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June 1, 2013

Joey DeNato

Scott Donley

Tracy Smith

Sam Travis



COACH SMITH:テつ Well, first and foremost, I think we feel very fortunate to be continuing in the winner's bracket.テつ That's where you want to be, clearly; and to beat, in my opinion, a very, very good baseball team.テつ They remind us a lot of our own team:テつ Big, physical guys that swing the bat and pitch the heck out of it.テつ You know, the way that thing started, it was one of those where you're like, uh‑oh, good thing we had the answer.
But, you know, we are not sitting here really anticipating who we are going to face tomorrow or really worried about that.テつ We were just thanking our lucky stars because clearly Austin Peay was probably playing some of the best baseball in the country coming into this game and we knew that we were going to have our hands full.
I thought once Joey got settled in after the rough first inning, he was pretty effective in keeping a pretty darned good hitting team in check.
So, we are happy with the win.テつ I think long day for everybody, you guys included.テつ I think we're ready to go get some rest and sit back and watch two teams go at it tomorrow and see who we play.

Q.テつ Joey, I don't think you allowed a hit in your last four innings; what was the difference between the first couple innings and then the last four what changed for you?
JOEY DeNATO:テつ Well, I think in the beginning, in the first inning, I kind of psyched myself out a little bit thinking, I don't know, I was kind of‑‑ just they are a good‑hitting team so maybe I wasn't as aggressive as I should have been.
And once I kind of got my off‑speed working, getting that curveball over for a first‑pitch strike, it kind of helped me settle down.テつ Yeah, once he was getting ahead of batters in the count, I could get ahead with off‑speed pitches.

Q.テつ Joey, you went with the changeup primarily later in the innings; how much of that was your decision or communication with coaches and how much of it was the overall pitch calling?
JOEY DeNATO:テつ In between innings I talked to Coach Neal and told him that‑‑ well, first of all, my first‑pitch curveball was working for me, and I told him I wanted to do that a little bit more.
Then towards the end of the game, it kind of just clicked in that it started working, probably towards the fourth inning and then we stuck with that throughout the rest of the game.

Q.テつ Sam, just the home run you hit off the scoreboard, what were you thinking in that at‑bat that work out for you there?
SAM TRAVIS:テつ Started a lot of guys out, a lot of right handers with a first pitch fastball and I was just going out there looking to hit something hard and make something happen and wanted to get the inning going.テつ Hit the ball hard and it just sailed over the fence and it worked out good for us.

Q.テつ Chad Clark said last night about getting the kinks out; how much less of a factor tonight were nerves on this stage?
SCOTT DONLEY:テつ It was real big to come out and last night to come back and get that win, and then everyone came out today real relaxed.テつ As you can see, we came out and jumped on them right away.テつ It was just real good to get the nerves gone.

Q.テつ Similar question, but Coach said he sort of felt a relief of pressure after the end of last night's game, particularly the way it happened.テつ And the two, three, four, five spots today, you guys drove in all your runs, and I think you combined for something like ten hits.テつ Just kind of what changed for you guys from Kyle to Sam to Scott down to Michael in the lineup tonight versus last night?
SAM TRAVIS:テつ We knew we had to come out and be more aggressive and attack fastballs, attack ‑‑ more importantly, attack fastball strikes.テつ We just had to wait for our pitches and I think we did a great job of that today.
More importantly, we didn't swing at the pitcher's pitches.テつ We didn't get ourselves out.テつ We hit the ball hard today and it worked out; worked out well.

Q.テつ You guys lost walked 12 times, I think six between the two of you.テつ Was there a concerted effort tonight to try to work the count, or were there not very many good pitches to swing at sometimes?
SCOTT DONLEY:テつ As Sam said, we were going out there to attack one pitch and not get ourselves out and swing at bad pitches and the pitcher's pitch.
So we came out, and we were a lot more selective with our at‑bats.テつ As you can see, if you come out with patience, it ends up paying off a lot.

Q.テつ Joey, with the strikeouts tonight, you moved into the top five all‑time at IU; what does that mean to you to be up there?
JOEY DeNATO:テつ Actually, I didn't know that.テつ I mean, it's cool, but not something I'm keeping track of or anything.テつ I just go out there and pitch and try to pitch as best I can.テつ I guess that kind of thing happens.

Q.テつ Was there a point early on where you just felt like you had that guy, that you guys were locked in on him and had a chance to really put some runs on the board?
SCOTT DONLEY:テつ I think one of the biggest hits was Schwarber came up and hit that two‑out RBI and just nuked the ball up the middle and got two runs to come in.テつ And right after that, Sam comes in and blasts that home run over the fence.テつ And I think right after that, I knew when we came up, any pitcher we face, we were going to attack him.

Q.テつ After the offense put up the five‑spot in the second, how big of a relief was it for you?
JOEY DeNATO:テつ It was a huge relief.テつ With our offense we have, I know that whether we are down two or up by two, I know that we are going to keep that lead as long as I do my job.テつ And today is definitely‑‑ after the first inning, I think it was 3‑0 and then we came back(laughter)I mean‑‑ anyways.
But yeah, it's a huge relief having the lineup that we do and coming from a pitcher, it's definitely a lot easier and a lot less stressful when we have a lead, and we had the lead pretty much the whole game.

Q.テつ Not trying to start any fires or anything, but in terms of Joey's longevity in this game, how important was that five‑run second inning after he struggled there in the first in terms of how long of a leash you were going to give him?
COACH SMITH:テつ It was important.テつ I mean, I'm not going to lie to you.テつ Because we were concerned with the swings they put on them, and plus the success that Florida had had in their lineup with the right‑handers, so we were going to be watching that pretty closely.
But the five‑spot was good because it gave him a little bit of a cushion to attack.テつ You know, when someone throws a five‑spot on you, the tendency offensively is to try to get it all back in one swing.テつ And so when you try to do that off a lefty, you end up letting the lefty settle in.テつ So it worked out pretty much in our favor.

Q.テつ Do you think ‑‑ to expand upon a topic that's already been raised with the players, it really was the case as you mentioned last night; the home run did more than win a game for you, it relaxed your guys and even after giving up three in the first they were ready to rebound pretty fast?
COACH SMITH:テつ For sure.テつ And honestly when I saw that ball go off the bat, that last one, I was already processing in my mind, oh, my God, we're down five.テつ I was shocked that he caught it.
But yeah, as I said‑‑ you could.テつ Like three of the guys came back in the dugout.テつ It wasn't panic time.テつ It was like, hey, let's just keep going here, and they came out and put some pretty good swings on them.テつ I think getting that back and then some, certainly even helped that attitude even more.
But I was convinced last night that it was great just to get that monkey off our back so we can just get back to playing baseball.テつ And as I said last night, we can go out in the next game or whatever, but I still feel the mind‑set is our guys would be a heck of a lot more relaxed than they were last night.

Q.テつ I guess to expand on that, how much of a difference did you see in the approach, the way guyswere ‑‑
COACH SMITH:テつ A lot.テつ And I'll say it again:テつ I don't want to take away from what the Valparaiso pitcher was doing.テつ We were anxious, but let's not forget, he was making some quality pitches and keeping the ball down.
Sam alluded to it; that he had us swinging at a lot of non‑strikes last night.テつ And we felt that ‑‑ relaxed approach.テつ But Delgado is a power pitcher, and when you have a power pitcher, the tendency sometimes if they are trying to overthrow is to be up.テつ And I felt if he leaves some ball up in the zone‑‑ we looked at his numbers coming in, ERA, the number of home runs; the wind was blowing out today.テつ I wasn't too concerned about the three‑spot in the bottom.テつ We are probably going to score three runs today, just given our lineup.

Q.テつ Just to take Joey out in the sixth inning, was that performance based, or where you were at in the game with a big lead?
COACH SMITH:テつ Not performance, because I thought he was really starting to settle into his changeup and off‑speed at that time.テつ He was at 106 pitches, and he was I think 90 starting that inning.
So, with a big lead, truth be told, if we are locked in a one‑run game there, he probably was running back out there again.テつ But I thought he was just hitting his stride when we took him out and it was nice to get some of the other guys in and still keep that bullpen fresh for tomorrow, and certainly if we have to extend beyond that.

Q.テつ How much do you think the way you guys were hitting the ball and their approach has to do with Austin Peay's 12 walks?
COACH SMITH:テつ You mean, just us hitting and with them being tentative in the strike zone and increased walks?テつ Well, again, I think Gary is probably better to answer for his staff.
But looking at some of the kids that were coming in, they didn't have‑‑ it didn't look like they were some of their regular guys.テつ And we have some of that, too, on our staff.テつ And usually when a guy is not a regular guy for you, it's probably because he's walking people.
But, you know, and I'll just say this, watching it‑‑ it's not necessarily them, but sometimes pitchers do see those flags blowing straight out and they start nibbling.テつ You start nibbling, you fall behind.テつ You fall behind, you start walking people.
So I think there was a combination of all of that going on today.

Q.テつ You alluded to this a little bit, but how important was it tonight for Joey to settle in and for you to get a couple good innings from Christian; the bullpen has been a strength all year.
COACH SMITH:テつ It was huge.テつ The big lead afforded us‑‑ because my only concern at that time was don't walk.テつ The guys that come, in don't walk anybody.テつ If someone is going to beat us, they are going to have to knock it around a little bit.テつ Christian came in and tried to prove me right.テつ What did he get, three singles in a row.
You know, I like when we get some guys in there, too, who have not pitched a lot at regional‑‑ the senior, Walker Stadler, wonderful opportunity for him to come in.
For me it served two purposes, gave two great kids who worked as hard as everyone on the staff an opportunity to pitch; but also gave two great kids a chance to pitch in a regional for their hometown crowd, and saved our bullpen, too.

Q.テつ Do you know who is going to start tomorrow?
COACH SMITH:テつ We have not talked about that yet.テつ I think we'll probably wait and see who we face as far as matchups, because we have got everybody available.テつ But I'll get with Coach Neal and we'll talk about that and see what we're going to do.
That ruins your old probable starter articling, doesn't it.テつ (Laughter.)

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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