Stanford 9, Pepperdine 7: Player Quotes

Sean Ratliff's grand slam and solo HR save the day

Only TheBootleg.com has the entire postgame press conference after Stanford clinched its first Super Regional berth in two years. We kick off a bevy of baseball coverage with quotes from Sean Ratliff, Drew Storen, Austin Yount, Jason Castro and Pepperdine's Chase d'Arnaud. Still to come: the coaches' quotes, the recap, and a preview of the Fullerton series. Stay tuned!

Stanford 9, Pepperdine 7

 

Stanford players:

Centerfielder Sean Ratliff

On being behind early:

It's never something you want to do, to get behind early in a game as big as this, but there's never any quit in this ball club. Nobody ever let down in the dugout. The attitude was always positive, everybody was just talking about trying to get back in the ball game. We just kept working hard, having good at-bats, getting a run here and there. Then, finally we broke out with big hits and scored some runs. Nobody's ever been really worried about us scoring runs, so we figured if we just kept going at it, we'd get back in the ball game.

 

On coming back in the Regional:

It's one of those things where, obviously, you want to win and get the first one, but Davis has been brutal to us and put us in the losers' bracket. So we figured, why not take the hard road now that we're here. We found some tough spots, but we got a big hit from Millie in the ninth.

 

We're a team that's obviously comfortable with the lead, but not scared if we're behind. We figure we're going to score our runs.

 

On watching Pepperdine's Hess pitch before his grand slam:

You're just trying to pick up how his ball's moving, where his release point is and what his off-speed stuff is. If he has a change-up, or in his case a split-finger, they like to throw that a lot to left-handed hitters. I was just trying to get a feel for what he was going to try and attack me with. It definitely helped. I saw the split-fingers he was throwing to Molina the at-bat before and I knew if he got ahead in the count, he was going to use it to get his out.

 

On the grand-slam pitch:

It was a good pitch, a split-finger. He left it up and got in my barrel a little. I figured it was at least a deep sac fly, but the wind was moving it. I watched the centerfielder keep going back, back, back and luckily for me, watched it carry further than anyone thought.

 

On hitting in pressure situations:

I love hitting with the bases loaded and with guys in scoring position. Plus, and Molina, we've talked about it, when he walks in front of me, I'm a lot more comfortable because the pitcher's not sure. He has thrown a lot of pitches and isn't comfortable.

 

I ask whether they'll pull for UCLA in the UCLA-Fullerton game:

I think we are definitely, but I don't think I could ever say I could root for UCLA. You'd like to be in front of home fans and play the Super Regional at home but it really doesn't matter.

 

Pitcher Austin Yount

On Matt Aidem's liner at him in the ninth:

I just got my face out of the way and threw my glove out. When it hit the ground, I had no idea where it was. I was just looking around and was fortunate I found it.

On coming in as a reliever:

It's kind of a similar mentality where I'm just trying to throw strikes and go after hitters. It's a little different getting ready to pitch. When you're starting, you have a little more of a routine. Relieving, I wasn't warming up as much in the bullpen because I was trying to save everything I had.

 

I ask how he combated fatigue:

When you get tired, you kind of take it one pitch at time because you don't know how much you have left. So I just, after every pitch, concentrated and said, ‘let's win this pitch,' and tried to go one at a time and not worry about how tired I was. I figured I'd worry about that later.

 

Pitcher Drew Storen

On the wind:

I have a lot of confidence in my defense. I wasn't really thinking about the wind. You don't really want that negative mindset, so I just let them do what they have done all year. It's pretty easy to pitch when you have the run support I've gotten in the last two days.  I try to minimize the game and go and throw strikes. I have complete confidence in my defense. Schlander and Milleville made some good plays.

 

On d'Arnaud:

He's a strong hitter. I tried that last inning to work that two-seam off guys, but left one over the plate and he capitalized.

 

I ask how he combated fatigue:

I was pretty tired after two, but Coach Austin said ‘one more.' I just kept pitching and digging deep. I just had to made sure my mechanics were there and not worry about what's left in the tank

 

Catcher Jason Castro

On Storen:

It's his mentality. He goes out and is real hard-nosed and thinks he's better than everyone. That's what a closer needs. He gave up a couple homers, but it was big to come back from that, especially as a frosh. The way he handles himself out there is above his actual age in school. I think that's really important to him. He's been big for us.

 

On facing UCLA and Fullerton in the regular season:

It's good and bad because not only do we have scouting reports and things on them, and we know how to attack their hitters and what pitches they throw, but they also have that side against us. They know how to attack us. So it's good and bad in that sense.

 

On whether sweeping Fullerton provides a mental edge:

It does. It was a little while ago with Fullerton, so teams can definitely change over the course of a year.

Pepperdine:

Third baseman Chase d'Arnaud

On the early lead:

It was just one of those games that was an emotional rollercoaster. We got off to a great lead up 4-0. We were feeling high and mighty, but we know that they are a really good hitting team and we saw that last night. We knew that we had to put more runs on the board and as they scored, we scored. They just ended up putting up more than us at the end.

 

On the pitch that Ratliff hit for a grand slam:

We threw him a split-finger fastball. It's a pop fly in most parks. We weren't trying to do anything special. We were just trying to keep it in the yard, but he did the opposite.


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