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June 12, 2016

Eric Gutierrez

Erikson Lanning

Tyler Neslony

Tim Tadlock

Lubbock, Texas

Texas Tech - 11, East Carolina - 0

TIM TADLOCK: What a weekend. I mean, those were really some good baseball games. Got newfound respect for East Carolina baseball. They've got a really tough bunch, and all the respect in the world for Coach Godwin and his staff. I really thought they came in as prepared as a team could be.

A little bit like last week, I don't think there's a place like it in the country to play in, and thank you for all you guys that are involved in it and all the fans out there. It's a special deal playing out there. We're going to take it a little bit north here next week.

Q. Erikson, got to be fair to say that was your best performance in your short career here at Tech?
ERIKSON LANNING: Yeah, I think it's safe to say that, but I didn't really do it alone. I mean, we had guys behind the plate just really doing what they are capable of.

Q. Tyler, obviously last game at the Wall, have a performance like that, what does that mean to you?
TYLER NESLONY: I mean, more importantly I'm just glad we won. We won our last one at home. That's all I can ask for. It was incredible being able to play here, play with all my brothers and stuff. I loved every minute of it.

Q. Gut, kind of looking back big picture for a little bit, making the run two years ago and then not even having the tournament last year, has this whole breadth of experience helped you really cherish every step of the way, just seeing how hard it is to get there once and didn't make the tournament last year and then to be able to do it again?
ERIC GUTIERREZ: Of course. It just makes you a little bit more mature, you know. It takes 27 guys all in the same boat. Yeah, you learn from experience, and I guess we learned a little bit. Nes and I carrying the team and just keeping it -- the electricity in there and staying positive all year long, it just helps a lot.

Q. Coach Tadlock, I have a question for you: ¿cómo te sientes despues el partido?
TIM TADLOCK: Muy bueno.

Q. Gut, looking back at the game last night, going 13 innings and coming out and punching your second straight game when your backs were against the wall, what does that say about y'all's makeup and that never-say-die attitude over the last two games?
ERIC GUTIERREZ: I thought after Friday we were fine. You're always going to face adversity, you know, and we faced it throughout the year, and we have responded good, and so we didn't even feel a little bit that we were against the wall. Just kept on playing our game and having fun.

Q. Erikson, you had an excellent debut as a Red Raider, six-inning shutout against Milwaukee. After that you kind of hit the wall, didn't have the best performances. Also, you kind of turned it around today, had a really great performance. What did you find out there, and what did you find in the last couple weeks to be that dominant today?
ERIKSON LANNING: Well, we've been working really hard. All the pitchers are always working really hard, and just some minor things working with Coach Hayward, he showed me that, and then having the guys always behind me. It's a really, really big factor in it, too.

Q. Erikson, I think after last week watching Ryan Moseley, most people would have assumed he would have gotten the start on the bump today. What was your reaction whenever Coach Tadlock let you know that he was handing you the rock today?
ERIKSON LANNING: I was definitely excited. That's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to go out there and even participate in that game. I was definitely excited, but if he would have told me that I wasn't, I would have complete confidence in whoever was going out there at the same time.

Q. Eric, Tyler kind of talked about it a little bit, but yours was a little different situation. Can you talk about the standing-O and tipping your cap to the fans whenever you got on base that last time?
ERIC GUTIERREZ: It was -- I didn't know what to say. I was really happy. These fans have supported me. They've believed in me these four years. Nothing but being thankful for them.

Q. You got a pretty memorable quote last time in Omaha on the final day: That you're going to lay your heads down every night dreaming about getting back there. What's it like knowing when you wake up tomorrow you'll be heading back there?
TIM TADLOCK: I didn't know it was that memor -- however you said it. I didn't know anybody was paying attention, either. I think all we really meant by that was this is what we do. I mean, everybody who coaches college baseball is doing everything they can each day to try to reach Omaha and to try to win the whole thing. You know, but really you need to realize players win games, and you can get them here, but then they've got to perform. You can coach all you want, but these guys, we're along for the ride, our staff is. These guys have done a great job. It's really fun watching them. Just really proud of them. Surprised you remembered that.

Q. When you think about the spot that your team was in after losing that first game, backs against the wall, season on the line, just the character and makeup for them to be able to grind those two wins out and punch their ticket, what does that say about your team and how you've molded them?
TIM TADLOCK: Well, I think the guys understand the game of baseball and the game of life will deal you some adversity and it's how you deal with it. You know, and also it's a game you've got to pick your teammates up. Davis Martin has been there for these guys however many starts he had this year, every week he's kind of gone out there and done the deal. I know they wanted to pick their teammate up from that standpoint. It's one of the first times we've been in that situation, and it's definitely the first time we had to win two. I mean, in a conference weekend I guess you don't have to, to win the series you have to. But this group grew. They've grown throughout the year, and I think you saw today a young left-hander that has really grown here in the last three weeks. I mean, you could see him turn the corner about three weeks ago, some confidence, and it's neat to see.

Q. Coach, third straight day starting a freshman pitcher, and they've performed well all year. What is it about this freshman group of pitchers that's helped them perform at this level?
TIM TADLOCK: That's a good question. I mean, it doesn't always work out that way, but at the same time, we try to keep it simple. It's a baseball game, and all these guys, when we recruit them and when we commit them, we feel like they're going to be able to pitch on the weekend and start on the weekend. We believe they can. Sometimes they have to go through some growing pains to get there, but as far as like Davis and Gingery, but as far as Lanning goes, we threw him in some big environments this year. We pitched him this year against Daulton Jefferies at Cal on I think it was a Thursday night because it was a four-game series. He threw in Tallahassee, threw in some big environments and threw really good. Threw against New Mexico, a really good offense. You can go back and look at all those outings, pretty good. Every one of them, for a freshman, you're going, yeah, he ought to be able to pitch on Sunday, or at least on Sunday, and really just liked the matchup today and really like the way he's been coming.

But as far as what it says about him, I guess it says that we got it right on those three guys. You don't always get it right. On paper -- it always looks good on paper. I could show you the 2017-18 class right now, and I'm ready for them right now. Let's go. Katie, bar the door, we're ready to get them here. But at the same time it doesn't always pan out that way, and it's neat when it does.

Q. Along similar lines, when you first signed that class, you said, this is a class that I'll have through 2018 and they can get us back on the path to Omaha. They did that in their first season. How special does that make this class to be able to do it almost immediately?
TIM TADLOCK: Well, I guess when you start talking about the pitchers, I had an opposing coach in the league say, you know, all those guys really saved you guys. Either way we're going to find somebody to go out there and pitch on the weekend. I think -- I really believed that with Coach Hayward and Coach Gardner and Coach Thomas, Joseph Hughes, all those guys, we're going to get somebody -- we're going to try to get somebody where they can go pitch.

I'm really, really proud of everybody as far as involved with the pitching staff. When you look at Erikson Lanning, I mean, he's come a little ways in the last three weeks. It's really neat to see. I don't know if I answered the question very good. Sorry.

Q. Speaking of memorable quotes, in your introductory press conference you said that there was a man who once told you that you couldn't get to Omaha from Lubbock. You're now headed for your second time in four years. Do you talk to that guy pretty often?
TIM TADLOCK: Never. Never talk to him. But it's a baseball game. You get good baseball players, you can win games wherever you are. One of the -- I had a kid here today from El Paso that pitched for me about -- he had his whole family here. He had eight people here. Been here all weekend. He's probably one of the best pitchers I've ever had. He could beat anybody in the country. I'm telling you right now, as a freshman and sophomore. When guys can pitch, they can pitch. I mean, it's a baseball game. We see guys that can pitch in the Big Leagues every year that are young, and these guys can do it. I think the Dodgers just called up a 19 year old if I remember right.

Q. I guess speaking to the series that East Carolina was able to give you and even the competition you faced in the regional, how do you think those experiences has helped the team prepare mentally for the road that it's going to take to get through Omaha?
TIM TADLOCK: It's not going to hurt any that we've been up there and kind of know that there's a lot of distractions when you get there. There's a lot of distractions. Literally just dealing with texts over the next 24 hours, these guys could be swamped. I mean, literally, you could spend all night tonight on your phone. I think I probably did last week after the regional as far as that goes, and the next morning I look up, it's noon, and you're going, huh, we've got to get going here. That was a Tuesday, and it was a short week. Managing their time, managing their energy, I think we should be better this time, and also knowing the path. We know, it's five games. You're going to win five games, you win the whole thing.

Q. Coach, you said Erikson has come a long way in the last three weeks. When did you decide that he was going to be the starter of this game?
TIM TADLOCK: We were still talking about it this morning at about 10:50. We all slept on it. We talked about it last night. We showed up, and visited about it this morning, went over some stuff, kind of went back and looked at all of his starts, and really just felt like everything we've done with him had prepared him for this situation. He's faced some good lineups. I mean, some really good lineups this year, and competed through it and given us four, five, six innings, and really felt like over the last three weeks he's been better than he was when he faced those guys. How's 11:00? Does that sound good?

Q. Tim, it just seems like the offense kind of broke through as a whole today and had maybe their best day of the postseason. Would you say this is probably their best day so far?

Q. This is a town that's no stranger to good baseball. They love it. They love to watch it. They know the game. You guys gave them a pretty special brand this weekend. Can you just speak to the crowd and the atmosphere and the environment?
TIM TADLOCK: Oh, boy, here we go. It's a special place. I mean, I think anybody that was here in this stadium, maybe anybody that was watching it on TV might be able to see how special a place it is. We've all been across the street over there when they're yelling Raider Power at 5:15 for a 6:00 game. If the hair is not standing up on the back of your neck when they start doing that, you need to probably go check your pulse and make sure you're doing okay. Lubbock is a special place. I think you hit it on the nose; it's a baseball community. There's great baseball here. There's people that know baseball here. And I think we appreciate baseball here, appreciate it being played the right way.

You know, for our guys, I think they understand how special it is. I could go on and on. I guess we could go have a tailgate and just enjoy this.

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