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June 21, 2011

Will Clinard

Tim Corbin

Grayson Garvin

Aaron Westlake


Florida – 3
Vanderbilt - 1

THE MODERATOR: How did it look from third base dugout?
COACH CORBIN: It didn't look good, but it was just one of those things where, as I told the kids, it was just the difference in a swing, really. Both teams pitched very well the whole entire time. Starters did a nice job. The guy on my right pitched very well, and put us in a position to win. Then the relievers after that, Will and Corey did what they've done here down the stretch, which is really nice to see in this environment.
But that was the difference. It was just a swing, and that is the way the game's played, particularly when you've got two very even teams. And I know that they've had their way in terms of the outcome, but that doesn't change my opinion in terms of the evenness between Florida and Vanderbilt.

Q. Aaron, what was Steven Rodriguez doing out there to kind of keep you guys off balance?
AARON WESTLAKE: He was, you know, working the outer third of the plate. Utilizing his cutter and his slider. Just keeping us off balance. He's a good pitcher. We'll tip our hat to him, particularly for the lefties. We should have gotten on the plate a lot more. We made an adjustment today, but yesterday we had some opportunities and we just ran out of bats. We'll just tip our caps to him. He's a good pitcher. But we'll get him next time though.

Q. Grayson, you stood at bat looked like it was a changeup that you left up to Preston. Is that what happened at that at-bat, and could you go through that pitch sequence if you could?
GRAYSON GARVIN: It was actually a slider that I hung. Good hitters. That's what they do. He should have hit that where he hit it. Again, like Corbin said, it was kind of a tailed-one pitch. I actually thought I pitched better yesterday than I pitched in about a month, but it was one swing.
You know, I think we are two evenly matched teams, but they got the better of us yesterday and today, and that happens. But, yet again, that was just kind of a hung slider. He's a very good hitter. His bat stays in the zone a long time, and he made me pay.

Q. Tim, number one, the 12 strikeouts, what did that say, if anything? And two, Preston Tucker's probably been as hot as anybody in this tournament. Could you tell us how you try to approach pitching to him and what you do when he's up there?
COACH CORBIN: The answer to your first question is we have a very good offense. So when you get 12 strikeouts against a Vanderbilt team, in my opinion, that's an anomaly. That is a kid that's executing his pitches. When kids like Aaron, and Esposito and Gomez don't get off good swings, there is a reason for that. It's like shooting poorly in basketball.
If you can't get off a good shot because you have a hand in your face, then you're not going to be as successful. It's the same case as it was today.
Answer to your second question, Tucker is a very accomplished hitter. For me to say it was the difference in one pitch, is not to make this kid feel worse than he does because he put us in the position on to win to begin with. But Preston has been in the league for a while. He's been in the Cape Cod League. He has a very flat swing. He has the ability to stay on lateral breaking balls because of his swing. He just had his time. He got his pitch.

Q. To your point, games against Florida you've come up more than not on the short end. Does that increase your frustration that you've played a lot of close games and just haven't managed to win games?
COACH CORBIN: Well, I think losses are frustrating period. I think Florida because we are so close our Friday night game at home was one in which we had a lead and a rain delay stopped us. We felt like we could keep Sonny going and finish off that game. We were unable to finish it the very next day. Then Grayson picked us up and we won a 14-1 game.
I don't want to travel you guys through history, but it's been very close with the exception of the SEC Tournament. That was basically their game because they pitched very well and we didn't hit.
But, you know, today was a little bit frustrating just because we couldn't get off our swings. We couldn't get successive runners on base, and we couldn't utilize any type of skill game or offense against them. You know, you have to credit them, you do.

Q. Grayson, the pitch or the at-bat before the Tucker at bat is when you tried to make that flip with your glove. I wondered if that changed your approach going into that at-bat having a first and third situation off that infield hit? If you recall that play, it's the one you made towards first.
GRAYSON GARVIN: I don't think it changed my approach. I was just trying to go at him the same way whether or not Zunino was on first, and Fontana was on second. Probably looking back talking with D.J., our pitching coach, my sequence probably would have been different, but it had nothing to do with the fact that they had guys on first and third.

Q. Grayson, at one point you held their 5 through 9 hitters to like 1 for 12. You struck out Brian Johnson three times. Just kind of tell us what you had working against those guys?
GRAYSON GARVIN: I felt like I had all my stuff working yesterday. Over the past couple of weeks I felt like my old speed stuff was hit or miss. I felt comfortable with my changeup and my slider, moving the fastball in and out. So I was just trying to stick to that plan like I've done all year.
So I wasn't doing too much different, back footing the slider on the righties and expanding it on the lefties, and using the changeup when I needed to, moving the fastball in and out.

Q. You've been in the league a long time. Have you ever seen Paco that good? What was he doing so well today?
AARON WESTLAKE: Like I said, he's a great pitcher. He utilizes those two pitches. It's kind of like a lefty version of Will Clinard. You've got a pretty hard cutter and you compliment it with a slider. Throws you off balance. Most of the pitches are moving away. You know, he's the guy that basically against lefties he works away and makes you hit his pitch. He's not going to give you a pitch to hit. Like coach said, him and Karsten didn't give us many pitches to hit yesterday and today. So we'll give them credit.
I've been in the league, and he is one of the better pitchers I've seen out of a bullpen staff for lefties. So, just tip our caps to them, and we'll see them again. We've seen them before, and we're going to be more prepared next time.

Q. Tim, if you could talk about Whitson. I know they took him out early, but to see a guy like that with that kind of arm, what was he doing in the first four innings that made you think he had the game in hand himself until he ran into trouble in the fifth?
COACH CORBIN: Yeah, he doesn't pitch like a freshman. He's a big, strong kid. He throws a big, heavy ball like he's throwing Bowling balls to the plate and he keeps coming. Where I thought we had him is when Sully took him out. I think he got to the fifth inning there and he started losing the strike zone a little bit.
But he's poised. He's got command of his fastball. He throws a breaking ball under the string, below the knees, makes it difficult on the right-handed hitter because you have to gear up for a power fastball. When he throws the slider, he gets you to cheat a little bit, and you league off his ball. You know, he's a first rounder. You're not supposed to keep kids like that, and they did. That's why Florida's pretty good.
Make no bones about it now. In order for Florida to beat Vanderbilt, they better be pretty damn good, and they are.

Q. If you could talk about the mindset of a team that has to go through an overnight delay, and how you guys came back feeling this morning, and Aaron, if you could talk about the 3 through 6 hitters so far in this tournament, I think just two hits for you guys. Are you pressing at all? How tough is it to turn it around when you have such a shore timeframe?
WILL CLINARD: Earlier this year we played Florida and we also had a rain delay. We had the right mindset coming into this game because we've been here before. I was coming in before the rain delay. I knew I'd have the ball this afternoon. So I had overnight to prepare for this, so we were definitely prepared to come in and beat them today.
AARON WESTLAKE: As for your second question, we never press our team. We're very confident in each other. We know that maybe if a couple of guys are struggling, we've got nine guys in the lineup that are going to pick each other up. So me, Curt, Espo, maybe some of the guys have been struggling a little bit, but we have Tony, Gomez, Conrad, and Riley picking us up right now. It's baseball. You're not going to get a hit every single game.
Curt's been putting good swings on the ball. Espo won the last at-bat. Yeah, he put a good swing on the ball two days ago. We're fine. Like I said, it's baseball. You're not going to have a hit or couple hits every game.
So we're going to get a good rest of the day off. Get our mindset back together, and tomorrow we're going to come out swinging and get prepared like we always do. We're feeling fine.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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