Lemonis Auburn game 2 media Q and A

(Photo: Gene Swindoll, Gene Page, 247Sports)

Mississippi State baseball coach Chris Lemonis spoke to the media after the Bulldogs’ 9-5 win over Auburn on Friday night. The transcript follows:

Question: How different was this game with some separation?

Lemons: It was nice, but it was still tight. It’s amazing that we can make every game tight. It was nice to get the big hits. I think Preston gave us a good start, really neutralized their guys. Probably just ran out of gas at the end. He threw well in the seventh and wanted to come back in the eighth. It probably would have been good if we hadn’t scored five runs in that inning. I was happy.

Question: How important was it for KC to shut them down at the end?

Lemons: It was huge. I didn’t want to have to use it tonight, but hey, that’s what we got it for. Sometimes you have to use it. I thought he was really good in the eighth to get us out of trouble with the bases loaded. This stadium was scary tonight because the wind was blowing. You are one swing away from being in a very tight ball game.

Question: Is it a game with a few extra big hits that you really could have put away?

Lemons: When you hit well, you’re going to have a lot of guys on base. When you have a bunch of hits, you’re always going to leave a few there. We had big ones – Brad’s was big, Kam, Luke in the first one.

Question: Have you seen anything change for Preston in the last two starts?

Lemons: A little more focused. He will tend to walk a guy. I thought tonight he was locked up all night.

Question: An update on RJ?

Lemons: It hit him in the wrist. Knowing we were going to have a 30-40 minute rain delay, we are playing tomorrow, we decided to ice him to reduce the swelling so he could play tomorrow. I don’t know anything yet. But it was a little painful.

Question: Do you want the power to be multiple home runs?

Lemons: It would be good. I love RJ’s double down the line, Hunter Hines with the two-out hit. That’s what we’re missing right now. We had the circuits. These are the great swings with two outs, and there is still room for improvement. We still left a few guys there. We are improving.

Question: What do you think about Brad getting four hits today, not yesterday like you told him?

Lemons: He doesn’t listen to me well, he probably thought I said take them today. He said a bullet hit him in the head, the replay showed it did not hit him in the head. I said, Brad, what’s going on? He said, coach, it’s a Mule thing. Absolutely. I’m glad he hit the home run.

Question: What does Scott say to Preston during these big rounds?

Lemons: It’s more about calming him down. Just let him catch his breath for a second. You get into these jams, we’re just trying to let him catch his breath. Here’s what we have with this next guy, it just lets his heart rate drop. He was really good tonight. He threw three to two guys.

Question: What do you think of Kam in center field now?

Lemons: It’s good. He has a lot of work to do in center field. No offense to Kam, I’m probably more impressed with Slate Alford… two big hits and he’s made some great plays the last few days.

Question: What was the size to do it tonight?

Lemons: It was huge. Just to be able to get rid of it. Tomorrow is uncertain. They say we have an afternoon window, but we’ll have to see. I think we are at 3 now.

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