Dailey earns VA Lottery Player of the Week

RICHMOND, Va. – Freshman pitcher Michael Dailey almost made history this past Friday, as he fell one out shy of throwing the VCU Rams' first no-hitter in program history. As it turns out, it wasn't meant to be. However, despite the one hit, shutout effort in 8.2 innings, Dailey's effort earned him VA Lottery Student Athlete of the Week honors.

 

"It surprised me to be honest. I really didn't know what to expect since it was on really short notice. I didn't know I was pitching until right before the game started. In the bullpen, I wasn't locating well and I was getting nervous because I didn't want to have a bad outing. But when I got out there, I went into a whole new world and focused on executing each pitch."

 

Dailey has now stapled himself into a weekend role beside Sean Thompson and Brooks Vial, all whom have won weekly conference awards throughout the spring. With the season winding down into the dog days, Dailey and the rest of the Black and Gold have things locked down mentally.

 

"It's going to be tough. Saint Louis is always tough and a top-notch competitor. We just have to take it inning by inning and not look too far in the future…just slowing the game down will work in our favor."

 

On earning his second wave of A-10 weekly honors…

 

"It motivates me a lot. Coming in from high school, I really never saw myself as a Division I baseball player, never less a pitcher. It means a ton to me, my parents have always pushed me to become a better baseball player each and every day. They have always put out the resources wherever it needs to be to get me that extra help, it's gone a long way. Then the coaching I had in high school always helped me to take steps to get better. Then the coaching staff here in Coach Hay and Coach Stiffler, they work with me to perfect my craft, it's helped tremendously. All of that to lead to these awards, it's such a great honor."

 

On coming into college as a freshman…

 

"Coming into the season I was a extremely nervous because I didn't know if I was going to play, and didn't know a whole bunch of stuff. I was also very nervous because I didn't have as good of a fall as I wanted to. I remember the first intersquad we had, and the first thing Darian [Carpenter] did, the first pitch I ever threw to him, he hit a home run off we. Then he said, "Welcome to the Show", so that got me nervous going into the season. Just as I got into games, it all went away and went out and did my thing. I guess all the hard work I put in and focus I put in on the mound has brought me to today."

 

On the pitching staff…

 

"The weekend rotation…it's weird, I don't really know what happened to be honest. Just after the first couple weekends we struggled to find who we were as a staff. After the second weekend in Wilmington where we came off two pretty bad losses, we came together and had a team meeting. We told each other to forget about the past and just look forward to the future. So we took it upon ourselves to help the hitters really…we were giving up all these runs and we took responsibility for that. But we started not giving up any runs and the bats kept producing and it all started to work. The bullpen…[Matt] Jamer, Tanner [Winters], [Sam] Donko…they are all just studs in the 'pen. The long game Jamer just threw is something I've never seen before, and with Donko leading the nation in saves, that's something awesome to be apart of. Even though it's not you it's your teammate and you want the best for him so it's awesome."

 

On whose work ethic he enjoys watching on the team…

 

"I really like Cooper [Mickelson]'s work ethic. He's just one of those guys who's goofy, but he can get after it. He is a hard-nosed baseball player. Jimmy [Kerrigan] is also one of the hardest workers I know, he gives 110 percent at everything he does. It's nice to see those two seniors kind of lead the team in that regard is incredible. It's really an honor to play under them [all of the seniors]. But from a pitching standpoint, Brooks [Vial]. Brooks every day is constantly talking to me about situations and even in the games on how I can improve each pitch, and in certain situations. It's awesome to know someone else is out there watching you and willing to give you a helping hand."

 

You are in a boxing match, who is one guy from the team you need in your corner…

 

"Probably Jimmy [Kerrigan]. He's just one of those guys who just won't go down until he can't get up. He's going to have to die in order to give up. It's incredible to see the work ethic that man has. That's a guy I want at my back at any fight, anything."

 

Pre-game ritual….

 

"Usually I'll eat half my sandwich, and I'm not a big barbeque chip fan so I just give those to [Sam] Donko. I ALWAYS eat the chocolate chip cookie, that's my favorite part. Then I just kind of pace around and walk around because I hate sitting still, so I try to be active as much as possible. Whether that means catching ground balls for Coach Stiffler or working with the catchers, just something. I don't have much of a routine I just go with the flow."

 

Any superstitions…

 

"No, not really. I don't…I don't do any of that stuff."

 

Netflix personality; Watching movies or TV shows…


"I like to mix it up, but I'm more of a TV show type of guy. I'm not one of those guys who watch "Game of Thrones" and "Breaking Bad". I like those corny TV shows like "Melissa and Joey" on ABC Family and stuff like that.

 

On having a gamer roommate in Eric Neiman, what's the go-to game…

 

"Let's see…if I'm playing with Eric its "Call of Duty"…love those zombies. If I'm playing with Merv [David Mervis] and Ben [Dum], it's a mix between NHL and NBA. We have a little scoreboard in our room to keep tallies on however much we've beaten each other. I'm the supreme leader in that category."

 

Nickelodeon or Disney Channel….

 

"I was both. I loved SpongeBob and "Drake & Josh" when I was growing up. Then Disney…loved "Hannah Montana" and "Suite Life of Zack and Cody". Go-to though was "Drake & Josh"."

 

Favorite MLB team…

 

"Philadelphia Phillies. I was a BIG Chase Utley fan growing up, then when he got traded I wasn't going to hop in the Dodgers bandwagon."

 

Any MLB ballpark you'd like to pitch at…

 

"Fenway Park in Boston. There is so much history there. That'd be cool."

 

Go-to ballpark food…

 

"Hot Dog and a Pepsi. Nothing on the hot dog, just plain with a Pepsi."

 

We talked before with Brooks Vial on Mafia…rate yourself as a player…

 

"As a townie, probably a five or six. If I'm mafia, easily a one, I'm terrible. I can't lie, and every time someone accuses me of being Mafia and I am Mafia, I immediately smile and I don't talk. I get voted off quickly."

 

Favorite color…

 

"Blue."

 

Best Mafia players on the team…

 

"[Matt] Jamer is pretty good…Jimmy [Kerrigan], Daane [Berezo], and Sean [Thompson]. Those four guys are incredible. They always know how to turn townies against townies when they are Mafia. They strategize pretty well."

 

Most quotable teammate…

 

"Luke Crabb. He is a character in himself. He has a different character everyday. Some days he will be his redneck character and other days he will be his comedian-type of guy. He never stops talking, and it's so funny to listen to. Also, [Nick] Rabat is a walking movie quote. Everything he speaks in is a movie quote. Then [Matt] Jamer…(laughs)…he's a trip."

 
 

Biggest adjustment coming to college…

 

"Probably always having something to do was a big change. In high school, there wasn't much. I never had such a filled up day each day. I know it's a big adjustment, cause you get used to being one place or another. Then when you get that off time, you don't know what do to. It's mind-boggling. It's strange that always having something to do creates stress, but then not having anything to do creates more. It makes no sense, but that's how it is."

 

If you had to have a poster with someone on the team on it, who would it be…

 

"I'd say [Sam] Donko. Donko or [Luke] Crabb. They are both funny and Donko has his moments where he is inspirational. But yeah, they are two guys you can look up to and know they will make you laugh and in tough times they are going to be there for you. So those are two guys I'd probably have on my wall."