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June 16, 2015

Alex Bregman

Alex Lange

Paul Mainieri

Kade Scivicque


LSU 5 - CS-Fullerton 3

THE MODERATOR: Representing LSU, head coach Paul Mainieri, Kade Scivicque, Alex Lange and Alex Bregman. Coach, an opening statement.

COACH MAINIERI: First of all, the correct pronunciation is Scivicque. It's been butchered worse than that, I'm sure (laughter). Obviously, the understatement of the day is that we're so happy to get a win finally at TD Ameritrade Ballpark. Beautiful ballpark and a wonderful city. But it was like it was a curse on the LSU Tigers for a couple of years. Just to get a victory is very relieving, I would say is probably the right word. But great ballgame. Obviously the story of the game was this young, right-handed pitcher on our team who has been just absolutely terrific all year. He just put the team on his shoulders after a rough first inning. Listen, I thought he made good pitches in the first inning and they just did a good job against him. The three-hole hitter smoked that one in the gap and then they had a fortuitous chopper through the right side to set something up. They executed a safety squeeze. They did some good things. It wasn't so much that he was making bad pitches. But I just think the true character of a player shows when they get knocked on the ground like he did in the first inning, and then he just regrouped, never lost his confidence, never lost his aggressiveness. He continued pitching and the next eight innings I think they had two hits against him. He ended up striking out ten. It was great to see Bregman have a big game. It was grade to see Laird have a big game, and Kade has been so outstanding for us all year. We had 13 hits, unfortunately scored only five runs. We made it a little tougher on Alex than it needed to be. We needed to take advantage of a few more opportunities that we did have, and we'll have to do better as we go forward if we want to continue to play. But we'll take the win. We're not going to critique too much of it today. We're just happy to win a game.


Q. Alex, when you were, after the first inning gave up three runs, four hits, what did you do to kind of calm down and get back into your groove?
ALEX LANGE: I wasn't really, like, nervous or anything or amped up. I left a couple of pitches up and they do what good hitters do they hit the ball. I took a step back and regrouped in the dugout and just really focused on I needed to go out there and execute my pitches, just hit my spots where Coach Dunn and Kade calls them and leave it up to the defense. They've been great all year. Pitching with that defense behind me makes it real easy.

Q. Coach, changed the lineup, wore road jerseys, you're even wearing a jersey today. Was it a mojo thing? What was the method behind that?
COACH MAINIERI: We didn't have a choice of the dugout. We did change the jersey for mojo, okay. And I did wear a jersey at the request of the players. I hadn't worn a jersey in a while. They've been trying to get me to wear a jersey all year. So desperate times calls for desperate measures. What have we got to lose. We'll see if it helps. As far as changing the lineup that was done for the purpose of us doing better. And we put a lot of thought into that. What happened there was I really thought whether we were playing Vanderbilt -- see, we practiced yesterday before Vanderbilt and Fullerton had finished their game. So we didn't know who we were playing. So we obviously didn't know who was pitching against us. But I guessed we would either see Pfeifer or Gavin. Lefty or lefty. And we've been starting the games with two left-handed hitters and haven't been getting great production out of the lead-off spot. So I was telling Alex, when he was taking ground balls yesterday, you know, that we need to do something about the top of the order. And so Alex was, like, I'd like to lead off. I said that's what I was hoping you would say. But I really didn't want to move him out of the 3 hole because he's been there all year, and he's our dude. And so he was excited about it, I thought, okay, that's what I wanted to do. Well, then what happens is we kind of get thrown a curveball and they throw the right-hander against us. So he sends me a text message last night am I still leading off? So he was excited about it. I really felt that we just needed a spark at the top of the order. And who is a tougher out than Alex Bregman? I didn't necessarily expect him to get four hits, but I thought he would make the pitcher work. I thought he wouldn't strike out. I thought he'd give you a good quality at-bat, make their pitcher work hard right there in the first inning. As it turns out he had a big day. Unfortunately he led off three innings with base hits, but he only scored in one of those innings. That's where I'm telling you we need to finish off some rallies as we go forward.

Q. Alex, how does your mindset change at the top of the order, and just describe your comfort level in that spot; is that something that you would like to continue to do the rest of the CWS here?
ALEX BREGMAN: I would just like to win, wherever I need to hit in the lineup, whatever works. If I'm hitting first or ninth, as long as we're winning I'm happy. I felt comfortable out there. I was trying to square balls up and put together quality at-bats and find ways on base and try to create some offense. We wanted to kind of get our swagger back offensively. We've had a really good offense all year long, and it's coming.

Q. Alex and Kade, what was the mood like after they jumped on you guys there in the first inning? Did you have any of that, here we go again, TD Ameritrade, we can't win here? Or were you feeling confident knowing you had Lange out there and an offense that could put up runs in a hurry?
KADE SCIVICQUE: I mean, first thing is don't press. We had a long game left behind us. We knew Alex was going to go out there and compete for us. We have a good lineup. We have a good offense, and we just trust ourselves and try to hit the ball.

ALEX BREGMAN: Yeah, I mean, when you have one of the best pitchers in the country throwing for you who is going to compete for us, we know that we needed to compete for him. And you have to score runs to win games anyway. Once they put up three we knew we'd have to score to win if we wanted and we wanted to do it big offensively. We didn't do it as big as we wanted to but that will come. We're just happy to come away with a win.

Q. Paul, you seemingly left Alex alone in that first inning -- freshman, first start in Omaha. Was that built out of trust over what you've seen through the season with him?
COACH MAINIERI: When you say left him alone, you mean left him in the game?

Q. No, not many trips out.
COACH MAINIERI: Alan Dunn went out and talked to him early in the inning just to make sure he kept his focus and didn't panic. I wasn't worried about Alex Lange at all. This kid is so mature and poised, and I think he knew he was making good pitches. The second batter of the game he threw a beautiful first-pitch curveball to him, and then he had him in an 0-2 count -- I think he was trying to waste a pitch, probably didn't put it exactly where he wanted it -- and the kid got a base hit. And next kid he threw a first-pitch fastball, it was probably 92. And the kid is a really good hitter. He turned on it and they got a run and now they've got a runner at third. Those kind of things happen. He has shown us all year that he's not going to ever throw in the towel. He's going to fight you right to the very end. He's the ultimate competitor, besides having a lot of ability. So I really wasn't worried about it. Let me add to -- Aaron, what he asked the players, just so you know -- we had a stretch, I don't remember the exact stats, but I want to say we fell behind in seven of eight SEC games in a row or something. And we came back and won virtually all of them. So there was really no panic in our dugout at all. We knew we had the capability. May have been a little bit of a wake-up call because we haven't been swinging the bats great for the last few weeks, and all of a sudden that third inning you started to see what we were capable of doing. We strung some stuff together and once we got the lead, once you give Alex Lange a lead, man, he's tough, boy. I wouldn't want to hit against him.

Q. Alex Lange, as the game goes on and you get deep into the seventh, eighth, ninth inning, what's your mentality knowing that you've gone the distance before, you've done that before and you want to finish the job?
ALEX LANGE: Finish it. Win the game. There's nothing more to it. You're not overthinking anything. You're not thinking about what's going on after -- just finish it at all costs. These guys picked me up big time, giving me four runs in the third, and that kind of settled me down and didn't really have to focus up again. So just going out there and finishing it. I know we have two of the best relievers in the country in Person and Bugg out there, and I know they have my back if I run into trouble. When you're out there, you want to finish it and that was my mindset: I'm going to finish this game.

Q. Alex, now that you've got the win out of the way, what do you think of possibly playing three games through Saturday, what are your chances getting that far?
ALEX BREGMAN: Our chances? I'm very confident in our team. I think all of us are very confident in each other. I think they were going to take it one game at a time and try to win one more first. We can't really be thinking ahead at all. There are too many good teams in this tournament to do that. And if we just focus on winning tomorrow or winning -- excuse me -- Thursday, we're still going to have our work cut out for us, but we're going to battle and fight until the end and leave it all out on that field.

Q. Alex Lange, having grown up relatively close to here, obviously everybody dreams about pitching in the majors, but did this pitching here mean a lot to you, a chance to do that? Now that you've done it, how do you think you might reflect on your first College World Series start when you're an old guy like us?
ALEX LANGE: You know, this was a blast. This was a lot of fun. Growing up only three hours away in Kansas City, it's something that every kid dreams of is to play in the College World Series. And being able to go out there and play in it is kind of a dream come true. It was a lot of fun especially with the group of guys we have, how close-knit we are and just being able to share the moment with them and moving on. That's pretty cool. So I'm really happy to experience that. But I'm more happy that we won and that we're moving on. So I'm ready for Thursday to get back out there.

Q. Kade, I know y'all had two singles in that third inning but then you came up and got the big RBI single. Do you feel that was the momentum shift you all needed on offense when you got that base hit?
KADE SCIVICQUE: I wouldn't say that was the thing. Our guys were going up there trying to hit the ball hard, trying to hit the ball through the infield. And to be fortunate to string a few hits together and score a few runs. So that helped us out.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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