May 30, 2003
Arizona State 14, Central Connecticut State 2
Tempe, Ariz. (Tempe Diablo Stadium)
Game Start: 7:01 p.m.
Game Time Temp: 101?
Game Time: 2:58
Central Connecticut State Head Coach Charlie Hickey
"Coming in here, I'm obviously awfully proud of our team, our program, and our school. This was a terrific opportunity for us to play on one of the center stages of college baseball. And I think the anxiety got us, in that we put pressure on ourselves to try and play well. It was exactly what you would see in that situation, a team pressing too hard. I thought we competed offensively and we tried to create some scoring opportunities. Some big plays in the outfield and quality pitches at the right times obviously didn't allow us back in the game in those situations.
"Trying to word it properly, I think it's more of not a disappointment in my team, but a hair of a disappointment for them. We worked awfully hard for nine months to be able to put ourselves in a position like this. Like I say, win or lose, I just wish we could have came out here and played as well as I think that we are capable of. Obviously, ASU is a pretty talented team and a pretty focused team with some goals of going to Omaha. They showed the difference here today.
"When a team hits .350 for the year, they deserve respect. Fourteen runs in college baseball, with the wind blowing and the field that quick, is by no means an embarrassment or disgrace. Last year, there was an obvious difference between our club and the University of Texas. And I would qualify the team we played tonight at that level."
On the experience as a whole for his team: "I am not leaving Tempe, Arizona without having some fun. We have enjoyed ourselves and we will continue to. I look at this weekend as an opportunity for our program to continue to get better. We became awfully better after leaving Austin, Texas (in the regionals) last year. Hopefully, the lessons we learned today will pay dividends down the road. I talked to the kids about not dwelling on what we didn't do. Some of the mistakes today were things you learn in Little League, but I encouraged them that we need to come down here being happy and with a smile. They need to remember that coming to a baseball field is pretty special. And they have another opportunity tomorrow to play in an NCAA regional tournament game.
Arizona State Head Coach Pat Murphy
"Our pitching staff made quality pitches at some quality times. We walked far too many. But that is an aggressive team. It is a huge advantage for us to play at home in front of home town fans. We still need to get it done, we stayed relentless."
"Their coach does a great job. They have been in two regionals in a row. I have a lot of respect for their program."
Arizona State Right Field Andre Ethier
On their approach to the game: "We didn't know much about Central Connecticut coming in. Our approach was to stay up the middle and hit line drives, and we pretty much did that. We wanted to get choice pitches and play Sun Devil baseball"
On playing the first game of the regional: "Our whole approach all year has been to take one game at a time. Not to look too far ahead. We have pressure to go out and perform right away and to play Sun Devil baseball, and after the first inning we did that and capitalized the whole game."
About the catch in centerfield and the wind: "We practice angles in the outfield everyday, and that is exactly what that play was. Travis Buck was there and I called him off at the last minute and it just fell in the glove."
Arizona State Left Field Nick Walsh
On the maturity of this year's team: "We realize now it's just a game. It's not who you are playing or when you are playing. We play pitch by pitch. We have been through this before and we know we are good enough to win, we just have to go out and perform."
In regards to New Mexico State: "They have beaten us in the past. They have great pitching and they are a very explosive team. They are not going to be intimidated by us. "
About getting through this regional in comparison to the past: "I don't look back. I think about this year and this year's team and what they are capable of. We are just going to keep playing."