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June 10, 2016

Tanner Gardner

Tyler Neslony

Tim Tadlock

Lubbock, Texas

East Carolina - 8, Texas Tech - 6

TIM TADLOCK: Congratulations to East Carolina and Coach Godwin and his staff. I thought they did a great job. Probably as good an offensive approach as we've seen in a long time. I thought Kruczynski, and I'm sorry if I'm saying that wrong, pronouncing it wrong, thought he was outstanding, thought he mixed really well.

Obviously the catcher is a real guy. I mean, he's standing there and he hits two balls out against the wind, and very impressed.

Q. Tyler, obviously this is a spot you guys haven't been in many times this year, losing the first game of a series, but you were just two pitches away from -- if you had them back you'd be right back in this game. Do you feel like walking out of the locker room with a loss that's something you can take a little solace in?
TYLER NESLONY: Yeah, we definitely know how to handle it, being behind one. We never feel like we're out of it. We're going to be ready to play tomorrow. I thought the entire game, I thought we were in it. We battled hard, but you've just got to tip your cap, they played better than us today, but we'll be ready to go tomorrow.

Q. Tanner and Tyler, what did you feel like the combination of Kruz and then also Bridges at the end of the game did so well mixing pitches to keep you guys off balance?
TYLER NESLONY: Yeah, they did a good job. They pitched with a lead. They got ahead of us, and we fell behind early in counts. We started swinging at their pitches and didn't get ours. They did a really good job keeping the lead for them.

TANNER GARDNER: Yeah, I felt that they really mixed pitches well. You know, when you get a ballclub like that that gets ahead like that, it's kind of tough to come back when they've got those arms coming out of the pen. Like I said, yeah, they definitely mixed pitches well, especially to the right-handed hitters.

Q. What's the biggest thing you can use for tomorrow that you learned from East Carolina tonight?
TYLER NESLONY: We know they're a good ballclub. We've got to show up. We've got to take it one pitch at a time just like we always do. We know how to handle adversity. We've dealt with it all year, and we'll be ready to go tomorrow.

Q. What do you feel like you were able to do as a team in that seventh inning a little differently to try to get some offensive results there?
TANNER GARDNER: I mean, I think starting off with a lead-off hit is pretty important, pretty important for every inning. But I don't know, maybe we just took some momentum out of that triple and worked from there. Cory had a good at-bat, and tip your hat to Nes for another good at-bat. But I don't know, I think just the momentum of a lead-off triple, that says a lot, and you can build off of it.

TYLER NESLONY: Yeah, Tanner did a great job getting on. Getting the lead-off guy on is huge. We definitely needed -- Cory did a great job moving him over, too, and I got a pitch to hit. I was able to hit it out. But yeah, getting a lead-off guy every inning is huge so we can get him on, get him over, get him in.

Q. Tyler, what did you think of some of the different defensive plays that Floyd was able to make? Seemed like they were really able to lift the team up in some particular spots, keep some runs off the board in key situations.
TYLER NESLONY: Yeah, Floyd always does a good job back there. He's going to give it his all. He's a competitor. He's always keeping us in the game. Yeah, he had a few big plays that probably changed the momentum, changed the way the game went, and he's a hell of a catcher.

Q. Coach, the wind was blowing in. That didn't seem to cut down on the power tonight. Is that typical for this park?
TIM TADLOCK: It was a southeast wind tonight. It's not typical. Usually it's just south. It might have held one ball in I would say for sure. It didn't hold Watkins in. I mean, he's a strong young man. Even to hit the second one where he hit it today is really impressive, and put a good swing on a pretty good pitch. Hard slider, as far as that goes. The first one, that's usually where the ball will go out down the line, no matter what the wind is doing.

Q. Bridges for ECU was obviously one of the differences in the game. You guys had momentum. How much of a scouting report did you guys have on him or was he just executing so well it was tough to hit him?
TIM TADLOCK: We probably watched too much, really, since Tuesday. We pretty much knew what he was. I can tell you this, though; their whole team is better in person than it is on film or on ESPN 3. They're a much better team than they look. Either that or they played awful good tonight. I mean, they handled a guy that pretty much won every week on Friday tonight and squared a bunch of balls up against him. Seemed like when he threw the fastball, they were on the fastball, they laid off the breaking ball, and when he hung a breaking ball, seems like they hit it. Really impressed with those guys tonight.

Q. That fourth inning or fifth inning when you went out to go talk to Davis when the bases were loaded, what was your message to him and was there any debate at that point to yank him and go to the bullpen? I know he's been in that position so many times this year and been able to get out of it.
TIM TADLOCK: Yeah, I mean, it's a really tough call. One thing you really hate is when a visit doesn't go right, and when the ball goes out of the ballpark, I was a little mad at myself as far as that goes. That inning was really created to me with them starting the runner in the 1-2 count and Sutton shooting the ball through where our second baseman was standing. I thought Coach Godwin did a great job as far as that goes.

As far as the message at the mound, it's usually about executing pitches and trying to get their mind in the moment, and obviously I failed on that one.

Q. What are you telling your team tonight to move forward from Game 1 and to know that they're not defeated yet?
TIM TADLOCK: Well, it's a three-game series. I mean, that's the most simple message. The reason they set these things up at this time of year is because you want to give a team -- both teams an equal opportunity to compete, and I know East Carolina will come out tomorrow ready to go, and we need to do the same.

Q. What did you think about some of the plays from Tyler Floyd tonight defensively even before that fifth inning? He had that pick-off at second base, seemed to have some different defensive plays that uplifted the team at certain moments.
TIM TADLOCK: Yeah, the bang-bang play on the bunt, we were fortunate the ball bounced right to us, head-high, and it was a good play. It's not a play you have to make at that point in the game, but he did. Ironically that's the inning they scored five runs. You almost go, dang, I wish he'd just got the bunt down there, hit a single and scored one. But that's baseball for you. Sometimes that's how that works out. He did have one ball that we needed to block, needed to keep in front of us, kept a runner -- let a runner move up to third. Tyler expects a lot of himself, and he caught okay tonight. I would tell you he probably didn't think he was great.

Q. How important do you think it was to get the performance you did out of Jacob Patterson, not only to save some arms in the bullpen but keep the team in the game?
TIM TADLOCK: I'll be able to answer that question on Sunday evening. Right now we lost the game, and you want to do everything you can to win the game today. But you know, if we're standing here on Sunday evening and we've won, then you're going to look back and go, boy, those innings were really big.

Q. Obviously right now you're put in a position where you've got to win two straight, but at this point in the season, do you feel like the locker room is pretty even keeled, hey, we've got two wins to get to Omaha?
TIM TADLOCK: Well, I would say this: We haven't been real good as of the last couple weeks. We haven't played the best baseball we've played this year, and really between now and tomorrow, we've got to get some guys going with the bats. Obviously we need to get a good start. We're going to need to get 2-0 owe we're going to need to get one good start, first of all. But is it doable? Absolutely. It happens all the time. I mean, it's baseball, and it is absolutely doable. But we're going to need to play a better brand of baseball to get it done.

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