UGA baseball head coach Scott Stricklin talks about Georgia’s performance in their 7-6 comeback victory over the Richmond Spiders on Opening Day at Foley Field in Athens, GA.
Coach Stricklin on Cole Tate:
“I am proud of him. He has worked so hard defensively. He is a guy that last year whenever Aaron Schunk came in to pitch he was always out there at third base, so he has played in games, especially last year. But offensively, he has started swinging the bat better, and it is kind of ironic that he got the start because Randon Jernigan’s finger is hurt so Cole got the nod and he took advantage of it. When you get opportunities you have to take advantage of it so we put him there in the nine-hole. We knew defensively he is going to be really good, and I couldn’t help but smile when his first hit this year was a home run. He had four hits and a walk-off. He is going to remember that for the rest of his life. “
Coach Stricklin on Emerson Hancock:
“I thought he was good early. They had some good at-bats, especially in the first inning, which drew his pitch count up. He cruised through the second and in the third it was just bad luck. There were three balls off the end of the bat that ended up being infield singles. That is what happens when you put the ball in play. They did a really good job of putting it in play. In the fourth, he just left a couple of balls up. They had some guys that took some really good swings. You have to think as a hitter to be really excited to face a guy like Emerson who has 25 scouts in the stands and is projected to be a high first-round pick. They were ready for him and that is the challenge that is going to be there for Emerson and Saturday for Cole [Wilcox]. It is a challenge for those guys to have to face those hitters that are excited and ready to face them.”
Coach Stricklin on Ryan Webb:
“That was the best outing he has had in a Bulldog uniform for sure. We really missed him last year. He didn’t pitch a whole lot for us last year because he was injured, his elbow, it wasn’t anything serious but he just couldn’t get comfortable with it. So he didn’t pitch a lot last year but we knew that he could be big for us. It was close between him being a starter and being a reliever but tonight shows why we decided to put him in the bullpen because that’s electric stuff. It’s good against lefties because of the breaking ball and it’s good against righties because he has a big league change up. He’s going to be a really high draft pick. It is outstanding to have him in the bullpen and to come out behind Emerson (Hancock), Cole (Wilcox) or C.J. Smith is a luxury for us.”