bleedCrimson.net will be conducting weekly in season interviews with Aggie head baseball coach Rocky Ward as the Aggies take aim at a conference championship and a trip to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2003. This week in part one of our interview we talked with Coach Ward about the split with Hawai'i and Nate Shaver earning WAC Hitter of the Week.
bleedCrimson.net: You picked up a big split yesterday with a 20-9 victory and the game was really never in doubt.
Rocky Ward: You know, I talked to them the night before. Doubleheader days especially in league with the intensity of the games take a whole lot of energy out of you and to lose the second one the way we did, coming from behind and getting the lead then not being able to hold it, emotionally is pretty difficult on everybody. Coaches, fans and players. But when I talked to them I reminded them of what the goals were and that if we were going to stay in line for a conference title we were going to have to win the next day. It's not too many times that I put the team in a position where I tell them they have to win but I did and I thought we did. I thought we had to win if we were going to legitimately contend for a conference title and they came to play. Hawai'i was a little short on the mound because they had used [Jared] Alexander, the Sunday starter, to finish the game on Saturday night and it's the second team to do that to us. Fresno did it to us where they came in and used the Sunday starter against us on Friday to try to close out a game and it really put them in jeopardy. But it really shows how important we think each individual game is as far as coaches go in this league. When you're only playing 24 league games, it's hard to get yourself separated and every time you get a chance to win a game you've gotta pull out all the stops and think of where you stand now not necessarily what you've gotta do tomorrow. Get the win today and figure it out tomorrow. It should have cost Fresno and it didn't but in this case it did with Hawai'i. They were basically going with a number five guy and I know that they had a couple of their better relievers available but not for more than a couple of innings. They were trying to get five out of the starter and try to bridge it to Spengler who's one of their better guys. But it didn't work, we went out and got after it and guys swung the heck out of the bat and got an early 10-1 lead and they really didn't look back. It was a good baseball game. It seems like every time this ball club's been challenged they've risen to the occasion. Continue Reading This Post >>