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May 29, 2015

Jared Foster

Jake Fraley

Paul Mainieri

Chris Sciambra


LSU テや 10
Lehigh - 3

THE MODERATOR:テつ Talk about your night offensively, please.
JAKE FRALEY: Well, just to start off, early in the game, a couple things didn't go my way or our way.テつ I thought we turned it around a little bit there in the end, got some big hits here and there, but for the most part we need to be a little bit better, and we're going to go out tomorrow and try to get the job done.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Chris, a big RBI double there in the sixth inning.テつ Talk about that at‑bat, please.
CHRIS SCIAMBRA:テつ Yeah, I mean, I knew Danny was going to get the start against a lefty today, so I just approached it like I have most of my career here coming off the bench, ready to swing.テつ Whenever we got that guy to second and I was just looking to pull something, put something on the bat hard and found a hole, good at‑bat there, just like I said, same approach that I've had coming off the bench like I'm used to.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Jared, two hits in your first two at‑bats.テつ Talk about those at‑bats, please.
JARED FOSTER: I knew I had to get the runner over.テつ Chris was on second base after coming up with a big hit.テつ Got the bunt down and fortunately enough it was a good enough bunt to get on base, then the next one, got a wild pitch before I got the hit, and a runner got in, and I was fortunate enough to get a good enough pitch I could handle and hit it pretty hard and get it past the third baseman.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Coach, a few comments, please.
PAUL MAINIERI:テつ Well, first of all, I would like to compliment Lehigh.テつ I should have said more about them yesterday in the pre‑tournament, I'm just so impressed with the caliber of the young men that are in their program.テつ I watched their quotes, their interviews after they beat the Naval Academy, and I was amazed at their poise and the respect that they showed for the Naval Academy after winning.テつ You could just see that they have an aura about them of maturity and poise.テつ Their left‑hander really gave us a tough time in those first few innings.テつ He wasn't a hard thrower, but he was making his fastball run and he was throwing some good changeups and some breaking balls.テつ We had some chances we didn't capitalize on.テつ I think the heat probably got to him a little bit.テつ He threw, I think, four innings and was up to almost 80 pitches, and I think that had a little bit of effect on him.テつ Once he got out of the game I thought we started swinging the bats a lot better.
You know, obviously Chris‑‑ well, first of all, Scivicque came through with a clutch hit for us, that RBI single up the middle, and then when Chris came in after they made the pitching change, that was just an enormous hit for us to‑‑ I felt like it really loosened us up. テつIt gave us a little space there on the scoreboard, and it gave‑‑ just to see a good clutch hit like that I think really gave our guys a big lift.テつ I thought several guys did well coming out of the bullpen.テつ I'd have to go back and recap which ones I'm talking about, but four or five guys I thought really did a nice job coming out of the pen and kind of solidified the game for us.テつ Fortunately we were able to get a little bit of space.テつ I don't think we played one of our better games of the year quite frankly, and I think we'll need to play a lot better if we want to continue to win in the tournament.

Q.テつ Chris, can you just talk about the rain delay, having to endure that, and coming out a little bit sluggish after that?
CHRIS SCIAMBRA:テつ We've had rain delays this season, and I guess we were fortunate we were the home team.テつ We got to stay in our locker room and hang out and just take it easy.テつ I don't know if the rain delay had an effect on the way we came out in the game.テつ It was just that pitcher threw well, and we just didn't capitalize on anything else.テつ Once we got him out of the game, we got it going a little bit.テつ We just needed to start a little faster.

Q.テつ Eight stolen bases.テつ Did you think that was something you could take advantage of coming into this game?
JARED FOSTER:テつ I knew that (inaudible) it was good.テつ We got some good jumps and put pressure on them, on the pitcher and catcher out there to try to make good throws.

Q.テつ Jared, talk about their starting pitcher?テつ What was the difference early and late in the game?
JARED FOSTER:テつ He was good.テつ He changed speeds and he pounded the zone.テつ He's got good stuff.テつ I mean, we knew coming in that he's a good pitcher to start off with.テつ Obviously he is, to be able to throw the first game like that, and he was good.テつ He had us on our toes a little bit.テつ We didn't really approach him like we should have, but we came out and got it going and put some good bats together and just put a little bit more pressure on the defense.

Q.テつ Chris, just the advantage of playing this early game, you guys get a full night's sleep.
CHRIS SCIAMBRA:テつ Yeah, it worked out well with the rain delay that we got the game done and out of here before midnight, but I mean, we all like playing day games.テつ I don't know if it makes a difference to us, day game, night game, but we were excited to come out here and play the first game.テつ You don't have to sit around in the locker room and watch that first game going on.テつ I guess you could get sidetracked thinking about tomorrow when you're watching the two teams you're about to play.テつ Good to come out, work out on the field before the game and just treat it like a normal game for us.

Q.テつ Chris, were there any early jitters, or is there something about getting this first one out of the way?
CHRIS SCIAMBRA:テつ I don't think it was really jitters about the first game.テつ I just think it was that pitcher, and he was really giving it to us, and we didn't have a good approach at him.テつ But he threw the ball well, and I think first game, second game, I don't think it was jitters about the postseason.テつ We've got such an experienced lineup that most of us have played in the postseason before.テつ I don't think in my opinion that it was like a postseason jitters or anything.

Q.テつ I think everybody on the pitching staff got in the game.テつ Was that by design?
PAUL MAINIERI:テつ I can't even remember who all pitched.テつ I'll have to recap it for myself.テつ Let me back up and just‑‑ the reasoning for playing this early game, you know, I know some people were upset that we played the early game, but part of the reason why we did it was because of knowing how the weather might change things, okay, and when I saw our draw, and I don't mean this in any way disrespectful towards our opponent, but I felt that we could save Lange for Game 2 and Poche' for Game 3, and I thought if we treated the first game like we do the mid‑week games typically where we piece it together with the bullpen that that could be successful against this particular team.
If the rain hit us at any time, it wouldn't adversely affect us.テつ If we, for example, started the game with Poche' or Lange, and after one inning‑‑ I don't know how long the rain delay was, it probably was in excess of two hours ‑‑ all of a sudden you can't bring that guy back, you lose him for the entire weekend, and I didn't want to see that happening.
I also didn't want to see our team have to sit through a long rain delay for another game that was being played and then our game kept getting pushed back.テつ So this is the one game the whole weekend where we're allowed to dictate the time that we play.テつ After now we've just got to follow the bracket.
The second thing of why we wanted to play the early game was if we win the first day, then we're playing a night game tomorrow night, a second game.テつ That means we don't to take batting practice on the field, we don't get to take ground balls, we don't get to work on our skills.テつ If we're fortunate enough to win tomorrow night, then we play again on Sunday night.テつ Once again, we don't get to take batting practice on the field and so forth.テつ These kids are not robots and they need to practice their skills.テつ So for all those reasons we played the first game, and because we were playing the first game and knowing the rain, that's why we decided to do this mid‑week format with the pitchers.
So I looked at it as an opportunity to run a lot of guys out there and get them used to the environment in a regional atmosphere with a big crowd and all the things that were at stake.テつ I thought Cartwright gave us a really good first inning.テつ The plan was to have him throw two innings and then go to Bain and have him throw two innings and then go to Norman and have him throw an inning or two, and then after we were going into the sixth inning I had a group of pitchers that were one option and then another group of pitchers that were a second option depending on what was happening with the ballgame.
When the rain hit us after just one inning, Cartwright, I didn't want to bring him back after a two‑hour delay, so that meant we had to make up the inning with somebody else.テつ Bain had such a quick first inning and second inning, they were so aggressive swinging at first pitches, that I thought let's get Bain out there again for the third inning, and then it didn't go so well in the third.テつ We hooked him after that third inning, and then went with the other guys.
I thought it worked out well.テつ Most of the guys I thought threw really well coming out of the bullpen.

Q.テつ What specifically with Austin (inaudible) like you said, they were aggressive in the first innings.テつ Did you change your approach against them?
PAUL MAINIERI:テつ Well, first of all, their 3‑hole hitter is a really good hitter, the little No.2.テつ I forget how to pronounce his last game.テつ I should know it being Italian, of course, Garzillo.テつ He's really a good hitter.テつ You know, Austin threw a breaking ball, and it just kind of hung on the inner half of the plate, and he's a guy that looked to pull the ball.テつ He's got power, and he rocketed it off the left‑field wall.テつ And then their kid did a really nice piece of hitting going to right field, he hit that ball hard, but that's a play we should make at second base.テつ Not only did we not get the out, but it went through him, goes into the outfield, and the run scores, and then eventually the runner comes around.
A little bit of it was Austin, that he wasn't making quality pitches.テつ A little bit was our defense.テつ A little bit was that their kid just put a good swing on a ball.

Q.テつ Is Austin still available now?テつ Do you think he'll be okay?
PAUL MAINIERI:テつ I don't even know exactly how many pitches he threw.テつ But I would say, yes, he's available.テつ But I don't think he threw more than 30 or 35 pitches.テつ How's that for a guess? テつYeah, he'll definitely be available.テつ I don't know if he'll be available for tomorrow, but down the road if necessary.

Q.テつ A pretty impressive performance despite the offensive struggles, can you talk about that?
PAUL MAINIERI:テつ Well, I think we had some really poor at‑bats early in the game against their left‑hander, and a lot of the credit goes to him.テつ That's a veteran pitcher with a lot of poise, and he was sinking his fastball.テつ His fastball was only 81 to 84 miles an hour, and he threw some good changeups, and we just couldn't stay back on him, just didn't have a good approach against him, and we made a lot of easy outs.テつ I think once he left the game, they had a more traditional pitcher in there, a little bit more velocity, a right‑hander.テつ I thought we started to have some really good at‑bats after that.
I think the numbers are a little bit misleading.テつ I really wasn't all that pleased with our effort tonight overall, and listen, we're grateful we won the game.テつ It's one down, and we can move on to the next day.テつ But I do believe that we're going to need to play a lot better than we did tonight if we want to continue to advance.テつ Sometimes the numbers can be a little bit misleading.テつ We took advantage obviously of our speed and were able to steal some bases.テつ That created a lot of scoring opportunities.テつ We did get some good hits late in the game, but we're going to need to play a lot better tomorrow.

Q.テつ Did y'all feel like their pitchers started to feel the pressure as the guys started to get on base?
PAUL MAINIERI:テつ Well, we didn't steal much against their left‑hander.テつ He had a pretty good move, so that was a little bit of the frustrating thing for us early is we got some guys on base but he did a really excellent job of keeping us over at first base.テつ We thought if we could get the right base stealer to second, we could have a chance to steal third, but those opportunities didn't present themselves to us very often.テつ And so we had to play a little bit more stationary‑‑ station‑to‑station offense, and it wasn't working very well.
But I'll tell you, after they scored the two runs, somebody asked the question earlier about our propensity to come from behind, and I'll tell you, almost like that's what got us kick‑started.テつ Once we fell behind, there was no panic, but Stevenson had a good swing and got a base hit to left field, and then Chinea smoked one up the middle and all of a sudden we started to loosen up a little bit.
Chris said that he didn't think there were jitters, and there probably weren't jitters, but I do think we played a little bit tight, and I do think that maybe the rain delay had a little bit to do with that frankly because I thought we were really ready to play.
Cartwright gave his first inning, we were anxious to get up there and start swinging the bats, and all of a sudden we had to sit around for a couple hours, so it kind of just knocked us out of our focus a little bit.

Q.テつ I hope this isn't taken the wrong way, but I've been watching your teams eight, nine years, and it seems‑‑ I applaud your aggressive baserunning.テつ It seems to me you lose a lot of base runners.テつ Tonight eight stolen bases, one guy got thrown out.テつ Do you care to comment on your overall‑‑
PAUL MAINIERI:テつ No.テつ (Laughter).テつ I would care not to comment on that.テつ (Laughter).
You have to take the good with the bad.テつ Whenever you try to be very aggressive, sometimes it backfires, and if you're going to make a commitment to putting the pressure on the other team, which is obviously what my philosophy is, is to see if we can be proactive and make things happen offensively, you know, there's no guarantee it's going to be successful, just like if all we did was stand at the plate and swing for the home run, there's no guarantee you'll be successful like that, either.テつ When a guy gets thrown out stealing you've just got to shake it off and stay with a confident attitude that you're going to be able to put the pressure on the other team.
When Fraley got picked off at second base, that was a miscommunication between him and I.テつ I told him not to steal and he didn't see the sign and he got caught in getting a lead when he should have not been trying to get an extra lead, and they made the move right at the right time.テつ He stumbled, got caught in between steps there.

Q.テつ Was there any concern about the footing after the rain delay, and what did you see from the guys?テつ Was that a problem, an issue?
PAUL MAINIERI:テつ No, I thought our grounds crew really made a tremendous comeback after that first attempt of putting the tarp on the field.テつ I felt so bad for those guys.テつ They're such a great group of people, so dedicated, and they work so hard, and you won't believe this, but we just got this brand new tarp yesterday, and so this was the first time they were putting it on, and probably the way that it had been folded so tight probably had something to do with them having such a tough time to getting the tarp on the field.
But I'll tell you this, even though the field from up in the stands looked like a lake by the time they got the tarp on it, the foundation of our field is so good that the footing was outstanding.テつ It was really only the top inch or so of the clay, and they had the material to be able to put out there to dry it very quickly and they replaced some of the dirt, so the footing was actually outstanding, and our outfield drains so well that it wasn't slowed down at all out there.
I don't think it was a factor at all.

Q.テつ You said that you were not pleased with some areas.テつ What was the biggest disappointment if you can pinpoint one thing?
PAUL MAINIERI:テつ The things I was most disappointed in you probably didn't even notice because they're just little things that are clues to me as to whether or not the players are really focused and doing the little things.テつ Sometimes they don't even affect the outcome of the game, but they're just little things that I see of the way that I want them to do things where they're supposed to position, some of the things they're supposed to do and the way they react to certain things.テつ I'm not going to sit here and tell you, well, this player did this or this player did that because that's just things that you work out within your own team.テつ But I think the players know what I'm talking about.
I think the things that maybe are most obvious is maybe our approach to that first pitcher.テつ We weren't committed to it as much as we needed to be.テつ I know what Andy Cannizaro had talked with the hitters about and how to approach it, and then we got in the batter's box and it looked like we just kind of forgot everything that he told them.テつ We were pulling off balls, we were way out in front of a lot of pitches instead of trying to use the middle and hit to the opposite field, and we just hit into some very easy outs, and unfortunately some of them were with runners in scoring position.
What I would have really liked to see us do is just come out and execute the plan, play really good.テつ It would have given me a chance to get some players into the game that maybe had never been into a game, save a little bit of the bullpen.テつ I pitched a couple of guys out of the pen tonight that I didn't really want to pitch, and it would have allowed us to save a little bit there if we could have possibly.
Listen, you know, I'm a coach.テつ I'm never totally satisfied.テつ I just know that as the competition ramps up a little bit, we're just going to need to play a little bit better as we go forward.

Q.テつ I know you always want to play the best of your ability, but is it good to have a game like this, kind of get it out of your system and have those coachable moments that you can point to to kind of focus on the little things?
PAUL MAINIERI:テつ I think that was about as outstanding of a way to ask a question as you could possibly ask, so thank you for saying it that way.テつ I would agree with you.テつ I think it was good that we got the win.テつ That certainly beats the alternative.テつ But if we'd have just gone out there and won 25‑1 and played a perfect game, maybe they start thinking that all they've got to do is throw their gloves on the field and we're going to win.テつ We kind of talked about it a little bit before the press conference, and I think they understand that there are some things we need to do better tomorrow night if we want to have a chance to win against either one of those teams.

Q.テつ Just for tomorrow, with Alex, are you going to let him go as long as he can or is there a pitch count or anything like that?
PAUL MAINIERI:テつ Yeah, well, listen, this is it.テつ This is what we play the whole season for.テつ I'm never going to do anything to put a young man's career in danger, that's for sure, so we'll be monitoring his pitch count very clearly.テつ I mean, he's not going to go some crazy number.テつ But we're going to try to win the game, and he's our horse, and we expect him to go out there tomorrow night and pitch well and pitch deep into the game.テつ But we'll monitor his pitch count, as well.テつ I can't give you a specific number because I don't know what it is, but we'll see how he's throwing.
If it's easy for him, he'll continue to pitch.テつ If he labors, the pitch count could be a little lower than normal.

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