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Thursday June 10, 2010UF Baseball Pre-NCAA Super Regional Quotes

Gainesville, Fla.

Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan, junior Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.) and sophomore Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) of the fourth-ranked Gator baseball team met with the media on Thursday following their final practice before starting NCAA Super Regional action tomorrow at 7 p.m. against No. 11 Miami (Fla.).

 

Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan

On if he preferred to play Miami:

“It doesn’t matter who we play. This is a chance to make it to Omaha. It’s the best two out of three and we are playing at home. We aren’t going to underestimate or overestimate anybody. The bottom line is we can only concern ourselves with our team and we have to play well.”

 

On if it’s an advantage playing Miami in the Super Regional:

“I think any time you play against a team you’ve already seen you know a little more about them. It certainly helps but Miami is Miami. They have a good ballclub and have played well down the stretch. We are going to have to play our best if we want to come out on top this weekend.”

 

On facing Miami over three months ago during the regular season:

“Their team is probably different now and so is ours. We are totally different. We feel like we are a better club than we were in March. Like I said, we just have to focus on the Florida Gators. We had a really good practice this morning and we are going to bring our best stuff this weekend.”

 

On whether the approach changes for an in-state rival:

“Whether its Miami or Florida State, there is always going to be that added rivalry there. We try to approach every game the same, whether it’s an in-state rival or someone we’ve never faced before. I think that’s how we have to approach this weekend. We have to stay as even-keeled as possible and respect our opponent every time we take the field.”

 

On the team’s mindset this year as compared to going into the 2009 Super Regional:

“I think the expectations were there from the beginning this year. From a coaching standpoint, I feel a lot more relaxed this year than I did last year. Last year I just felt like everything was rushed. We didn’t know anything about Southern Miss. Our pitching wasn’t quite as stable as it is this year. Not to take anything away from last year’s team, but we got hot at the end and I felt very rushed. I felt like everything was crammed in at the end of the season. This year we feel a lot more relaxed and kind of know what to expect. From a coaching standpoint, it’s a lot more even-keeled than it was last year.”

 

On how the team is more relaxed:

“I think we are more focused and know what to expect. Certainly I don’t mean that we are more nonchalant. I think we are more confident, ready to go and know what to expect. By now means are we carefree, but we are ready for the task at hand.”

 

On the team chemistry:

“The chemistry is really good. The older players have embraced the younger players and vice versa. When you look at guys like Matt den Dekker and Kevin Chapman, they haven’t acted like seniors but they’ve acted like just a part of the team. The same thing can be said for the freshmen. There has been no talk of me or I. It’s a true team and it’s been really enjoyable to coach this team.”

 

Junior Second Baseman Josh Adams

On the team’s mindset:

“I think our mindset is the same as all of the teams have going into the Super Regional – we have to win. There’s not really anything else on our minds or any other way that we will approach this weekend.”

 

On the team chemistry:

“We get along with everyone on the team. As soon as the freshmen arrived we really knew we had a special group this year. Even when we aren’t playing baseball we are all hanging out together. Obviously we have been through some ups and downs because that’s how all teams are but we are like brothers.”

 

Sophomore First Baseman Preston Tucker

On his feelings heading into this weekend:

“I’m really excited for this weekend. Last year we were so close. If someone had told us we needed to win two out of the three at home to go to the College World Series I would be psyched. Unfortunately we didn’t come out on top last year but this year I feel a lot more confident. Who wouldn’t want to see Miami facing Florida to go to the CWS? I think we are well prepared.”

 

On whether he preferred to play Miami:

“I don’t think our mentality would be any different if we were playing Texas A&M. Obviously, playing against Miami really gives some extra hype going in.  We know more about their pitching staff and their lineup so that’s an advantage. I’m just really excited and ready to get things going.”

 

-UF-

 

 

 

 

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