home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


June 10, 2017

Greg Deichmann

Alex Lange

Paul Mainieri

Zach Watson

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

LSU - 4, Mississippi State - 3.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, some opening comments and then questions for the student-athletes and yourself.

COACH MAINIERI: Well, that's a game that we'll never forget in these parts, I can promise you that. I'll be talking about this game ten years from now. The game started off the first inning Alex was having a little bit of trouble with his command there, and unfortunately we hit a batter with the bases loaded. Then you saw the greatness of Alex Lange. You saw him, he's done it so many times.

Strikes out two batters to get out of a jam, keeps us in the game, and then mows them down for six innings. I just love this kid because he's such a great competitor. I told him after the game, I had a dream last night that I was going to take him out after 7 and 2/3 innings so that he could get a huge ovation from the crowd. Only thing is in my dream we were winning the game handily. Unfortunately, I had to take him out when we were losing.

Offensively, it was a little frustrating. I give a lot of credit to Pilkington. He's really tough. He's good, no doubt about it. Couple of times he had some command issues, and we just weren't able to completely take advantage of it. But Josh Smith hit that one ball, I thought we had a three-run homer, he hit it to the base of the wall there. And we had three innings over the course of four innings where we had a runner at third in less than two outs, and usually with our team that's an automatic run, but we couldn't get the run in. We hit in a couple of double-plays another inning.

So it was frustrating because I knew we were facing a tough pitcher, and we weren't going to have a lot of opportunities, and we kind of let some of those opportunities go by. But of course the story of the game is our rally there in the bottom of the 8th inning. I was so happy for all the guys that played a part in it. First Cramer getting on, and Cole hit that ball on the nose to right-center field. Then Duplantis comes through with the big hit, and Greg Deichmann, the guy that stirs the drink for us, and he comes through when we needed it the most. He gets a two-run double there.

Then, I tell you this skid Zach Watson, I'm telling you, he's special. He's going to do a lot of great things for our program. I'm so happy to see him in there and doing the things that he's doing.

Then, of course, Pap coming through with the big sacrifice fly there, and then Zach Hess was like a bull out there, wasn't he? Wasn't that something? He had us all fired up. I think I saw him hit 97 on the gun. Didn't know he could throw the ball that hard. But I couldn't take the ball away from him there, even though we had Hunter ready. Fortunately, he got the last out and a great victory.

Q. Greg, it looked like Plumlee tried to go outside on you. Maybe if you were younger, would you have tried to hit that pitch out of the yard? Did it require a mature approach to do what he did with it?
GREG DEICHMANN: Going into that at-bat, I talked to Micah, and we had a scouting report right on him. He's going to try to sink it away and try to back up that curveball right there on the corner. He tried to back door that curveball. Missed for a ball, came in, fouled it off, and threw the pitch that I was sitting on, fastball just ran away, and I was able to hit it for a couple. Like I said the scouting report was dead on for him.

Q. Greg and Zach, how frustrating was it just early in the game? It seems like you all had opportunities and just couldn't cash in. Then to finally get that big rally in the 8th, was it relief? I mean, what was the feeling like when you were finally able to cash in in the 8th inning?
GREG DEICHMANN: Anytime, like you said, you can cash in those runs, it's a great feeling. Especially late in the ballgame when you have a tough time getting anything going. But you have to hand it to Pilkington. He threw his butt off tonight. He was locating his pitches well, keeping us off balance. We did hit a few balls hard right at people.

But like Coach said, we had some opportunities with guys on third with less than two outs and we didn't take advantage of it. It came right down to the wire. We were fortunately able to get some good clutch hits and a good rally at the end.

ZACH WATSON: At the beginning of the game, our hitting didn't go our way. That's baseball. It doesn't always go your way. It goes the other way sometimes. At the end of the game, it went our way, we scored runs and came through with some clutch hits.

Q. Obviously, you weren't very happy with Pat at the fifth inning, and the run, he got caught. But what did you tell him before his last at-bat? Because I saw you talked to him before he went up to the plate?
COACH MAINIERI: First of all, in that play at third, it was a very awkward play. Normally we go on contact with one out, and I gave Nolan the signal to treat it like there was nobody out. Pat's not a fleet-afoot runner. When the ball's hit right at you like that, I think he just kind of froze and got himself too far off the base to be able to return. Pat very rarely bakes a base running mistake. But I could see why it happened. It was a very awkward looking play.

But when I talked to him there before he went up, well, I probably ought to leave that between he and I. But I can't tell you how happy I am for Pat to come through with that big swing. He struggled early in the year offensively, and he never gave up. He keeps working hard. Nobody works harder than him. But part of what I told him, I can tell you this, I told him this was his moment. Nobody was going to take this moment away from him. It was his turn, and he was going to drive in the winning run, and he did do that.

Q. How crucial was it to get out of that first inning and only give up the one run, even though you're battling some command issues, it seems like?
ALEX LANGE: It's what it's all about. It's limiting the damage. You give up one, you don't give up two. It's been our philosophy since I've been on campus. So, obviously, I was trying to go into Mangum, and I cut it a little bit, and got away from me and got him in the knee. But after you give up the one, you can't cash it in. I hit there, we're down 3-0, first and third, second and third, something like that, and the wheels start spinning.

These guys are trying to come back from all game instead of just down one where they can just kind of get in their groove.

Q. Alex, can you start about your last game here as a starting pitcher for LSU, potentially. And one last message you have for the fans?
ALEX LANGE: It was a pretty emotional day today, to be honest with you. A lot of thinking, just reminiscing on how awesome this university is, and how much these fans and this team means to me. It was pretty cool coming off there, obviously you don't want to be down, but that's something I'll remember forever. It was a pretty emotional moment. But this has been the greatest three years of my life. This has been the greatest experience with these guys, Coach Mainieri, Coach Dunn playing here, and just wearing the Tigers uniform is pretty special.

Q. Zach, that was your first experience of this atmosphere when it really gets going like it did there in the 8th. What was that like for you?
ZACH WATSON: Well, I mean, I went up to the plate and all the fans were still hollering. It was an amazing experience. It's something that you only dream of doing. To being a part of this team, it's amazing. I mean, just every player on this team is awesome. They give you courage, and you want to help them win the game.

Q. Paul, the confidence to stick with Hess there in the ninth when Newman was warming up. Just the development you've seen out of him since he moved to the bullpen, and how huge that inning was?
COACH MAINIERI: I was a little bit afraid of him, to be honest with you. If I had tried to take him out of the game I'm not sure I'd still be here to talk to you at the press conference. He was a man possessed, wasn't he? He was high-fiving everybody when the runs were coming in. I went over to him and asked him if he wanted to stay in, and he about chewed my head off when I asked him.

Listen, it was not a sleight on Hunter Newman, I have all the confidence in the world in him. But Hess had only faced one batter in the eighth inning, and I just felt like he was in the flow of the game and he wanted it bad. He's a competitor to the nth degree. And I knew he could do the job. I knew Hunter could do the job as well, but it was good we didn't have to use Hunter. Now he'll be fully available for tomorrow.

Q. Greg and Zach, obviously y'all didn't have as much success with Pilkington on the mound. But it did seem like you had long at-bats. Just to get him out of the game when you didn't get to the bullpen, was that a big part of y'all being able to rally?
ZACH WATSON: I mean, he had one of his best games that we've seen. I mean, (Indiscernible) as soon as he came out, we knew we had a chance to come back and win it.

GREG DEICHMANN: Like he said, the long at-bats, he fills up his own. He was working both sides of the plate tonight. He had his breaking ball working, so we were probably missing some pitches that we probably could have hit. But that's kind of what led to the long at-bats.

But it just shows our approach. You get down two strikes, you don't give up, you don't cash in. Every pitch he threw us after that, and we tried to extend at-bats and run that pitch count up so we can get him out in a timely fashion to get to their bullpen.

Q. Zach, what was coach telling you bottom of the 8th, down 3-0, trying to get something going?
ZACH WATSON: He was telling us not to suppress. Once you start pressing, you don't do good things. He said base hit it's, base hits win the game. You have to come in clutch, and that's what we did to win the ballgame.

Q. What was it like in the dugout as the game progressed? Did it feel a little tense? Cramer said that he felt like he needed to get you all a little fired up when he walked there in the eighth, like you all needed a pick me up.
ZACH WATSON: I mean, yeah, it was dead. We weren't getting hits that we needed, but our pitching and defense was there. We held them as long as we could. Then once we started getting going, and everybody started getting up and everybody started coming in clutch, it took the whole team. Not just one player.

GREG DEICHMANN: Cramer and I kind of walked up to each other right there in the eighth yipping and said everybody needs to breathe. We need to take a step back and relax. There is no need to press. We've been in these situations, and we've been in worst situations, and we've pulled through.

That was the biggest thing is just trying to get everybody to take a step back, myself included, knowing that I was going to come up in a big spot. Like I said, I was fortunate enough to get it done. But it all comes from everybody relaxing, knowing that we've been in this situation before and we're going to pull through.

ALEX LANGE: As soon as Cramer walked, it was kind of the gates of hell were unleashed, I guess. The offense clicked and they were ready to go. They've been batting tough ABs all night. They hit some balls hard. It was just time something started to fall. Once you get a couple guys going and this offense gets confidence, it's over. This offense is too good to be contained for nine innings and not score. We knew we were going to have a chance to win the ballgame there.

Q. Paul, do you think it's kind of the veterans that take this cue from that this team doesn't really panic when things go wrong? Any of those mistakes could have know balled on you?
COACH MAINIERI: It's pretty cool customers that are freshmen as well. Watson got that big hit right there. Josh Smith had a good night. Obviously, Andy showed a lot of respect to him to walk him with runners on first and third. Hess came in and did a remarkable job.

I thought Slaughter had good at-bats, I thought he got us a two-run single there at end. Gridley was playing in the hole and able to Rob him. But the veterans were the ones that lead the way. Cramer got the walk. Hit the ball on the nose. Duplantis got a big hit, and Greg hits the big double to get us to within one.

This is the way teams are made up. If you want to have a championship club, you have to have leadership among the ranks, and we've got it to the nth degree. But you have to have some young players that bring that youthful enthusiasm and believe they can do anything as well.

Q. Paul, you're in the driver's seat right now. What have you learned from past experiences, both positive and negative as you push forward?
COACH MAINIERI: What exactly is the driver's seat? We don't think that way. All we think is there is another game tomorrow, and we're going to play tomorrow and we're going to do our best to win that ballgame tomorrow and hopefully we'll be successful.

The guys know they're going to bed tonight and waking up tomorrow with a chance to play for a championship. But it's just a baseball game. We're going to play nine tomorrow. We'll be the visiting team, and we're going to send Jared Poche' out there. We're going to show up and play as hard as we can for nine innings, or more if necessary, and hopefully by the end of the day we're going to have won the game and make our reservations.

Q. Noticed the shift you used on Brooker. I think it was in the fifth or sixth. Was that based off a spray chart?
COACH MAINIERI: Yeah, I tell you, he's so good. I was hoping to encourage him to try to hit a single to the opposite field instead of going for a home run. Sometimes they'll do that. Set those guys on one side of the field hoping that they'll just take what we give them, maybe even bunt sometimes with left-handed hitters. I figure that's better than a guy hitting the ball out of the park.

But, yeah, we have spray charts. We study film and make our own spray charts, and he clearly hits a lot of balls on the ground to the left field side, third base side.

Q. With as close as this was tonight and as much tension as there was, what do you tell your team going into tomorrow about, yeah, take a breath. You've won this tonight without taking your foot off the gas?
COACH MAINIERI: Yeah, they usually get to enjoy a victory until midnight. But since it's so late, I told them can he could enjoy it until they went to sleep. But when they wake up tomorrow, there is no talking about this game tonight. All the focus is on tomorrow night's game. The score starts 0-0 going. We've got Poche' going, I'm not sure they've announced their starting pitcher yet.

We'll figure out who they're planning on pitching, and we'll get after it again tomorrow night. This is how baseball is. The games come one after another. If you don't take that attitude and you live in the past, you'll never be able to succeed in this sport.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297