NCAA Lincoln Regional

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Eastern Illinois Press Conference

 

Head Coach Jim Schmitz

Opening Statement

“This is a hard one. I’m just proud of my guys. We talked about it a little bit yesterday. We don’t really talk about wins and losses; we talk about playing the game right. We talked this morning about not quitting. This is an elimination game, and it’s called that for a reason. The way we started off wasn’t good, and we got them together, and I didn’t say too many nice things to them in about the fourth inning. I’m really happy how they responded, and I’m proud of these guys for the way we played the last two days.”

 

On the ninth inning

“In the (Ohio Valley Conference) Tournament, I didn’t bunt very much, and people said we were lucky. So I was going over that a little bit in my mind of what I was going to do. (Jordan) Tokarz is the worst bunter we have. But we had to tie it again and get lucky, and to go into extra innings would make it pretty draining for them. That’s what I was thinking. Obviously, they made the error on Tokarz. I really wish with that one pitch to (Zach) Skidmore, we took the bunt off to hit, and it was a changeup. I was thinking, ‘That’s what I wanted.’ You always want to try to tie it just because it would have been a heart break for Oral Roberts, but it says a lot about their program and how they went out and scored the next two innings there.”

 

On EIU’s pitching

“TK (Tyler Kehrer) was not sharp. We then had to script it out not only to win this game. When Foley was in there, he couldn’t be in there too long. We had to win this game. We’re not here to win one and go home. So we scripted it out, and the guys did a great job. You can talk about the walks that hurt us, but we just came up short. I’m really proud of how the guys battled this year.”

 

 

Outfielder Brett Nommensen

On the atmosphere of the dugout

“There was a little frustration. Since we’ve been here all week, we haven’t really been able to stop the other teams on offense. There was a little frustration because we were down by so many runs. But once we got a couple of hits going, we knew we were going to start stringing the hits together just like we’ve been doing. The last eight games we’ve been able to do a lot of damage with two outs and keep on rolling.”

 

On scoring on a wild pitch in the ninth inning

“Sean (Lyons), our third base coach, was telling me he’d probably be throwing all sliders and to be aggressive if the ball was in the dirt. I just saw a kick go out, and I saw it go to the backstop, and I just took off.”

 

 

Outfielder Ryan Lindquist

On what turned the game around

“I’d say once we came in and were down by so much, once we got hits going, it just took that one little hit to really get us going.”

 

Pitcher Ross Jeske

On the experience of playing in an NCAA regional

“I’ve been here for four years. The past three years prior to this year, we hadn’t experienced a whole lot of success. This year, we had very low expectations going into the year. We just caught on at the right time at the (Ohio Valley Conference) Tournament and the regional. It says a lot about our leadership skills from the upperclassmen, and we’ve definitely left a footprint for future Eastern Illinois baseball players.”