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June 16, 2015

Keaton Jones

Jim Schlossnagle

Alex Young


Vanderbilt 1 - TCU 0

THE MODERATOR: Representing TCU, head coach Jim Schlossnagle, starting pitcher Alex Young and shortstop Keaton Jones. Coach, an opening statement.

COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: Congratulations to Vanderbilt. Heck of a ballgame. Obviously thought Alex pitched outstanding. And we had some opportunities, and either Pfeifer made pitches or Wright, or they made plays. And Alex was just outstanding, as good as he's been all year long. Never been more proud of him. Had an opportunity to fold early in the game against some of the very best hitters in the country and made great pitches. I thought when we got through that inning some good things were going to happen but we hit a few balls hard, Keaton in particular -- hit his to left-center field instead of pulling it down the line the way Zander did. So, great ballgame and the Frogs will be back and ready to go Thursday night.


Q. Jim, the last couple of outings by Alex have just been tremendous, so when you look back at the NC State outing it wasn't so great. What was the difference between maybe some of those previous outings and the last two, because he's been pretty rock solid?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: Well, you know, he had all three pitches going tonight. Key for Alex his entire career and he's been so great at it lately is managing his way through the adversity that comes with being a starting pitcher like he did today. Ended up with the bases loaded or second and third and one out, whatever it was and pitched his way through it. So he did that last week against A&M and they caught his rhythm. They were threatening him in the first three innings and we made some plays. He made some pitches and we gave up one run through the first three innings, and he pitched outstanding, and then the same thing today. So just like any other good starting pitcher, he's evolved into being an elite guy by managing his way through tough innings.

Q. Keaton you're 4-0 in elimination games this year, but does this one on Thursday feel like there's more weight on it than the others?
KEATON JONES: I haven't really thought about it. But I guess it does. Because it's the end of our season. But all elimination games are. For us, we're not really thinking about that. We're just going to play our own game and just play TCU brand of baseball.

Q. Alex, if we were to describe this as a really, really good performance with only one bad pitch, is that fair; is that accurate? Do you think the home run was the only bad pitch you had all night?
ALEX YOUNG: It was just one mistake and his bat just ran into the ball. Every other pitch I was throwing for a strike. And it's bad luck.

Q. Alex, looked like you were bearing that slider out of the zone early on. Could you describe your strategy with your early success early on in the game?
ALEX YOUNG: Just being able to establish my fastball early on, dealing my change-up and then putting guys away with my slider. And the one that Zander Wiel hit it was a change-up that just happened to run to his bat. Pretty good swing on it.

Q. Alex, when you're in a groove like that and 0-0 game deep into the game, do you get into the duel part of it and rhythm and do you enjoy just the whole atmosphere, the stage?
ALEX YOUNG: It's just like every other day. It's just go out there and compete, just being able to throw quality strikes, quality pitches, and just doing what I'm supposed to do. Not really changing what I'm out there to do. So just keeping it simple.

Q. Coach and Keaton, what was Pfeifer able to do to keep you guys off balance tonight?
KEATON JONES: Well, he made a lot of good pitches. He used his curveball. He was throwing that for strikes, and I think using his fastball and his curveball kept us off balance. I think mainly the use of the curveball is good for him especially against those lefties.

COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: I think he pitched at the bottom of the zone most of the night. He had -- I wasn't in the batter's box obviously, but I think he had a little slider, too. He threw his breaking ball two different speeds that I could see. And just everything, he never elevated the ball.

Q. Coach, speaking of the at-bats, were they disciplined to you as you were watching them? What did you see throughout the night?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: I mean, you can sit here complain about the at-bats that takes away from the pitcher. I think he was great. The only thing I felt like was when we had some opportunities there, I felt our guys, and they're really trying hard. Their swings were a little bigger. Couple of guys were just trying to be the hero, which is nothing wrong with that. It's just the key is that we just have to stay in control of ourselves and put good -- put better swings on the pitches that he gave us. But you can nitpick that game apart like crazy. I actually, seeing the video, I didn't think it was a bad pitch that Alex threw. It was a change-up, right? It was down, a little bit more in. I think it ran into his bat path. Not to take anything away from him, he's the one who hit it out of the park. But it wasn't an elevated pitch. Alex makes that pitch a thousand times out of a thousand and usually it goes our way.

Q. Alex, you had a career high for strikeouts tonight. Did you feel like this was the best game you've ever pitched?
ALEX YOUNG: I mean, just like every other time I've pitched, guys just happen to swing and miss at my curveball. And I was just trying to throw everything for strikes and everything was working tonight. It just happened to go my way.

Q. Jim, your team has been so focused on going all the way and getting, maturing and being a veteran team. How do you think they'll handle this momentary setback?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: I think they'll handle it the way they've handled everything else all year long. The way we handled losing a game in the regional, the way we handled losing a game in the Super Regional. They'll be ready to play. That doesn't guarantee success at all. But we certainly -- we feel confident in our pitching staff, that can give us a good chance. We know that LSU has a great team. And obviously Vanderbilt is sitting there after that, if we're fortunate enough to advance. But in 25 years I've never trusted a team more than this team. They're unbelievable human beings, and I believe in them, and I still believe we're going to be hanging around here before this thing is said and done.

Q. Keaton, you went up against Kyle Wright in that game. He struck out four over two innings. How was he all giving you trouble tonight?
KEATON JONES: He worked the ball in and out of the zone really well, especially the outer half, throwing both pitches for strikes. And he was locating really well.

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