Connecticut Head Coach Jim Penders:
“I was privileged to be part of such a good baseball game. I wish we could have come out on top, but it was a really good college baseball game. I know this isn’t a knock on softball which is over in two hours and it’s easy for television, but I don’t think too many people would be clicking off that game. It was a really good college baseball and we’re really proud of the way we fought. Down three in the first, there was no resignation in our dugout whatsoever until the last out of the game. We believed that we could win and I felt that from every guy in white tonight. We don’t do anything the easy way at UConn, so now we just have to go do it the hard way tomorrow. The last time we made a super regional, we did it the hard way so I think that’s the way it’s meant to be for these kids.”
On the go ahead run:
“You want to have a chance to throw him out. The ball was hit really hard. Billy (Ferriter) reacted and got a glove on it, but even if it gone in the glove, they would have gotten a run anyways.
On effect of the passed ball in the final inning:
“The ball hitting the backstop was a big play. Max (McDowell) has done a great job this year for us as a freshman catcher catching a lot of baseball games. Somehow it squirted through there, but that didn’t lose us the game. They executed. Give Oklahoma all the credit. They came out and had a good approach in the first inning and put up three right away. We hung around and hung around and they executed when they had to late. We made some mistakes late. We were really tough mentally and physically until the last inning there when they got the runs. Just a couple mistakes hurt us.”
On how they bounce back:
“We’ve been battling all postseason from the start of the BIG EAST tournament. We’ve done it all year long and we just need to keep battling and I think you saw that tonight. I couldn’t be more proud of the kids I play with. It was just an unbelievable college baseball game.”
On the team’s attitude:
“At this stage in the game, you can never say die. We were down 7-0 to USF in the BIG EAST tournament in the second game and a lot of people counted us out, but as long as the guys in white, the guys in blue, we still believe that things can happen because they have happened. Like coach said, my freshman year we came back from the losers bracket and won the tournament so expect the same thing.”
On not losing their momentum:
“We’ve been dead man walking all tournament. We’ve come from behind a lot. We were down 7-0 to USF. We were down 3-0 today but every inning, every pitch, we just fought back. Even though this loss stings a little bit, we’re going to sleep on it and come back tomorrow and do our best and hopefully Anthony (Marzi) gives us a good game and we’ll pull off three and head to the super regionals.”
On settling in after the first:
“In the first inning our game plan was to attack and throw strike ones. I thought in the first inning I might have left the ball over the plate a little bit and it was able to find some holes, but after that, I just got in my groove and really just attacked the corners and got my off-speed working and the guys made great plays behind me and we got out of a lot of jams.