Penn State vs. Illinois Game Quotes
May 25, 2007
Penn State Head Coach Robbie Wine
On the game plan heading into today ... "The guys came out and had a good approach against (Michigan's Mike) Wilson. He's a good pitcher, one of the best in the league. It kind of started from there. Things kind of snowballed from there. You don't plan on game two, you have to win game one. We stayed after it. Illinois' guy (Scott Shaw) threw a great game in the second game. We did our best to hang in there. It's the hallmark of the whole season so far -- just stay close, stay in there and get 27 outs."
On if he expected such strong efforts from starters Paul Hawkins and John Karr ... "We did. Paul Hawkins is going to give us (five good innings) every time. He averages about 10 pitches an inning and he's going to give us about five or six innings. We have the bullpen to cover him up for the next four innings. John Karr just continues every outing to get better and better. He earned it down the stretch with the starting performances he had. He went out and did a better job than he did in the regular season."
On the clutch hits by Corey Wine, his son, in the Michigan game ... "I think the father end will sink in a little bit back at the hotel when we're talking about it with his mom and sister and all that. From a player's standpoint, I'm proud of all these guys the way they're competing for 27 outs. Everything their doing is big. It's gut-check time. It was a long day out here for us today. We have to look forward to another one tomorrow. It starts with game one against (Ohio State or Minnesota)."
On the five-run output in the eighth inning versus Illinois ... "I think it's just the attitude of knowing that we're never out of it and that we can make a run at it. In my end of it sometimes I'm wondering if we're waiting until later in the game. (Scott) Gaffney made a point out on the mound to say, 'oh, well we're ok now we're behind, we'll win this game.' That's the feeling. If you have a lead you feel good, but if you're behind it's we're going to come back, don't worry about it."
Sophomore First Baseman Corey Wine
On his two-run triple versus Michigan ... "It was huge. We needed some runs right there. With two guys on you need to capitalize. It was the sheer determination of our team -- it's our motto right there."
On his game-winning homerun ... "(Michigan pitcher Mike Powers) was getting in a groove. He gave me a pitch and I hit it."
On the team hitting performance against Illinois ... "We knew we'd get to (Illinois starter Scott Shaw). We just stayed after him. Our thought was we'll get him next time. We stayed after him and got him in the eighth inning."
On the prospects for tomorrow's game or games ... "We have a deep pitching staff and everyone is playing well. We have a good chance I think."
Illinois Head Coach Dan Hartleb
On the game overall ... "Penn State played extremely well all day. If you look at our game, we had some opportunities all but I think two or three innings. In six innings we had the opportunity to score, we had runners in scoring position a few times with less than two outs. A lot of times with two outs we didn't get our jobs done. We didn't come up with a big hit. I thought that one of the key factors was their bullpen came out, we didn't get a hit off their reliever. Pitcher Jake Toohey wasn't real sharp today and that was the difference in the ballgame. It has nothing to do with one person. We had a lot of opportunities to do some things from an offensive standpoint, it just comes down to one inning where we didn't pitch and we didn't play defense."
On what to build on for the future ... "We got back into the tournament this year which was important. We did win a game. I thought that we'd come in and win multiple games and at least have that opportunity ... there is a lot to build on. I really like our young players. We're going to turn around and be young in the field again. That's one thing that I've got to get straightened out - where we're not young on one side of the ball all the time. If we can have a good recruiting year or two together, I think we've got a chance to get the program really rolling."
On the highlight of the season ... "The great group of seniors. These guys have been awesome. They have gone out and played extremely hard. We've talked about it many times - there's never been any quit in this group. They'll leave a lasting impression on this program for a long time."