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June 18, 2016

Shane Bieber

Andrew Checketts

JJ Muno

Omaha, Nebraska

Oklahoma State 1, UC Santa Barbara 0

THE MODERATOR: We'll start off with a statement from Coach Checketts.

COACH CHECKETTS: First one of the postseason I'm not as pumped about. Shane was outstanding for us today. Gave us a chance. Hatch settled in and was really, really good.

I thought our guys battled. I thought they were in character early. Put some pressure on them a little bit offensively. I thought our at-bats early in the game were good. We couldn't string them together or capitalize on any of them. And then once they scored the momentum changed a little bit. I thought we changed a little bit and started pressing a little bit and trying too hard and swinging at balls out of the zone.

I thought that was a combination of Hatch settling in and being sharper along with maybe the situation and score of the game. But I thought our guys were competitive and they battled, and it was a good pitcher's duel if you're into pitchers's duels.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Shane, another outstanding job by you. Can you tell us kind of how you saw the Oklahoma State lineup throughout the game? They make adjustments, what kind of adjustments you made, and how you were able to really just pitch an outstanding game against a great club?
SHANE BIEBER: I don't see them making any adjustments in particular throughout the game. I think it was just the fourth inning where I lost my sharpness.

I compounded multiple mistakes in a row and they took advantage of it, hit the ball hard, and that was the game.

Q. JJ, I know you doubled off of them, but what did you see from your perspective with what Hatch was doing out there today to be so effective?
JJ MUNO: I think the first couple of innings he wasn't on his game, I would say, and then he kind of settled in in the fourth and he was just a three-pitch mix, locating in and out with the fastball, and that kid was some trouble for sure.

Q. JJ, kind of along those lines, did 1-0 deficit feel bigger or any different than normal because of the pitcher you were facing or the environment you were in?
JJ MUNO: I didn't particularly feel it. I don't think most of our guys felt like that. I just think he was executing his pitches really well. And we kind of felt like all we needed was a couple of good swings.

But he did a good job of executing the middle and the last third. He was in and out with the fastball, not really missing over the plate.

Q. JJ, is it fun to play in a game like that where both pitchers are just working so fast and it's really quick pace of play and it's over in two hours and 20 minutes?
JJ MUNO: Yeah, there were like mirror images going out against each other, the pitching duel. I thought Shane was unbelievable as always, just working for us and giving us everything he has.

And it was fun to watch and fun to play behind him. And it's been fun these last three years. So...

Q. Shane, in that fourth inning there, obviously they jumped on you a little bit early, three straight hits. That ends up being the difference in the game. I guess, what happened in that kind of quick burst sequence that kind of got away from you and how did you settle in afterwards?
SHANE BIEBER: The big thing was leaving my pitches up, offspeed especially. Falling behind with my fastball and when I tried to mix up my pitches with the offspeed behind in the count, I was leaving them up and they saw them pretty well.

And, yeah, they just got flatter when they were up. I recognized it right away, but I couldn't fix it quick enough and they punched me for it. And I think I just made it a point coming out the next inning to fix that right away.

Q. Shane, I hadn't seen you walk around the mound or off the mound as much as you did today this season. In the middle of the innings were you battling the heat a little bit? Because you got stronger as the game went on but it looked like you were really slowing your tempo up a little?
SHANE BIEBER: A little bit. Definitely more than normal. But I feel like that's been kind of -- I've been doing that the last few weeks. I wouldn't say it was the heat. I was kind of just enjoying it, trying to battle out there and enjoy the moment.

Q. Coach, have you seen, has Shane's stuff gotten even firmer over the course of the season? Seems like he's as strong now or stronger than he was even early?
COACH CHECKETTS: Yeah, it's actually been postseason the velocity --

THE MODERATOR: Let's wait and do players first.

Q. JJ, you're the ring leader of this team, this squirrelly team. You guys have been down, counted out, you're down 1-0 now you have to come back through the looser bracket game. I doubt very much the squirrelliness is going to go away, is it?
JJ MUNO: No, we're going to have fun out here. I think I speak for all the guys, this was one of the best experiences of my life, and we're not ready for that to end. I'm sure that statistics aren't good on us prevailing or whatever. But the statistics haven't been in our favor the whole year. And we've kind of accepted that and we're going to go out and enjoy this and hopefully win again and keep this thing going, because it's been a lot of fun with this group.

Q. Shane, was there any point where you felt you could have pitched another bunch of innings, because you were in such command?
SHANE BIEBER: Yeah, absolutely. I think this game should -- that game should be going on right now. It should be 0-0. My counterpart and I were throwing the ball pretty well, and it was unfortunately that fourth inning where I made all those mistakes in a row and got punished for it and ended up deciding the game.

So definitely felt stronger as I went on, but just that one inning.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

COACH CHECKETTS: Yeah, the postseason, his velocity has picked up and the stuff's picked up. I don't know if it's been the heat that he's been in that's loosened him up a little bit but probably for the last month he's been a click or two better.

And the slider was a little inconsistent today. Came out of his hands a little early occasionally. I think that inning in the fourth where he gave up the run, he missed on a couple of those. But for the most part he has, his stuff has gotten better.

And I think it will continue to get better. I think two or three years from now I think he's got a chance to be a little firmer.

Q. Coach, I guess you mentioned in your opening statement that it was a combination of Thomas' pitching and also a combination of the at-bats you guys put together. But early in those first four innings when you had runners on base and in scoring position with one out, what, from your perspective, happened in those at-bats that you guys didn't do to capitalize on it?
COACH CHECKETTS: I thought our at-bats were good early. I thought we were on the ball, even Calica's lead-off swing that is at Walton, he hits it on the button. We hit a number of balls on the button. And then once we got into that situation, playing to your lines out to the shortstop with runners on first and third with one out, it's hard to fault him for that or say we should do something different.

We were talking about maybe safety squeezing in that situation and maybe if he got a strike but he ended up hitting it hard. And then we didn't go back on a line drive at second base with Calica and he got doubled off. Who knows what happens after that? But those are things that burned us a little bit in those situations.

Q. Can you talk about the adjustments that Hatch seemed to make after you guys made him throw a lot of pitches in the first four innings. He came back with strikes on a lot of his pitches after that. But what kind of adjustments did you see that he made after that?
COACH CHECKETTS: Just looked like he settled in. Looked like he might have had some, you know, early energy, jitters, whatever you want to call it. He was up and elevated a little bit. Then after that he was down, his fastball was down and breaking ball was coming out of his hand better. I thought early it was coming out a little bit, a little flatter and late. It was coming out looking like fastball and had some depth to it. And we had more trouble laying off of it in the dirt. And then he was getting ahead in the count.

Q. What's the mindset coming back for Monday's game? Obviously you have to win everything now. Like I asked JJ, you guys have been up against the better part of a month having to win everything and you have. Is it just kind of simplifying things and making these guys realize we've just got to play today and see what happens?
COACH CHECKETTS: Yeah, we talked about it in the clubhouse a little bit about there's some stuff we could have done better. Let's make sure that we're processing that and that we're learning from it and we're adjusting so that we can come out and play the same game offensively the next time we play.

But once we get the uniform off we're still playing, we're still here. Haven't been knocked out yet so we've got to continue to believe we can continue to do that and make sure we're coming out and preparing for that next game, because we can't go back and change anything at this point about today's game.

Q. I know you walk out of here with a loss, but how much fun, enjoyable, is that kind of game when you see two pitchers in such great control?
COACH CHECKETTS: Yeah, those guys were special. There's a reason why both these teams are here and those two guys are a big part of both teams being here. You take those guys out of the equation for either team and we're not sitting here.

And those guys were good today. They were facing decent offensive teams, good offensive teams and they were in the strike zone and were able to mix. And there's a reason why those guys are both going to be good pros.


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