May 22, 2013
Postgame press conference
Minnesota 3, Illinois 2
Big Ten Baseball Tournament
Head Coach John Anderson
“It was a heck of a ball game. Obviously, we found a way. I thought one of our mottos from Coach Oakes, after he was diagnosed with leukemia, was never give up and never give in and I thought we played that way for nine innings. Tommy Windle found a way to pitch his way out of some jams and we stranded some runners and gave us a chance in the second half of the game. We found the best way to grind it out and get to three runs. We had Ben (Meyer) come out of the bullpen and he just did a phenomenal job. He was a starter for us early in the year when Crawford and Snelten were out, the first four or five weeks of the season. He was put back into the bullpen, but he has really regained his confidence and command. Coming out of the bullpen he has pitched very well down the stretch. So it was an outstanding game, we got the big hit and they didn’t and that’s baseball some days.”
On Windle’s first inning struggles…
“He didn’t have his fastball command, he hasn’t been as sharp the past couple weeks and he hasn’t had the same fastball command. He didn’t get out front and struggled with his delivery a little bit. I feel for the young man, he is under enormous scrutiny, every time he steps up on the mound.”
Pitcher Ben Meyer
On his last outing being on Friday…
“I felt really good, I threw a bullpen session this week too and I’ve been getting my running done. My arm has been feeling great all year.”
On his game plan coming in relief…
“I just try and go out there and throw strikes early on. I use my fastball and let hitters put it in play, I’ve got my defense to do the rest. We have a great defense and our hitters came through for us in the end.”
On experience from starting earlier in the year…
“I really built up my pitch count early in the year. I stretch it now with longer relief outings.”
Outfielder Andy Henkemeyer
On familiarity with Illinois…
“I think as hitters, we knew how their pitcher was going to go after us. He attacked with fastballs and we just had to sit on that and attack the ball.”
On thought-process in big at-bats…
“For me to be successful, I like to get on the pitcher early, try to attack the ball if it’s a strike; go after the first one. In the last at-bat when I struck out, I didn’t do that, and he got me out on a good pitch outside. So I tried to go after that first cutter there and I got one.”
One importance of winning first game of tournament…
“Yeah its huge, my sophomore year, we lost the first one to Ohio St. and had to come back through and I think we got third that year, so it’s tough. We definitely have the pitching and defense to withstand it all and timely hitting today helped out.”
Head Coach Dan Hartleb
“Obviously we are disappointed with the loss. I thought we did a very good job on the mound. I was really pleased with Kevin Duchene’s outing. To put a freshman out there and he has taken over our number one role and he has done a really good job.
“From an offensive stand point, we did a great job of getting runners on base, I thought we were patient at the plate and then when we got multiple opportunities with runners in scoring position, we did not have very good at bats. I felt there were a lot of times when we had the advantage counts and did not take good swings, and got jammed a couple times with advantage counts where we did not have quality bats as far as a scoring position.”
On the difficult call with the tying run…
“We have not seen it, we can’t really make a comment on it. I do not go out to the field very often. That is just part of the game, you can’t let one run affect you if it is a tying run, and obviously you can let the winning run affect you. But that tying run, it is part of the game, we still had many opportunities and that should not have affected us.”
On losing with the double elimination…
“It does not make things easier. You always want to stay in the winner’s bracket, but a lot of people have come through the loser’s bracket and won games and won championships. We have had our back against the wall for the whole second half of the season, as far as the conferences have gone, and we have responded really well. I said yesterday at the press conference that this is the strongest the conference has ever been and I think we are as good as any team in the conference and we will respond.”
On mentality after having many loaded bases opportunities and not scoring….
Shortstop Thomas Lindauer
“There were a couple times when I was at the on deck circle with bases loaded and I did not have a chance to hit. I was disappointed with that, I was hoping to get a chance to drive some runs in and hopefully pick the team up. Especially when I know we were struggling a little bit with guys on base and we were talking about it in the dugout about how the guys need to have good at bats and make Windle work, which is what we did through the first couple innings. I felt we did make him work but we did not capitalize on it like we should have.”
Third baseman Brandon Hohl
“I agree we had really good at bats to get on base and were able to rise Windle’s pitch count early, and we did that well against him last time. But we just have to put that behind you when you make an out with guys on base. It is always most important to do that with the next at bat.”
On having faced Windle last Thursday...
Third baseman Brandon Hohl
“We all felt he was throwing a little bit harder today, definitely a different pitch than it was on Thursday. His fastball was firmer and his slider had a lot more depth on it. But those are just hitting adjustments that you make with each other.”
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