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June 16, 2014

Alex Chittenden

Shane Crain

Jeff Gardner

Dan McDonnell

Cole Sturgeon


Texas テや 4
Louisville - 1

THE MODERATOR:テつ Representing Louisville, head coach Dan McDonnell and five seniors, Alex Chittenden, Shane Crain, Jeff Gardner, Kyle Gibson and Cole Sturgeon.テつ Coach, begin with an opening statement.
COACH MCDONNELL:テつ Thanks for letting these five seniors come up here and close the season, because obviously we wouldn't be here if it weren't for these five seniors.
Congratulate Texas.テつ They pitched well.テつ They played clean.テつ They manufactured a run when they had a chance to.テつ But moving on to the Louisville Cardinals, I'm really proud of this group.テつ This was a fun, fun year. テつAnd really proud these five seniors kept the culture alive.テつ We lost seven juniors to the draft.テつ We lost our whole weekend rotation but there's no time to feel sorry for us and no one's going to feel sorry for Louisville.
These guys wanted to maintain that high level, that level of excellence and give them a lot of credit and it was a smooth year, very consistent year.テつ Fun year.テつ As a coach you have to be thankful.
Sometimes you have to stop and reflect‑‑ I'm not really good at that because I have a recruiting mind, and I'm always worried about tomorrow.テつ So I need to take a moment sometimes and stop and reflect, because what a fun year.テつ This was a lot of fun.
I want these five seniors to be recognized, and I want our kids to hold their heads high.テつ As we always say the season's going to end, this is the place you want it to end.テつ And for their efforts we'll be better off in the future and we'll be back again as it says in the end of the movie "Gladiator" you will see us again.テつ But not yet.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions?

Q.テつ Dan, did you feel Texas was that good or are you a little snake‑bit in this game with the errors and some bad breaks?
COACH MCDONNELL:テつ It's baseball.テつ Everybody's that good in Omaha.テつ Arguably the eight best teams in the country and the eight hottest teams in the country.テつ So when you don't play clean, obviously gets magnified out here.テつ And the value of scoring a run is so important that you do your best to try to score a run and you do your best to try not to give up a run.
And unfortunately we just gave them few too many opportunities early and put you in a hole and it's not a good feeling with the conditions to be in a hole two run hole, three run hole.テつ But other than I thought we had maybe a two‑inning spurt where we lost it offensively.テつ I thought for the most part we really competed.テつ A lot of good at‑bats, a lot of good swings.テつ We jumped on some balls.
But, yeah, we had a two‑inning lapse there in the middle of the game where we made it a little too easy on them. テつThey got the momentum and we let them roll with it for a couple of innings.

Q.テつ Cole and Jeff, you guys tend to be pretty aggressive offense and French was able to keep you out of your game.テつ What was he able to do against you guys to keep you guys from getting something going?
COLE STURGEON:テつ He did a great job of pounding the strike zone for the most part.テつ We probably chased some pitches we shouldn't have in some big situations with runners on.テつ It was pretty tight zone today and we probably didn't do a great job of making them work for everything.テつ Made it like Coach said made it easy on them for a few innings.
JEFF GARDNER:テつ I have to agree with Cole he did a great job pounding the strike zone, when he didn't we seemed to chase some of those bad pitches.テつ So just a bad offensive day on our part.

Q.テつ Kyle, talk about Anthony and just kind of flipping around what these guys are talking about, what was working for him?テつ What wasn't or were they just being aggressive at the plate?
COACH MCDONNELL: テつI think Anthony pitched great today.テつ I think they guessed on a couple of pitches got a hold of them and got lucky.テつ But other than that Anthony pitched great.

Q.テつ Same question for you Coach, talk about Anthony's performance on the mound today.
COACH MCDONNELL:テつ Yeah, he was good.テつ Those guys that know Anthony know what a great job he does when he's in jams and the ability to strike a guy out and get out of jams.テつ Give them credit, because they've got guys on and they moved them over and they got them in scoring position.テつ But all in all I thought he pitched really well.テつ As we realized we're losing these five seniors, I think we had eight players drafted this year and obviously we'll lose some juniors.テつ It's exciting because different from last year, our whole rotation comes back, Funkhouser, Kidston, and Rogers and five talented freshmen that contributed a lot and a nice mix of sophomores and juniors.
So seeing what these five seniors did and kept the culture where it was, I mean it's a good feeling.テつ I feel really good about where our program's at, with the players coming in and as we move on to the future.

Q.テつ When you have a week off between the regional and the week here you have some time to think about what's going on.テつ Have you had a chance yet really to consider your places in Louisville baseball history and where you guys stand after making back‑to‑back College World Series?
ALEX CHITTENDEN:テつ I think it's a big deal.テつ But we kind of expected it.テつ We knew how good we were.テつ And we knew we wanted to get back here.
SHANE CRAIN:テつ Pretty much just what Alex said.テつ At the beginning of the year we knew we wanted to get back here.テつ And last year kind of left a sour taste in our mouth.テつ And had that little chip on our shoulder to get back here and we did and didn't perform the way we wanted to, but I guess it really hasn't hit us yet from what you said the history in Louisville.テつ That's pretty much all I can say.

Q.テつ Jeff, Kyle, two years in a row obviously you get here and just kind of play a little flat.テつ Any idea why that is?テつ After the way you played the last few weeks, seemed like you had a lot of momentum obviously.テつ What is it about this setting that has kind of made you guys come out that way the last two years?
JEFF GARDNER:テつ After thinking about the loss the other night I'm not sure if it is the setting that does it.テつ I felt like the other night offensively we did about all we could against Carson Folmer and the rest of their staff, defensively with pitching had some bad breaks.
So I think part of it is just baseball.テつ And this is the most unpredictable game there is.テつ So this week didn't go our way.

Q.テつ Coach, after Texas scored their third run, the cameras caught you having an impassioned talk with your team in the dugout.テつ Can you kind of tell us what you said to them at the time in the game?
COACH MCDONNELL:テつ Yeah, I challenged them because that's where we kind of lost it offensively, I thought, for two innings.テつ And as we had kicked the ball around a little bit we made a couple of errors.テつ I think that third run was the double play error, just really hurt, really frustrated, there's no way we were going to get back in the game the way the offensive flow was going.
I don't know if the offensive flow led to the defensive mishaps, we just didn't have a lot of momentum right there.テつ We felt like we got him to a point where he might have thrown eight to ten balls in a row.テつ And for whatever reason we didn't take advantage of that and then we ran out there on defense and felt like we gave them a run regroup, motivate, they know I'm very passionate.
They know I care about them and I just wanted to spark a fire under them by no means is it flat, I think somebody might have used the word "flat".テつ This is a passionate group now.テつ This is a competitive group.テつ I don't care if you play dodge ball or Ping‑Pong, you name it, this is a competitive group of kids.テつ We wouldn't make back‑to‑back trips to Omaha if we weren't competitive.
And I felt better about this group, no disrespect to last year's team, but just felt comfortable and I don't know if any one of the eight teams is coming here not thinking they're going to win a national championship.
So I'm sure for seven of the eight, it really hurts, because you know how it is to get here, the road to get here, and when you accomplish that road to get here, you feel like we're invincible.テつ Nothing can stop us.テつ And we have great respect for our opponents but you really believe you're going to win a national championship, which makes it hurt.テつ That's why kids cry and people get emotional, because they wanted more.
And that's okay.テつ I think that's very healthy to want more.テつ I just challenged them.テつ I still want them to enjoy this.テつ I want them to be proud of this, because I know how proud their families are and their friends and the Louisville Card Nation.テつ It's growing.テつ Because the more we come out here, the more people are familiar with us.テつ So it's fun to see the Card Nation grow.

Q.テつ Cole, on the ball you hit on the nose in the first inning, turned up to be a double play.テつ How deflating was that?テつ Do you feel like that set any kind of tone for the game?
COLE STURGEON:テつ Not really.テつ That was the first inning, we put some good swings on them.テつ This is all we try to do is just put a good swing on it.テつ Hit the ball hard.テつ Didn't work out.テつ I don't think that really set any kind of tone for the game.テつ I thought we had some good at‑bats throughout the game, that middle stretch.テつ Just didn't go our way today.

Q.テつ Dan, you alluded a second ago to the conditions and I presume you mean the way the wind was blowing in, it's well known the ball doesn't carry in this park.テつ How do you manage a game from behind when you know that a three‑run homer or three‑run double or triple probably is not going to be in the cards?
COACH MCDONNELL:テつ Haven't figured that one out yet.テつ We're down 3 and it's first and second, nobody out.テつ And I'm sack bunting.テつ I think that says it all.テつ If I can I'll close with the same statement from last year from our left fielder.テつ God is good.テつ God is really good.テつ Thanks everybody.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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