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Notes and Quotes: NC State blasts Georgia in NCAA Super Regional game one

ATHENS, Ga. – The eighth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs fell to the tenth-ranked N.C. State Wolfpack, 18-1, in the first game of the NCAA Baseball Athens Super Regional on Saturday at Foley Field.

Fast Facts

Saturday’s matchup marked the first meeting between the Wolfpack and the Bulldogs since the 2008 NCAA Baseball Super Regional hosted in Athens. Georgia took two out of the three games to advance to the 2008 College World Series.

3,829 were in attendance for game one of the Athens Super Regional.

Sophomore right-hander Kolten Smith (9-3) got the start on the mound for Georgia and tallied his 100th career strikeout in the first inning.

Senior Corey Collins put the Bulldogs on the board in the fifth inning, with an RBI single to right field that scored senior Fernando Gonzalez.

Junior Slate Alford hit his 13th double of the year to right field in the 6th inning.

Gonzalez notched his 11th multi-base hit of the year, with a one-out double down the left field line in the 5th.

Key Quotes

Georgia Head Coach Wes Johnson

Opening statement…

“Tip your hat to NC State. They came out, they had a big inning. We didn’t do a lot of things right that inning. I don’t even know how to go about it – bunts, this, that, and the other. But here’s the great thing about our game: nothing carries over to tomorrow. The scoreboard goes back to 0-0, and we’re going to come out, and we’re going to be ready to respond.”

On how the thinks the team will respond tomorrow…

“We’ll just come out and play baseball. That’s all you can do. No matter what the situation is, win or lose today, you’ve got to play baseball again tomorrow. This game, as I’ve talked all year about, is not about panicking. It’s the teams who can flow through adversity and just keep staying the course. It’s good to see that your guys have some fight. I know that we only scored one run, but there are a couple guys, I thought, that were trying to hit 10-run homers up there. That just means that they care. That just means that they’re trying to get us back into the game. We got outside of our approach a little bit, especially after that second inning, but we’ll respond. We’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”

# 6 Corey Collins | C/OF | Sr.

On how much confidence he has in the offensive approach heading into tomorrow…

“Undoubtedly. I mean, we led the country on offense for how long? I’m confident in our guys in putting good swings on balls. Even in that last inning, Tre Phelps puts that ball backside and it gets caught, mine at first base, I don’t even know who hit it but right at second base. At that point, we’re all kind of just chuckling like that’s how it’s going today, and you can’t change it, but you’ve just got to keep putting swings on it. I try and live by the quote of, ‘You make a barrel it's good, but getting a hit’s a bonus.’ We’ve got to live by that.”

#31 Chandler Marsh | RHP | Jr.

On what the attitude is for the pitchers heading into tomorrow and going forward…

“We’re confident. We have a lot of really good guys who threw today and guys who will throw tomorrow. We have plenty of guys, from our starter tomorrow to the end of the bullpen. We have a bunch of really good dudes that the pitching staff has confidence in, and then the hitters also have confidence in it too. We’ve been playing really well as a team together, and we know the hitters are going to pick the pitchers up tomorrow and the pitchers are going to pick the hitters up tomorrow for what we can. I’m excited to see it happen. I’m excited to see those guys fight for each other in the spot we’re in.”

NC State Head Coach Elliott Avent

On his thoughts on the game as a whole…

"It's good to get that first one, but obviously we have to get one more. They're tough to get but obviously we played really well today. We obviously also had that one inning that got things out of kilter for them, but tomorrow will be a totally different day."

On the approach to starting pitcher Kolten Smith…

"You work on your approach all year as a player. It's a complex thing and it takes a while. So, whether you're a senior like Noah Soles or a third year like Jacob, it's just something you constantly work on... Our approach is going to be the same tomorrow as it is every day."

On his experience in the World Series and potential to take this team…

"Every season I've had at NC State, or New Mexico State for that matter, is very special. You coach for the players, not yourself or for other reasons. You coach because you take a group of men, and they're always different. Yes, I've been to the World Series a couple times... But I'd like to see this group of young men go to the World Series. They've deserved it and they've earned it."

#2 Noah Soles | OF | Senior

On trying to prevent being overly confident…

“This win is definitely a good feeling. But, at the end of the day, we’re just trying to do our job and just focus on the ultimate goal.”

On Sam Highfill’s start…

“I think he was unbelievable today. He’s very tough. I personally look up to him and I think he’s a great leader, on and off the field. He’s just someone everyone looks up to and I think he’s a really, really good leader for the clubhouse.”

On the team’s business-like attitude after the game…

“We’re just taking it one game at a time."

#14 Jacob Cozart | C | Sophomore

On the 11-run second inning…

“Hitting is contagious. You start out the game having a quick inning, then the second inning came around and we got two really, really good bunts down. They found the hole, chaos unloaded and we just started to roll. We got to the top of our lineup, and then that’s what we do. Once they turn that lineup around, they start to roll.”

On Sam Highfill’s start…

“It’s what he’s done all year. He’s the same guy, day in and day out. He’s going to come in there, he knows his stuff is going to beat you. He’s confident in it because he’s been going it for a couple of years. We know that we’re going to get a quality start every single time out of him and get a chance to win a ball game. You saw what he did today. He got in some big situations where Georgia got some runners on and he found ways to prevent them from scoring. Like in his last inning, he had a guy on first and second with no outs, and he found a way to get a pop-out and then a double play in three pitches. That’s just what he does - he can pitch. He’s really, really good at his craft and we know we’re getting a good start every single time out of him.”

On the team’s business-like attitude after the game…

“You could say that. We know our job is not done yet, we’ve still got a big game tomorrow and we’re focused on that now. We’re going to go out and play our game and do what we do. We’ve been doing it the past couple of weeks and this whole season, for that matter. We know what our job is and we’re going to go out and do it."

Up Next

Game two of the NCAA Baseball Super Regional will be played on Sunday, with first pitch set for 12:06 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPNU and will also be available on the Georgia Bulldogs Sports Network.