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June 21, 2016

Eric Gutierrez

Davis Martin

Tim Tadlock

Omaha, Nebraska

Texas Tech - 3, Florida - 2

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations on a heck of a game. Give us an overview.

COACH TADLOCK: Thank you. Well, I thought Davis went out and really set the tone really well. Thought their guy, Faedo, was as advertised. He was really tough and really felt good about getting a couple runs early. Gut put a good swing on a fastball, got in the fastball count. You don't always get them elevated like that, but we were fortunate he did.

And we played some good defense behind Davis. It was definitely Davis kind of set the tone by pitching with his tempo like he does, and guys went out and made some plays behind him.

Thought the play Tanner Gardner made in the first for a guy that's running, I don't know if you guys could tell, he's not running real good unless he has to. He's got a little hammy issue. And just kind of the definition of a baseball player when you can turn it on and say, hey, I'm going to go catch that ball even though it's out there on the warning track.

That's kind of what we have. We've got a bunch of guys that like the play and like to show up and looking forward to Thursday.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Davis, first off, talk a little bit about the emotions that were running through you and how quickly maybe they went away after that line drive came back at you. Did that get you settled and get you ready to pitch the way you did today?
DAVIS MARTIN: I think so. If you're not up to speed in the first couple of pitches, a line drive back to your face will sure help you out. After that, the game slowed down for me a lot. But the atmosphere is great. Very similar to TCU, all the Super Regionals and Regionals. Obviously it's Omaha, so it's something a little different.

But it was fun. Went out, enjoyed it. Sometimes -- once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and just went out and had fun with it.

Q. Davis, how did you kind of feel stuff-wise out there today? And also, Eric, as a veteran watching a young guy like him pitch like that on this stage, kind of your thoughts on his performance as well?
DAVIS MARTIN: I mean, going into the game, had to have fastball command. Struggled with that last time against ECU. And our assistant pitching coach, Matt Gardner, told me if there's one pitch to have today was the fastball location. And the two-seam running in was excellent today and just a lot of trust in my defense and just hit my spots with the fastball and make an occasional change after a curveball in there.

ERIC GUTIERREZ: I like to play behind this guy. He's fun to play with. He goes out there and just plays the games the right way. And he likes to have fun.

A lot of respect for the other guys, too, the other freshmen that go out to pitch. They go out there to have fun. They trust the defense so we can score some runs so we can win.

Q. Eric, just being a senior on this team and obviously making your second trip out here, how much does it mean to you to just get this first College World Series win?
ERIC GUTIERREZ: It means a lot. Every win means a lot no matter College World Series, season, doesn't matter. But it helps us as a team, the momentum. From here, everything's possible.

Q. Eric, you had the play at the wall, diving shortstop catch, the play at the end, three double plays, does it kind of illustrate the fine line when you get to Omaha, those kind of plays you have to make to win by one?
ERIC GUTIERREZ: Obviously the teams that come to Omaha have to have good defense good pitching. Offense is going to be there all the time somewhat, but teams at Omaha have to play defense all the time.

Q. Davis, the defense behind you, could you comment on what you saw and how much that helped you as watching those highlight reel plays?
DAVIS MARTIN: Gives you more confidence to throw it in there, throw it in the strikeout, pound the strikeout. Coming into this, watching games in Omaha since I was -- last two, three years, noticed that if you don't walk people, let people put people in place, the place is kind of a graveyard.

So just most of all just pound the strike zones. Those guys are heck of athletes, Orlando at short, Mike up the middle. Some of the best double play combos I've ever seen, especially with Mike's arm.

So definitely very relaxing on the mound knowing you've got a guy on first and one ball away will get you out of it, pretty much a guarantee. So very awesome having those guys behind me.

Q. Eric, tell us about the home run. Did you know it was gone when you hit it?
ERIC GUTIERREZ: Absolutely. (Laughter).

Q. A follow-up on that. You're used to hitting home runs here, but was that one much more meaningful than every single one of the other ones combined?
ERIC GUTIERREZ: Of course. I mean, just to put my team on board and good momentum into the game, so that was really big.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. Tim, as a coach, to watch Davis in that environment, I know he's pitched in a lot of big games this year, but to watch him being a young player, first-year guy, on this stage pitch like that, how did that make you feel? Just from a stuff standpoint, what did you see as a coach?
COACH TADLOCK: I thought the stuff was pretty good. I didn't really ever look up and see what the fastball was too many times, but it looked like he had pretty good late life, which is the main thing you're looking for.

And his stuff is not always going to win, the location wins. And he was executing as far as that goes. He pitched out of a jam, big jam there, I'm not sure what inning it was. He's a fun young man to watch pitch. I mean, we've watched him go out every week on Friday and guys like playing behind him.

When we made the decision to roll him out on Friday, the guys were like, yeah, absolutely that's the guy we need to be pitching. And, again, I don't think it's always about stuff. I think he throws the ball with conviction more than anything. I think that's what makes him really good.

Q. The baseball gods kind of seemed like they owed you one after the previous three games. But before you get to the win part of the whole equation, what was the feeling when Alonso hit that home run?
COACH TADLOCK: Oh, it was a bad matchup. We knew that. When you look at the numbers, one, two, three in their lineup against left-handed pitching is really good. You think you had -- I mean, they're really good against left-handed pitching.

So I was really just glad we just had one guy on when he hit it. And felt pretty good after he hit it. A lot of times when that happens, it's better for the ball to go out of the ballpark when it's a one-run game than to stay in the ballpark. And really felt good about Hayden settling in and executing.

He just cut the fastball a little bit. And as you saw him, the guy can really hit. And he missed in the middle of the plate and he hit it. And I was really never happy when the ball goes out of the ballpark, but if it had gone off the fence, you've got a real mess for somebody to maybe come in. With nobody on and he's in the windup, really like where he was at right there.

Q. And after the fact there, getting to the College World Series two years ago, we know how much that meant to you, getting back and trying to accomplish your goals, what's this first step like getting this victory? What's it mean to you and mean to the program?
COACH TADLOCK: Well, I think it means a lot. But we didn't come just to win one game. I mean, we really came to try to compete to win the whole deal. And we had a tough game the other day on Sunday and had a tough break, but I really think these guys like playing.

I mean, it's funny, they like playing through the weekend if we can. If we get the breaks and we're fortunate to do that, they probably would rather do that than have all the days off.

So we've got a group that really likes to play baseball, and it means a lot to win a game up here. You're sitting there and you're going ninth innings. I was talking to J-Bob before the game, and I've been a part of four of them, in the ninth inning you're going: Where is Goose Gossage when you need him? Rollie Fingers, somebody? It's not as easy here to get those last three outs.

And it really says a lot about what Hayden did tonight as far as that goes.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about Coastal Carolina, a team that you may face in the next round. Obviously you know plenty about TCU, but what are your first thoughts on the Chanticleers, if that is indeed the team you face on Thursday, depending on this game here?
COACH TADLOCK: I don't want to get ahead of ourselves as far as that goes because we don't know who we're playing. Those guys get to tee it up here a little bit. But what I saw on TV last week and what I read about them so far and what I've seen looks like they've got an older group that likes to play. Looks like they hit a lot of home runs. I'm not sure, over 100, right? 94 home runs. Steal a lot of bases.

I saw the guy steal second base last week when he had to steal second base and then -- that was them, right? I'm correct? Then they get the hit to score and win the game. It's not easy to go to Baton Rouge and win a series, much less in a Super Regional setting.

That's not a comfortable place to go. And anybody that goes there and wins two out of three is playing some really good baseball. I mean, that's pretty -- Skip Bertman is out there, and you can ask him how easy it is to go in there and win.

Q. Can you just describe your vantage point on the last play there, the swing of the emotions of giving up the hit and seeing the out at second base?
COACH TADLOCK: Yeah, the out at second base. Nes really bailed Steven out there. Because the play before we were trying to get Steven moved in a little bit, and we're going, man, we're about a step away from catching the ball. A lot of times in these big stadiums awareness is one of the biggest things; you just go to your home ballpark and guys have awareness and they'll see when you need to move a guy, and we missed on that one.

Then the ball is hit on the next pitch, and you know it's coming almost. It's like when that happens, you're a step away from catching the ball. You're like, okay, here we go. And Nes makes a perfect throw. Mike makes a perfect tag.

Boy, thank goodness. I don't know where my emotions were other than tag him, let's get out of here.

Q. Coach, after Gut's struggles the last time here, can you maybe address that at-bat and maybe what that will mean to him going forward into the next game, and just your thoughts on the home run as well?
COACH TADLOCK: I think we saw some pretty good pitching the last time we were up here. And that had a lot to do with the way he probably swung the bat. And as far as today goes, I thought Gut and I thought all the guys rose to the challenge. We did punch out 15 times on Sunday, correct? And I thought they really decided to jump in there and compete today and stick to a plan. And Gut got the pitch he was looking for and hit it. And I think he grew a little bit today as a hitter. And I think we'll need to keep continuing to do that through the weekend.

Some guys made some good improvement since Sunday. I mean, we had some guys have some pretty rough days on Sunday. But, again, we know they like to play, and they showed up today. And Faedo is not a guy you just need to go in there just hacking at him; you've got to get a pitch in the middle of the plate, and I thought Gut did that today.


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