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March 7, 2017

Jurickson Profar

Rick Vandenhurk

Seoul, Korea

Netherlands 5, Korea 0

Q. Rick, did you four innings pitching. How is it, you've just been here for three days, four days, and doing four innings. How was that, and what was your experience during the game? I think it went really well. How did you experience it yourself?
RICK VANDENHURK: Yeah, it was exciting, you know, the first game in the tournament for us as a team and especially playing with all the guys, that's exciting, as well. To meet everybody the last few days and then get to play together, it's pretty special. We got off to a good start, which is important. You know, we tried to take this momentum to the next few games.

Q. You've met many friends, old friends, so what was your feeling?
RICK VANDENHURK: It was a special feeling for me. I played here for two years with the Samsung Lions. I won two championships. I played against all these guys that I played against tonight. I built some very special friendships with a bunch of these guys.

So playing here in Korea was special for me. Though I had to focus on controlling my emotions out there, which is a big part of this game and I was able do that. And then the game took care of itself after that.

Q. I have a question to each of you. To Mr. Profar, your home run was very critical, and I believe the pitcher was unfamiliar. So did you have any plan before, and to Mr. VandenHurk, in the second inning, what happened?
JURICKSON PROFAR: We had a meeting today before the game, so we had a chance to study the pitcher a little bit. My plan was just to as soon as Simmons got our first hit, just try to follow him. I was lucky, I got a good pitch and I put a good swing, and it went out.

RICK VANDENHURK: Yeah, Lee Dae ho, he was my teammate with SoftBank Hawks. He's a great hitter. He's a very great teammate. In that at bat, we were battling with each other. I knew I thought I knew that he was waiting for my fastball, so I went with the slider and he popped it up. When he came running in, he was telling me, like, you know, I wanted a fastball, I wanted a fastball. I said, you're a great hitter, so I've got to be careful with you.

Q. In your game, who was the most impressive Korean player?
JURICKSON PROFAR: Everybody. Just our pitcher did a good job of keeping them off balance. So I was just paying attention to my team.

Q. Did it actually help that you knew these people so well you were playing against? Did you have an advantage pitching them?
RICK VANDENHURK: You know, it's a two way, you can look at it both ways. They know me very well, too. I know them. They know me. At the end of the day, I have to throw strikes and get those guys out, and tonight I was able to do that.

So yeah, maybe being in Korea, you know, and having familiar surroundings and stuff for me, that might have helped me, yeah?

Q. Did you know you were going to pitch for four innings?
RICK VANDENHURK: No, I focused obviously there's a pitch limit, so I was just focused on throwing one pitch at a time and executing those pitches, and then go from there. Do 65 of those and see where we end up. And that's where we end up tonight.

Q. The coach told us you were in a special position on the pitch tonight. Can you explain a little bit more about how that came about and how it was playing there? What was it like playing center field for the first time? How did that go for you?
JURICKSON PROFAR: Well, we are lucky to have Andruw Jones as a coach. He has like ten Gold Gloves. So I just follow him on every hitter. He put me in good positions. I was ready for everything.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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