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June 15, 2015

Rick Nomura

Joe Serrano

Dave Van Horn

Bobby Wernes


Miami 4 - Arkansas 3

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn, second baseman Rick Nomura, third baseman Bobby Wernes, and left fielder Joe Serrano. Coach, an opening statement.

COACH VAN HORN: Well, I just appreciate the effort that this team, you know, put out this year. We've come a long way. And I'm so proud of them. And just continuing to play so hard. You kind of saw a little bit of what we've been doing for the last 45 days in today's game, just grinding and trying to stay in games, trying to find a way to win a game. And we played a lot of close games. And these guys, they're pretty tough mentally, and we never shut it down. And I told them that there out in the outfield that you'll never see me, hopefully, shed a tear when you finish your season in Omaha because I'm so proud of these guys.


Q. Coach, I know your starter was hurting today. I think Keaton's had a hip injury; is that right? Was he in pain out there? How much did he have today?
COACH VAN HORN: He did a great job giving us four. He was pretty much done. Coach Jorn went out and talked to him, the previous hitter. He said, I'm about done, Coach asked him. And so made the visit, finished getting the pitcher ready, and I think they, I don't know, they were thinking about bunting, I don't remember what happened there, but once we got the out we made the move. We didn't want to hurt him. But he said he didn't have much left. And just appreciate the effort, let him rest up all summer and get strong and hopefully come back and have a great sophomore year.

Q. Dave, and maybe Joe or Bobby or whoever, Jacob Heyward, nine-hole hitter, had a monster game. What did you think about his play? Dave, did you think about walking him to set up the double play there in the ninth since that run didn't really mean anything?
COACH VAN HORN: No, not at all. We were going to let him bunt him over. We got him down real quick, couple of strikes. So there's no reason to put him on. Now, if it would have gone to a 3-2 count, something else, I guess you make a decision. He just got a little bit of an elevated curveball and did a nice job. He hit a mistake. So --

Q. What did you think of his game, maybe Bobby or Joe could talk about what a big day he had too?
JOE SERRANO: Well, looks like he was seeing a beach ball out there. Everything we were throwing him -- low, away, up, in. I mean, he was just handling the bat really well. And wish him the best of the luck the rest of the College World Series.

Q. Bobby, I think you had the tying hit there in the eighth, I think it was. Can you tell me about that at-bat, what happened there?
BOBBY WERNES: I saw quite a few pitches and kept fouling pitches off. I finally just got an elevated fastball got enough barrel on. Just trying to get it on to the next guy. Got the best hitter in the nation behind me, so I'm going to see something to hit for sure.

Q. Rick, you picked up today for Benintendi. You almost reached base five times. How important was it for someone to fill that gap when he couldn't get things going?
RICK NOMURA: I feel it's a team game. There's no "I" in our team. And I'm proud of my teammates for this whole year. They all worked hard and always put their best foot forward and sometimes that's just baseball and you just have to go with the flow and hope your teammates will pick you up.

Q. Rick obviously had a really good game today. It was a tough deal there with the bases loaded. What did you see in his game and what did you see in the last at-bat he had, and Rick if you could go through that when the bases were loaded?
COACH VAN HORN: I thought he put together a pretty good at-bat. I think it was Garcia came in, he's got a really good arm. I think he was a starter for them earlier in the season. Been using him as a closer. Saw him pitched the other night, I came back to the game and watched it. Got good stuff. He threw fastballs and a couple of changeups, he fouled it off, just about got it and then he came with the breaking ball and it was a good pitch that Rick needed to swing at because it was too close to take. And he just hit it right at the second baseman. If he hits it one way or the other he's got a shot to get it through. That's kind of the way it works. Rick had a great day for us. I think he had a double, couple or three singles. Got an RBI or two. Just proud of him.

Q. Rick, could you talk about your day and that last at-bat. Like Dave said it was a pretty good at-bat just didn't go your way?
RICK NOMURA: Yeah, he was giving me a lot of great pitches. He's a great pitcher. You gotta tip your hat to him. I was just trying to get the fat part of the bat on the ball and I was just going to let everything take care of itself.

Q. Joe, obviously kind of a bittersweet moment. But have you had a chance yet to reflect on your career and on this season and how far this team did come despite having to overcome some adversity?
JOE SERRANO: A little bit. Pretty much out on the field, they're more, just because I'm going to miss being around such a great group of guys. But us being here at the College World Series it shows you how much heart and will this team really has. It speaks volumes for the University of Arkansas and the coaching staff as to what we could accomplish. We obviously started out with a struggling year and just to take it up and carry momentum all the way into the postseason. You don't see many teams do that, and it's just special to be part of something, especially a team like this that can accomplish so much.

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