BASEBALL: Postgame – VCU

[MUSIC PLAYING] I thought that was a great
college baseball game. Certainly, we’d like it to be
cleaner at the end of the game. But I was just
proud of our guys. They jumped on us at the
start, and then our guys battled back and in
the middle innings, found a good offensive
rhythm and scored some runs at that big four run inning. And I didn’t think our at-bats
were really that great early in the game. That was certainly a
compliment to Sirkowski. I thought he pitched well at
the beginning of the game. But our guys continued to
battle and had some good at-bats in the middle. And we pieced it together. Pitching-wise, the plan was
not to really extend anybody too deep just because
of, certainly, the Virginia Tech series
starts on Thursday. And we need to put our
team in the best position to win those conference games. But I was proud of Riley Wilson
to come in there at the end. I don’t know how many
saves he has– first save. Yeah, that was great. How about that? I mean, he’s been in our
uniform for five years. And this was his last chance
to pitch here at this ballpark. And comes in and
saves a one run game. I was just proud of him, and
just proud of our whole effort. And hopefully, we can continue
to play this good baseball as we go down to Tech. You know that Cayman doesn’t
have a lot of margins for error right now. I’m sure the players
are aware of that. How do you know that
but at the same time go out and play loose and
do what you got to do? Yeah, I mean, we haven’t
really talked about it. Like I said, there’s so much
out there that’s written, that they can read about
what our situation is. And they know, right? They’re aware of what it takes
to play in the NCAA tournament. They know what we need to do. So we just don’t address it. And you know, it’s been
a good environment. I think guys have been pretty
loose for a couple of weeks. And I think that
we’ve been playing some really good
baseball as a result. And so we’re just
trying to put them in the best position
every day to try to win that game in front of us. That’s what we did tonight. And hopefully,
that can continue. What have you seen
from Richardson? He’s had a pretty productive
2 and 1/2 weeks for you. What’s been going on? Ah, he’s been great. He’s been really locked in. Actually, we determined
who a player of the game is after every game,
every game we win. And for me, it
Cayman Richardson. And the reason that is is, I
didn’t think his first three at-bats were really that good. But he’s pretty hard on
himself and he wants to win, and wants to produce
for his team. And came in the biggest time
I think against their best pitcher. I think Dom’s
their best pitcher. He’s got really good stuff. And he came up with the clutch
RBI hit to take the lead. And so that’s what
a veteran does. And I think that
he’s been as locked in the last couple
of weeks offensively as he’s been in our uniform. So that’s great. Certainly, having
that in the nine hole and that kind of production
has been good for us. How big is this weekend? Really big. I mean, as big as
it gets, right? You know, we put ourselves
in this position, that we know we need to win. And we need to win as
many games as possible. Most years that we come
into the final weekend, we’ve got ourselves a
little bit of a cushion. We can kind of line up
our pitching the way we want it for the
conference tournament and all that kind of stuff. You know, we’re not in
that position right now. We’ve got to just try to
win the game in front of us. So you know, we need
to go down there and play really good baseball. And that’s going to start with
Noah Murdock getting us off to a good start on Thursday. He needs to pitch up
to his capability. If he does, we’ll
have a chance to win. And so, hopefully,
we can do that. I think it was in the third
you had a chance to maybe break things open a little bit. And Cay’s got the
final two rounds. He’s been on a really good roll. He is. What’s he doing now? Well, he’s getting more
opportunities, number one. I mean, we’ve been
put into a situation about mid season that he needed
to be used on a regular basis. And he’s taking advantage
of that opportunity. You know, we had a couple of
guys go down here and there. Paul Kosanovich was out for six
weeks because of appendicitis, and had some other situations
with some other guys. And so he stepped up. He’s clearly got
really good stuff. He’s a very good athlete. He’s an infielder that is
really athletic out there. And he’s got a good
arm and a good slider. So he’s just really emerged. And he’s understood that we’ve
needed him to rise up and pitch for us, and pitch well. And really didn’t have much
experience before that, but certainly,
he’s doing the job. And I think he’s got a bright
future from that standpoint. You mentioned there’s a chance
of Griff pitching tonight. Are you planning on saving
him for the weekend? Yeah, I’m planning
on saving him. So we actually
threw him yesterday in an inter-squad scrimmage. And he pitched and pitched
fine, pitched well. So I’m not saying he’s
going to start this weekend, but we’re looking
to potentially have them available the back
part of the weekend. We’ll know more in the
next couple of days. But he feels good. He looks good. So we’ll see what that means
as the weekend moves along. Logan Michaels
kept that run down going long enough
for the run to score. He had a good sacrifice bunt. It seems like he did a
bunch of little things that helped you win. But what’s his impact
been on the team? Logan Michaels has made a
very significant impact. I’m really glad that he
decided to come here out of junior college. And he’s really done
a nice job for us. He’s done a really good
job behind the plate. Offensively, he battles. He puts the ball in
play with two strikes. And he’s rewarded for that. I mean, he hit a ground
ball to short stop, and they made an error and
ended out getting to second base where he ended out scoring,
those kind of things he’s been doing all year. He’s been executing and
just really, overall, doing a doing a
very, very nice job. And he’s very steady. He gives himself a
chance to competitive at bat every time up there. He’s not going to hit
a ball at a ball park. It’s not flashy. But it’s tough and it’s gritty. You know, when I think of a
Wisconsin baseball player, that’s it right there. He knows how to play. And he’s a gritty
tough catcher that has done a tremendous job for us. This tech series has been
entertaining Every year it’s [INAUDIBLE]. The position you’re in,
does it add to it because of how important the games are? Or is it a distraction
and you’d rather be playing somebody
who isn’t a rival? Oh, no. You know, I mean,
certainly, it’s your rival. They’re our school rival. And so I’m glad we’re going
there the last weekend. I think it’ll be a lot of fun. I feel like we’re
playing good baseball. We need everything we can
possibly do to be successful. And so we’re looking
forward to going down there. And we’ve played great games
with them over the years. John Cheff is a
really good coach. Obviously, you all know
that he was at Maryland when we beat them in the super
regionals two years there. And he’s had a great
career and does a nice job. And I’m sure all his
guys are ready to play. They’re still in a position that
they could qualify potentially for the conference tournament. So there’s a lot to
play for both teams. So I’m excited that
we’re going down there to finish up the ACC season. You mentioned how
hard he is on himself. Does it change the way you
coach when he’s got that makeup? Yeah. No, certainly, it does. Not in his case. Cayman, he’s really
calm and poised. He’s not a really
boisterous guy. He just plays the
same way all the time. But you can see inside him. You can see his mannerisms
that he’s competitive. He’s got a competitive
fire to him that he’s disappointed
when he doesn’t put up a quality at-bat for his team. And I saw that out of him
after his third at-bat. And you know that he cares
and it means enough to women. In this game, it comes
back around to you. And you always get
another opportunity. And fortunately, he did
there in the eighth inning, and was able to
capitalize on it. You’ve had some years where
you’ve gone into the exam break where your teams were
playing really well. Other years it’s
been a struggle. Did you do anything different
coming out of it this year? We didn’t. Jeff, we did the same
thing we did last year. Actually, pretty much
followed the same script as what days we practiced. I can’t explain it. I wish I could, for
sure, figure it out to what you have to do
to really be successful coming out of that exam break. Because you know
there’s been some times, we’ve come out of that exam
break and we looked terrible. We looked like we haven’t
played in a long time. And our fundamentals
weren’t good and things. But I challenged our guys
during the break time and told them that coming
out of it, you know, we’ve really got to make sure
we focus on the fundamentals. Our timing might be a little
bit off and things like that. But the fundamentals
will win out coming out of that exam break. And fortunately,
we’ve played well. And hopefully, we can continue. And we’ve talked about
it for a couple of weeks. It’s just a matter
of us getting hot. That’s it, right? And you know, you want to be
hot at the end of the year. Nobody remembers if you start
the season out 20 and 0, if you’re not hot at
the end of the year. They always remember what you
do at the end of the year. And we’ve got a great
opportunity in front of us. You said the game always
turns back around. Riley went through a lot. You see him kind of work
his way back around. How did he work to get
himself back in the spot? I’m so proud of Riley
Wilson, you know. Those are tough shoes to fill. Obviously, his brother was
a very talented pitcher in our uniform, and
had a excellent career. And the low senior class
award winner, you know, Mr. UVA Baseball Tyler
Wilson was when he was here. And certainly, he’s got to
follow in those footsteps. And you know, early on, Riley
was injured in his career and just kept hanging in there
and getting better and better. And he continued to improve
and has put together a few really, really good years. And he’s been a real, real
weapon for us, I think, as a left-handed pitcher
out of our bullpen. We don’t have a lot of
left-handed pitching. And I think he’s done
a tremendous job. And I’m proud of
him for tonight. And I’m proud that he wears
our uniform, the job that he’s done. You guys found this coincidence
on the team with Parker being around and Billy
Price being around, them both having come
through lymphoma. What’s it been like having
Parker around this year, and what have you observed
about their relationship? Yeah. Well, we added Parker
to our team last year. And he joined our club. So we got a little bit
exposure with him, time with him last year. But he’s been around
a lot more this year, comes to a lot of games. And I think it’s great
because you see our players interact with a young
person, a young child, a boy. And you can see the impact
that they can have on him. And I also think it’s really
good for our guys, right? Certainly, it’s good for Parker. But for our players to be
around him and mentor him, I think is really great. Billy Price’s case, I’m just
so impressed with Billy. Certainly, he’s
been through a lot. Before he came to Virginia,
that carried through early on in the
fall here, that we had to understand that what he
went through in high school. And to have somebody had his age
wearing our uniform and little Parker as well, as both of them
going through the same thing is remarkable. And I’m glad that they have
had a chance to meet and forge a friendship. And we’re actually going to
Parker’s school tomorrow. We’re leaving tomorrow morning. We’re stopping at
his school on the way to Virginia Tech for
career day at his school. So he’s going to have close to
30 UVA baseball players showing up at his school
tomorrow, so pretty cool, neat event for him. Going into Thursday,
what are you expecting from Virginia Tech? Well, I’m expecting their best. I know this– Virginia
Tech can pitch. They’ve got a couple left-handed
pitchers that are really good. They’re having nice
seasons for them. They’ve lost a lot of
really close games– I mean, a lot of
them in the league. And so I know that we’re
going to get their best. And they’re going to play
with an edge to them. And so we’ve got to be ready
to be a little bit better on the road, so
looking forward to it.

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