Baseball Super Regional Press Conference Quotes

May 31, 2001

NCAA 2001 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship
Super Regional * Los Angeles, Calif.
June 1-3, 2001

Florida International Head Coach Danny Price

(Florida International first round performance)
'We came out the first night against UC Santa Barbara, who has a very good club, and we were able to get the win. It was a little cool that night but Willy Collazo said that he felt good. Even though he's from Puerto Rico, he pitched in Iowa (junior college) for two years so he's accustomed to it and he really liked the weather. He threw 153 pitches against UCSB. Then on Saturday, we threw Paul Zervas and won that ballgame. The next day it rained all day and it really changed our plan because at the time I wasn't looking on bringing back Collazo but he passed me at the hotel and told me he wanted the ball. I told him that we'd talk about it later. We lost our first game on the last day and we decided to start Jerry Courtney but he got shaky after the first few innings so we sent Collazo out. He came in and just really nailed it down. Our guys really rallied around 1-7.'

(Collazo's performance at regionals)
'He was pitching that second day. The crafty guys can do that, they can come back on little rest. It's not something a power-pitcher can do. Everything was working out for him. He had light on his fastball, he had command of his pitches. He had his change working. He was getting movement. He was throwing strikes. He was pitching like if he had had several days rest. He did a great job and he's a huge reason why we won the ballgame.'

(Sharing the city with University of Miami)
'I do give a lot of credit to the University of Miami and I do realize that if we weren't in the same town we would be recognized as a much more powerful program. I feel that Miami being across town makes us a better team. We've now been in the regionals the last five out of six years and there's not many ball clubs in the state of Florida that can say that.

Recruiting is not easy anywhere. It is the hardest job you will do. We have been very fortunate. We are in a good area, like USC, a good area for baseball. We get kids that Miami wanted and Miami gets kids that we wanted.'

(Effect of recent success on program)
'It is going to help us. It is helping the whole university right now. We are only one team there and we have to win on every hallway, not just on the baseball field, so that the university can benefit.'

(USC pitching rotation)
'I try not to think about them. It's pretty awesome. Pitching is such a big part of this game that you just look at 122 innings and 180 strikeouts and you don't want to even look at the second guy. We just have to focus on one guy at a time.

'I have all the respect in the world for a great program like USC. You look at all the national championships and that kind of stuff could really blow you out of the water. Just like being at Notre Dame last week, you really have to focus on the task at hand or against the Irish we would have quickly been down two touchdowns.'

'We are very happy and we are very proud of our program. I always respect my opponent. Even though not many people know about Florida International, if you look at these last 25 years - the first 25 years of our program - we've been as good an anybody.'

Florida International Pitcher Willy Collazo

(Regarding the weather difference at Notre Dame)
'Cold weather is easier. In the hot weather you get tired a lot faster so my arm felt good up there.'

(Traveling from South Bend to California)
'It was a little tiring to finish the games, get on the plane, go home and do nothing for a day before leaving again. It has been tough but we're ready to play. We're just excited to be here.'

(Pitching style)
'I'm a finesse pitcher. I don't throw it hard, I just concentrate on getting the strike.'

(Match-up with USC)
'It is going to come down to whoever has the most pitchers. We both have a great staff so that's how the game is going to be decided.'

USC Head Coach Mike Gillespie

(Regarding Florida International)
'I don't know enough about them. Certainly we're familiar with their personnel and we know that they are a really well-balanced club. They got strength in all areas. They can pitch. Their starting pitching is very good. They have more than one capable guy out of the pen. They play solid defense. On offense they have a couple of guys with legitimate power. They are just a good, solid club.'

(Did last week provide good experience for the team?)
'I think anybody would agree that the more experience you gain the better you are. The more experience you gain at the playoff level - the most competitive levels - can only be good for you. I like experience and we are lucky to have experienced players out there who are a lot more comfortable in a playoff situation. Almost all of our players have been in that position before.'

(On Michael Moon)
'Michael Moon has been a good player all year. He's played well on offense and defense. His performance on defense, at times, has been borderline spectacular. Certainly he's been going through a learning curve. Since he got here, he's been thrown to the fire this season with a tough schedule. He's been asked to do a lot more than what he was used to in high school but we want him to become a more complete player.'

(On Anthony Reyes)
'Anthony Reyes has been critical. We have had great production from our players this year, but he is certainly the one who without him, we wouldn't be where we are. He has been outstanding three starts in a row and it is really is what we have come to expect from him.'

USC Shortstop Michael Moon

(Have you always been a player who does a little of everything?)
'I have always had the ability to do a little of everything but I can't say it has always come out. There were definitely times in my high school career where I did the stealing, had a couple home runs and a good day at the plate, but it has never really been expected of me. I guess fate just worked our way this time.'

(Home run against Pepperdine)
'For the first couple of days, every time I closed my eyes I could see the ball traveling, the way the fans were, how excited my teammates were and just how excited everyone was. At first when I hit it, I knew it was gone and I knew we had won, but it didn't really hit me until I rounded third and saw 24 others guys waiting for me at home plate. Being able to comeback like that in the ninth inning after playing so hard was just fantastic.'

(USC's performance this season)
'Our offense has been inconsistent all year long. We've had breakout games where we thought we had started to play consistent, then we would have a terrible game. We're lucky to have Mark Prior, Rik Currier and Anthony Reyes throwing as well as they are because if they weren't keeping these games to 1-0, 2-0 games, I don't know where we would be right now. As far as hitting is concerned, I think we have started to peak at the right time. We're just hoping to continue through this weekend.'

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