Following his team's split of a weekend series against the Pacific Tigers out in California, Northwestern baseball coach Spencer Allen met with the media on Tuesday afternoon. He confirmed the suspension of SP Joe Schindler and also said that second baseman Antonio Freschet was suspended indefinitely as well for a violation of team rules.
Allen also discussed the series with Pacific and looked ahead to the Snowbird Classic, which the Wildcats will participate in this weekend in Port Charlotte, Fla. In the tournament, Northwestern will play Division II Saint Leo, Butler, Boston College and Illinois State on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A few Wildcats, including relief pitcher Tommy Bordignon, also spoke.
Here's what Allen, Bordignon, center fielder Ben Dickey and shortstop Jack Dunn had to say:
Coach Spencer Allen
- On the suspensions: "We had two guys, [Schindler and Freschet], that were suspended for violating team rules...They were out last weekend and will be out this weekend as well." Allen said that both players -- Schindler is a junior and Freschet is a senior -- won't be traveling with the team to Florida.
- On whether the suspensions were a coach's decision: "Out of fairness to those guys, I can't go into details."
- On Bordignon's 4 shutout innings in NU's 3-1 win on Friday: "He's just really attacking the zone with three pitches. He's got the best stuff on our team...He's getting outs on 0-1 and 0-2 just because he's attacking. The strikeouts will come for him because he has a swing-and-miss pitch with his breaking ball and changeup. We're happy with where he's at."
- On whether Bordignon could be transitioned to a starting role: "We'll just see how it unfolds...You're trying to figure out what gives you the best chance to win. In college baseball, a lot of games are lost after the 6th inning so it's nice to have a guy come in that's consistent, pounds the zone and has a swing-and-miss pitch."
- On the production the team's freshmen (mainly Dickey, Dunn and second baseman Willie Bourbon) have brought to the team: "I like the fact that they're handling themselves both offensively and defensively...The biggest thing, for me, is that they just haven't been overwhelmed. They have shown no fear, and that's been great."
- On the possibility of his team, in the future, playing a MLB team during Spring Training (which is commonplace in early March): "It's a little bit of a timing thing...you just have to time it up with when the big-leaguers play game, which is usually between the second and third weeks of the college season. It would be fun, no doubt."
P Tommy Bordignon
- On what he has done differently this season (8.1 shutout innings with just one hit allowed so far) than last season: "I spent most of my time this offseason commanding by second and third pitch, my curveball and my changeup. Last year, I wasn't able to throw all three for strikes, which hurt me in the long run."
- On potentially starting games: "I think it is on the table." Bordignon said that if he doesn't pitch in Saturday's game against Boston College (the second half of a doubleheader), he's going to start the game against Illinois State on Sunday. "I think it just depends on the situation."
CF Ben Dickey
- On the team's abundance of young talent: "Jack and Willie has worked really hard all offseason and I got lucky, with [junior] Jake Schieber going down [with an injury] in the first weekend. I got to step in and play, it's been a lot of fun. I really just think it's been a testament to our hard work."
- On dealing with his sudden entrance into the starting lineup: "That first at-bat, I was nervous. Since then, I've been pretty confident and I think it's gone pretty well."
- On his approach with runners in scoring position (Dickey had run-scoring hits in three of the four games against Pacific): "I focus on pitches that I know I'm good at hitting. I'm usually a middle-away fastball guy and I try to keep balls in play and make contact."
SS Jack Dunn
- On jumping into the lineup as a freshman: "We try to work hard each day in practice. We have great team chemistry; the older guys brought us in here and helped us a lot with our confidence. They made it a lot easier for us to come out here and play our game."