Thursday Pre-Regional press conference quotes: Rice
June 3, 2010
Head coach Wayne Graham
On the team's offensive difference: Yes, it's different. We've had great offensive teams before. If you go all the way back to, I think it's 95, we had an incredible offensive team and zero pitching. Well, I don't think we have zero pitching this year, but in the 1995 Baton Rouge Regional, we beat LSU 15-8 and 16-9--that's the kind of offense we had with Mark Quin, Jose Cruz and Lance Berkman--that's three pretty good hitters. So we have had his kind of thing before, but I think we have better pitching now.
On the progression of senior pitcher Mike Ojala: Ojala is that much away from being right on top of his game. He's pitched well, and he's pitched better as he's gone along. He's striking out people now. He's on the verge of being at the top of his game, and we hope he'll get there.
On the pitching rotation: It'll be (Jared) Rodgers. If we win, it'll definitely be Ojala and then (Taylor) Wall, but if we lose then I'll have to think about it.
On when the team came together: It's hard to point to any one point, because it was just a gradual accumulation. I think when (Rick) Hauge started playing well, and he has played extremely well for a month now, that this team began to think that it really had a chance. And Diego stated hitting really well behind Mr. Rendon here.
On Rendon's hitting: He's pretty good. You can't talk about someone being the best against Berkman until they do it over a long period of time, but certainly at this stage of his career, Anthony is equal to anybody we've ever had. He's got wrist. They used to call it wrist, now they call it flick. Hand/eye coordination is the secret. I think Berkman has great eyes. He has not only the accuracy, but also the ability to track objects through space.
Sophomore 3B Anthony Rendon
On how many good pitches he sees: Very few. Sometimes not even any.
On the rivalry with Texas: I guess for us, we all grew up together. We're all from the Houston area, and it's probably the same way here at Texas. We traveled to Austin from Houston to play all of these guys, so we knew all these guys growing up. We're not like brothers, but we have that sense of pride where you know you want to be one up and be better than them. It's a big rivalry to us--probably one of our biggest ones, although it might not look that way.
Senior C Diego Seastrunk
On the mindset of the team: I think it's just a culture that we've developed here at Rice. I've noticed it since my freshman year. It's kind of an understood idea that we're ready to get into the postseason and have a successful postseason, and I feel like everyone understands that. Everyone on the teams understands that's a culture and we're expected to do well. It's not necessarily added pressure, it's just something that's understood.