Oklahoma Head Coach Sunny Golloway:
We tip our cap to the way Coastal came out of the gate. We knew that their short stop had to leave and we hope he is okay. So they had to shuffle and move in their third baseman to short and a new third baseman and had an injury behind the plate.
I thought the way they came out against arguably the best pitcher in the country was very admirable. The key for us was to settle down, one. We did some very uncharacteristic things defensively in the first inning so we had to overcome that. And two, I think offensively to get us back into the ball game was to be patient. We were swinging at first pitches we thought we liked and ended up being fly outs or groundouts. If we make an out, lets make it in the second strike or third strike. Don’t be afraid of taking strikes. We ended up finding more of the plate that way.
And then I thought that the key to the game despite all the runs we had scored was Max White drag bunt. Max can do an awful lot at the plate but to have such a big strong guy to be able to do that is great. We were down 3-2 with a runner at first, and lay down the drag and they threw the ball down the line and of course we knew of the injury so we were attacking a position and the next thing you know, we were down 3-2 with runners on second and third and were able to capitalize and get the lead.
When I huddled the team up I said, “Hey, we take Big Jon for granted. Lets not do that.” It was a tremendous job by him and we want him to know that we appreciate his efforts he takes the mound but once we give him the lead its really, really tough.
How much of a leash would you give Jonathan…
We almost weren’t going to send him back out there, but he said he really felt good. You want to assume and believe that we are going to play next week. We plan on playing next week. So you have to be careful. We had the same problem last week in the Big 12 Tournament. I just let him finish it up and you know what was amazing was what I was told after the game. The last pitch, he told me, ‘oh I let that one rip’ and it was 102. So I know there were some people that talked to me before the game about him and many people here to see him so we let him play.
Last pitch was 102.
Seven batters in the first…
I just had to clear my mind really. What helped me the most was my teammates picking me up. Getting the lead back was great and for me to give up three runs early, its hard for an offense to come back early. They put up four runs for me and I just started to get into my zone a little bit.
Yea I felt stronger as the game went on, but I did change a few things. We started mixing the off speed early and attacking the fastball. They were swinging so we had to mix up the off speed early to mess up their balance a little bit. It worked out a lot better.
How key was getting short outs towards the end…
We had a good lead but we also we wanted to get out early too. So don’t fill up the zone, don’t walk anyone and pressure defense.
When you go deep into the game you start to get better at it. We have a lot of guys in the bullpen and obviously it helped out a lot but we are satisfied with our bullpen.
Mindset falling behind early…
Early I was kind of confused of what was going on. But we just had to find our groove really. I knew when Jon found his groove things would start clicking. We came off a Big 12 Tournament and we had a lot of fans and Carolina had a lot of fans here. They were loud and we really just had to fine tune ourselves and like Jon said clear our minds. And we did that. Five runs in three innings was key for us so we need to keep that momentum going.
Jonathan for granted…
I sure don’t being a veteran in this program. There is not too much I take for granted in this game. Its great to have him and he is a great confidence booster.
Do you take Jonathan for granted…
I think we do. He is a big strong guy and we believe in him and believe in what he can do.