitches up in the zone, you just can't do that and we have to come out tomorrow and do a better job of making sure we stay on top of the fastball and make sure we don't miss pitches up in the zone.