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June 18, 2015

Alex Bregman

Paul Mainieri

Kade Scivicque


TCU 8 - LSU 4

THE MODERATOR: Representing LSU held coach Paul Mainieri, catcher Kade Scivicque and shortstop Alex Bregman. Coach, an opening statement.

COACH MAINIERI: This is always the opening statement you hate to make since it's the last game of the year and you haven't really had a chance to digest everything and come to grips with all of your emotions. And right now my feelings are just very, very sad for our players that gave so much and so much effort this year with the goal of winning a national championship, and we've come a little bit short. In particular, you know, it's going to be really difficult to say goodbye to a group of really wonderful kids that have played their last game for LSU. And these two guys sitting to my right here, Kade Scivicque and Alex Bregman, are two of the greatest ball players that I've had the great pleasure of coaching and I'm going to miss them terribly, just miss them awfully. And their experience here playing for LSU, I hope, has been very rewarding for them. The tough thing about this business is you work so hard all year really for the years leading up to this year. And you have hopes and aspirations and then the finality of it is so quick and so cruel, really. You expect to be playing for the championship and your team wins 54 games during the season and you win championships along the way, but the one you really want to win is so difficult. And tonight we just got outplayed. We got outplayed by a team that brought in a really good relief pitcher and he baffled us for five innings, I guess. We just didn't pitch quite well enough today. And they got a few big hits. We scratched and clawed and fought as hard as we could, but it was just not enough tonight. Because of that, our season comes to an end. I just don't even want to think about life without Alex Bregman. I've been thinking how lucky I've been to be his coach for three years and enjoyed every second of having that young man in our program. We thought we'd win at least one national championship together. But we've won a lot of games. We just couldn't win the last game of the year. That's not going to take away from the way we feel about each other, that's for sure. So, we'll digest it. We'll go talk to the team and kind of analyze everything and then we'll go forward.


Q. Coach, does this just illustrate the importance of pitching in the college game these days?
COACH MAINIERI: Listen, TCU's got a tremendous pitching staff. Their team ERA is 2.3. They don't do that by accident. They've got a lot of great arms. Vanderbilt does, Florida does, Virginia does. We have some good arms. We need to -- we had some bad breaks this year where we lost out on a couple of kids that we thought were going to help us a lot and kind of just made us a little more thin than we needed to be. But the kids that went out there and pitched, I think Alan Dunn did just magnificent work with all of them. They made themselves competitive. The margin for error is just so small when you don't have a mid-90s fastballer or the knockout breaking ball or whatever. We made a couple of mistakes. We walked too many batters tonight. That was really our undoing tonight. I don't know how many we had, we must have had five or six. A team like TCU, you don't want to give them those kind of opportunities, because they know how to take advantage of them. And we're just going to strive to continue to get better and our pitching was good this year. Obviously it was great at times. We'll try to keep improving.

Q. Alex and Kade, what was Teakell kind of able to do to get you out of the groove tonight?
ALEX BREGMAN: He threw a pretty downhill fastball, like 92, 95. You really had to get on top of it. We just missed a few of them. And then he threw like this little cutter/slider thing that was pretty hard but not that hard compared to his fastball. It was just a downhill fastball that he could get ahead of it. And he had a good feel for his slider. Nothing that -- we've seen it before. He just pitched very well today.

KADE SCIVICQUE: I have to go along with Alex there. I mean, he competed. He threw strikes. He sunk his fastball. I mean, he competed against us and we just missed a few pitches.

Q. Coach, you've had a lot of great teams, a lot of great teams in the program, obviously, but where does this team rate in the teams that you've had over the years, both here and at Notre Dame and whatnot?
COACH MAINIERI: It's really hard to compare teams. We have had a lot of great teams, a lot of wonderful young men that have passed through the program. We've won a lot of games. It's sometimes unfair that teams get judged at LSU whether or not they won the last game of the year or not. These kids played their hearts out all year. What a great group. And Kade Scivicque came into our program two years ago, kind of an unheralded guy, and now I think he's the best catcher in the country -- the way he played tonight was amazing -- the throws, the RBI hit. He's been our leader, he and Alex have been our leaders all year. And we've got a great group. We won 54 games. We won an SEC championship. We won a regional. We won a Super Regional. We've been ranked No. 1 in the country like ten straight weeks. So it's a great group, a great team. And unfortunately we just ran into a team here in Omaha that played better than us two days. And give them credit. Baseball can be a very humbling game. These two days it just didn't work for us. They may go on to win the national championship. I think they're pretty good. I know there's a couple of other teams pretty good still in the tournament as well. I think we're clearly one of the three or four best teams in the country and maybe top five in the country, and unfortunately we just came up a little bit short out here.

Q. Alex and Kade, Alex first, when you hear Coach Mainieri say those things about you, what's going through your head right now?
ALEX BREGMAN: Just that we left it all out there every time we took the field. We love playing for Coach Mainieri and the other coaches. And the road to Omaha starts with the guys that are in that locker room that are coming back next year. It starts now. And they're going to work for that and try and fight their way back here. And it's a tough place to win games, and they're going to try and scratch and claw and fight their way back and try and find ways to win here and just dream about winning a national championship.

KADE SCIVICQUE: With Alex again, every time we took the field, we left it all out there. These coaches are amazing. Coach Mainieri is awesome. He's helped me so much along the way, helped all these guys. And they were behind us all the way. And just best of luck to the guys coming behind us. They know what it takes now.

Q. Coach, how much, I guess, deliberation or discussion was there in terms of who you wanted to start today? And then what did you see from Zac in terms of his struggles in the second inning?
COACH MAINIERI: Obviously if we had that one pitcher we felt we could run out there for six or seven good innings for us, we would have started that pitcher. But I just don't think the rest of the guys on our staff, after Lange and Poché, are at that point right now that they could have delivered that. And we thought our best option would be just to keep them off balance by trying different guys. And we've done it many, many times. And with success. Unfortunately, we had a couple of bad innings tonight. Zac got the nod because we felt that with his experience and his composure. He's pitched in a lot of big situations throughout his career at LSU that he'd be able to handle it and get us off to a good start. First inning we were able to escape a jam. And I thought he was doing okay, even though he wasn't getting his breaking ball over the plate. And then in the second inning he just kept falling behind on counts and never was able to effectively use his curveball. And quite frankly, that's his big pitch. And it just never worked for him. So he'd fall behind in counts, have to lay a fastball in there. They got some hits. We walked a couple of batters. Then we made the change. And a kid snuck one through first and second off of Hunter, and before you know they've got a 3 spot. But we fought back, tied it up, felt good about our chances. I thought we'd settle the game down and then they brought in the relief pitcher and we just couldn't do much with them the rest of the way.

Q. Paul, you may have just touched on it, but Newman and Norman both seem like they have found their groove, was there any thought to them leaving them in and let it run for a while?
COACH MAINIERI: They did. They pitched well. And I know my players. Hunter Newman is a breaking ball pitcher. You can only get away with that for so long. He's going to throw 80 percent breaking balls. And he came in, did a great job, and gave us what we needed and it was time to turn it over to Bain, and unfortunately Bain walked a couple of batters that ended up hurting him. Doug did a nice job. He faced the bottom third of the order. It's not to diminish anything from him, he did a great job and gave us a good inning. And we thought it was time to get Jesse out there and get some velocity. Unfortunately, his command wasn't good and created a couple of situations and they were able to scratch another one across. But we gave it thought. But I just felt that our best chance was going to be with the way we did it. And unfortunately we just couldn't hold them to a low enough run total.

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