May 31, 2003
UNLV 22, Central Connecticut State 3
Tempe, Ariz. (Tempe Diablo Stadium)
Game Start: 10:01
Game Time Temp: 91?
Game Time: 2:53
Central Connecticut State Head Coach Charlie Hickey
"I was awfully impressed by that ball club today. I thought that we would have a shot to play, and we did for three or four innings, but they were just very poised, obviously well-coached and they were relentless. Overall, I'm awfully proud of our team to be one of 64 teams still playing. We are a little discouraged with the way we showcased our program. Our goal is to be right back here next year."
On playing closer to home: "The game out here is quite different. The elements involved are ones we are not used to and they became apparent in the ability of the infield to get to balls. We were slower, UNLV made plays that our guys just couldn't make. We couldn't play at that level. The speed of the game is much quicker on this surface and we couldn't play to that level."
On the difference between ASU and UNLV: "I thought we were going to be able to get UNLV's attention. With them playing such a difficult and long game yesterday, I felt as though we were in a good position, coming off of our game we had have the momentum. We played well for the first three innings, but they didn't panic. They were relentless. I was very impressed with the way UNLV played today, and obviously it is going to take a few years to earn the respect of a program like ASU. I am not sure how the pitching staffs of the two schools measure up, but they both take advantage of their situations."
On starting their staff ace today: "We don't do it a lot, we usually stick to the straight 1-2-3 rotation. We tried to mix it up a bit coming in this weekend. We thought this might be the game we had a better chance at winning. At the same time, I liked the fact that Lewis Pappariella pitched last night. We will be here next year and be one of our top guys. He is better today after pitching last night. It was a good experience for him. This weekend is a reward for a great season this year, but at the same time the beginning of next season. We need to continue to improve so we aren't in this situation every year, we don't always want to be the number four going against the number one. We don't have the depth of other teams, but as we continue to grow as a program that will come."
Central Connecticut Catcher Tim D'Aquila
"This was a great experience. It was a lot different for us because of the turf. It was hard to come off of the night game and play the morning game. We came out flat and couldn't keep up with them in the end."
On the different climate: "The climate definitely had an effect on us today. But that is not an excuse. We have to play better than we did today. But having 110 degree weather and the sun beating on you all day, when you are not used to it, can be a hard adjustment. I would play in 110 degrees over 30 degrees any day."
On the college baseball experience: "We put a lot of time in all year. A lot of time is spent inside. But this is a great experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I would rather get hammered then be sitting at home and watching it on T.V."
On the growth of the program: "We got beat two years ago in our conference tournament. A lot of our guys were new then, and following that year we wanted and expected to show everyone what we were about. Going into the regional in Texas last year, we were just happy to be there, but coming in this year we wanted to make some noise and represent our program."
UNLV Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle
"Team meetings during the game are overrated and I don't really like them. I called the meeting (in the third inning) because I just felt like, after the game last night, our guys had a little self pity going on. The one characteristic that our club has had throughout the year is that we are tough and that we rise to the situation. For the first time all year, I felt like we were beginning to feel sorry for ourselves. In so many words, I let them know that. Whether it had an effect on the game, I don't know, but it made me feel better."
UNLV First Baseman Fernando Valenzuela
"I think that the pitcher was throwing a lot of strikes and we knew what kind of team we were. When an opposing pitcher throws strikes, we hit the ball very well. I think we calmed down in the dugout and got a little more intense and stepped up.
On discussing last night's performance with his father: "Any time you can get your first hit, especially in a tournament of this magnitude, its huge. (My dad) didn't talk to me about baseball. He doesn't really like to talk about baseball, unless I'm really doing something bad. He just said, 'Go out there. 0-for-6 is over with.' I went 3-for-6 today, which was definitely a step up from yesterday."