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No. 17 Baseball at Vanderbilt -- Game One -- Post-Game Quotes




March 29, 2014

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

2014 Kentucky Baseball
Post-Game Quotes
UK at Vanderbilt
March 28, 2014 – Nashville, Tenn.
Charles Hawkins Field

Kentucky Head Coach Gary Henderson

On the performance of A.J. Reed
“He wasn’t very crisp early on. He was over throwing. He was trying very hard obviously, but not very efficient. Baserunners, the lead off guy got on. They went two out of the first three, three out of the first four, or something like that. He really battled the entire inning and I was really proud of his effort. Then somewhere around the fifth inning he found some rhythm. The fifth through the eighth went much, much better.”

On putting offensive pressure on Vanderbilt ...
“I think so. I think any time that you are down and are kind of struggling…The score was only 1-0, but we didn’t have the upper hand. We clearly didn’t have the momentum and then we come back and we score. We had some really good at bats, had some contact, and then taking the lead really makes you feel good. Then the momentum comes over into our dugout and Reed gets a shot of adrenaline and he just pitched well. He pitched extremely well the last four or five innings.”

On the ability of Reed to effectively use his secondary pitches…
“It wasn’t very good early and then it was. They were sitting on the fastball early, soft late, and their first three hits came off of elevated offspeed pitches. He was able to find some rhythm and get that thing down. He doubled up a few times on the curveball and change up. He just changed the pattern and I am really, really proud of A.J. A tremendous effort on the road on a Friday night.”


 

 

On the team effort offensively…
“It was a team effort. I felt like the quality of the contact from Max Kuhn, Austin Cousino, and Reed in the middle really established a good feeling in our dugout. I think they got seven hits and five of them were squared up. They did a really nice job. They hit it hard. All three of them hit a couple balls right on the nose. A.J. had the one long at bat, nine or 10 pitches. Then he hit a base hit to left. We got a little bit of production in the bottom. It was a good night for us offensively. I thought we competed really well in the box.”

On the team’s ability to make defensive plays …
“It was a good night for defense I thought, for both sides. Obviously, as big as anything, we wanted the ball in the ninth inning and that was very evident. The two plays that Matt Reida made at shortstop were tremendous plays. Bernal made two plays in the eighth. Then the catch that Cousino made, that’s a SportsCenter catch. A tremendous catch. We were in in the outfield a little bit, so that was a great catch. I really felt like that was a big a step as anything is the feeling that we had defensively in the eighth and the ninth.”

On the poise Kyle Cody showcased…
“He hasn’t come in and gotten the last three outs in a close game on a Friday night in conference so that was a big step for him. Obviously if we can get him comfortable in that role, that changes the makeup of our bullpen.”

On what the win does for the team’s confidence…
“It gives you confidence. It’s like going into the South Carolina series. They are ranked wherever they are depending on which poll you look at, but they are high. You think you are going to be able to compete with them. You can think and you can know all you want but you have to do it. Winning on Friday night in this league on the road is a tall order. They now know that they can beat anybody in the country on the road. That’s a real guy we beat tonight. Beede is an outstanding pitcher and to be able to go on the road and get the win is tremendous and gives us the confidence to do better.” 

#18, A.J. Reed, LHP, Jr.

On facing a highly ranked Vanderbilt squad…
“Early on I didn’t really have my best stuff, so I had to keep competing and attacking the zone and try to work ahead and get groundballs. It’s tough when you are playing on these turf fields. The ball is going to be a little bit quicker, so you are trying to get weak contact and I think for the most part, I did a pretty good job of that.”

On showcasing a level of maturity…
“Over the past couple years I’ve had to understand sometimes you make your pitch and they are going to get it in, but you just have to get past that. I felt like that happened quite a bit tonight. I felt like two or three of their hits were hard hit balls. Other than that, I felt like they were balls that got through and it is something that I have learned over time with experience. You just have to get past that and get to the next batter.”

On finding rhythm in his curveball…
“If you can throw a second pitch for a strike, and for me tonight it was a curveball, it just puts that in the back of their mind. If you can put it where you want and work both sides of the plate and get in the zone, it makes all of your other pitches that much better. It makes the fastball better and it makes the slider better. They think the slider is going to be a fastball, then they swing at it. For the most part I felt like I attacked the zone pretty well with all of my pitches.”

On facing the shift Vanderbilt presented…
“I got a couple buddies on this team and they were talking to me about it before the game. We were talking about it in the dugout that they didn’t do their homework very well because I have ben working the whole field this year. That is something that we worked on in the fall and that we knew was going to be important this year. I was just trying to get a pitch that I could take the other way. I got it through up the middle once and I hit the ball to left. You just have to keep battling when you are at bat and trying to get a pitch that you can drive.”

#19, Austin Cousino, CF, Jr.

On getting the series opening victory…
“It’s very big. You always want to come out and throw the first punch in a series and Vanderbilt is a great club. It was big to get the kind of support we had on offense. A.J. Reed didn’t have it early, but he fought through it and our bats came alive. It’s always good to get a win on Friday night and go into Saturday trying to win a series.”

On applying pressure to Vanderbilt one hit at a time…
“Our offense has been great all year and Bette is a great pitcher. He did a great job and we are going to face guys like that every Friday and you know that going in. We have the scouting report and stuff, but when push comes to shove, you just have to get up there and swing it and we did a great job of that tonight.”

On his approach at the plate…
“It’s the same as every time I go up to the plate and that’s the toughest thing about this sport. You can find yourself in slumps and whatnot, but it stays the same. You try to get the barrel on the ball and sometimes you hit it right at guys. Sometimes you hit one and square it up and it goes right to someone and sometimes you jam it and it finds them, but that is just baseball. You just have to keep grinding. You have to play the game a pitch at a time. When you find you can do that at the highest level, those are the guys that succeed.”

On adjusting to the speed of the turf…
“We have a very fast outfield and we have a very fast team collectively. I don’t know if that’s an advantage or disadvantage. Maybe a single I had might have not gone through, but it’s the same for them as it is us. I personally don’t like turf, but it plays a lot more true. It is not as bouncy as some other turfs I’ve played on. When it comes to the dimensions, that’s baseball. It’s not a sport where everything is the same. That’s just something you can’t control.”

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