June 9, 2012
NCAA Baseball Championships
Tucson, Ariz., Super Regional - Hi Corbett Field
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Game 2: Arizona 7, St. John's 4
*Arizona advances to its 16th College World Series (first since 2004).
*UA improves to 5-3 in Super Regional games and to 1-2 on day two of the round.
*St. John's (first NCAA Super Regional appearance) drops to 0-2 in the round.
*With five consecutive postseason victories, Arizona extends its winning streak to six games. The streak is the second longest of Arizona's 2012 season; UA won eight straight from 3/2-3/11.
*Konner Wade's complete game was Arizona's 14th of the season, most since the 1989 club recorded 22. The complete game was Wade's fourth of 2012 (and career).
*The Wildcats improved to 29-1 while holding opponents to four runs or less while also improving to 30-3 when scoring seven or more runs.
*This marks just the fourth time St. John's has lost consecutive games and is just the second time all year the Red Storm has given up seven or more runs in back-to-back games (4/7, at Rutgers, W 17-10; 4/10, Columbia, L 6-9).
Arizona Coach Andy Lopez
"I want to congratulate St. John's. I spent the last two nights looking at videos trying to figure out how to get those guys out, and it was near impossible. I told Lauricella that I was thinking about throwing the ball behind him for his next at-bat. Their staff deserves a lot of credit, that's a really good team, and we were very fortunate to get out of this Super Regional and advance. I'm extremely proud of these athletes, but I'm really thankful for Greg Byrne and the administration. I don't believe we could have gotten to where we are unless we are at Hi Corbett with that type of crowd. I want to say thank you to the community of Tucson."
Comparing this Super Regional win to his others
"This one is pretty special. There was an opportunity for me to leave in 2005, and I didn't. My wife kept me here. Sometimes I couldn't see light at the end of the tunnel. This is a college town. There should be 4,000 people out here chanting `U OF A' every game. The college town environment is pretty exciting. Also I have had two sons go with me to Omaha as bat boys, and now they are going to be part of a college program going to the College World Series."
On the team
"It's a grind. You want them to go to class, you want them to do the right thing, and you hope that they will all be successful in life. This is a good group of people. The guys that I have, their parents have done an unbelievable job. It's easy working with these guys. It's what I hope for my children. They'll grow and they'll understand and handle adversity, and they'll listen to what I tell these guys almost every day, that life isn't fair. You need to get from survival to improvement to winning."
On getting to Omaha
"I've been there on both ends. I've been there as a 7 seed and won a National Championship, and I've been there as the number 1 seed in the nation and didn't win a National Championship. I like our chances because we like to compete."
Arizona Third Baseman Seth Mejias-Brean
On getting to Omaha
"It's a great feeling, especially because I have been to the Regionals all three years and to the Super Regionals, and now we actually get a chance to go to Omaha, so that will be great for us."
On being a local player
"It means a lot to me, I'm just glad I got a chance to come here. I was a late sign, and it's going to be great, especially with this junior class. I'm really close with this junior class and we deserve. We have worked hard all three years to get here."
On the double-play in the 9th inning
"I was just playing it one pitch at a time. I was going through it in my head saying if it comes to me I need to make the easy play or turn two if I can. That's all I think about, I don't want to think about it too much. I was just treating this like any other game."
Arizona Designated Hitter Bobby Brown
On getting to Omaha
"It's a big deal. We hear Coach Lopez talk about it all the time, and now we can actually experience it for ourselves. It's a great feeling."
Arizona Pitcher Konner Wade
On his mindset coming into the game
"I just wanted to go out there and pound the strike-zone. I knew that they were going to be really aggressive. They are a lot like the Stanford offense that we saw earlier this year. I knew that if I was able to get the ball on the ground, my defense would be behind me to get outs, and they did."
On the double play in the 9th inning
"It was huge. I got those first two guys on pretty quickly, and Coach Lopez told me that if that guy scores you did a good job so let's get a ground ball and get a double play."
On the last out of the game
"You could really feel the energy in the crowd. They were really behind me today. I was just trying to throw strikes at that point. It was hot, I was worn down, and I just wanted to fill the strike-zone and get a ground ball. I got a little too excited at the beginning of that inning, but I kept my composure enough to get the last out."
St. John's Coach Ed Blankmeyer
"First I'd like to thank and commend Arizona on doing a fine job in hosting this Super Regional. I also want to congratulate Coach Andy Lopez and his club. They played better baseball than we did all weekend and that's the bottom line. When you play better baseball you deserve to win."
Difference from yesterday's and today's game
"Yeah you know they extended the lead and we didn't yesterday. A lot of it was their defense too, they defended better than we did, and that's just the bottom line. They made some clutch plays and didn't allow us to get anything going and then of course they made those clutch defensive plays at the end as well."
"It's amazing what their two starters did this weekend. They just keep running those same guys out there and they're doing their job. It's amazing; I don't know how the heck they're getting away with that. You really have to give them credit though. They're probably the most talented team we've played this year when it comes to athleticism, defensive energy, and offensively they just keep the pressure on you. They command the strike zone and they're well coach.
St. John's Pitcher Sean Hagan
On catcher's interference call
"I didn't even see it to be honest. Obviously that's how their big inning started. I probably should have thrown down before that, but I mean I guess it was just one of those days at the ballpark."
St. John's Shortstop Matt Wessinger
On Konner Wade's performance
"Wade really used his change up to keep us off balance. I think him using the change up really made the difference today."
On St. John's postseason run
"It was unbelievable. You go to North Carolina and knock them off after winning 16 straight. I mean that was pretty special and not something everyone gets to do. We played these guys pretty well after what (Arizona) did in its regional. Obviously we felt like we had some success here, but it didn't end they way we wanted it to."