Arizona and St. John's spoke to the media Thursday about this year's Super Regional
June 7, 2012
Video: Pre-Tournament Press Conference
Division I Baseball Championship
Tucson (Ariz.) Super Regional | Hi Corbett Field
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Arizona Pre-Tournament Press Conference
Head Coach Andy Lopez
"We're excited and we are looking forward to competing the next three days. I'm really proud of the junior class in what they have accomplished in their time here, hopefully it continues on. They have come in here and done a marvelous job."
On St. John's
"They are a very scrappy group from what I have heard. They have a great left fielder as well. The last time I played against them might have been when I was at Pepperdine, but that's bad memory on my part. But I know that they are a scrappy group."
On Super Regional teams
"Once you get to a Super Regional, you are a proven ball club. There is no such thing as an outright favorite. If there was then we would be in Chapel Hill today. I tell my guys that all the time. But we know that this is a good team because they are here."
Robert Refsnyder, Junior, Outfielder
"I came here because of Omaha. We embrace it, and that is the ultimate goal so why hide from it? Coach Lopez and Coach Siegel are the only ones here who have been to Omaha so we listen to them when they are talking about it. Lopez always preaches good baseball. I always listen to the people who have been there and experienced it. Last weekend we had a step towards that ultimate goal and this weekend St. John's comes in hot. We're looking forward to the challenge."
On being drafted by the New York Yankees
"I was at the mall when I was drafted. My family and a couple of friends called. I was really caught up in the moment that day, but after that day, I moved on. I committed here when Arizona was playing against Miami in the Super Regional, and I really wanted to be a part of that, and here I am now in a Super Regional setting. I came to Arizona with an ultimate goal of getting to Omaha, and now we're really close. We need to win two games against St. John's which will be a difficult challenge. I'm excited to play with my teammates and hopefully come out with a weekend win."
Alex Mejia, Junior, Shortstop
On the heat
"We don't really think about it since we're used to being here. We went to Texas the past two years where it's really humid, and here it's really dry heat and really nice."
On the training staff
"Seth Mejias-Brean came in pretty skinny, he was always an athletic kid. But he just bulked up throughout his career here. Same with Johnny Field last year, he can squat a house and he couldn't do that freshman year, so he has just bulked up a lot. I was different. I got stronger as well but I lost weight, my diet changed when I came here."
On if his change in weight has helped him
"Honestly I don't think it changed my hitting at all. My hitting is always going to be the same because it is something I can control. I can be consistent with it as long as I keep working hard."
Johnny Field, Sophomore, Outfielder
On the heat
"We're always out here at 1:30 for early batting practice so we're out in the sun everyday. We all know how to stay hydrated so it's not a big deal at all.
On if the heat is an advantage
"They're from New York so it is obviously a lot colder there. It might be a big advantage but it might not be, it's just whoever comes out and plays better baseball and I don't think the temperature will have anything to do with it."
St. John's Pre-Tournament Press Conference
Head Coach Ed Blankmeyer
"It's certainly great to be here. It's been some time for us to get back to a super regional. These guys earned it and deserved it by knocking off the sixth overall national seed North Carolina by playing some good baseball this past weekend. We're excited to be here and we hope to continue to play good baseball."
On his team's strengths
"First of all, our major strength is experience. These kids have been through it, they've been to three regionals and they believe in each other. We have solid pitching, our defense is solid and what I like about our offense is that we get contributions throughout the lineup. Sometimes the middle of the lineup picks us up; sometimes the bottom of the lineup picks us up. I think we're just a good ball club. Nothin' flashy, nothin' sexy, we just go out and grind and play."
Jeremy Baltz, Junior, Outfielder
On the heat being a factor
"No. We were in Florida a couple of weeks ago and honestly I think as soon as you walk out in the Florida heat it punches you in the face. It's so humid and it's tough to play; you sweat as soon as you walk outside. We haven't done any physical exercise outside yet, but when you walk outside you can feel that it's not as humid; it's dry. I think we're ready for it. Obviously it's hot, but we're staying hydrated and staying cool. We're going to be ready for it, no excuses. We're going to be ready to play."
On the dimensions of Hi Corbett Field
"I don't think we've played in a ballpark this big. But, Matt (Wessinger) was saying earlier, we're not really a home run hitting ball club, so I think that this, in a way, helps us. We do have some guys, myself included, that try to do too much and hit the ball out of the park, so we can get that out of our heads and just try to go gap-to-gap and get doubles. Those doubles will turn into triples and those triples will help us get some wins."
On Saturday's walk-off home run to beat North Carolina
"That was the most unbelievable feeling ever; it was probably the biggest hit in St. John's history. We were down two runs in the bottom of the ninth and we had runners at first and third with one out, so we're thinking we have a shot. Huge, huge hit by Danny (Bethea). It kind of gave us confidence that we had a chance to win this thing. The next day, we had some good starting pitching by Matt Carasiti and some good bullpen work. It was just an unbelievable weekend. We got good pitching, some timely hitting and good pitching out of the `pen, so I think it was just an all-around good team win."
Matt Wessinger, Senior, Infielder
On taking time to digest the regional win over North Carolina
"Really, we just had the bus ride home. As soon as we got back, Coach Blankmeyer said, `enjoy it, but as soon as we step foot off this bus it's on to Arizona.' So, really, we had the bus ride home that night after we won the regional to enjoy it and let it sink in, but once we got back we were all business, preparing ourselves for Arizona and the speed that they play and their different playing style."
On Arizona's 47 runs scored in the regional
"They swung the bat really well. I know Louisville is a good team, and looking at the box score, I think Louisville made six errors, so they gave them more opportunities than they would have had, but obviously they can swing the bat. We have great pitching; the starters are really good and the bullpen's been great all year. We know we can swing the bat and knock out our hits with anybody in the country."
Sean Hagan, Junior, Pitcher
On the team's mindset
"We don't feel like there's much pressure on us. Probably no one, except us, expected us to be here. To advance any further than this would be completely unexpected, so we're just going to go in there and stay loose, keep this train rolling and play good baseball."