June 1, 2003
2003 NCAA BASEBALL REGIONAL QUOTES
Arizona State 16, UNLV 1
Tempe, Ariz. (Tempe Diablo Stadium)
UNLV Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle
"We knew we were talking a shot today with Adam Lesko. Obviously if Pedroia's ball in the first inning doesn't fall in and we catch it, it might be a different ballgame. I knew if we could get through the first, we might have a shot. I felt like he has pretty good stuff when he's on, but we were taking a shot against a very good club. We didn't lose this game today, we lost it on Friday night.
"It's a travesty in college baseball, it's the most underscholarshipped sport in the NCAA. You've got 11.7 and the average roster is 34. It's a joke. But everybody has injuries. ASU was playing without Rod Allen and you've got to be deep on the mound, and you have to be able to adjust.
When you talk about Arizona State, you talk about one of the premiere programs in the sport for the last 30 or 40 years. At UNLV, we're trying to head in that direction and we're two years in. But we were 46-17. How many teams can say that in the country? Especially at UNLV, to say that about a place that hasn't had a winning season in five years, I'm pretty proud of where we are now.
"We're going to try and be back next year. We need to be a perennial regional team that finishes at the top of our league every year. Then we'll have a chance to host one of these and be a number one seed. I've been a part of an Omaha club, at Tulane, where we went to six regionals. We lost in the first five on the road and we hosted the sixth, and we advanced. There's no secret as to who goes. You also need to be a national seed. And I don't care what the committee says, ASU is not a national seed, they're a top three or four seed in the country. The only other team I've seen this year, either on television or in any sense, that is even remotely close to that club is Fullerton. And the fact that those two teams have to play each other for the right to go to Omaha is unfair."
On ASU Short Stop Dustin Pedroia: "First of all, when I was at Tulane, I set next to Dustin and his parents after the Area Code games and I told him, 'If the NCAA rules allowed me to, I would give you two scholarships.' He is the Pete Rose of College Baseball. I felt like today we hit about 10 of them out there near the grass and anywhere we hit the ball, he just popped up and caught it. "
UNLV First Baseman Fernando Valenzuela
"I hit a couple good balls today and could have had a couple RBI's, but Pedroia made some great plays and Travis Buck made some great plays. You have just got to deal with it. You have to keep on going. When you are behind by six in the first inning, its hard. But we were in it. We hit the ball hard all game, one through nine, but they just didn't fall in for us today.
"We just tried to go out there and score as many runs as we can. We knew we were light on pitching, and everyone in the dugout put their name down and told coach that they were ready to go in. That shows our heart.
"Dustin Pedroia is a great player. He just flew through the air today. He got to balls and threw me out. This was a huge experience. We had a lot of pressure on our team and a lot of underclassmen. We will be back next year and ready to go. We know what we need to work on for next year now. That's what ASU did. Their pitchers threw strikes and kept the ball down and made it tough on us."
ASU Head Coach Pat Murphy
"We played great as a team. Our pitching was great. This is a team effort. Defense and offense all came together today."
"This is great for our guys. The U of A series was great for them, they really took it to them. I am really pumped up for our guys after the U of A series and this weekend. To come close to shutting out a team like UNLV today, who had around 50 hits yesterday is unbelievable. It takes a lot to do something like that and our guys brought it today. "
On ASU Short Stop Dustin Pedroia: "I wouldn't trade him for anything. He is a ball player. He comes to play everyday and take the game personally. He rubs off on everyone else on the team. He really is a special guy."
On the weekend: "The City of Tempe and all of the people who came over from ASU really did a great job. Everything was set up for us the entire weekend. On the field, things went perfectly. Things came together both offensively and defensively for us this weekend. The assistant coaches really did a great job. We were very prepared for every team the entire weekend, especially UNLV. I don't think they (the ASU assistant coaching staff) get the credit that they deserve."
On possibly playing Cal State Fullerton in the Super Regional: "I would pick another team out of the sixteen if I got the choice, but I don't. You get who you get, and now we just have to prepare for them and play our game."
"You shouldn't have to play two games on the last day. It is brutal. To play two games in one day to determine the winner of the regional shouldn't be done."
ASU Shortstop Dustin Pedroia
"I like playing on the faster surface a lot better. You have less reaction time, less time to think about it. It makes it a lot easier to just get out there and play your position. The less time you have to think about it, the less chance there is to make a mistake."
"We wanted to get off to a good start. We didn't want to wait around like we did yesterday. Getting off to an early lead gave us confidence the entire game and the ability to play the game we wanted to play."
ASU Pitcher Ben Thurmond
"I wanted to take it pitch by pitch today. I got out there and threw the ball, once it is out of my hand I don't have control anymore. I trust our defense to make the plays which makes it easier for me to throw my pitches."
On having a six run lead in first inning: "I try not to look at the scoreboard. I go out every inning as though it is 0-0. That way I pitch the same way every inning, every pitch."
ASU Third Baseman Dennis Wyrick
"I don't think of playing at home as motivation. We have played well on the road all year. On the road there is less pressure. You can go out there and be a ball player for a weekend."
On the team hitting well: "It is really a load off of your back when we are playing like that. It's nice to know if you don't get it done, someone behind you will get it done. It is really nice to have that confidence in the entire team. Getting off to any lead is important, especially an early lead. "