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Eastern Illinois Postgame Quotes
Courtesy: NU Media Relations
05/30/2008
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2008 NCAA Lincoln Regional

Friday, May 30, 2008

 

Head Coach Jim Schmitz

Opening Statement

“If we were wide-eyed yesterday, we’re really wide-eyed today. I thought we battled really well. Obviously we got over the first-inning hump with the two-run home run, which we knew was probably going to happen, just coming in here with the excitement. When we started scoring, I thought we really had a chance. I thought (Dan) Jennings wasn’t really sharp, and we got them to make a move right there, so we battled. What we talked about today was coming in here and battling the whole game. These guys did a great job. Obviously Nebraska did a great job also in terms of coming back after we did well, so you have to say good things about them, but I’m very proud of these guys and the way they came out and swung the bats today.”

 

On being ‘wide-eyed’

“The paper said we were ‘wide-eyed,’ so I guess I’m saying that again. I felt we would have a first inning like that. We’ve been here before; we’ve been at big programs where you just don’t start well. We got over that hump, and I was like ‘wow, we’re over that hump.’ Then we got the lead, and I felt that was a good sign. You get over the hump and it’s a long day from the beginning. I mean, we got over the hump. I thought we did a great job of attacking them each inning, and obviously they did better at the end.”

 

On pitching to Jake Opitz on his first home run

“He didn’t make a good pitch. You’re never happy going in 2-0. Obviously it could have been a lot worse. Brian Morrell came in and got the big out there with bases loaded, and we came back and responded right there. Nine innings is a long time, and it’s a big pitch here and a big pitch there. We just didn’t make enough good pitches at the end. I thought we were in the game for a while.”

 

“I actually said to my assistant ‘good job’ and put my head down, and he said ‘you might want to look again because it’s out of here.’ A good friend of mine called me yesterday and told me how the wind blows in, and he called me again and said ‘hey, I lied to you; it’s blowing out today.’ By that home run, we knew it was going to be a long game. We talked about that in the dugout in the sometimes. It’s one pitch. It’s getting more. We kind of called that home run, saying he’s going to hang a slider. The dimensions here, we kind of knew it was going to be that kind of day. That’s what we were hoping for.”

 

On pitching to Nebraska’s hitter

“I thought they did a great job with two strikes, really battling and going away with some pitches, hitting the ball the other way. We tried to get in on them a couple times and get hit by a pitch. We kind of knew that’s what they would do. They had good counts early on, but when they have two strikes, the guys put the ball in play. Those at-bats kind of hurt us, where they were able to go the other way. It was pretty much what we thought. The scouting report was going early, stealing bases. I think we put too many guys on base, and that resulted in the high scoring.”

 

Outfielder Brett Nommensen

On Nebraska taking an early lead

“Right off when they scored, we kind of put our heads down. We were kind of nervous and saw it in everyone. But I felt that everyone just needed to get up there for their first at-bat and get the jitters out. For my first at-bat, I didn’t even get the jitters out. Once we noticed that we could hit this guy and started hitting, it was back and forth on both teams.”

 

On having confidence for tomorrow’s game

“Like I told all the guys after the game, it was a tough loss. None of us like to lose, but we battled both ways, offensively and defensively. It shows we can hang with the very best in our regional here, so we can come in with some confidence. I think we can go tomorrow and go right at them.”

 

Infielder Zach Skidmore

On preparing for tomorrow

“I think we battled well. I think the game went pretty much as planned. We just need to score a few big innings like that. We have to come out and slow them defensively. If we had done that, the outcome could have been a lot different today. That’s what we have to do tomorrow – put some runs up early like we’ve been doing – and hopefully shut them down.”

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