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June 1, 2017

Jim Sherman

Jay Johnson

Tim Tadlock

Matt Deggs

Lubbock, Texas

THE MODERATOR: Welcome to the NCAA Baseball Lubbock Regional. We'll start with University of Delaware coach Jim Sherman, then coach Matt Deggs from Sam Houston State University, Jay Johnson, Arizona, and Tim Tadlock with Texas Tech. Once they complete their opening remarks, we'll then take questions for the coaches.

COACH SHERMAN: Welcome, thank you. Appreciate it. Pleasure to be here. Haven't been to the Western part of Texas. I've always been to the eastern part over the years, so it's great to be here. It's been 16 years since I was last at a Regional back in 2001 out at Ohio State, so big gap between Regionals.

You know, I've been in the business 31 years and been to other Regionals prior to that as an assistant coach in D-I, and then I was, obviously, years before that an NAIA coach. So great atmosphere, great stadium, great playing surface. We're excited. I know it's going to be big-time baseball, so it's an honor to be here.

COACH DEGGS: First of all, welcome to Texas, Coach Sherman. We're glad to have you guys here. It's just a great opportunity for us and our program. We're very excited to come to Tech. We thought we were going to Houston, which would have been the logical choice. Guess the NCAA decided otherwise and paired us back up with my good buddy here, Jay Johnson.

These guys do an incredible job. I know Delaware can really, really swing the bat. Jay Johnson and Arizona are as good as it gets. Had the opportunity to play those guys twice last year, and they are definitely a handful, super well-coached. Play the game the right way, play extremely hard.

Then Tim Tadlock, Tim and I have been friends for 20-plus years, been going at it since he was at Grayson and I was at Texarkana, and I tell you this, not a better coach in the country than Tim Tadlock, they have a really, really good team. They play hard, play the right way. And he's even a better man.

So just feel very fortunate and blessed to be here with my team. I love my guys. They play really hard. They're going to give it all they've got. They're fun to watch, so we're ready to get going.

COACH JOHNSON: Yeah, great to be here. Anytime you're playing baseball after Memorial Day it's a great thing and a great season. Very proud of our team for the accomplishment of being here. Probably the best thing I can say is coming off of a great year last year there was zero complacency, and this team wanted to write its own story, if you will, and it has done a good job of that from the first pitch of the season till now.

Sharing the sentiments of the other coaches, we know we're in for a great challenge this weekend. Four good offensive teams, four good pitching staffs. Four groups of really good athletes. We're excited for the competition.

COACH TADLOCK: First of all, I'd like to welcome everybody to Lubbock. You guys will soon find out that our administrative staff does a really good job of running a Regional. I feel like we've got some of the best hospitality in the country, obviously.

Thanks for the kind words, Matt. That was awful nice of you.

Congratulations to everybody, all the programs and their staffs and their teams. Pretty neat deal, getting to play this time of the year. I know everybody's looking forward to it.

Q. Coach Tadlock, as you guys size up Delaware, obviously a really strong defensive club, but at the same time they haven't played the level of competition that you guys have seen. How do you weigh that, and is that something that is even given a second thought? The type of schedule they've played compared to the type of schedule you guys have played?
COACH TADLOCK: Is it okay to disagree? I would say they've played some good baseball teams based on what I've seen looking at their schedule. I know Coach Sherman, if you're still playing at this time of the year, you've got a bunch of guys that believe they can win and they step on the field. Everybody's ready to play this time of year.

I won't name schools, but I know they've played good teams. As far as telling you a whole bunch about their team really at this point in the year, it's a lot about your own team, about going to play good baseball. Our staff has watched a bunch of stuff like everybody does. But really it's about going out and playing. I've got all the respect in the world for everybody that's playing this time of the year. We know we've got to go out and earn the right to play, play good and to win.

Q. Coach Deggs, you obviously played Arizona twice last year. What changes have you noticed, if any, since you rally started to do a deep dive into what the team looks like this year, where if they've improved or what is your outlook on that team?
COACH DEGGS: You talking about Arizona?

Q. Arizona.
COACH DEGGS: Obviously they can swing the bat. The year JJ's had, he's really taken them the next step and his progression as a player, 29 doubles, hit .400 most of the year. I think the center fielder Oliva has taken a next step as well. Just a tremendous athlete, very gifted.

Then they've got what I call scrappers. They've got Boyd and Lewis and Salazar is a clutch guy. So really and truly kind of the same cast of characters, just a year older, year better. Obviously, they've got really good starting pitching that these guys have two of the three have been there as well. So, you know, they lost Dalbec, but obviously we're going to have our hands full. They're super well-coached. They played extremely well together. More than anything, they play in a definitive system. They understand who they are and they understand what's expected of them, and they go out and execute it.

Q. Coach Johnson and Coach Deggs, how beneficial is it for you two guys to be familiar with where you're playing in a Regional as opposed to Coach Sherman here?
COACH JOHNSON: I think it's great. I think the first reason we scheduled Coach Tadlock and Texas Tech is I know they were going to go out and win a boat load of games. From an RPI standpoint, it's very difficult to get into the NCAA Tournament. So that's always a first thought when you come into an environment like this.

With that being said, that night was a great experience for us. This is a very high probability place for us to come play in the NCAA Tournament geographically. So I think it's good for our players. With that being said, their coaches would probably agree, everything with players the age that we coach is day-to-day, so something in March might as well have been ten years ago for my team.

COACH DEGGS: One thing about today's day in age in baseball, especially being from Texas, most of our kids, and I think Tim would agree with this, have been through here in the summer circuit or the fall, et cetera. We did play Tim and his guys three times last year. Came up here and played a doubleheader, and they were pretty rude to us. Played a pretty good first game, and then they treated us like a red-headed stepchild in the second game and got after us pretty good.

So our guys understand what it's like playing here and they understand what's at stake and how good these guys are.

Q. Coach Sherman, when you look at the Texas Tech lineup in terms of its batting, what have you told Ron, who I believe is going to start for you tomorrow, what have you told him to kind of look at and be aware of throughout the game?
COACH SHERMAN: It's pretty simple. They're good, and good luck, Ron. I mean, really.

They're a top program year in and year out, and you're not fooling anybody. You know what they're all about in their lineup, up-and-down their lineup. Over .300 hitters and one of the better offensive teams in the country.

Ronnie's going to be Ronnie and what Ronnie does best. It would be different if we played them through conference or you knew more about them up-and-down the eastern seaboard, playing them early in the year or something, but we just don't get out here to this part of the country. Just don't have that chance to match up and see that type of lineup. So I just know they're good, and they've got good players. I expect our kid to rise to the challenge.

I think he's excited about it. What are you fearing? You're fearing just a great opportunity to play against a great college baseball team that has a great name for itself. I don't think he's going to fear that. I think he's going to embrace it, and that's what he's excited about, and we're excited about.

Q. Coach, how have you prepared your team for coming in as the 4 seed playing in the very first game with a hostile crowd, with the home team?
COACH SHERMAN: Yeah, I kind of -- I'm looking forward to it, even as an old dog, as a coach, you know. Look up and see the packed house. I know what that's all about. I'm eager for our kids to have a little bit of that.

Now we're part of the CAA and sometimes we'll have some decent crowd. And we played down at UNC Wilmington that hosted our Colonial Conference Athletic Tournament, and not probably 5,000 or 6,000 or whatever we're going to have tomorrow, but maybe 1500, and they get pretty rowdy. Sometimes you can hear them a lot louder because of not as big a crowd.

I don't know if you ever really prepare anybody for it. You just embrace the situation. You've got to keep the feet on the ground the first couple innings. You've got to survive a little bit the run of the crowd. Their calls of their chants and all the stuff they do on this level. So just to get our kids to be calm in the first couple innings and just play our baseball.

Q. Coach Tadlock, any decision on your starter for tomorrow's game?
COACH TADLOCK: Davis Martin.

Q. Can you talk about the decision going into that?
COACH TADLOCK: Well, Davis has been healthy now for, as you guys know, you local guys know, he's kind of been on the road to recovery. He's been on the mound twice. Was up to, I think, 51 pitches in the game in Oklahoma City. Went down and finished with 15. So he should be good. 85, 90 pitches. He's a competitor. He's been in the moment. He's been our Friday night guy since he's been here. We've got a lot of confidence in him.

At some point he's going to have to pitch in this Regional either way. So we felt like he was the right guy to go on Friday.

Q. Coach Deggs mentioned JJ Matijevic earlier. He did not win Pac-12 Player of the Year this year, but he was first team all Pac-12 along with a bunch of your other players. Were you disappointed that he didn't win and how do you feel about the number of guys that did make First Team All-Conference?
COACH JOHNSON: Well, I have two thoughts on that. Little disappointed for JJ. Those are Player of the Year numbers. If you asked a different question of who do you not want to see coming to the plate, every coach would have probably put his name at the top. With that being said, you're looking at one of the greatest seasons in the history of college baseball with Oregon State.

I think they're 27-3 in our league, I've never heard of anything like that and 49 and 4. So for them to win all the awards is really not all that surprising as far as the number of players on the team.

Proud of those guys. A lot of individual growth. Man chef Vick and all of them were at some point in their career .230 or .240 hitters that are all-American-type players right now. I thought all eight or nine guys, whatever we had were very deserving.

Q. What is the status on Cody Farhat? How did he practice today, and have you heard anything on his status?
COACH TADLOCK: He should be full go tomorrow.

Q. Tanner got some reps at second base. Is that something we could see moving forward? Do you plan on having him out there or is it just an option?
COACH TADLOCK: Well, he's a baseball player. He'll play wherever you stick him. We don't anticipate it happening, but I wouldn't say don't ever say never. He could definitely step in there if we need him to. We're not planning on playing him there. But at the same time, it's good to see him there. We need to stick him in there.

Q. Coach Deggs and Coach Johnson, the others have revealed their starting pitchers for tomorrow. Do you have any announcements to make in that regard?
COACH DEGGS: I haven't decided.

COACH JOHNSON: Yeah, we'll announce our pitcher the day of the game for the entire postseason. If it ends on Saturday or if it ends in three weeks, it will be the day of the game.

COACH DEGGS: I would like to echo what Tim said though. I've been fortunate to be in a lot of these. This job, just showing up in the hotel last night and the job you guys have done, Steve, I don't know everybody's name here, but it is first class, so thank you guys.

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