Houston-Marshall Quotes

May 24, 2006

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HEAD COACH Dave Piepenbrink

"Hargrove threw well against us last time we played. He did the same thing again. Everyone was kind of questioning why they were throwing him instead of Lincoln and I guess he can handle himself pretty well. They battled. (Chris) Koutsavlis, I thought, threw well for us early. I think last time he pitched against them, he didn't get out of the first and gave up eight runs. We felt like we pitched alright, just didn't get the hits we needed."

On getting runners on, but not getting the big hit

"I don't know what we were with runners in scoring position, but it wasn't very good. I thought we had some runners. We had seven or eight hits, whatever it was. Adam Ptacek played pretty well, but we couldn't get that big hit when we needed it. But, I think a lot of the credit goes to (Ricky) Hargrove. He made good pitches at big times."

On facing Hargrove again

"Going against him the first time, he threw a lot of breaking balls. We thought he would do the same, but he actually got it in on us a little bit. We moved Ptacek up to five instead of batting him lower in the order, just to get another lefthanded look against him. He had three hits against him, but I think that was the end of my success as far as the game plan is concerned. I thought Hargrove threw very well. I thought Koutsavis did well for a while, but defensively we made a couple of miscues that hurt us. Against that type team, you just can't do that."



"I was proud of the way that Ricky (Hargrove) threw the ball. He was a little bit shady there in the first or inning or two, but he found his rhythm, got into the flow of the ball game, started locating his pitches better. It definitely gave them a hard time. Three or four of their eight hits were bleeders. They really didn't hit the ball hard off of him. We were opportunistic on their errors and took advantage of the mistakes that they made."



On Hargrove's Patience

"The strike zone was very tight the whole ball game until about the seventh or eighth inning. Sometimes that is hard to work though especially when you rely on the corners. Ricky did a very good job of adjusting to the zone and making them put the bat on the ball."

"Koutsavlis is a tough guy to hit on a day like today when the wind is blowing in. You have to get out on your front foot a lot on this guy because he changes speed and throws the ball below average in velocity. You end up getting the ball in the air. When the wind is blowing in, it is like a graveyard out there, especially in center, left center and right center. We did a good job when we did time his pitches getting on top of the ball and driving it."

On Hargrove Overcoming a Slow Start

"He does something that a lot of pitchers wish they can do, and that is sink the ball. He can sink the ball and can induce a ground ball when necessary. They only hit into two double plays, but it seemed like more than that. It seemed like every time that need a ground ball to get out of a jam, that is what he got."

On Getting First Game Over

"Any time that you play a lower seeded team, you feel a little bit of pressure. It takes a well-pitched game, and that is what we did today. We are looking forward to moving on into the tournament tomorrow at East Carolina."


On Finding his Rhythm

"Coach Noble came out there and we were talking about trying to attack the hitters in the zone and quit nibbling on the corners. I just started throwing my fastball with sink over the strike zone and trying to get ground ball. When I get ground balls, that is when I am pitching at my best."

On Relying on Previous Experience vs. Marshall

"Today, my slider was pretty good but they weren't chasing it for some reason like they did last time. Trying to throw my fastball for a strike and letting them roll over and hit ground balls is how I got to them."

On Conserving the Bullpen

"My goal is to go out there and try to go a complete game and not use the bullpen. Being on a hot day like today, it is tough to do that. I was glad to give my team the lead and keep us in the game until our offense starting producing at the end."


On Overcoming Slow Start

"You can't get frustrated when you are hitting the ball hard. You have to go up there and have consistent at bats. It came through in the end when we started scoring a lot of runs and gave ourselves a large lead."

On His Slow Start

"At the beginning, some of the guys weren't as patient as we should be. With a pitcher like that, you have to be patient and get your pitch to hit. As the game went on, we got better and better. We started hitting more line drives and less fly balls and good things happened."