Quote Sheet for No. 1 Long Beach State
May 29, 2008
Long Beach Regional Pretournament Press Conference No. 1 Long Beach State
Head Coach Mike Weathers: Opening Statement "We're glad to be hosting again, we always try and stay at home if we can and its an all California regional. Its going to be an exciting regional since we all know each other. This is going to be a tough regional...outside of Miami (Fla.), this might be the toughest regional in the nation. Its going to be interesting...its going to be a battle with all four teams."
Regarding the Long Beach losing string earlier in the season "Well the guys had to figure out things were not going to be ok unless there were some changes. Even when we were 17-3, I did tell the guys that there were some things that were not right, but its hard to get that across when you're winning. Obviously when you're losing 10 of 11, everyone is more attentive...that was a place this program had never been before."
"I tried to be patient with it and lean on the experience coming back. There were very high expectations for this team and no excuses for that streak. I think the biggest thing was for me to step in and tell them things were not right and to be real about the situation."
"We stopped it because they stopped it. We simplified the game and had them get back to where it was fun again. After the 30-game mark, I gave them a 16-10 mark for our second season (conference) and to their credit they surpassed that."
Regarding the progress of Jonathan Jones
"He's really been one of our saving graces when we lost our regular center fielder senior Chris Nelson to a knee injury. Freshman like J.J. (Jonathan Jones) always want a chance to show what they can do and he certainly showed. He's hit in 34 of 40 games his freshman year and he's really solidified us in center field. He's done a great job not only in center but with the added pressure of being our leadoff man."
Regarding the top-level pitching in the regional "We've played in quite a few regionals and never had it like this. I don't think I've ever seen pitching like the arms that will be showcased here. Three of the four starters tomorrow pitched for me on the U.S. Team this (past) summer."
Jonathan Jones Regarding being back at Blair Field "It felt good to be back here and taking batting practice. We've been at our campus field but it felt good to be taking batting practice here again."
Regarding if the team feels extra pressure in the postseason "There's no pressure, this is our park and we feel comfortable here. We know everything about it so there's definitely a comfortable feeling here."
Regarding playing defense when Liebel pitches "When Liebel pitches, its a great tempo and I like it. Its tough playing defense behind a pitcher who takes his time up there, but Liebel gets right on the rubber and does what he has to do.
Regarding his defense "I have to take more leadership out there but I have complete trust in my corner outfielders. I don't expand too much out there but I can definitely take more control."
Andrew Liebel Regarding how he helped the team during the losing streak "My role wasn't really to change anything that I was doing. I just had to go out there and make Friday more important than it already is and put the team back in a position to get back on track."
Regarding if this start is different from others "It is what it is...its a baseball game and I'm going to go out there and compete like I have all year. Its no bigger than any other game."
Regarding the draft "My position is what it is and I'm not going to worry about it. I haven't put too much thought into it and what's important is this regional. What's most exciting for me right now is the start tomorrow.