SDSU Baseball Press Conference Quotes

May 28, 2014

Watch PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO

SAN DIEGO -

Assistant coach Mark Martinez

Opening statement:
"We're coming off our second Mountain West Tournament championship. We've raised the trophy for the second year in a row. It was in a little bit different fashion this year. We came in as the No. 3-seed, but we were feeling we would win the tournament from the get-go. Of course we lost on Friday night against UNLV, but came back and went through loser's bracket on Saturday. We walked-off against Nevada which felt very good and then beat UNLV on Saturday night. Sunday we had to grind out a championship victory which felt great. Now we're going to Regionals for the second year in a row, and our first opponent is Mississippi State, which was the national champion runner-up last year."

On the challenge of facing last year's national runner-up:
"We're excited about it. In fact, we were talking about it on the bus ride Sunday that we really kind of wanted to go to a regional outside of the west to put our stamp on our program nationally. This is an opportunity for us to go play a national brand in college baseball and make some noise. Both Mississippi State and Louisiana are national-type teams. Louisiana has over 50 wins this year and we're going into a hostile environment and welcome the opportunity. We're very excited about it. We wanted to head east."

On what this year's team is all about:
"One of the things is we're an experienced club, gritty program. We're a blue-collar program that prides itself on earning everything we get, and this is another opportunity. We we're in the championship this past week and we expect to go out there and earn some respect and hopefully earn a Regional championship."

On head coach Tony Gwynn:
"Tony is so proud of our program and our kids. (Tim Zier and Bubba Derby) have been around him for years. He's just so proud. One of the things we try to do all the time is reach his level of expectation and his standard, and that's what we've talked about. Continue to play the game the right way, that's what he preaches; Do it the right way. He's so proud because we've done that."

On how often he talks to coach Gwynn:
"It just depends on whether I can get a hold of him or not. We try to touch base with him everyday as a staff. A lot of times this past week was good stuff. We've been winning games, so it's been a lot of celebration and, `Let's go get them the next day.'"

On how the MW Tournament has prepared them for Regionals:
"Winning a championship last year prepared us for this year's conference tournament and also spring-boarded us into a 42-win season. When you win championships, it breeds winning. This group that came back this year, their goals were set extremely high. Winning the conference championship was kind of expected from our group. Last year, it wasn't like that. We were .500, went in there and went through the loser's bracket. But what that did was develop a lot of confidence for this year, and we do have high expectations for this program and it's based off us raising the trophy last year and we kind of got that great feeling in our program of winning a conference championship."

On if the team is playing its best baseball right now:
"I think even if we didn't win the conference championship, it was going to come into play for an at-large bid. We were playing really well down the stretch, and a lot of it was just we mixed and matched our lineup, and once we moved Brad Haynal into the four-hole, it kind of made our entire lineup click offensively. That kind of trickled down to the whole lineup and we started swinging the bats a lot better. So he was kind of the catalyst for us getting it going offensively."

On if it will be nice to play three teams they haven't seen before:
"Absolutely. There's no preconceived notion of what we're going into. There's a lot of freshness to it going out and playing a program like Mississippi State and hopefully Louisiana, and again, stamp our program nationally. That's kind of what our goal is, to go out there and do that, and we're on a mission to go out there and win it."

Senior Infielder Tim Zier

On how often coach Gwynn is on their minds:
"Everytime we step on the field, we want to exceed (Gwynn's) expectations for us, honestly. To come away with another MW Championship was no better feeling because I know he was sitting at home watching."

On how the MW Tournament has prepared them for Regionals:
"It definitely prepares us a lot because against UNLV, it was on their home field. It was definitely like a Regional atmosphere with a lot of fans and cheering. But just to come away with another championship like that and hold that trophy really just makes us that much more confident. I'm addicted to the dog pile now, I want to have more."

On what makes this team different than previous teams in the past:
"I think just overall our team chemistry and the way we mesh together on the field. I've never been on a team since I've been here that has so much fun on the yard and really wants to do nothing but win. My freshman and sophomore years, we didn't have that veteran leadership like we do this year. And honestly, this team just has a lot of fun and we're not afraid of anybody. We just go out there, have fun and just play baseball. That's the main difference."

Sophomore Pitcher Bubba Derby

On how often coach Gwynn is on their minds:
"We're just praying for him and trying to make sure that we hear about how he's doing. We're out here grinding for him everyday and we know that he wants to come back with us and we want nothing more than that. Everything we do on the field is for him."

On how the MW Tournament has prepared them for Regionals:
"I think it benefits us coming from the (MW Tournament) loser's bracket because we dealt with some adversity. Being walked-off against is obviously a tough feeling to deal with, and the way we came out the next day, you couldn't even tell that happened the night before. Beating UNLV twice at home, which is something that didn't happen all year against them, with their rowdy fans, its prepared us well for Mississippi State and everything they have to offer."

On if it will be nice to play three teams they haven't seen before:
"I feel one of the main things for the Regional is not let it get into our heads about who we're playing and who's on the other side. Just because (Mississippi State) were the national runner-up last year and Louisiana has over 50 wins and is one of the top teams in the country, I feel if we just kind of put that to the side and just play baseball like we know how to, I feel nobody is going to be able to beat us. With our pitchers pitching the way they know how to and with our offense and defense working the way they know how to, I feel everything is going to come together."

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