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May 31, 2015

Mark Fowler

Greg Lovelady

Jesse Scholtens


Wright State – 8
Ohio - 3

GREG LOVELADY:  You know, I'm really proud of the guys.  A lot of people ask me, are we going to be okay with the rain delay and having to come back today, and I told them, I wasn't worried in the least bit.
We've got a group of guys that really, really worked hard to do this, and you know, for the fact that this group‑‑ we have a mission statement that the kids made that is posted up in our locker room that we have all signed.  The first line of it is to elevate the tradition of the Raider game.  And to win the first post‑season game since 1993 is a huge accomplishment.  This program was worked really, really hard in the last 11 years to do this and I'm really proud of this group.
I've got a great group of seniors, and what Jesse did today was really, really big for us to save our pen to bounce back.  The first couple innings, I was a little nervous, some hard‑hit balls, but he settled in and was able to execute pitches and did a tremendous job.
Top to bottom, all the guys, we had a lot of energy in the dugout and just really proud of the group.  They did a great job and well rewarded with a win.

Q.  Jesse, how was it coming back today after pitching yesterday afternoon in did you feel like you could pretty much go the distance coming back?
JESSE SCHOLTENS:  I was planning on going the full nine after coming back but obviously the pitch count got up to where I couldn't do that.  But before the game I told Parker, our pitching coach, hey, high school, I used to throw bullpens on Monday and the next day I would go out and throw seven innings.  Sounds like the plan for today.

Q.  Was high school the last time you threw on back‑to‑back days?
JESSE SCHOLTENS:  Probably, that I can remember.

Q.  What's the biggest challenge with that?
JESSE SCHOLTENS:  Well, I think for most of the time, it's getting a little bit of tightness in the arm.  But I think it was hot enough yesterday and I threw just little enough pitches where I was able to come back and not be over‑tight.

Q.  Getting through the middle innings, you struggled to start off today and loosened up.  Was it a matter of getting loose in the cold?
JESSE SCHOLTENS:  It was just getting back loose into the rhythm of the game.  They hit some good, hard balls that luckily our defense, Mark and John were able to make some plays.  I think for the most part it was just finding the rhythm that I had in the second inning yesterday and just going from there.

Q.  And with a bullpen game approach, not really working on Friday, there was a lot of pressure on your shoulders.  Were you aware of that or how do you cope with that?
JESSE SCHOLTENS:  I was just‑‑ like I said earlier, I was planning to go the full nine, just rest the pen.  Now here we are, one game tonight and fresh pitching staff.

Q.  Coach talked about the tradition and this is a significant win, and you're all alone in second place foremost wins for a Wright state team.  What does that mean?
MARK FOWLER:  It means a lot.  A lot of guys have came through this program and not have had the opportunity to do what we've done this year and really, everything we do is for them.  All the guys that helped us to get the good turf, field that we have and locker room that we have.  This is big for our program and this is big for those guys, too.

Q.  Can you appreciate what he did today?
MARK FOWLER:  Oh, yeah, that took a lot of courage to come back, after having to sit overnight and then be able to come back and go as long as he did, I mean, can't say enough about that start.  He gave us a great start and that really helped our hitters to just rally behind him and just keep getting hits and putting up runs.

Q.  What did you guys do yesterday to pass the time?
MARK FOWLER:  Really just got off our feet, rested.  Some guys took naps.  Then we watched a little film from the start of the day and just really tried to keep our minds focused on the goal that we had which was to come back, finish the game and have no let‑ups when we come back.

Q.  This is not a typical three‑hit day.  Three hits over the course of two days against I think three different pitchers.  How did you stay sharp during the delay?
MARK FOWLER:  Just going up there with the same approach every time.  Just trying to get the fat part of the bat on the ball and seeing the ball up in the zone is where I like it.  That's just what I tried to do in all of my at‑bats today.

Q.  This is probably the biggest stage you've played on, and you as a team have taken full advantage of it.  Are you cognizant of playing on such a big stage as this?
MARK FOWLER:  Oh, yeah, we always say before the game like, man, we are at a regional, we're here.  That feeling lasts before the game and you have time to soak it in and realize where you are.
But when the lights come on and the ball is in play, you have to treat it like every other day and play against the ball no matter who you are playing.  Just stick to the process that you've been with the whole season and you'll be fine.  That's what helps us go out there every day.
We preached the mental game, and sticking to the mental game and sticking to what got you here is how you stay here longer.  That's what we're trying to do, fighting for our lives every game.

Q.  Is there an outcome that you guys are rooting for in the afternoon game?  Do you want another shot at Notre Dame or do you want the big guys?
MARK FOWLER:  I mean, we all want to take down the top guys, but I think any team that comes out, we'll be ready to play.  We play against a faceless opponent, so regardless of who comes out, we'll be ready to take them on.  So really it doesn't matter to us.

Q.  Along the same lines, 42nd win, how important is that to you?
GREG LOVELADY:  Again, I wrote that‑‑ I signed that contract, too.  So for me, obviously it probably means a little bit more to me just because I've been a part of this for 11 years.  But I have a deep appreciation and ‑‑ not pressure; but like I know that I have to show up every day at work to answer the bell for all the people that have gotten this program to where it is from Coach Nischwitz to Coach Cooper, all the players that have played under us.  And Coach Nischwitz that I know I've got 75 texts right now.
So I know there's a lot of people that are rooting for us, that want us to do well.  And then I'm in the position that I am with our stadium‑‑ the kid probably have heard me say this enough and they regurgitate it to you guys.  But the things that we have that we are able to utilize and embrace, like our kids really didn't do anything to deserve all that.  That's people that came before them that have worked so hard to have the success that they have.  We get to reap the benefits of all that.
I have this appreciation and I just feel like I owe it to all those people to go out every day and represent the program the right way.
So being able to do this, it's some sort of validation, I guess, to say like, hey‑‑ the players and the assistant coaches, they work so hard.  I want them to get the recognition they deserve and to understand that we are doing our part in terms of representing the program in the right way.  So in terms of that, there's a satisfaction.
The wins are great.  But it's knowing we are representing the program in a positive way, and giving something to the alumni to be proud of is a really big deal for me.

Q.  Knowing Jesse was in uncharted water going back‑to‑back days‑‑
GREG LOVELADY:  It's been really tough.  You have to make decisions sometimes that are difficult because you want to do what's best for the team, you want to do what's best for the kid, and you've got to step back and not be selfish.  And so it's really, really difficult.
I mean, I had some worry with him going out there today to start it.  We had kind of said that we hoped to get 70, 75 pitches from him and that would be the perfect world.  But at the same time, especially when we went out there and the gun on the board wasn't working after the first inning.
And so it was hard to know how hard he was throwing and stuff like that, which made me a little bit more uneasy not knowing, trying to talk to Murph, and say, hey, do you feel like he still has his velo and stuff like that and trying to get information that way, obviously, other than what I can see with my eyes.
So I was definitely antsy after probably after the second inning on and really, really nervous for Jesse and just for his health.  It was difficulty guess.  But he did a great job.  I'm really proud of him.  I mean, I went to go take him out of the game in the middle of the inning and he wouldn't shake my hand because he's like, "No, I'm going back out there."
"I can't."
He said, "I'm fine, I'll go back out there."  And finally, he gave in when Coach Parker and I both had to hell him, you're not going back out there.  It was tough.  He's a competitor.  He's unbelievable.

Q.  To finish off the game‑‑ what went into your decision to send him back out there?
GREG LOVELADY:  You know, I just felt like‑‑ we got relievers that do it all the time.  He's a guy that he throws more than any pitcher that we have.  He literally will go out and long toss the day after he starts.  Tomorrow he will long toss before the game.  That's just his routine.
And they always say that, you know, guys that throw a lot, throw a lot.  And so it's just preparing your body and your arm for that, and he does that.  It's not a preparation thing for him in terms of one day I'm going to have to do this.  It's just the way that he prepares himself for the week, his work week; that he long tosses the day after he throws.
I didn't have a lot of hesitation with that in terms of injury going into this game.  Obviously how good was his stuff going to be, that's a different story.  So we were watching that to see how good it was.  But I knew that he could come out and throw some.
Like I said, three innings, four innings, five innings, I think that was kind of the low to high range right there, those three innings.  We knew we would probably get somewhere in those and we were hoping for the best.  Just took a very close eye to make sure that we were doing the right thing for him. .

Q.  Over the course of two days, you guys were all over Ohio offensively, and hitting has not been your problem.  Is that confidence you take into the next game or are you worried about the bullpen not living up to expectations again?
GREG LOVELADY:  No, I have zero worries.  I believe in my guys.  I know how hard they have worked.  I know the time and effort we put into the mental game and just preparing the guys to win pitches and worrying about us and that's it.  And whether you throw in the first inning or the ninth inning, I mean, it's still a ball, a plate, an umpire and a hitter.
So nothing changes.  Nothing changes.  We have prepared these kids to know that there's no situation any bigger than the other.  They are all about trying to get better, and so whether it's playing Ohio, Notre Dame, Illinois in a regional, in an intrasquad, it's all important.  We play every game like it's the most important game of the season.
So we're going to go out and play just like we've played all the rest of the other 42 wins that we've had, and let baseball be baseball.  We'll go out and compete as hard as we can, give our best effort and whichever way the ball goes that day, it will go.

Q.  Will Jesse be the only guy not available tonight?
GREG LOVELADY:  Yes.  Everybody will be available except Jesse.  I have no idea who we're starting.  I've got a couple hours to figure that one out.  We've got some ideas but we'll figure out the best match up, see who wins the game, and we'll have an idea either way whoever‑‑ if Notre Dame wins, we'll have some ideas.  If Illinois wins, we'll have some ideas.  Game ends, we'll make a decision.  Our guys will be prepared and ready to go and know that all hands will be on deck.
So whenever I tell them to go in, they are going to go in and compete like crazy.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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