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NCAA BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SUPER REGIONALS: BATON ROUGE


June 7, 2015


Alex Bregman

Paul Mainieri

Jared Poche

Kade Scivicque


BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA

LSU ¬Ė 6
La.-Lafayette - 3


THE MODERATOR:  We'll get started with Kade.  Two things if you'd talk about, please, obviously the home run in the seventh but also the pitching performance of Jared tonight, please.
KADE SCIVICQUE:¬† I mean, let's talk about the pitching performance first.¬† That's the most important.¬† Jared went out there and competed.¬† He threw well.¬† The guy just‑‑ he dominated.¬† He threw strikes at all times.¬† It was an awesome performance by him.
The home run, I was looking for a pitch to hit, something that I could hit hard through the infield, and got a good pitch to hit and put a good swing on it.
THE MODERATOR:¬† Jared, back‑to‑back great outings.¬† Talk about tonight, please.
JARED POCH√Č:¬† Just kind of wanted to go out there and at this point of the game you just want to go home, so I just kind of wanted to go out there and give my team the best chance to win.¬† I couldn't have done it without these guys on the side of me and the rest of the defense.¬† Those guys played great behind me, and it was a great night.
THE MODERATOR:¬† Alex, Coach Robichaux talked about your at‑bat being the key at‑bat, talk about your at‑bat, the two‑run single in the eighth, please.
ALEX BREGMAN:  Zardon did a great job to lead off the inning by drawing a clutch walk, then Laird got on, infield single, and Fraley moved them both up.  So without them being on base, I wouldn't have had that opportunity, and just got a pitch, changeup up in the zone that I could get on top of and I was fortunate to put a good swing on it.  He pitched well all night, kept us off balance, throwing the fastballs and changeups and breaking balls.  I was happy to come through right there.
THE MODERATOR:  Coach, a few comments, please.
PAUL MAINIERI:  Well, I would like to, first of all, congratulate Tony Robichaux and his staff and his team on a tremendous season.  The sad thing about being on that end of it is the finality is so hard because you have hopes of going to Omaha, and we've been there before, so I just want to congratulate him and his team.  Remarkable how they held it together and they really played great down the stretch.  They've got some wonderful young men on their team, as well.  A lot of them are friends of our players, and they have a lot to be proud of.
When I woke up this morning, I knew we were playing to go to Omaha, and I talked to my good friend the baseball coach at Virginia, Brian O'Connor, who clinched a spot in Omaha, as well, and he was talking to me about how his nerves were just terrible yesterday before the game and how he wasn't feeling good and so forth, and I came to the office and I started reading my email, and I had an email from a guy who one of his best friends was Staff Sergeant Lance Bergeron.  Lance Bergeron is one of the National Guard members that died in the Blackhawk crash in April, he along with three of his National Guardsmen and seven Marines, and he wrote me an email, and he asked me if I would put Lance Bergeron's initials on my hat today to honor him, and then if I could give my hat to his widow after the game.
You know what it did, it just really brought everything into perspective for me, it really did.  I wasn't nervous at all about the game today.  I just told the kids, just forget about what the stakes are, let's just go out and play and have fun.  Those brave soldiers do what they do so that we have an opportunity to play games out on the baseball field.  It seems kind of irrelevant.
But when we're out there, we're supposed to do the best we can, and I'm so proud of our team of young men.  They have such high expectations of them here at LSU.  I mentioned to Joe Alleva before the game, you know, it's amazing, we've won 52 ballgames going into tonight, and if we hadn't won that 53rd game somehow the season would have felt unfulfilled in so many ways.
This team deserves to go to Omaha.  They've played at a high level all year.  We haven't lost two games in a row, one time the entire season.  Different aspects of our team have done the job, taken turns doing the job, and it's a very selfless team that plays well together.  They genuinely like each other, and I couldn't be more proud of a team going to Omaha.  That's where we belong, and we're looking forward to going up there.

Q.¬† Kade and Alex, both you guys and Conner finally got ahead in the count, in your three at‑bats.¬† How big was that against Leger because it seemed like he was ahead all night long?
KADE SCIVICQUE:  Yeah, he kept us off balance all night.  He worked his pitches well.  He threw well.  But getting in a hitter's count always helps, and getting a good pitch that you can hit, that always helps, too.
ALEX BREGMAN:¬† Yeah, I think we were just very happy to get a hit.¬† I don't know if it really‑‑ we weren't really even thinking about the count.¬† We've been playing well offensively all year, and I mean, we haven't swung the bats like we're capable of during the postseason as a whole, and I take a lot of responsibility for that.
But we're going to be ready to play in Omaha, and we're going to be ready to swing the bats in Omaha, but you're right, when you get in hitter's counts it's a lot easier to hit, and we were fortunate enough to do that in those at‑bats.

Q.¬† Alex was talking about your last at‑bat; you'd struggled through the whole postseason, but in your very last at‑bat at home, your home career, with everything on the line you come through.¬† Talk about that at‑bat and that feeling, like that was my last at‑bat ever here, and that's how it played out.
KADE SCIVICQUE:  It was unbelievable.  The box was rocking after it.  As soon as I hit it, I knew it was going to go to the middle, and I ended up just the same way I came in, base hit up the middle, RBI single, and what I wanted to do, not any other way.

Q.  Now that y'all are headed to Omaha and you can kind of talk a little bit more, was the pressure kind of getting to you over the last few days?  Like Coach said, anything short of getting to Omaha would have felt like a disappointment, but did the pressure kind of start to build up?
ALEX BREGMAN:¬† I think we're a very confident team.¬† Before every game in that locker room we knew we were going to win in this postseason.¬† We had no doubt in our mind.¬† Maybe a little bit.¬† Maybe we pressed a little bit at times when we were‑‑ either line‑out or have a quick inning, but this offense is very confident.¬† We're going to go back out to practice tomorrow or the next day and get after it again and be happy to be there and be working hard, and we're going to be very confident in Omaha.¬† We deserve to be there.¬† We've worked at it, worked at it since we lost last year, and we're going there on a mission.
This offense will be ready.

Q.  Jared, ULL got a lot of base runners against you early in innings and yet you seemed to be at your best when the stakes were their highest.  Can you talk about what the key was to you being able to work out of so many difficult situations?
JARED POCH√Č:¬† Just kind of working with Kade, executing pitches that Coach Dunn called.¬† A couple times when there was a runner on second, you just kind of got to bear down and make the plays.¬† The whole game it was 0‑0, so it's just kind of‑‑ what do I want to say?
ALEX BREGMAN:  What he's saying is that he has done that all year for us.  He's made big pitches in big situations all year for us, and that's why we're here.

Q.  Coach, Robichaux says all the time, pitching, defense and timely hitting are the keys to winning any ballgame.
PAUL MAINIERI:  Of course.

Q.  The series, pitching and defense were pretty much even between the two teams, but it seems like the timely hitting kind of pushed you to Omaha.  Would you agree with that?
PAUL MAINIERI:¬† Well, you know, Tony could have wrote the book on it.¬† That's the way it is.¬† I don't think anybody in today's era of college baseball with the bat changes, the roster limitations and so forth can ever put together a lineup that's so powerful and dominating that you can just live by offense alone.¬† You'd better pitch and play defense if you want to be able to win championships, and‑‑ you know, so listen, we're very proud of our pitching and defense.¬† Our offense has gotten so much publicity this year, people sometimes forget that our pitching staff led the SEC with the lowest earned run average.¬† You do that in the SEC with teams like Vanderbilt and Florida and some of the other teams that have great arms, that means you're pitching the ball pretty well.
I think we've got the best pitching coach on earth quite frankly, and I think those kids listen to him, and they develop, and it gives us a chance to win.¬† What Poch√© and Lange did these last two nights, what they did last weekend, plus a lot of those bullpen guys, they gave us a chance, and ultimately you knew your hitting was going to come around.¬† We'd struggled.¬† That was the worst stretch for us for about five games, five and a half games, but then all of a sudden Alex‑‑ Kade gets the big swing that loosened everybody up, Alex comes through with his two‑run single like the big leaders are supposed to, Conner Hale comes through with a two‑run triple, Mark Laird comes through with a RBI hit, and all of a sudden we're feeling pretty good again about ourselves.¬† We're going to go to Omaha, as Alex said, a very confident team, based primarily on our pitching and defense, but knowing that we're capable of scoring runs, as well.

Q.  Jared, I'll give you a chance to get him back.  What do you think Alex looks like with that shaved head there?
JARED POCH√Č:¬† I think it's a good look.¬† That's about all I can say about it.

Q.  (No microphone.)
ALEX BREGMAN:  One of my buddies in Chicago actually, his mom got diagnosed with cancer, so I did it for her this time.

Q.  Jared or Alex, if you want to answer for him, the one inning where the guy called time out real late, you're a pretty intense guy but you seemed to ratchet it up after that.  Was that something that got you going even a little bit more?
JARED POCH√Č:¬† You know, it's baseball.¬† Kind of let my emotions out a little bit on that play.¬† I thought it was a little bit late.¬† I was able to execute the pitch, the next pitch to get the guy out, so it worked out for us.

Q.  Kade and then Jared, when you come to LSU and everybody talks about the expectation being Omaha and you hear guys that have been here for the last time they went talk about it so much, how does it feel for you guys to be making that trip now?
KADE SCIVICQUE:  I mean, it's nothing shy of what they talked it up to be.  I mean, this is unbelievable for me.  I know it's the same for these guys.  We're looking forward to it.
JARED POCH√Č:¬† It's definitely a dream for all these Louisiana boys that come and play at LSU.¬† Like you said, it's nothing shy of what everyone says it is, so I'm just kind of living in the moment right now and enjoying it.

Q.¬† Alex, what was Leger doing specifically to kind of keep you guys off balance early?¬† It looked like he was using a lot of off‑speed heavy early in counts against you guys.
ALEX BREGMAN:  He definitely was.  We saw tons of changeups in fastball counts, we saw that all weekend.  We've seen that for the whole NCAA tournament, and we need to make an adjustment when that happens, and we will.  But he was throwing changeups, breaking balls and fastballs both sides of the plate, and just really competing.  He's not going to overpower you with fastball velocity, but he's a competitor.  That's why he is having a great year this year.  He did a good job of that against us, and I give him a lot of credit for his performance tonight.

Q.  Alex, no dogpile.  Was that predetermined?
ALEX BREGMAN:¬† We just‑‑ we were just happy to win, and we were just ready to go to Omaha.¬† That's all I've got to say about that.¬† I mean, we've been jumping in center all year.¬† It's kind of been our thing, and we wanted to do that again.¬† Maybe we'll be saving that one.
PAUL MAINIERI:  I'm happy nobody got hurt, by the way.
ALEX BREGMAN:  That's a big reason.

Q.  Jared and Paul both, the inning after Kade hit the home run may have been your best inning.  You came out and challenged guys, got them one, two, three.  How important was that kind of as a segue to the eighth inning?
JARED POCH√Č:¬† You know, all year when offense comes through, AD's biggest thing is to go out there and throw a zero.¬† That's big for momentum in baseball, and momentum is huge in college baseball, so that's what I wanted to go out there and try to do.
PAUL MAINIERI:  Well, Jared Poché is one of those pitchers just like Alex Lange that when you give him a lead, he shifts it into another gear.  There's an extra competitive juice running through his veins, and he gets that lead and he just smells the victory, and that's when he's at his best, and he's done that so many times in his career.  I know it's not an accident.
Once we got that lead, I knew as long as he wasn't tired from the humidity, which it was awfully hot out there, listen, he was still throwing the ball hard.  His curveball still had a lot of bite to it, and I thought he could even possibly finish, but I thought when we took him out, it was the right time.

Q.  Jared and then Coach, throughout the struggles at the plate, the defense was phenomenal for the last couple weeks.  Just talk about as a pitcher what it's like to see your teammates be able to separate those two aspects of the game and continue to play so strongly?
JARED POCH√Č:¬† They played great defense all year.¬† I don't know a fielding percentage or anything where we rank around the country, but as far as when I'm on the mound I have the utmost confidence in the guys behind me that they're going to make a play.¬† Errors happen, but if a guy makes an error he's going to come up his next at‑bat and make a double or something like that.¬† That's the kind of guys that we have on this team, and that's the kind of guys you want on this team.
PAUL MAINIERI:¬† Well, you know, everybody that's been around me knows how much I talk about this, that it's so important, a mature winning ballplayer can compartmentalize his game.¬† He doesn't take his bat out to the field with him, he doesn't bring his glove into the dugout.¬† He doesn't carry one at‑bat to the next.¬† You've got to be‑‑ in this game is the most difficult game there is to play.¬† It's the only sport where you can fail 70 percent of the time and still be considered the best there is.¬† There's other ways you can help your team win when you're not getting hits, and Alex Bregman is a classic example of that.¬† When he doesn't hit, he's the best shortstop in the country out there and helps his team win games with his defense or his base run willing or just his encouragement of his teammates.¬† It's just a very mature approach to the game, and I'm very proud of our guys that can do that.

Q.  Kade, y'all didn't have any home runs in the regional and y'all have three in like 15 innings in the supers.  I know y'all can beat teams in a lot of different ways, but does it feel good to be able to change the game in one swing like you did tonight and like Chris and Jake did last night?
KADE SCIVICQUE:  Yeah, it always feels good whenever you square up a ball and hit a home run, but just hitting that base hit through the middle or hitting a line drive double or something like that means just as much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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