NCAA MEN'S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
June 16, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
Texas Christian – 3
Texas Tech - 2
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle. Student?athletes Cody Jones, Preston Morrison and Boomer White. Coach an opening statement.
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: Happy Father's Day to everybody. Obviously typical TCU baseball game right there, especially over the course of the last couple of weeks. I thought Preston was outstanding, really, really proud of him, especially since really the one bad outing that he's had in his college career was against Tech in the first weekend of conference play. And so I know there was some eyebrows raised when we decided to go with Preston.
But I felt like that was the best matchup and it's a pretty easy decision when you have to choose between the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and a first?rounder. He did a great job. And then Cody's at?bat I thought was the at?bat of the inning. Obviously Boomer's hit was huge. But Cody's at?bat just to fight off pitches, draws, has been so good for them all year long. And I thought Cody's at?bat just to put the ball in play and let his legs do the rest was huge.
And really proud of Riley Ferrell, I don't know the last time he's given up back?to?back hits let alone back?to?back extra base hits. There could have been way worse damage there in the eighth inning, and he kept making good pitches to their hitters.
Q. Jim, was it an easy decision to make the switch when you did or was there a long discussion, or did you see something with Preston?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: No, we talked about going in?? I've watched enough College World Series games to know that with the off days, I told our team that one of the best teams, the teams that win this thing normally have a closer that can throw more than one inning, and I was honestly thinking about starting off the inning with him.
But I felt, as soon as the game came into question, I'm going to our guy, whether it's a right or left?handed hitter. You have to credit Lyons for doing a heck of a job. And who is the next guy? Neslony stayed on a breaking ball. And tip your cap to them. But there was no doubt I was going to Riley, any question was whether I was going to start with the eighth with him or let Preston go back out.
Q. Preston, what was different for you in this outing as opposed to the outing with the guys a while back, a long time ago, but compare those two from your standpoint?
PRESTON MORRISON: That first outing, that wasn't me at all. I didn't have any control. My stuff wasn't as sharp as it usually is and today was more of a typical outing for me. My slider was on point. I was able to locate my fastball when I needed to and threw a couple of changeups for a couple of outs.
But overall, I just had more confidence and I was able to make my pitches when I needed to.
Q. Coach, did you have any thoughts about taking Riley out after he kind of had a little bit of a shaky start there in the eighth inning and going into the ninth?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: No, zero. I was thinking?? I was starting to think, okay, if they tied it, how long am I going to let him go. Maybe if they would have gotten one more run, possibly, but the days off, it's such a different thing here. You gotta find a way to scramble and win the first two games. And you have to do that with your best pitchers.
Q. This team seems to be able to pull it out somehow some way every time. Can you explain what that is?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: The way I can explain it is every team in the College World Series is resilient. You can't get here without having that character trait as a team. Our guys, we play in so many close games.
All three of our Regional games were?? or two of our three Regional games were one?run games. One was an 11?inning game one was a 22?inning game.
And against Pepperdine, as good a team as we've seen all year. They're a World Series caliber club. All three games are one?run games. And that's the kind of baseball we've played all year.
I'm not telling you I'm very comfortable with it, but these guys are. And they don't panic a bit. It's just let's put together some good at?bats and see what happens. And honestly I try to stay out of the way because they're very comfortable in playing in close games.
Q. Jim, what did you think of the game Sadberry pitched and were you surprised in any way that he came out when he did?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: No, not at all. The reason they're even in the World Series, he's been a good pitcher because of Drozd. And Cam Smith, in my opinion, if anybody ever asks me about Tech, those are the two guys that have done such a great job for them, they pitched in every possible role, from the second inning or starting or closing. I'm sure they're real confident in him.
I thought Sadberry was great. He really didn't do anything other than he threw some changeups late in the game that he doesn't normally throw or hadn't featured against us before.
But I thought he executed pitches outstanding, but it wasn't anything we weren't expecting. He had good life to his fastball and command. Threw his breaking ball enough. He did a heck of a job, too.
Q. Cody and Boomer, could you each talk about your approach with the at?bat in the eighth inning?
CODY JONES: My biggest deal was to stay as calm as I could, take as many deep breaths as I could. And I tried to stay back and get a pitch that I could hit early and put a good swing on it and hit it hard somewhere on the field. But once I got down two strikes I knew I had to just sit back and fight and try to put a ball in play and try to let my legs work.
BOOMER WHITE: Mine was just trying to really stand the baseball. He's a left?handed pitcher, me stay on, get a fastball or something where I can drive the other way. All I knew was I can get to the infield, Cody's going to score.
So I messed up with one. I knew right before I walked up, Kyle told me, if you ever see the seams, two?seam looks like a changeup coming in. Threw it up there. And I stayed on it just enough to get a good piece of it. Basically just battling. He was really good against us earlier in the year, and he's a really good pitcher. So I knew I was going to have to fight. And God willing I got one to drop in.
Q. Jim, do you believe in teams of destiny when you win 22 innings, beat Pepperdine the way you do, and today?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: I don't know. It's hard to say. I believe teams that have really good starting pitching can win baseball games. And that's?? and a good closer. So if that's destiny I'll take it.
But just like a basketball tournament, I mean, there's two national seeds here. So whomever thought?? I know we have some committee members in the room. But they felt those were the best eight teams. We had two of them show up here. That's because in the game of baseball it's the team that plays the best.
If you get hot and you play the best, then you can be the national champion. And so we would much rather be the team playing the best than the very best team.
Q. Tuesday night you're going to have to play a great team, either Virginia or Ole Miss. Your thoughts on that?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: They're going to have to play a great team, too. So we have a phenomenal amount of respect. Obviously Mike Bianco and I are life long?? long, long friends.
He was my pitching coach on the U.S.A. team. We spent all summer together last summer. And Brian O'Connor, I've known him forever since I was recruiting at Tulane and he was recruiting at Notre Dame. Recruiting the same players all over the country.
And great respect for both teams. We're going to run a lefty up there that's not bad. And I'm sure they'll put a pitcher out there. We'll go compete and see what happens.