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June 2, 2013

Will Coursen-Carr

Justin Cureton

Tracy Smith

Sam Travis



COACH SMITH:テつ Well, I guess the word that comes to mind, really in general, and not just talking about this regional specifically is the word progress.
I'm very pleased, certainly with‑‑ it seems like everything, every game or every step we take, we are making history for Indiana baseball.テつ It's fun.テつ That was certainly a memorable evening for us.テつ I know the players and when we sit back and at the end of the day we start thinking about this, we'll be‑‑ you know, we'll probably put it in context.
But what I want to point out‑‑ excuse me, and I don't know if you paid attention, was the demeanor of this team, and you didn't see a dog pile.テつ And the reason you didn't see a dog pile, it wasn't because the coaches said, we are not going to have a dog pile; it's because these guys believe, and I keep saying, it they have a lot of baseball left to play.
So I like our mentality right now.テつ I think that was a well‑played baseball game against a quality opponent.テつ You don't win 47 baseball games if you're not good.テつ So I thought Austin Peay was certainly a challenge for us.
But like we have all year, our guys have lived up to the challenge, and I know we are very, very proud.テつ But we are not finished yet in our mind.

Q.テつ Seems like the last few nights against Austin Peay, momentum came down to moments, there was the home run that Casey took back last night and just in, the home run you had and the big strikeout Halstead had; how much do you guys feel like you just harnessed momentum this weekend and stayed consistent with it?
JUSTIN CURETON:テつ When we play our game, we feed off each other's energy and athleticism and talent.テつ Our team, like you said, all year has just been backing each other up, whether someone picks up someone defensively, offensively.テつ We just have each other's backs all year.テつ If we keep doing that, I think we'll do well.
WILL COURSEN‑CARR:テつ Like Justin said, each one of our players were all confident in each other and we know if one person is having a down game, somebody will pick each other up and that's what helps us do that.
SAM TRAVIS:テつ Yeah, definitely believe momentum came to our side a lot of the times, and was good to have the home crowd here, and they were awesome this weekend.テつ We knew if we play our best baseball that we are going to win, and played good baseball this weekend and we just have to keep it going.

Q.テつ Justin, what happened on that play?テつ How did you get that?テつ How on earth did you pull that off?
JUSTIN CURETON:テつ Just had a good read on the ball and I just made the play.テつ I've made those plays before.テつ I have a lot of confidence in my defense and I have a lot of confidence in my pitchers throwing strikes and it makes defense easier when they are throwing strikes.テつ He was throwing strikes today and I just made the play.

Q.テつ Second night that you start quick at the plate; what were you guys seeing so well off of their starter in the first inning?
SAM TRAVIS:テつ Yeah, again, just hitting our pitch, not getting ourselves out, swinging at strikes, swinging at pitches that we can handle.テつ More importantly, swinging the bat as well as we can handle and laying off the off‑speed early in the count and trying to hit a ball hard and good things are going to happen.

Q.テつ Will, gutsy performance tonight.テつ Coach has talked about not being freshmen anymore.テつ Just in what ways do you think you grew up tonight?
WILL COURSEN‑CARR:テつ Well, honestly, I don't think I was as sharp as I could have been.テつ Felt like I left a ton of walks out there.テつ But just making sure, grinding it out, every pitchthat ‑‑ I was really confident in my BP fastball which Coach Neal was calling a lot.テつ Like when I was trying to throw it too hard, I was getting hit and that was my fault.テつ The BP fastball really helped me to have success.

Q.テつ Justin, at what point did you realize you were going to have to go over the wall, and had you made a play like that in practice?テつ At what point did you know to really get up high?
JUSTIN CURETON:テつ Playing at home really helped.テつ Like you said, in practice, we take a lot of home field BPs and I get a lot of reads.テつ I've had that play before and my teammates also helped me and they told me where the track was.テつ And when I hear that, I start looking for the wall, and then let my athleticism take over.

Q.テつ You start the second with a walk and a base hit and a couple changeups striking out; kind of got you in a groove then?テつ No doubt the play to Justin helped out there in the second inning also.
WILL COURSEN‑CARR:テつ Yeah, with that team, they are really good‑‑ they were laying off fastballs a lot, so I had to get my changeup going.テつ The first inning I was leaving it up super high.テつ But once I got going that second inning, it was all right, and then just an unbelievable play by Justin was awesome.テつ I knew it was gone.テつ I was sure it was gone, put my hands on my knees, and made a play.

Q.テつ Will, what was it like to be on the mound in the Big Ten tournament championship game and to be on the mound again tonight?テつ Was there anything that you took from that experience last weekend that maybe helped you out a little bit tonight?
WILL COURSEN‑CARR:テつ Yeah, it's been a progress this entire season getting my confidence up.テつ I mean, the Big Ten championship game, brought my confidence up a lot.テつ I knew I could get the job done here.

Q.テつ Justin, as a senior, at what point do you really sit back and soak in this season with the new stadium, 46 wins, due all Big Ten title, a guy that's in the front row of the whole process of getting this team together?
JUSTIN CURETON:テつ Which it's all said and done, which is not any time soon, yeah, it's been an extraordinary year, extraordinary guys, extraordinary coaching staff, and just enjoying it so far and like I said, we are not done yet.

Q.テつ Similar question to one I asked earlier:テつ But how big have the moments been?テつ Seems like your team has seized moments when it had it, from the comeback Friday to some of the big defensive plays the last few nights.
COACH SMITH: テつWe were sitting here a couple nights ago, and it was like, as we said, finally we can play baseball, because that was such an emotional win on Friday.
But to me, I've been watching a lot of baseball on TV.テつ I've watched a lot of games as a player.テつ I don't know that I've seen a catch like that.テつ I've already started referring to it as "the catch" and I don't think people can appreciate how difficult that defensive play was.テつ Because to me, that was the ballgame tonight.
We jump out to a three‑run lead and if that ball goes over, I think it's going to be a three‑run homer, right?テつ On our field no, there's no warning track and there's no difference, Justin could not tell the difference in his feet.テつ On a typical warning track, there's a change in surface.
So that was‑‑ it was a great catch because it got over the wall.テつ It's an even greater catch in any mind because it was just a fearless effort.テつ At that point he was selling himself out, and as you said, I thought we capitalized on momentum and there were a couple double plays even in that game that changed.テつ I thought the strikeout by Harrison was huge, and then of course Halstead coming in and getting the other punch with bases loaded.
But when you're talking about momentum, to me you have a crowd to do that, and I thought it was spectacular, the people of Bloomington and fans that came in from around the state and flew in from California; there were people from Florida.
As I said earlier, I think this is a step forward for our program.テつ I'm excited that we get to extend the season.テつ But I think you can hear it in the guys voices right here, the mind‑set is, we have got a lot of baseball to play, but hopefully we can have some more of that momentum moving forward.

Q.テつ What all went into bringing Halstead in in that situation?テつ Worked out, his biggest moment, but the thought process there and how huge was he?
COACH SMITH:テつ I'll be honest, it wasn't my idea.テつ Coach Neal, very good, very astute.テつ You talk about knowing your personnel, and you're probably one of those secret Tweeters that Tweets me and second guesses all my calls and stuff‑‑ I read all the Tweets and people second guessing.
And one of my biggest things is:テつ You've got to know your personnel.テつ Before that inning started, Luke went down there and Ty says to me:テつ Let's make sure we have Halstead ready for a close situation in this inning, which was great.テつ Because he came in, walked a guy, got the big strikeout.
But at that point, I felt like and we felt like, the game at that point was going to be decided in that inning.テつ So rather than make the close situation tonight, we felt it was there.テつ But all credit goes to Coach Neal, because he had Ryan hot, anticipating that particular situation.
So that was already formulated but I wish I could take credit for that one; can't.

Q.テつ Will talked about, I guess he characterized it as an up‑and‑down start for him, but just for a freshman, I know he's been in some big moments this year, but what did you think of his performance?
COACH SMITH:テつ I've said it all along.テつ To me, he's the best pitcher people haven't seen.テつ I mean, you think about the starts that he had mid year and all the people when he came out, started the big game, the championship game in the Big Ten tournament, everybody is like, who is this guy.
We knew he was good.テつ It's clear there were probably some head scratching, even the fact that he started over‑‑ Kyle has done a phenomenal job for us this year pitching in the Top3 of our rotation.
But, we felt, Will has been as good as anybody that we've had as of late.テつ So it was huge.テつ And he said it, he wasn't particularly sharp, but that's why he's so good.テつ He doesn't have to have his best stuff and can get people out.テつ He can make a mistake or two and still beat people and I think he did that tonight.

Q.テつ Michael Davis came up with the bases loaded and he was the tying run and he had two hits this tournament and each were home run and I believe each were game‑winning shots.テつ Against Luke Harrison, I know it was two weeks ago but Luke hung a breaking ball and Kentucky won that game.テつ Harrison walks Davis, were you trying to hell Harrison not to hang a breaking ball and be more careful with Davis?
COACH SMITH:テつ I wish I was that smart.テつ I'm not, because, you know, in this game, truthfully, you've got to have a short memory.テつ I appreciate your question because I know where it's going.
I wasn't thinking about, oh my goodness, we hang a breaking ball here.テつ We were all systems go, we were going to get the guy out.テつ My focus has been on what Indiana is doing, quite frankly.テつ I wasn't ‑‑ I just learned something just now; he's been banging them all out.
No, we liked the matchup because of the breaking ball.テつ That was the plain and simple fact of that.テつ We were disappointed, thought we slowed his bat down, showed him multiple breaking balls and got to the full count and we were disappointed that he choked the fastball there and ended up walking there.
But maybe if I go by your theory, if we throw a breaking ball, he might have hit a home run out of the park, I don't know.
No, we were disappointed because at that point, on that walk, I think the score was, you're bringing the go‑ahead run to the plate, if I'm not mistaken.テつ We were not pleased with the walk, I'll tell you that.

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