June 23, 2003
Box Score |
NCAA COLLEGE WORLD SERIES (at Omaha, NE)
CWS Championship Series Game 3
Head coach Mark Marquess
(Opening statement): "First of all I'd like to congratulate Rice. They did a fantastic job and are most deserving. They're truly national champions. Unfortunately, we couldn't give them a game tonight. We gave them base on balls and free baserunners. (Starting pitcher Philip) Humber did a great job. He had us eating out of his hand. As far as our team, I'm proud of this group. They're a special team. I was proud they could come together midway through the season and win the Pac 10 championship, Regional, Super regional and then battled back here. It's been a great year. I'm very proud of this group. Unfortunately, we came up one game short to a most deserving Rice team."
(on losing the championship game three of the last four years): "You never take for granted you'll be back. We've been here the last five years, and that's a tribute to the team. Getting to Omaha means we played well enough to be one of the best eight teams. We've played in the championship game three of the last four years. The last two haven't been much of a game. We treasure every time we come back here and get to the championship game."
Pitcher John Hudgins
(on winning the CWS Most Outstanding Player award): "I would trade trophies (for the NCAA team championship trophy) right now. It's not the one I wanted. I'd like to thank the committee for the award, but obviously I'm disappointed with the loss. It's real bittersweet."
Catcher Ryan Garko
(on Rice's three-run first inning and five walks by Stanford pitching): "I think the umpire did a great job. Mark (Romanczuk) had great stuff, but he just was not throwing strikes. You have to throw strikes to win. There was nothing won or lost in that first inning."
(on the loss): "Obviously the big feeling we all share is disappointment. I think we have to keep it in perspective though. We have a lot going for us. We're at Stanford, and we're 20 years old. It's nicer being out here than not being out here. I've been lucky to play in Omaha the last four years."
(on facing the Rice staff): "They have really good stuff. I think the thing that really impressed me was they are three real big guys, but they're finesse pitchers. They mixed up their pitches well. They weren't afraid to throw a 1-0 curve or a 2-0 change. You don't expect a 6' 8" guy to throw that. They have three good arms. We had shots to break the game open, but they had real good stuff. They weren't just power pitchers, but good throwers."
Starting pitcher Mark Romanczuk
(on his performance): "Like Ryan (Garko) said, if you don't throw strikes, you can't win games."
Centerfielder Sam Fuld
(on his CWS hit record): "It's an honor, but I can't really appreciate it right now. I'll be pretty proud eventually. It's an honor to be associated with all the good hitters that have come through here. It's a bittersweet feeling, a lot more bitter than sweet."
Head coach Wayne Graham
(opening statement): "You never know what's going to happen in a national championship game, but I think everyone calmed down and played their best tonight. It all started with (starting pitcher) Philip (Humber). He threw three pitches over the plate for quick outs in the first inning and that got us started. He simply threw a great game and we got a great effort from the entire team."
(on winning the national championship for Rice University): "My time and championships at San Jacinto (Junior College) were wonderful, but this was the level I always wanted to coach at, including pro ball. This has to be the best. There are a lot of passionate people at Rice and they wanted this and needed this. The city of Houston has always been proud of the university because of its academics and sense of honor. That's why I went to Rice. There's a quest by everyone to maintain honor and do the right thing, and winning a championship means a lot to Rice University and the city of Houston."
(on his pitching staff and catcher Justin Ruchti): "We got some good breaks and some bad breaks here, but pitching and defense is what allows you to overcome the bad ones. You have to be good enough to overcome the bad breaks. We have a lot of pitching depth and a lot of those guys will be back next year. I've said all year that Justin was the most underrated player in the country and the best defensive catcher in the country."
Starting pitcher Philip Humber
(on his approach to tonight's start): "My thought process was a lot different than in my last start. We knew they wouldn't strike out a bunch, so I wanted to get pitches over the plate and get some ground balls and pop-ups."
Catcher Justin Ruchti
(on Humber's performance): "In warm-ups, he wasn't throwing his splitter that well. I don't know what was said or what he changed, but he was throwing the splitter for strikes when the game started so I knew we were in good shape. We got some weak grounders and lazy flies with that pitch."
Leftfielder Chris Kolkhorst
(on the way the team responded to yesterday's loss): "Coach Graham put it in proper perspective when he told us no matter what happened tonight, this was the best Rice team ever. He said to relax and go out and play ball. You saw the results."
First baseman Vincent Sinisi
(on tonight's game): "We wanted to score a lot of runs for (starting pitcher) Philip (Humber). We haven't been scoring many runs for him this season so we wanted to score early and get him in that comfort zone. We got him three in the first inning, and it rolled from there."