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June 19, 2016

Luken Baker

Jim Schlossnagle

Brian Trieglaff

Cam Warner

Omaha, Nebraska

TCU - 5, Texas Tech - 3

THE MODERATOR: Jim, an overview.

COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: Well, obviously a great ballgame. I thought two really good teams. Texas Tech was outstanding. I knew it was going to come down to two-out hitting or who made an extra pitch or not.

Certainly really proud of our at-bats in the ninth inning. I know Luken is the one everybody's going to be talk about and as they should. But I thought Skoug's at-bat after Warner lined out, that catch Davis made in centerfield took a lot of air out of our dugout.

But having put together a great at-bat to give Luken a chance to do what he's done for us in the back half of the season, and I thought we made pitches too. I know we gave up the go-ahead run, but Trieglaff had a chance to cash in in the fifth inning when he came in to get Neslony out, that was a big out, and then Burnett getting Davis out in the bottom of the eighth was huge to keep it close.

But honored to be on the field with Texas Tech and their team and their program, but excited to have a win, have a chance to play a night game and maybe a little cooler.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Luken, did you ever think you'd see a pitch on inside half of the plate again in your life?
LUKEN BAKER: They've been working me away, mixing fastballs, but mostly working me away for the majority of the game. And when they brought Dugger in, he has a good fastball, it's got good run-in. I figured he missed a few times arm side and maybe he'll come inside. So I was sitting on that early whenever I still had the count in my favor, and I got it and put a good swing on it.

Q. Luken, Coach just mentioned it a little bit there, but obviously Gardner's catch can take the wind out of your sails and start the beginning of the end as far as starting ninth inning rallies. What did Evan's hit do to reignite the momentum in the dugout?
LUKEN BAKER: It was great. It wasn't just the at-bat, it was the at-bat. He fought through the at-bat, saw a lot of pitches and ended up putting a good swing on the ball that he had been needing. He put another one on to lessen the gap early in the game.

But that hit, it really fired up the dugout. Got the energy going and juices flowing. So it was really good for us.

Q. Brian and Cam, just what Luken has done this season when he stepped up here, are you expecting him to hit a home run? Are you almost expecting that to happen?
BRIAN TRIEGLAFF: We know it's not going to be a giveaway at-bat. Look at the size of him. Whenever he steps up there, in the fall or spring, when I would face him, he has that presence. You know whenever you're on his side, he's not going to give up pitches. He's going to fight like crazy to get the next guy up. Today he did get the next guy up with a big home run in the ninth inning.

CAM WARNER: He's a grinder, really grinds out bats and puts himself in good counts and gets good pitches.

Q. Cam, your home run looked like it might be the game winner. What was your at-bat like there?
CAM WARNER: First pitch I tried to bunt. I saw the third baseman back, so I -- I know the grass is playing pretty slow, so if you get a ball down third baseline, you got a good chance to get a hit out of it. Next pitch, he threw me a change or a fastball up. And I got a good pitch to hit, pretty swing on it.

Q. Luken, two things: Did you think your ball was fair? Did you think your home run ball was fair; and secondly, wondered about the familiarity that you have with Tech, how did that -- did that play at all into knowing the pitchers better, knowing the fact you've seen them so many times this year?
LUKEN BAKER: Off the bat I knew it was fair. At first second there I thought maybe hooked foul. But there wasn't really a doubt. We watched a lot of video on Dugger and knew what he could do and knew what he had and knew how he pitched.

And he threw really well against us the last -- he threw two outings against us when we played him in the season. And he did the same thing that he did coming in the ninth inning. He keeps the ball low, throws really good pitches. I just, I don't know, that's about it.

Q. Brian, Cam, can you each describe the feeling that goes through your body the second you hear the ball off of his bat?
BRIAN TRIEGLAFF: Honestly, our dugout goes completely silent. All we hear is that ball hitting the barrel. It sounds like a bomb going off. But, again, it's just amazing to watch him play and go pitch by pitch.

CAM WARNER: It's unreal. You even could hear the crowd gasp a little bit whenever he hits a ball, but he puts good swings on baseballs and the ball flies.

Q. Luken, when you hear your teammates talk that way, what does that make you feel like?
LUKEN BAKER: Pretty good. But it's -- they were the ones that put us in the position to win that game. Trieg threw an amazing three and however many innings he threw, four innings, something like that.

And Cam was the one that got our offense rolling and gave us the lead and put Trieg in a comfortable situation coming in.

And if those things don't happen we probably don't get on a roll there in the ninth inning. It's neat to hear them talk about it. But if Austen Wade and Evan Skoug don't get on right there I don't get an at-bat. And everyone does something for the win.

Q. Brian, what do you make of the Red Raiders' lineup? Obviously you've seen them before this year, and what was the key for you to have that outing you did today?
BRIAN TRIEGLAFF: I think getting ahead. They can hit. You leave the ball up, they put good swings on and they'll make you pay for it.

Today I just had really good command of my fastball and breaking ball and keeping the ball low and I was able to get ahead and kept them off balance a little bit. Guy made a good swing on one, but I was pretty happy with my outing today.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. How early did you -- when was the first time you kind of saw Luken and -- the power is obvious. But when did the approach finally really start to evince itself to you that he was more polished than the average high school hitter?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: In the fall. I said all year he's a much better hitter than he is a power hitter. He has power.

In the fall, he actually didn't hit that many home runs. But he's never really swung at bad pitches. And a guy his size, with his raw power, you've seen that enough in baseball where they pull off the ball, not that he doesn't have holes, but they're susceptible to that breaking ball running away from him or a fastball you can really run in.

He just never did that. He took his walks. And for a lot of the season he uses the whole field to hit and he wouldn't turn on the ball like we've seen in the last. His maturity as a hitter you've seen just grow throughout the course of the year.

The closest I've been around it personally would be Matt Carpenter. Very similar in terms of their approach. There are times -- I've said many times I've said where you're in the dugout and stupid me as the head coach, and it's a 2-0 count and you see a fastball from the dugout that you think how did he not swing at that.

Go back, look at the video, it wasn't a good pitch to hit in a 2-0 count. So his concept of the strike zone is advanced beyond his years. And that's a scary hitter. I was talking to Cora about it in the ESPN meeting today he said, Man, you sound like you're describing Miguel Cabrera. But he's not there yet. At our level it's very similar.

Q. Can you just expand on, like you said earlier Evans hit, because that catch by Tanner really got Texas Tech fired up. And it seems like that's when you start putting outs together and the momentum was all on their side, what did Evan's hit do for your dugout and how did that change?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: It was Davis in centerfield. They put him in as a defender in the outfield. I don't know why in the world he was playing there, with a normally -- but the wind obviously allows the outfielders, that's he was playing there.

The wind allows the outfielders to play shallow in this ballpark. But Evan, we definitely could have given in. He stayed on some baseballs and he's really done a good job today. Especially using the whole field to hit. When he does that he's a scary hitter.

So for him to do that was enormous. And Wade's at-bat to lead it off, he has had those kind of at-bats for us all year. Like Luken said, it was a team effort. We had to get Baker to the plate and Skoug did a great job of that.

Q. Jim, when was the first time you or any of your coaches saw Luken, and what was the reaction then? And then can you describe maybe the maturation you saw even in his high school years?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: My assistant saw him long before me. The first -- and he really wouldn't give us the time of day. He grew up in an Aggie family. And that's where he wanted to go. His dad, I think, was water polo. He played some water sport there.

But that's where he wanted to go. His dad said, let's wait and see take a look at a few places. He's a great student. Stanford. Vanderbilt. A lot of those places were on his list. We've got a couple of guys on our team, Feltman being one and Ryan Johnson from the summer program, and they just convinced him to at least come take a visit. He came up for one of our camps.

Actually that's the first time I ever saw him play. And he fell in love with the place. We obviously fell in love with him. And then I saw him, after we signed him, I saw him play in high school. But I was really going to see him pitch most of the time.

I knew he was a hitter. I knew he was a good hitter but I didn't realize obviously he's the hitter that he is. And he's a guy that -- he's a really good pitcher, but I think he separates himself as a hitter compared to everybody else. So we're certainly glad that we signed him and certainly glad he came to the school over Provo.

Q. He committed as a junior, right?

Q. I guess it was Wade that was ahead of him. On Skoug's hit, were you guys in the dugout thinking go first to third on that? Were you thinking be conservative because Luken is up next?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: No, I was pretty upset that Wade didn't get to third base. But from his angle -- when he got to the dugout, I asked him, What the heck are you doing? From where he was, he had to go back on the line drive.

He almost got doubled up on the sinking line drive. From the first base side he couldn't tell that Hargrove maybe had a chance at that ball. So he stepped back. By the time he got to second base -- and Neslony did a really good job of keeping that ball, not letting it scoot by him.

I don't think there was any thought about Luken, it was, believe me, we're as aggressive as anybody in the country. But I think he had to go back on the line drive first.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the job Feltman has done as a freshman in that role on the back end and how good he's really been and did you expect that from him in the fall?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: We knew he had a chance to be a special pitcher because he was a strike-throwing machine. He wasn't throwing with the velocity. I don't know how accurate the board is, but he wasn't throwing the 93s and 96s and a couple of 98s that we have had this year. But he was throwing strikes.

And he had a good overhand breaking ball. And Coach Saarloos has done a really good job switching him over to a slider. He tried the one overhand breaking ball today, almost hit the guy.

And his mound presence is what's so amazing. He had two 3-2 counts in that ninth inning and just kept throwing strikes. Got the fly ball to right field, got the strikeout to end the game.

His presence, his ability to stay in the moment and handle his breathing and stay in his routine is well beyond his years as well.

Q. What was your impression of Janczak's outing today, eight strikeouts in four and two-thirds?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: I thought he battled. He did a good job with his fastball. Definitely did not have his best stuff, but you also have to credit Texas Tech.

Again, I love their lineup. It's so savvy and they have such great presence in the batter's box and got the Big 12 player of the year hitting in the 6 hole. That's a pretty good lineup with Gutierrez there.

He made some good pitches when he had to. They had him on the ropes. I thought the pickoff at first base, whatever inning that was, I thought that was huge. I think both times we scored he walked the lead-off hitter, which I wanted to shoot him from the dugout.

He battled and he gave us a chance. And Trieg came in. So it wasn't his best outing, but he kept a really good team at least somewhat in check so we could find a way to win the game at the end of the game.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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