Press Conference with Baseball's Larry Hays

March 9, 1998

Opening Comments

"I apoligize to our fans for moving these game around. I just think it would be really tough to try and play tomorrow night. The forcast for that time wouldn't be much fun to play or watch as a spectator.

All year I've been talking about having three guys hitting and the other six not. It's caused us to really play under pressure. This weekend showed what we can do if we get everyone hitting. We had everyone in the lineup contributing at one time or another and it made us look like a completely different team and it loosened us up a little bit. We played more aggressively. The three guys- Ralston, Ward and Wright- they remained outstanding and remain to be our strength.

We're fortunate with our pitching. We really wanted to play that third game. Don't know if you win that game or not but we're at a stage where we really need to play that game. We need to get Cornejo back into a conference situation. You have to pleased with the weekend. I thought our team came back and played pretty well from Texas A&M. We were only one of the teams to not play in the conference this weekend. It's really scary that we don't prove this thing on the field. With the tough schedule and the valuable teams in this league with the balance in this league, it's going to come down to a percentage kind of thing."

On Kevin Jordan's outstanding three-home run game vs. Texas:

"He's been hitting the ball all along. He's hit the ball as well as everyone we have. He had a terrible streak but he's been hitting the ball hard. He just kept hitting the ball hard right at people. It kind of broke loose for him and maybe that'll get him going. Hitting the ball a few feet further really makes a difference."

On if playing non-conference opponents creates a lull in the season:

"Right now, we really need to play. And right now, we really need to play everyone. TCU will be a tough series for us- they got rained out like we did. Both teams will throw good pitching and that's unusuaul for a mid-week series to have the pitching we'll have and see. I look for it to be a good series, it's what we need. I'd like for us to keep hitting. It would be nice if we can continue with the bats. We need this stretch. It's been a big problem all season with the schedule. When the conference changed the schedule so late, we just weren't able to get anyone except Panhandle to come in and hopefully, we'll get that one in."

On Miles Durham's development:

"I think he's so much more relaxed and it looks like he's catching up abit. He's getting more aggressive on the basepaths- he stole third base when we needed it on Saturday. You can just see him learning all the time. He's done really well. I just feel like the whole team relaxed a little bit the whole series. That's something that's concerned me the whole year. You expect Miles to be tight as a freshman, but it's fun to see him developing."

On Ryan Ruiz' outstanding play:

"If you remember, we said defensively, he would be an outstanding centerfielder. He's already made two catches this year that rank up around the top 10 I've ever seen. The play he made in Phoenix could be the greatest catch I've ever seen. Then Saturday, when you put into effect the wind and the distance he had to run, then jumping with one foot up against the fence, that was a great catch too. He's made two fantastic catches. But the best thing he's done for us lately is the fact that he's starting to come around offensively. He's started to get some bunts fair. He's really struggled with his bunting game. That's something for him, to help us, he needs to get that done and he made a lot of progress this weekend. We felt he and Junior Rodriguez were the keys to this club."

On the fact that Texas Tech plays better at home (9-0 on the season):

"It fits our offense and it fits our defense. This club is tailor made for this ballpark as long as the wind's not blowing in. The crowd is a big factor. This club was probably bothered by the Texas A&M crowd more than any team I've had here. That's good and bad. For us, we need to overcome that on the road. There's a lot of reasons why we're such a good club at home."

On the strikeouts:

"We talk about it all the time. That's a weakness this club has had- lots of strikeouts. We're not a good two-strike hitting team. We continue to dwell with that problem. A lot of times you have the wind we had this weekend, you see guys overswing and try to pull the ball but I thought we got better with that. For us to go where we've got go, that's something we've got to keep struggling with."

On the craziness and strangeness of the Saturday's Texas game:
"It was kind of like being in New York City and living there in tall buildings. There's something going on all the time. I never did see half of the stuff. Some of it I didn't even know what was happening. There was something going on all the time. The seat I had wasn't very good."

On if Texas coach Augie Garrido said anything after the game:

"No. He understood the situation."




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