Oklahoma Head Coach Pete Hughes
Opening Statement: "It was kind of a crazy day with the way it started. We discussed about urgency and temp. Alex (Wise) got us going on the first pitch of the game. As fate would have it, the last time they replaced a pitcher against us in the first inning, it worked out really well for them. You have to give (West Virginia Pitcher Ross) Vance a ton of credit. He came in and kept the ball down and really managed our offense. We had trouble figuring Vance out. You have to be super-disciplined against those lefties. When they are on their game, it can be a long afternoon or morning like it was for us today."
On West Virginia's early pitching change: "First of all, that kid (Ross Vance, West Virginia) woke up this morning never thinking he was going to pitch. That was unbelievable. Even though I was on the other side, I still truly appreciate that kid's effort because that is really hard to do. He was good mixing up his pitches and keeping the ball down in the zone, and it presented a problem for us."
On his team's goals moving forward: "We have the same goals. It's tough to win the tournament, and it's going to be a little more difficult now. I think we have a good group of guys. We are going to wake up a little earlier tomorrow and try to get it going from the beginning instead of waiting until the fifth or sixth inning to get going."
West Virginia Head Coach Randy Mazey
On what it says about the team that a player gets injured early on and they were able to respond positively: "I don't know if any cameras were on me when that happened, but it was like I said, are you kidding me? This is the hottest guy in the conference. He is pitching; I can't remember the last time he has let a guy to second base in his last three starts. He has been the best guy on our staff lately and one of the best guys in the league. For him to go down with one out in the first inning, your immediate reaction is, ‘Oh no,' but then I heard Coach [Derek] Matlock say, ‘Vance, Vance, get up and get ready Vance,' and he sent him to the bullpen. He was the obvious choice because of his mentality and the fact that he had started games before and thrown complete games before. That is the sign of a good team. You guys haven't followed us all year like other people have, but there has been other times where we have had multiple guys; one game we brought seven guys off the bench for a comeback win. The sign of a good team is the guys whose name isn't in the starting lineup are good players too. I've never coached a team, like this one, where I have the ultimate faith in every guy that is in this uniform. That is a really good feeling as a coach to know that everyone can contribute to a win."
On the offensive momentum and generating runs in different ways: "We like to be creative and really think outside the box. I'm always coming up with stuff like that. It makes the game fun for these guys when you can put guys in motion and do some crazy things on offense. They enjoy having success at stuff like that. The bunt game has been really good for us. Kyle Gray and Jimmy Galusky, that's not unusual for those guys to be on first and second with nobody out because of bunts and flip the lineup over for guys who can hit it over the fence. That's how we've been winning a lot lately."
On coming into the game to replace the injured Michael Grove in the 1st inning: "As soon as he went down, I heard my name. The first thing I thought about was the same thing that he came in in the first inning the last time that we played them and ran it. I thought, ‘Man how cool would it be if I could do that for him too.' I was also a little confused on what to do. That is actually the first time I had to come in off an injury. So, I was a little lost out there on what to do."
On what was working for him on the mound: "A little bit of everything. I feel like I was able to keep my pitches down and the ones I left up they hit it right at somebody. So, I mean, a little bit of luck today and a little bit of good pitching, a lot of good defense, and a lot of good offense. It was a good team win."
On his home run: "Honestly, once I hit it I was just trying to get it in the air, sacrifice situation. I got a fastball away with two strikes and I got it in the air. I was like, ‘Okay, I did my job.' Then, I saw the center fielder just stop running and I saw it land, and I was just like, ‘Wow, I mean, that'll work.' It was a great momentum boost for us. We feed off stuff like that tremendously. Anything I can do, always, to help the team in a big situation like that pays dividends. Just excited I could do something for the team."