NCAA Baseball Norman Regional Central
|| OU Head Coach Sunny Golloway
"Great college baseball game. In 15 of these now, you realize what your student-athletes go through, and the pressure and how things amount this time a year. Everybody wants to win so bad and as coaches, we just get out of the way and don't make more of it than they already know what it is, and just let them go play. I just saw some student-athletes that I was extremely proud of on both sides of the field. The game came down to a few key plays. Some middle of the game swings on pitches by them, were some really good moves on mistakes that we made. You don't see amateur guys punish a baseball like they do. You make a mistake and you have to give their middle of the lineup hitter's credit.
"Danny Black's play up the middle (in the ninth) was outstanding. Chris Ellison clutched up. (Cody) Reine, to my right, came up big for us when we needed it. I thought our pitching was really tough. I think we pitched the ball really well today, and if it didn't look like that it was a tribute to the hitters who were stepping in the box for Oral Roberts University. They played great. It was a great game and we were very fortunate to come out with the victory."
On the infield play:
"We really came up big and I know what you are thinking about is (Garrett) Buechele's play to his left. We've seen him make it so many times where he spins and he doesn't know where first is, but he's throwing it to that side of the field where we have a big target. That was a great play. It took a hit away. Our defense was outstanding and we pitch to that."
On when ORU took the lead:
"It was a little bit different feel than what I've been getting from our guys, but the outcome was still the same. We've had other teams take the lead and we've always been able to come back from behind. I think that goes back to the element I'm talking about in the NCAA tournament. They realize it's now or never and when Oral Roberts took some good swings on us against some quality pitching. One of the things the coaching staff and I continue to say is stay positive and don't panic. "
|| Junior Second Baseman Danny Black
On defensive stop in the ninth:
"Coach trained us to knock everything down when there are runners on, keep runners from scoring and keep it in the infield. I was just trying to keep it in the infield and I was fortunate enough to be able to stop it and let (Ryan) Duke get the last out."
|| Sophomore Center Chris Ellison
On game winning hit being a dream scenario:
"Definitely. I've had (Caleb) Bushyhead hit behind me before and pick me up plenty of times. I was just glad I got to get that hit."
|| Sophomore Right Fielder Cody Reine
On game-tying home run in the eighth:
"I feel like we kind of got down when ORU took the lead on us. We knew late in the game is when we really start to shine and come through. We handle pressure really well. I was just watching the batters in front of me and I saw the pitcher trying to go in on them after he got a strike, trying to pound it down and in. So I backed up a little bit, and luck of the draw I guess."
|| ORU Head Coach Rob Walton
"Well, I think it was an entertaining game for people to watch. But we obviously didn't pitch well enough. I thought Sean Johnson gave us some good work but Bryce (Smolen) wasn't very sharp. We struggled that way, locating pitches early, but we kept the damage really under control to a certain degree but then made too many mistakes. We threw a ball away behind the plate, we got picked off at second, made an error in the outfield. We made some mistakes and that's hard to do to win in a regional setting. I think if we had cleaned up those mistakes and had some of those things not happened, we would have probably won by two or three. We just didn't play well enough from a defensive standpoint and we didn't pitch well enough. That cost us and led us into that situation, just too many mental mistakes and a couple physical mistakes. Their second baseman (Danny) Black made a big league play up the middle on (Tyler) Saladino's base hit. Had Tyler knocked the ball down and that hadn't happened, we win the ball game.'
On scoring five runs in the sixth inning:
"Offensively, we have the potential to put up a large number of runs. Like I said, I think the bottom of our lineup went 2-for-14. They struck out seven of the eight times. The bottom of the lineup really ends up hurting us there. I don't know if they struck out on a strike or if they swung at too many pitches in the dirt. These guys up here (Tyler Saladino and Chris Elder) and Jeff (Burlseon) and Nick (Baligod), those guys have been carrying us all year. If we have base runners on when those guys are on, we can put up a big number. Even if there were seven or eight runs on the board, I don't feel comfortable there, but it's reachable. These guys can put up a big number very, very quickly. It's whether or not we can stop anybody from scoring that's the issue.
|| Junior Short Stop Tyler Saladino
On the team's performance against OU:
"Like Coach said, this is a collective game. Everyone has to play well together. We had a few good innings, the order did alright today, but all around we didn't play defense well, we didn't pitch the greatest. From the offensive standpoint, as a whole, we didn't swing the bat very well or up to our capabilities. It could have been a lot different ballgame. We just have to take this into tomorrow, try and put a better game together and play better as a whole. We'll be fine."
On the team's batting performance:
"We didn't have the greatest at-bats all around. We spurred a few balls up. We had some chances to make things happen. We chased a few sliders down, like we've been doing a lot lately. That's the key. If we can lay off those sliders it's a completely different ballgame. We strikeout in situations where we can turn it into a walk instead, which is more base runners and more chances to make things happen. Unfortunately, we didn't handle the bat too well today. That's that."