Larry Hays Weekly Press Conference

Baseball coach comments on Alumni game, New Mexico series.

Feb. 2, 1998

Opening Comments "I was pleased with the Alumni game for a lot of reasons. It was what the doctor ordered. We were a nervous team, I was really surprised how nervous we were. It seems like every year we have so many new players. I just assumed somewhere along the line that as I get older and more used to it, they will too, but it hasn't worked that way and we really played tight early. We did some things that loosened up a little bit and hopefully gave us confidence.. I was pleased with the crowd and was pleased with the alumni guys that came back. I felt like it was a good day for us. I'm looking forward to it tomorrow at New Mexico. I expect this team to go through a little nervous bit on the road and it's something we need to get past. We'll start Shane Wright on Tuesday. We didn't throw him over the weekend to have him ready for this. We need for him to pitch well and get us going a bit. I was pleased with our defense on Saturday. It's an area we will be concerned about for awhile and hopefully we can get it worked out. The big thing over the next couple of weeks is our pitching and who we're going to go with and how we're going to use different people."

On New Mexico: "New Mexico is 0-3. They played a very good Arizona team. I noticed they got a bunch of hits so they're going to be a typical New Mexico team that hits well. Albuquerque is a good place to hit. As nervous as we are about our pitching, it's going to be an interesting trip. It's something that all our guys are looking forward to."

On Monty Ward's injury situation: "He threw an inning Thursday in a scrimmage game. I liked his inning on Saturday. He started getting his slider over. A guy like him, he's got to control that pitch so his fastball can be as good as it can be. I was pleased with that. I'm not sure how we're going to handle him on this trip. We might get him another inning and then maybe start him one of the games this weekend. That's kind of touch-and-go. The hamstring is the problem with him now, he's over the chicken-pox. We're just trying to keep from injuring it and give him some work."

On the Red Raiders' pitching performance on the weekend: "I thought every guy went out there and did a good job. Overall, it was a plus for us because some of those guys can swing the bat. They played like they hadn't played for awhile but we pitched well."

On the lineup and what it will take to get back to last year's level: "We just have so many unanswered questions. It's one of things that's contagious. We've got to have a Joe Dillon type of guy, go down there tomorrow who just takes off. If we have a one or two guys take off, we've got a bunch of guys who can blend in and create some havoc. There's a chance this team can be a good hitting team but it's too early."

On if he will make any lineup changes from Saturday's game: "I think we're going to do the same thing as far as lineup goes. The next day we'll try to get Brennan Burns in the lineup. There's some other guys we need to get in the lineup, but as we've got Keith Ginter at DH, we're not going to make very many moves. I don't know how long we'll have to go this way, maybe all year, but it sure will help this club if we can get him somewhere on the field."


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