Thursday, April 24, 2008

Q&A with 49ers baseball coach

Q&A with Charlotte 49ers baseball coach Loren Hibbs

I caught up with Hibbs following the 49ers' 17-0 loss to second-ranked North Carolina on Tuesday. We spoke at length about the game but he also touched a couple of other topics, which I'll share here.

Q: Coach, how has pitcher Sam Pierce been handling the aftermath of the line drive he took in the Xavier game?

Hibbs: Sam is one of the toughest kids I've ever been around. For him to get hit like he did was scary for everybody. To go through five-plus hours of surgery, to be back out here trying to be supportive of what's going on, to already start bugging me about when he can start throwing again, it's amazing. And I'm dead serious, he wants to throw. I was messing with him during the game Tuesday and said, "Those hamburgers are smelling really good." You know he can't eat any solid food right now. He ignored me. So I said, "I'm serious, those hamburgers are smelling really good, aren't they?" He turned around and gave me that 'go to heck' look. Coach (Brandon) Hall (pitching coach) said, "We can put it in a blender and mash it up if we need to." We just need to keep this all in perspective. Sam was very lucky.

Q: Despite the lopsided loss to the Tar Heels, what did you think of the atmosphere around the game (including a record overflow crowd of more than 3,200)?

Hibbs: We had a staff meeting earlier in the day before the game, Judy (Rose, athletics director) said three things during that meeting that pertained to baseball. She said there was a baseball game that night, it was a sellout and the only thing that was left was standing room only. If any of us, 15 or 16 years ago, ever thought that would come out of her mouth, I think after saying it was a sellout everyone would have thought she'd gone crazy.
I came out an hour before the game, working my normal routine, and I kid you not there was a line 30 cars deep to go up the hill to park. It's fantastic. It's what we envisioned for a long time. It's also part of the growing process. This is the first time we've been in this environment at home. North Carolina has been in this environment. It's a learning process for us and we'll be better the next time and better the time after that. This is what high-level college baseball is all about. To put this kind of facility up and have that kind of crowd in it, we should all be proud.


Anonymous said...

If any of you read Jim's interview with Sam Pierce, it was terrific. Sam is one tough guy. I hope he's right in hsi prediction about teh Regionals.

Unknown said...

sam pierce is a beast!!!

Anonymous said...

Keep it up Hibbs. Let's finish up this season strong. Good luck.