BASEBALL: Bianco’s postgame comments

Given the late finish and the print edition deadline I wasn’t able to make it down to the field for all of Mike Bianco’s postgame comments, but here’s a little of what he had to say.

(What will be your pitching plan after Nathan Baker starts it off?)

We’ll test everybody out tomorrow and see what they can do. Everybody will loosen up, play catch and get a thumbs-up if they’re good to go. We’ll have enough to piece meal it together. It will be almost like an exaggerated Sunday in SEC play where you use a lot of people.

(What are your thoughts on playing LSU?)

You’re talking about playing the hottest team in the county. (LSU has won 19 straight.) I read something the other day that said they’ve not lost since April 19. Today is May 24. Wow. That’s a long time ago. They’re a team playing with an awful lot of confidence, and they will be a big test for us.

(What was going wrong with Scott Bittle tonight?)

Not anything. He faced a really good team, and they did a great job. Sometimes it’s harder with the bigger lead, because the pressure is off them. They are just really good. I thought his cutter was really good, and they just stayed on it and got some hits. From the time he came in (in the eighth) we were hoping that we wouldn’t have to go through (Pedro) Alvarez and (Ryan) Flaherty again, but we did.

(What did you think of the job Brett Bukvich and Jake Morgan did in getting the game to Bittle?)

I thought they were tremendous. Brett on only two days rest competed really hard. He didn’t have great stuff, and he didn’t have command, but he made pitches when he had to. He got behind and then gave up the home run to Flaherty, but beside that, he was able to pitch out of jams. Striking out Hanks with the bases loaded (to end the fourth) was huge. Then Jake was so good out of the pen again just throwing strikes.

(What did you think of your offense in the second game?)

We got much more timely and clutch hitting. Guerrero had the big home run after Power’s two-strike hit and Overbeck’s walk – And Cody doesn’t walk much – but then Guerrero and (Matt) Smith had the home runs to extend the lead.

— PA



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