Virginia Tech Head Coach Pete Hughes:
When you are in the losers bracket it is critical to get a quality start in a complete game. Holy cow, it saves our bullpen, which we are going to need. So that game was Devin Burke. He set the tone for every thing and I also thought we did was a great job at neutralizing their strengths and that’s the running game and short game. That takes Coach Mason and Devin Burke on the same page, controlling the running game. I thought it was a really good way to bounce back after a disappointing night last night, but that is life in the losing bracket. Selfishly I am just happy I get to coach this team another day.
Did you feel a tension break after Alex came in with the run?
That was a brutal game for five innings. It was really instead of the loser’s bracket it felt like the low energy bracket. That’s what good pitching does. When you don’t have good offense it wells the pace of the game. It really wasn’t when Alex scored. When Andrew hit that homerun was when everyone felt more relaxed and that’s when the bats started flying.
Was there a point in the game where you began to think, here we go again?
When there is no energy in the game you have to kind of dictate it yourself. So that is when we started getting aggressive with stealing bases and safety squeezing. I was trying to build our offense so our guys have confidence and when they are confident they start increasing the bat speed.
Looked like you were getting stronger throughout what point did you realize?
Halfway through the sixth inning. For whatever reason I just turned it on there and never looked back. Obviously I am upset about that homerun but we won the game so it’s just an amazing day for our team.
Did you feel tired?
I didn’t feel tired at all. I just tried to keep hydrated and stretching out between innings so I didn’t cramp. I think my stuff did get better early on and I definitely felt stronger and didn’t feel tired at any point. It was hot but that didn’t really do anything.
How did your strategy develop early on with the curveball?
Yea we weren’t throwing many curveballs in the early innings it was only sliders, changeups and fastballs so it was a little change high levels. Adding a new pitch they hadn’t seen before definitely helped me get the upper edge. It was huge actually.
How much did you need to get something going that first run?
Yea once I saw coach give me the sign and I knew I had to get in there and get on the board. I ran as fast as I could and it worked out.
What was your mindset today?
I told the boys before the game that the only option was to win. There was no other option. There is no tomorrow. The only mindset that we had was to win and we went out there and did it. Scoring runs and things, that’s baseball. You go back and look at last night, we hit the balls hard but it was just at people. Today we just went out and swung the bats and played hard. You got to give a lot of credit to the guys today; Burke and AP for getting the first run in. That kind of got us going and we didn’t stop from there.
Was it calming today to be able to bring the runners in?
Kind of. We came in today wanting to get back to the way we were. We can’t really go away from what we have done all year from one game. And going into tomorrow we just have to look at game one and we have played a lot of double headers this year and with the same approach as today and look at game two when the time comes.