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June 1, 2013

Jordan Hankins

Reed Harper

Gary McClure



COACH McCLURE:テつ Well, we obviously got off to a good start in the first inning.テつ We held them and then we came in and Harper hit the big three‑run homer.
We made a mistake before that on the bases.テつ We were thrown out at third and we didn't get a jump on a bunt.テつ But we did come up:テつ Harper hit the big three‑run homer for us and got us off to a great start, which I thought would really propel us.
Then P.J. towards the end of the inning, basically, hit a ball off the wall that would have went over if the guy wasn't there, and he was.テつ So we had a big inning, got off to a great start.
I felt like Delgado was the right guy to pitch against these guys.テつ I think, you know, three or four out of five times, I think he could really, really do well against them.テつ He just wasn't himself tonight.テつ He wasn't throwing strikes and wasn't commanding his stuff.テつ He's usually a guy that commands three pitches and can throw his change in the dirt whenever, breaking ball in the dirt.
So, you know, we just didn't get the job done on the hill early and were able to come back, and they took advantage of it.テつ Did a great job.

Q.テつ I guess what were you guys seeing so well off Joey DeNato in the first couple innings; and what changed with his approach from the mound?
REED HARPER:テつ That first inning, he was really trying to establish that fastball.テつ And after that, he really started working off his changeup, which got better and better as the innings went along, and just started getting us off balance.
And any count he was going to throw it, we were getting to 3‑2 and he still had confidence in it and was putting it where he wanted it, and hats off to him.

Q.テつ Did you guys get more anxious at the plate swinging at pitches off the plate?
JORDAN HANKINS:テつ I don't think so.テつ I just think that he set us up ‑‑ going against somebody like that, that has all of his pitches working, just came out after the first couple innings very well.

Q.テつ You guys haven't been in that kind of situation in a while.テつ What was the attitude like in the dugout the first few innings?
JORDAN HANKINS:テつ Energy was good first couple innings with Reed hitting the three‑run shot.テつ But, you know, a couple innings that kind of broke the lead open and we just couldn't get anything going offensively.

Q.テつ Jordan, you were hitting .500 in the post‑season; do you feel like you guys are peaking right now?
JORDAN HANKINS:テつ I feel good, but it's a team game and we didn't win tonight.テつ We didn't get the job done.

Q.テつ Did you guys get the sense at all that, any reason the pitchers weren't finding the strike zone?
JORDAN HANKINS:テつ I think we have confidence in Casey and I'd throw him again tomorrow.テつ He didn't have stuff tonight, and we still have all the confidence in the world in him.
REED HARPER:テつ He's one of the guys that went out there tonight that's proven that he can get it done all year.テつ I mean, just none of them could really find it tonight.
I don't think‑‑ most of them will probably be ready to go tomorrow and I'll have confidence in them when they go back out there?

Q.テつ What was it like to play in this atmosphere, probably the biggest crowd you've seen this year?
REED HARPER:テつ Felt like any other game, more fun.テつ We were out there to win.テつ Wasn't real worried about the crowd.

Q.テつ From watching their lineup, you didn't have to face them yourselves, but how tough is it with so many hittersthat can beat you?
REED HARPER:テつ Yeah, they proved that in the second innings where they had a lot of hits back‑to‑back‑to‑back.テつ I definitely don't want to take anything way from that lineup.テつ They were hitting the ball great tonight.テつ It's a combination of that and our guys didn't have their stuff.テつ Like to have another shot.

Q.テつ In what you were able to see, if you watched any of last night's game, what was the difference particularly with the heart of their order tonight, I think they had all the runs batted in, Indiana's two, three, four, five; what about their approach at the plate made them so hard to get out?
COACH McCLURE:テつ Well, you know, it's like Reed said, it's a combination.テつ We've seen a lot of good hitters all year long.テつ You know, they are not the only team that has good hitters.テつ They do have good hitters.テつ And I think their guys are smart hitters.テつ I think they look for pitches.テつ They have a lot of guess (ph) hitters, and if you make mistakes, they will make you pay.
You know, they are very good hitters.テつ I mean, I would never say any different.テつ But I'm going to tell you, when, if Casey is down and he's pitching normal, they are not going to hit the ball normal.テつ If he pitches at the belt, doesn't matter who you pitch to, they are going to hit the ball; and they are going to hit the ball even better, because they have got really good hitters.
But you're not going to beat anybody pitching the way we pitched tonight.

Q.テつ All the walks, is that a snowball effect?
COACH McCLURE:テつ You know, it's tough when you get in a ballgame like that sometimes and you're getting rolled pretty good, and you know, I think you don't want it to as a coach, and players don't want it to, but I think it takes the edge off sometimes that you have as an athlete when you're just trying to hold on, as opposed to really competing for something.
Not that we gave up, ever, but I think it's different.テつ I think there is a difference.テつ And again, I give them all the credit.テつ They have got a good ballclub.テつ They are well coached.テつ The guy that pitched tonight I love.テつ I mean, you know, to me, he's the difference.
You know, we jumped out, and his team gave him life again.テつ He didn't pitch well early, but his offense took advantage of our mistakes.テつ They gave him life, and then he grabbed on to it and then he was awesome.
And that's what guys do.テつ I mean, that's what good guys do.テつ But he's very good, very good.

Q.テつ In that first inning, were you expecting it was going to be tough to score runs?
COACH McCLURE:テつ I knew he was good.テつ I've seen him pitch on TV a couple times.テつ I mean, he's a lefty that can really pitch.テつ We all love those guys.テつ He can throw any pitch in any count and his ball moves.テつ He knows how to pitch.テつ He's smart.
You know, that guy is going to win a lot of games at any level and he can probably pitch at about any level.テつ He's just very, very good.

Q.テつ Is that why you had Craig bunt in the first inning?
COACH McCLURE:テつ No, no, I'm sorry‑‑ I didn't hear you say that.
The reason‑‑ I didn't do it yesterday, we didn't do anything; we hit into the double play.テつ I thought, hey, I have a lot of confidence in Reed, especially against left‑handed pitching.テつ We get a bunt down here, we have second and third; if we get off to a good start, we score a run or two, then that's going to be a good thing.
So I felt like going in, I felt like Casey was just going to give us‑‑ do a great job.テつ I thought he was perfect to pitch against their lineup.テつ In a hundred years, I never would have thought it would have ended up like that.テつ But that's why you play the games.

Q.テつ With the number of pitchers that you had to use, how much of a bind does it put you in where you have to try to win two in a day?
COACH McCLURE:テつ I think we're fine.テつ We were careful about how we used guys.テつ I think we used the right guys.テつ I mean, we weren't going to throw, you know, when we are down 15‑4, whatever, we weren't going to throw guys out there that we feel that we have to have to try to get this done.テつ I mean, the planning started at that period.
You know, our backs are against the wall.テつ Everybody but Indiana's backs are against the wall now and it's going to take something special to come back and win this.テつ All we can worry about right now, you know, is just trying to beat Valparaiso who has got a very good ballclub, they've proved.

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