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June 4, 2017

Jay Johnson

Kyle Lewis

Louis Boyd

Lubbock, Texas

Sam Houston State - 9, Arizona - 3.

JAY JOHNSON: First off, credit to Coach Deggs and Sam Houston State, immense amount of respect for that team and that program. Leaving them in the regional last year, we knew they were going to be something special this year, and they were.

As far as our team, I'm proud of our team. I'm proud of the accomplishments they had this season. You know, 38 wins on the West Coast, I think you can count that on one hand the amount of teams that did that in our part of the country. A lot of it has to do with these two to my right. When you talk about college athletics and college baseball and what you want your people to be, Louis Boyd and Kyle Lewis, and there's a lot of guys on our team that I feel the same way about. But you know, tough one. We'll regroup and get moving towards 2018. But I'm really proud that I had the opportunity to coach these two.

Q. Louis, can you just run your emotions when you're hitting that home run?
LOUIS BOYD: Yeah, probably will go down as the most bittersweet moment of my life. Pretty crazy to do that, but to know that's like the last time I'll be running the bases is -- it's tough. It's tough.

Q. Kyle, how would you describe the run that you guys have had the last two years?
KYLE LEWIS: It's been a pretty special run to sum it all up. A lot of magic has happened with this program, and it's going to continue to happen. The work we put in, we practice every day like it's regional, like it's super. Just that preparation, it just prepares you well for real life. I mean, the last two years our runs to the postseason have been pretty special.

Q. Did you feel like you guys -- for either one of you or both, did you feel like you guys had something going there in the fourth inning when you had the bases loaded and kind of had the unfortunate double play happen?
LOUIS BOYD: Yeah, that definitely could have been a turning point very quickly for us. We kind of feast on things like that. You know, that team might have got a little comfortable there and we loaded the bases with none out and maybe a foot away from making it 9-5 and 9-0 and we're rolling, but they're put in the right spot, so it's just tough.

Q. What made Wesneski so effective today? What was so effective about him?
KYLE LEWIS: Yeah, that's a good pitcher out there. He definitely got ahead on us a little bit and was just able to work efficiently, sped us up at times. But came in with some comfort, and he knew he just had to fill it up, and that's what he did, and he did a good job of that.

Q. What were the thoughts on getting Soroko and Schnabel in at the end of the game to kind of cap off all of you guys' senior year?
KYLE LEWIS: Yeah, those guys have meant a lot to this program the past couple years. Those guys are four-year guys here who have been here a long time, a lot of hours in the weight room, a lot of hours at practice, and for them to come out and just fill it up and do what they do is pretty special to see, and you're always rooting for those guys who have made it through four years. Not a lot of people do that, and it's pretty special.

LOUIS BOYD: Yeah, going off that, Kyle and I are both transfers, so to be at the same school for four years and to be through a lot of lows at the start of their career and then the highs in these past few years is pretty cool. I was happy to see them on the mound at the end of the game.

Q. Jay, the same question I asked those guys: How would you sum up this ride you guys have been on the last two years?
JAY JOHNSON: Pretty special. You know, this is tough here at the end because, I mean, it feels like a car crash almost. I mean, you're going a million miles an hour -- I mean, this morning everybody is waking up, doing what we do to prepare, and then it's over, and that's tough. But you know, you can't focus on the end. We talk a lot about -- in our deal, focusing on not what we're going to accomplish but how we're going to accomplish it. This team, you know, did it the right way. They got off to a great start. We played a great schedule. You know, found a way through some adversity in the middle. But you know, the only team in the Pac-12 to be in the NCAA tournament the last two years. I mean, like I said, 38 wins against the schedule we played is a lot. Back-to-back winning records in the Pac-12 hasn't happened at our University very much in the last 30 years. You know, it's guys like Louis Boyd and Kyle Lewis and J.C. Cloney, and I don't want to leave anybody out. J.J. and Jared, I'm sure those guys will move on. I'm really proud to be their coach. There was no transition here. I mean, these guys dove in, bought in, and have been rewarded with two really good seasons, and I'm very proud to be a part of that.

Q. When you came in, what did you initially think of both Soroko and Schnabel and what their roles would be, and how important was it for you to get them in this last opportunity?
JAY JOHNSON: Well, you know, that deal is tough to manage. I mean, this is an NCAA tournament game, and I really believe in my team, and we've come back a lot. Louis's line drive with the bases loaded, double play, there's nothing Kyle could do to get back to first. That's a big deal, like they said. None of that plays out because it's a 9-5 game with no outs and a man on base and the top of the order coming up. That whole script plays out a lot different. And so we gave it a couple more cracks, and we just couldn't get enough going, and when we did have a good at-bat, it seemed like we hit it hard at somebody.

You know, I felt like these guys invest a lot, and in Luke's case, what I would say about him is there's probably not a better teammate in the world. That's a guy that you're going to look in the locker room and next year know that he's not there because he has a big impact on it as a teammate, and he actually did some nice things for us as a pitcher, and then Austin exemplifies work ethic the way we want it to be. He's one of the best weight room guys, one of the best conditioned guys, and he might have a future after this, and I hope he does. I think he's worth taking a chance on.

Q. You said you knew Sam Houston would be special playing them again this year. Can you point out anything that you think they improved upon this year?
JAY JOHNSON: They all were going to be back. We knew that. I talked to Bryce and Robby, and it's like, those are two of the best players we've seen all year. I don't know what draft status they are, but if I'm a scout, I mean, I'm going to those guys and saying, I want them in my organization. Matt does a terrific job coaching, and so does his coaching staff. We hit the ball -- we hit the ball well for three days, and we hit it at people a lot, and that's a credit to their preparation.

You know, they have a deep pitching staff. They're actually in pretty good shape in my opinion for two game here, and Tech is going to play well to beat them, and I think they're arguably the best team in the country, so it should be good baseball. But major respect for Sam Houston State.

Q. Obviously that line drive double play was the key to the fourth inning. What did you think was the key factor in the second inning where they scored all those runs?
JAY JOHNSON: Yeah, that's a tough one right there. I felt like we had a good pitching plan for how we were going to do today, and knowing we had 18 innings. The key to it was Cody getting off to a good start, and he just didn't. I mean, he strikes out the guy on a nasty curveball, and then it gets by Cesar because it was probably such a nasty pitch, they probably don't score in the first if that doesn't happen. And then there's a lot of things to it. We're first and third in the second in a good spot, and Kyle hits a bullet right at the shortstop for a double play. You know, so momentum is a big deal in games like this. It's a big deal.

And then Cody first and second, no outs, and then he gets two outs and we get the guy to two strikes and we just couldn't finish him off. Eight runs later it's 9-0. Again, the difference between them running away to a victory and a tight game is very small, and he'll get better from that and he'll learn from that and he'll be a big part of our team in 2018.

Q. Louis Boyd's home run and also the sportsmanship that he showed to row has after he stepped on his hand, what do those two things say about him?
JAY JOHNSON: Yeah, we could be here all day with me talking about him. And it doesn't always go like that with player and coach. You know, 35 guys on your team, you love them all, but then there's a couple that rise above everybody else. He's a special dude. I mean, that's one you wish you could coach forever.

Q. The season obviously ended a lot earlier than last season; what are your plans going forward looking ahead to next year's team, where do you want to get better personnel-wise and so forth?
JAY JOHNSON: Yeah, our whole deal is about improvement on a daily basis, and that doesn't stop. It didn't stop a minute after the national championship game last year. And it won't. And this week is an important week for us. I mean, the Major League Baseball draft coming up, recruiting class, and then guys on this team. I mean, I think it's pretty safe to say that J.J. is one of the best hitters in the country and will get drafted in a spot where he should move on. Jared Oliva probably played himself into that, and I'm proud of those guys, and I've mentioned it before. If you look at their trajectory as players year by year, pretty impressive. So those guys will get an opportunity. We'll lose some good seniors. These two guys, J.C. Cloney, really meant a lot to our program. But there's some what I call fringe juniors. I'm very transparent with them. I want them to return. I don't know that -- they're draftable players for sure, but I don't know that they're in the spot where an organization is going to make them a priority the way they'd be a priority at the University of Arizona in 2018.

You know, we need to get lucky with a few of those things. We're going to do what we need to do to put ourselves in the best chance to be successful in 2018. There's some young players on the team that were part-time players that I'm really excited about, and you could actually look out on the diamond and go, might be a little less experienced but more talented in some cases. That's why we coach, and we're recruiting hard, and I'm very excited about the potential that we have at Arizona.

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