home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 29, 2015

Kevin Duchene

Dan Hartleb

David Kerian

Reid Roper


Illinois – 10
Ohio - 3

Q.  Speak again about Kevin and how DAN HARTLEB:  Obviously in this situation, pleased to get off to a good start.  Kevin did a great job of battling.  He was not nearly as sharp as he usually is, but the thing that makes him a great pitcher is the fact that he can go out and find ways to win when he doesn't have his good stuff.  So I was really pleased with that.
Reid came up with a big home run in the first inning to tie it up and kind of relax the dugout, and then Dave came up with the big home run to push us ahead, and we never looked back.  So all in all, I thought we played a good game.  And obviously gets us off to a good start.

Q.  Did you know that home run was a goner?
DAVID KERIAN:  I know I hit it well and with the wind pushing out as hard as it was, I've seen a lot of home runs today, so I had a feeling it was going to be gone.  I watched the right fielder and once it hit the fence, I knew it was gone, yeah.

Q.  They are up 2‑1, were you guys feeling pressure hosting and being the top seed; is was that a relief moment for everyone?
DAVID KERIAN:  I think so.  With Reid's home run, that really relaxed everybody.  They came out hot and on fire, so we just want to respond to that.  I think Reid did a good job and with my swing, I was just trying to put a good swing on it and get up in the air.

Q.  You've had a rough start in the Big Ten tournament; does this start for you and for the team erase some of that bad taste in your mouth and how important is it to get off to this kind of start?
DAVID KERIAN:  I think so.  The Big Ten tournament, everybody is putting in quality at‑bats and hitting balls hard.  It was just bad luck and it was just good to see balls fall today.  Everybody was swinging well.  We had hits up‑and‑down the lineup in key situations.

Q.  Kevin, Coach said you didn't have your best stuff, your best command tonight.  How did you fight back to finish off the game and how important is it in light of some of the struggles, I guess a relative term for you, late in the season?
KEVIN DUCHENE:  Well, first and foremost, I have to say, playing behind ten runs or however many runs made it a lot easier to battle through.  The defense and the hitting was outstanding tonight.
I would say a couple of key ‑‑ really key plays were the double plays that we turned; those quick innings where it was maybe four or five pitches, they were crucial in my success tonight.

Q.  Would you tell Coach you were going back out there or was there discussion in the ninth inning?
KEVIN DUCHENE:  Drew and I were going back and forth about it but at the same time, my pitch count wasn't all that high and you know, saving arms for later in this weekend is nice.  So you know, kind of a little bit of both.

Q.  The great equalizer tonight could have been the wind but after the rain delay, the wind pretty much disappeared.  With the lead, did you feel like advantage Illinois at that point?  Were you glad to see the wind disappear?
KEVIN DUCHENE:  You know, I always think advantage Illinois.  Like I said, we have the best hitters in the nation.  When we play defense, you see what we are able to do.  The wind is just another factor that kind of comes in, and it goes both ways.  I wouldn't say that, you know, the wind was as big of an equalizer as you think.  I think it was more the mentality of the team to come out and really get this regional started off on the right foot.

Q.  Throughout the season, you guys have found a way to answer run‑scoring rallies by other teams right away and maybe that didn't happen in the Big Ten tournament, but to do today, start of the regional, how important is that?
REID ROPER:  It's important.  From the other side, when we score, we want to go out and shut the other team down and get a zero.  For them to score and for us to come back and score, is huge, for the momentum of the game.  And I think it's something that we've done throughout the year is answer when another team scores.  I think just answering their run was big‑‑ like Hux (ph) said, relaxing.  A kind of feeling like we have done this before, and we've been here and we're just playing the game like normal.

Q.  Speak again about Kevin and how he was able to grind it through, you mentioned not being sharp, having an early rain delay and he looked like he got better as the game went on.
DAN HARTLEB:  Kevin is a battler.  If you've seen Kevin on a regular basis, he usually has command of three to four pitches down in the zone, both sides of the plate, ahead in the count all the time.  And he basically had none of that tonight.  He really battled just to throw strikes at times.
But he came up with key pitches at the right time.  His mentality is just always finding ways to win.  I would say that was probably his worst start of the year as far as his command.  He's had a couple other ones that have been what I would call sub‑par.  But I'll go back to my other statement, that's what makes him special is the fact that he can win regardless of how good his stuff is.

Q.  How important was it for him to go the distance for you guys?
DAN HARTLEB:  It was nice for him to go the distance.  We've got a lot of depth in the bullpen but to go in loaded with everybody tomorrow is nice.  If we would have had to put somebody in there in the last inning, I would have been comfortable with that, because you don't expect somebody to go out and throw a lot of pitches.  The thing that we've had a luxury of at certain times this year is to score a lot of runs, and our starting pitching has been able to go deep into games but we've also been able to get them out of games early a number of times in the 80 to 90‑pitch range.  To extend Kevin tonight over a hundred, he has not had a lot of wear and tear and stress.  Didn't have a lot of long innings, so a lot of thought went into it, but it is nice to go out tomorrow with a full bullpen.

Q.  Not a lot of hits and runs‑‑ ten hits, ten runs, what would you say was maybe a difference?
DAN HARTLEB:  We had quality at‑bats at the Big Ten but I thought we had better at‑bats tonight and not because we got the hits.  I thought we did a much better job of laying off pitches in the dirt and pitches up and out of the zone.  Our hitters are just more composed and we came up with the big things.  That one that Reid hit, I don't care how hard the wind is blowing; that wind could have been blowing in, that thing was leaving the yard.  He hammered that.

Q.  After they took the lead on you in each of the first two innings, was there a moment of feeling of your own mortality‑‑
DAN HARTLEB:  This team is unbelievable.  They never panic, never panic.  If you look back at, I would guess even when we went on the streak, if you look back, there's probably a third of the games this year where we've been behind after one or two innings and we just‑‑ the guys just answered the bell.  There's no panic in this group at all.  It's complete composure.  They stay loose.  They are very focused and so there was absolutely no panic again.

Q.  Last weekend in Minneapolis, you talked about what a fun group of players this is to be around.  Was this the most fun you guys have had playing in the biggest game of the season at home in front of this crowd?
DAN HARTLEB:  It's close to‑‑ it's fun.  It was fun the night we clinched the Big Ten.  It was raining that night.  We started out with a big crowd and it rained probably seven of the nine innings; so basically from the third inning on.  That was a neat night because we still had 1,800, 2,000 staying in the rain to see us clinch.  To turn around tonight and get the big crowd in a regional, being the first time it's ever been hosted here, that's a special night.  We've got great fans and so I would say those were probably the two biggest wins of the year just from having the hometown fans and the excitement.

Q.  The streak he was on‑‑ did you see him a little more dialed in today?
DAN HARTLEB:  Yeah, I thought Adam was a little more composed.  I thought he got frustrated last weekend.  He just came out today, was more relaxed, had a really good week of practice.  Had to mess with him a little bit from a mental standpoint.
I was hard on him at the Big Ten tournament after it was over, just on a couple things, the way he acted.  I was very hard on him.  We had a good week together.  Had some fun with each other and he came out loose and smiling today.  So it was good to see him hit the ball hard.  Got one hit but I thought he swung the bat well today.

Q.  When it started raining, did you think, here we go again?
DAN HARTLEB:  I'm getting used to it.  Great part about it is I didn't have to make any decisions.  Usually during the season, I'm the guy making the decision on when we play and when we don't.  That's all Max's job now, so I just stay out of it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297