[Moderated by Matt Jones]
Gary Henderson’s Opening Statement
“After 21 innings to show up and play with the same energy and confidence and the right attitude, I was really pleased with that. Obviously the key to the game in my opinion is Grundy, is Jerad being able to go out there and chop that up so our guys feel good about not only what’s going on but what’s going on in front of them. I was pleased as well to see Chandler Shepherd grow up a bit. He got his first save as a Wildcat and then being able to put together enough offense there to create a cushion so that we didn’t have to use any more pitching than we did and I’m really proud of our kids.
Player Student Athlete Comments
Michael Williams on catching 21 innings last night and 9 today
It was not bad at all. You know, you’ve just got to grind it out for the team. I’m representing UK so I’ve got to go hard every time I go out there and I just relish to be on the field.
On if he demanded to catch the game
I did not. I just said “whatever you need me to do coach” and he put me behind home plate and I’ve just got to do my job so, that’s what I did.
Jerad Grundy on if he knew he had to go deep into the game
Yeah, I mean we used a lot of pitchers last night and everyone knows that. Going in I just wanted to fill up the zone and try to eat up as many innings as I can so we can have a good chance to make a run at this tournament.
Michael Williams on the Cats’ woes with RISP
I think we are just pressing a little too hard right now and not trusting it and finally we got those hits. It just loosened our team up and we just know that we can do it. (Cousino) hitting for us again is a big deal because he’s our starter and definitely gets out lineup going.
Cousino on their confidence for the next game and the potential ones afterwards
I think we all feel pretty confidence. We’ve got Corey starting tomorrow and it’s another days rest for our bullpen. We’re not in a situation we haven’t been in before with playing two games tomorrow, which we hope, and another one after that. The mindset of the team is just to come out and win that first one and move on from there. I don’t think there’s any doubt, in this team especially, that we can’t pull out a couple of more games.
Michael Williams on his last days as a UK player.
You just want to leave it all on the field and be a good leader as a senior. It’s definitely memorable because I’ve never been a part of this before and want to leave a mark on it. I’m going to do everything possible and I’m not going to act tired, I’m not going to make excuses. That’s just not who I am and our team isn’t like that so just to be out there helping the team is a big part of it and I just want to play hard and play for each other.
Grundy on his performance
The first four innings I felt like I had really good rhythm. I had all three pitches going for strikes. I had the hiccup in the fifth where I left a few balls up and they got a couple through but that’s going to happen. Other than that I felt like I had pretty good rhythm down in the zone.
Coach Henderson’s comments
How big was it to use just two pitchers
It was huge, tremendous. We were set to throw anybody and everybody to win the game and it gives us the chance to win a couple of ballgames tomorrow.
On the health of Luke Maile and Lucas Witt
I don’t think Witt is going to play. That would be my guess and my guess is that Maile will but we won’t know that until we get here.
On Luke Maile’s “presence” even when he is not playing
Maile is a presence. Whether is catching, playing first or in the dugout. He’s heard. We feel his presence when he walks into the room. He’s that guy. It’s very positive thing for our group. We’ve been searching for that for two years.
On Maile’s potential to play
He can’t sprint. We’ll see if it’s any better tomorrow.
On if the game was just what they needed after last night
It was as absolutely good as it could have gone. If you would have asked me what I needed out of Grundy I would have said I need six or seven (innings)
On if he was surprised by Michael Williams’ performance.
No. I would have been really supirsed if he said “I’m sore” or “I’m uptight.” That’s just not his deal. He’s superman.
On playing two games tomorrow
I think it’s a tremendous challenge but in all honesty, we’re not going to talk about game two. It will be all about Corey (Littrell) going out and getting seven or eight. And if he does great, if he doesn’t we’ll do everything we can out of the bullpen to pick up the pieces.
The Cats will play Purdue tomorrow at 4pm and the game WILL BE TELEVISED ON THE BIG 10 NETWORK.
See you then.
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