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June 12, 2016

Jake Fraley

Paul Mainieri

Jared Poche'

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

CCU - 4, LSU - 3

PAUL MAINIERI: I'm not even sure what to say. The first thing I want to say, obviously is to congratulate Coastal Carolina on winning this series and going to Omaha. They deserve it. They played great. They play with a really hard-nosed attitude. They play very fundamentally sound. Well-coached team. They have got a veteran team and they play hard. They are good kids and they deserved it over us.

They played better than we did. They did everything better than we did. They out-coached us; they out-played us; they just were hungrier than we were this weekend. They get to get the trip to Omaha and we get to put the bats away.

It's obviously a very painful thing for a season to come to an end; the fin alternate of it is almost unbearable. Been doing this a lot of years, and doesn't get any easier, I can tell you that. Feel for the kids. Especially ones that won't be back.

We did a lot of good stuff this year. I don't think a lot of people even predicted we would even be in this position but quite frankly that doesn't really give us much solace right now. We're just really disappointed. You feel like you're going to win right till the very end and then all of a sudden it's over. It's like a punch in the gut.

But you take it and you deal with it and you move on. I feel for these kids. I feel for our fans. Feel for everybody. It's just a tough thing. But we'll rise again.

Q. The two sloppy defensive miscues in the first inning; how did that set you on the wrong foot tonight?
PAUL MAINIERI: You know, it's just there's nothing more frustrating for me than when we play poor fundamentals, because obviously the coach is responsible for that. We work on things all the time, and you know, tonight we just had some miscommunications. We had some poor baserunning. If we had played more fundamentally sound, I think we'd be playing tomorrow, but I'm the one that takes responsibility for that. I work with them; we work with them; the staff works with them, but they have to on game day be able to go out there and do it. We've got to get them to the point where they can do that.

Some of that I think can be written off as, you know, just the first year of playing regularly but we've got to get better from there.

Q. You always talked about taking advantage of opportunities. When you let them get out of that top of the ninth inning with the game tied, how much do you think that set up what they did in the bottom?
PAUL MAINIERI: I think it set everything up. The score was tied and they had a chance to win and they took advantage of it. We had them right there. We had a good shot at it. Kramer crushed that ball and somehow their pitcher stabbed it. I'm not sure he even realized he had it or what to do with the ball.

I wish he would have gone for the double-play; we would have gotten the go-ahead run across. But it was like the worst-case scenario for us: He didn't go for the double-play and of course they walked Greg, and we were unable to come through after that.

Q. Can you talk about over the last month, clutch hitting has been your friend in these kind of situations, yet you left eight in the last three innings, and you know, do you think that decided it?
PAUL MAINIERI: Certainly had a big part in it. Clutch hitting is a big, big part of the game. We've gotten so many clutch hits throughout the year at critical times and that's why we were in the position we were in.

But, you know, hitting is the hardest thing to do in baseball, and any sport, really. Especially in those clutch situations, and we had the right guys up there many times and it just didn't happen for us. Wasn't for lack of effort, I can promise you that.

Q. You mentioned it; did lack of experience in those kind of pressure situations in a Super Regional finally catch up to this team?
PAUL MAINIERI: It's hard to say. It's just real hard to say whether it was lack of experience or what. I think maybe some of the -- I don't know about the -- are you talking about the hitting situations? Yeah, it's hard to say on that, because guys have come through in a lot of clutch situations.

But I think the stage was big tonight, and you know, just some of the miscommunications and just not recognizing situations, that might have been more of an excuse with inexperience. But we've played 70 games or so. At this point we should be playing the game the right way and doing the little things, and again, you know, I just -- I take responsibility for that. The little things make a big difference, and we didn't do the little things we needed to do today.

Q. Take me through the at-bat in the ninth inning where you don't get the bunt down at first?
JAKE FRALEY: Yeah, that was obviously a big situation. I knew in the on-deck circle, Coach came up to me and let me know that if Toine got on, we were going to put on the sac bunt. Was fortunate enough to go up 2-0, and then went for the first one and tried to be a little bit too pretty with it.

Coach calmed me down a little bit and told me to relax and try not to be so pretty with it. I was fortunate enough to get it down. You guys saw the rest. That was about it.

Q. You guys had a lot of fly-ball outs tonight. What was their starter doing so well that was making you guys hit the ball kind of harmlessly up in the air like that?
JAKE FRALEY: Just tip your cap to him. He made some good pitches. But at the same time we didn't put the greatest swings on some balls in certain situations. We as a team know that and understand that. You know, it's just one of those things, and we just didn't put the best swings on some balls.

Q. Your second straight appearance and you come off four days' rest; how did you feel today and what are your emotions like right now?
JARED POCHE': I felt great today. My body felt great. Nothing held me back or anything like that. Was ready to go. We had a good work week. Well prepared for tonight.

You know, as far as the emotions, there wasn't -- no one likes to lose, and obviously to lose the season -- to lose a game to end the season is heartbreaking. It's tough to handle, but at the end of the day someone had to lose and unfortunately it was us.

Q. Coach talked about the fact that not a lot of people really thought this team would be able to make it to this point. But in retrospect, how does it feel to get to the Super Regional point, but then still not be able to come through and get a chance to play for a Game 3?
JAKE FRALEY: I mean, obviously it's unfortunate. It's not what we planned but at the end of the day, we have to take it like men and understand what we didn't do as well as we thought we were going to be able to do.

And you know, it stinks. It stinks to put ourselves in that type of a situation and then it end the way that it did today.

Q. Hunter has been so good for you all year, and how uncharacteristic was that lead-off walk that set the ninth inning awry?
PAUL MAINIERI: Well, you know, I don't know if he was starting to get fatigued or not. He's rarely gone three innings, and I didn't really want to go to him too early, but we were in kind of a desperate situation and we just had to.

He threw a lot of pitches in those first two innings to get at him. We had a couple missed plays defensively that forced him to go deeper in pitch counts. I don't know what his final pitch count was.

But Hunter Newman, let me tell you something: We wouldn't even be close to being in the position we were in; if it wasn't for what that kid has done for our team this year. Anybody that wants to blame him for this loss, going to have to speak to me about that, because I would defend that kid to the end of time. He showed so much courage all year and did such a wonderful job. Obviously the walk was important but he rarely has done that.

Q. What did you do mentally after the first inning to get two runs to kind of bounce back and kind of shut the door the next couple innings?
JARED POCHE': Just stick to the plan, the game plan that we came up with before the game, and execute pitches the best of my abilities and just leave it all out there. You know, that first inning, we got two runs, but after that, I was -- my goal was to go out there and just throw as many zeros as possible up and gave it all I had.

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