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South Bend Regional Pre-Tournament Quotes

June 3, 2004

Notre Dame coach Paul Mainieri

On his expectations for the weekend…
“I would like to welcome each of the coaches to South Bend. Rick (Rembielak) has put together another great ball club.”

“They came here a couple of years ago, and lost a couple of tough games. They might have more tradition than us.”

“We play a lot of MAC schools, and they are always hard, tough-fought games. We expect that from Kent State since they are the best out of the MAC and we know what type of ball game it is going to be.”

UC Irvine coach John Savage

On his expectations for the weekend…
“We have gotten more competetive, we added some pitching and defense. Of our 34 wins I think 17 or 18 have been by one run. One pitch here, one play there.”

” We have had a good bullpen. Whenever you have a closer like Blair Erickson who has had 17 saves, going into the late inning with one run, that can make a difference.”

Arizona coach Andy Lopez

On his expectations for the weekend…
“We are excited about being here. It is always good to be in post-season play. We have a young group that is freshman and sophomore oriented and it is good to be doing something at this point in the season.”

On the team’s travel delays…
“It is good for them. They are young guys that are here to chase a white ball with red seams and it just good for them to be here.”

Kent State coach Rick Rembielak

On his expectations for the weekend…
Well, first of all, we were here a couple years ago.. The administration here at Notre Dame is a first- class operation. We’re glad to be back obviously. … We have our work cut out for us and we expect a very good tournament.

On pitcher Andy Sonnanstine on two complete games at the Mid-American Conference Tournament…
It was a tough three days for him. We were kind of leery of that last day, throwing him out there on a couple days rest, but in all honesty, I think we were looking at maybe 3-4 innings to see what he could do and patch the rest of it up in the bullpen. … This week, he can’t work his arm, or do anything that’s taxing to his body. He looks fine. I don’t know what to expect when he goes out there. A couple years ago, we went through this with one of our guys that pitched. We played three games the last day of the tournament and he came in and threw five and two-thirds innings.