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Postgame Quotes Kansas State vs. Arkansas


GO WILDCATS
GO WILDCATS

GO WILDCATS

June 2, 2013

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2013 NCAA MANHATTAN REGIONAL
Tointon Family Stadium (May 31 – June 3)

Postgame Quotes- Kansas State
Game 6: K-State vs. Arkansas

K-State Head Coach Brad Hill
Opening statement…
“It was a great ballgame; I really do not know what to say. It was a great ballgame. Obviously, Arkansas has a tremendous ballclub. Their pitching is phenomenal. When we got down 3-0 in the first inning, you get concerned about whether you can get back into it and if you can continue to hold them at three runs, because it felt like if they would have got five or six, it would have been difficult to come back against that club. I should have learned by now, after 61 or 62 games, to never count these guys out, ever. They have done a tremendous job all year to just continue playing their game and do what they do. Again, their tenacity, perseverance, determination and resiliency to just keep playing the game and see how the game comes. We forced seven or eight walks tonight. We had good strike-zone discipline and we just took their walks and that is how we were able to get some base runners tonight because it was tough to get hits. They made that great play in right field and you began to wonder if it was going to be our night but it turned out that we were fortunate enough to win. It was a great ballgame and again, that is a great ballclub.”

On Arkansas’ botched intentional walk attempt…
“Sometimes you get lucky and we were a little lucky tonight. It is what it is. But at the same time, there has to be a reason for an intentional walk that means you have men on base. So we at least put ourselves in position for them to do something like that, so again, we were fortunate and it worked out in our favor. I will take it any way I can get it, I will promise you that.”

On his team’s ability to win close games…
“I have to give a shout out to the Big 12 Conference. I just think our conference prepared us for this. Oklahoma is going to a Super Regional, Oklahoma State played in a regional final today and we are going to a Super Regional. I think our conference prepared for these things. Every game was tight. The conference was parody, up and down; every team was capable of beating anybody. Our last place team, Texas, had an RPI of 70. Our conference prepared us for this type of play. It has to come from within the team and we have a bunch of fighters or believers and that is a big part of it. Again, shout out to our conference because every weekend it is tough. You have got to be tough to be able to get through our conference and win a championship like we did.”

Junior Pitcher Gerardo Esquivel
On K-State’s come-from-behind win …
“We have been in this situation before and I knew that if I gave my guys a chance by putting up four zeroes would give our guys that chance. Our offense prides themselves on never giving in and they did not do that today. They just came through, I gave us a chance, handed the ball off to Nate (Williams) and he did a very good job in the eighth inning and then Jake (Matthys) finished it off.”

On K-State’s toughness in close games …
“We know if we just give our guys a chance and they will always find a way to come through, especially in the end of the ballgames, we always tack on that one run. We tacked on those two in the seventh inning. It did not matter how we did it that was the end of the ballgame.”

Freshman Pitcher Jake Matthys
On the bullpen’s success in tonight’s victory …
“I think we have been picking each other up all year. It just was not Blake’s (McFadden) day. Hopefully next weekend, he will have another good outing because he has been pretty consistent for us. I have had bad days. Everybody has that bad day, so he just needed the rest of the bullpen to pick him up today.”

On K-State’s offense…
“We have one of the best hitting ball clubs in the nation and I do not think any game is really out of reach. Today we just got lucky and we will take a win any day.”

Sophomore Infielder Shane Conlon
On K-State’s ability to win close games…
“All year, we have just not panicked. Like Coach Hill said, we just keep going. Today, we did not panic and the pitching staff picked us up huge today. It was not a great effort from an offensive standpoint, but you have to tip you hats to Arkansas. They are probably the best pitching staff that we have seen all year. Going off of that thought, we just had to keep going tonight.”

On the difference between this year’s team and last year’s team…
“I think the biggest difference this year is that we do not just have one leader. Coach Hill has just spread it out and he has let us take over. It is a different guy everyday who is going to tell us what to do. A lot of our guys are really close on this team. I have best friends on the team but I am not afraid to say something to Ross (Kivett) and he is not afraid to say something to me. Just the leadership of this team top to bottom, our freshman lead and our seniors lead, I just think that is the biggest difference this year. Everyone respects everyone else and they are going to appreciate what other people have to say to them.”

Postgame Quotes- Arkansas
Game 6: K-State vs. Arkansas

Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn
Opening statement…
“First off, I would like to congratulate Kansas State. They put on a great Regional. It was run outstanding, everything was first class. They have a great program. (Head coach) Brad Hill is a great friend of mine and I respect him and his coaching staff. They put together a very good baseball team. Obviously they are proud of their players and their fans ought to be proud of the team. As far as us, I think we are just disappointed. We played extremely hard all day. We have been here for a long time. I told our players that they need to keep their heads up. We got off to a bad start on Friday and they could have checked it in. We struggled a little bit offensively this year and thinking about winning four games in a row would have been a little bit overwhelming. They did not panic, they came out and played well yesterday and today. It was just very uncharacteristic of our team to walk people. I think most of the runs scored tonight were on walks. We did a great job turning four double plays and almost a fifth one if we get the ball out of the glove. Offensively, we hit a lot of balls hard. Even in the ninth inning, we hit a ball to lead off that I thought was in the gap. It was more towards center, but from my angle I thought it was in the gap. Then lining out to end the game, we did a good job staying through the baseball, but lined out to left. We just need a little break, but we did not get it. There is a magic for Kansas State right now. It has been that type of year up here. I think with all three of the major sports, it has been a great year for Kansas State. I am proud of the team, but disappointed we are not going to the College World Series because that was our goal. When you set out, that is your goal and you think you have a chance realistically and I did. It is just disappointing but I am not disappointed with the effort. It has been a tough year as far as we had to battle. We had to battle for everything we got in league play. It has been a grind. I am proud of the coaches, players and fans for hanging in there. It is time to start working on next year.”

On the intentional walk wild pitch…
“I have not had one, but now I have. I have heard about them in big game situations. You see one every now and then in the big leagues, it happens. It caught us all off guard. I do not know what happened. He (Jalen Beeks) just lost control of the baseball. It is probably a one-in-a-thousand thing that is going to happen. He did not lose the game for us. It just happened.”

On if his team ran out of energy…
“I do not think we ran out of gas, I think offensively we just kept pounding the baseball but kept hitting it right at them. They made some nice plays. We hit two or three balls right at the shortstop and at the outfielders. We did a good job, we just did not get things to happen. You have to be a little bit lucky to win when it gets down. The ball has to bounce your way. We had a leadoff double and lay down a bunt. The pitcher probably made a bad decision throwing the ball to third base and he got lucky, our runner slid right past the bag. It was bad baserunning, he should have slid straight into the base. First and third nobody out and we already have a 3-2 lead, it might change the game. That is the way it works. You make a little bit of a mistake, which we did and they took advantage of the two walks. The next inning or two, we never caught them.”

Sophomore Infielder/Outfielder Brian Anderson
On a disappointing end to the season…
“Obviously it is disappointing.  You have to tip your hat to Kansas State. They really played good defense behind their pitchers today. They were able to scratch a few runs against us. Really I think times like these you realize who and what you are playing for. As hard as it is, you really start to understand how much the people and players that you play with mean to you. It is hard going out this way but we did not give up and gave good effort. That is all you can ask.”

Sophomore Outfielder Joe Serrano
On a disappointing end to the season…
“After losing that first game and battling back, you realize we are playing for this family. It is our team and we do not want to lose our team. Obviously you are excited about the guys who are going to get the opportunity to play pro ball, but then selfishly you want them to stay. It is hard seeing guys go out like we did. We were screwing balls left and right, right on the money but they just were not dropping. You cannot ask us to hit the ball any harder than we did, but sometimes it rolls your way and sometimes it does not. Kansas State played a great game. We fought and fought and had been out here forever. We just wanted to win, but it just did not roll our way.”