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June 19, 2017

Mike Martin

Drew Carlton

Matt Henderson

Drew Mendoza

Omaha, Nebraska

Florida State - 6, Cal State Fullerton - 4

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Florida State. We'll have a statement from Coach Martin and open it up to players.

COACH MARTIN: You all saw the same thing I saw. It was a heck of a ballgame. It was a game in which Drew pitched very well. Kind of lost his breaking ball early, but continued to pitch well because he was hitting with his changeup.

I thought the composure and the tenacity was right there. He showed that he was not intimidated by the surroundings or the excitement. He just went out there and competed.

I think he really enjoyed himself until they left that breaking ball. You've got to tip your hat to them. They kept battling. That's what Cal State Fullerton is all about. They will battle you. And I have to admit it wasn't any shock when we were behind, but we also knew there were nine outs.

I think we were leading off the seventh with Taylor. We certainly felt like we had the right people coming to the plate, and Taylor had a very good at-bat. Dillon had another good at-bat. And you all saw the results.

Q. Matt, you went through a tough time earlier this season with an illness. Talk about being able to recover from that and not just recover but being able to play so well at least throughout the postseason and these first two games here?
MATT HENDERSON: I'm just excited to be here. And throughout the season we've all had our adversities and challenges and we kind of persevered through it, and that's been our mentality. So that's what we're carrying into this tournament.

Q. Drew, that home run there, can you take us through that at-bat? And also just what did it feel like, a freshman to hit a home run in the College World Series?
DREW MENDOZA: Looking at the fastball, threw me a changeup. I knew that wasn't his go-to pitch. He was a fastball/curveball. I was looking for fastball still, just seeing if something would pop. I saw the pop on the curveball, and he left it out just enough. I got just enough of it. Thought I was going to get a double or triple; I was running hard out of the box. I thought he caught it actually. But I was glad I got enough of it, and it was a really good feeling, for sure.

Q. Drew and Matt, given the pace that Cal State Fullerton wants to pitch at, it's a little bit slower, maybe make you guys a little impatient, but you were able to draw eight walks today and seemed like it was a big factor in the game. How were you and the whole team able to be so patient even though they were trying to make you speed up a little bit?
MATT HENDERSON: I think it's been a mentality throughout the year to kind of grind out at-bats and look for one pitch, and if it's not there, leave it alone and go to the next one. We've been able to battle with two strikes throughout the year. So that's not been a problem, and we kind of took that mentality in as well. And so I didn't really feel the timing mechanism that they were trying to do or place upon us, I didn't feel the pressure of that, really.

DREW MENDOZA: You said eight walks, like I don't think anybody on our team sees that as very much. That's like a normal kind of approach for us, just to see a lot of pitches, make the pitcher work, and hopefully get deep in the bullpen, which we were able to do today.

So, yeah, I guess you could say our model worked, and we're going to continue to use that.

Q. Drew, after you guys give up three in the bottom of the sixth, what kind of life does it give the dugout for your lead-off hitter to immediately get on base?
DREW MENDOZA: That's kind of base runners win ballgames. That's always been our model, like with the walking and everything else. Anytime a guy gets on base, the first hitter, we think we'll score a crooked number, not just one. The first hitter sets the tone, and guys getting on base, we were feeling really good about the inning. It gives the guy behind him confidence to pass the bat to the next guy, and we were able to do that and respond with another crooked number.

Q. For the other Drew, coming into the game, what's your mindset going up against that lineup? Obviously a team that had been battling out there all day and continued to battle to the end,
DREW CARLTON: Into the situations like that, you've just got to go in there get outs as quick as you can, get your team back in the dugout as quick as you can. And we have a great lineup, 1 through 9. And knowing them, they're going to do their job and I have to do mine and get outs for us.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. Coach, I asked about seeing things you hadn't seen before. The other night when you saw the guy score from first on the dropped third strike, I don't imagine you've seen too many times that you tie the game and go ahead on back-to-back bases-loaded walks. Talks about that situation in the seventh.
COACH MARTIN: We had some very good at-bats. And Quincy's I thought was really, really outstanding. We've drilled an awful lot on that phase of the game. And you've really got to credit them, too, because it could have been a 5- or 6-run ballgame. They pitched themselves right out of that after that happened. I mean, if I'm not mistaken, we still had the bases loaded and one out, maybe zero outs, and they said hu-huh, that's it, baby. And I think they punched a couple out. Yeah, they did. They punched a couple out to get out of that inning, to keep it close.

And that's a credit to Rick and his staff and an outstanding baseball team from Cal State Fullerton.

Q. Today was the 1,000th College World Series game. You've coached in more than 5 percent of them. A, can you believe that number, and B, does it mean anything to you?
COACH MARTIN: I'm going to try to be funny, but I thought you were going to say do you realize if you lost today you'd be the losingest coach to ever play in this thing. (Laughter).

I didn't realize any of that. Well, maybe I did. Somebody said something about that the other night about this being the 1,000th game. But I didn't know that I had been involved in -- what did you say, how many percent? 5 percent. Well, I'm just proud that we had a ballgame today that you truly enjoyed. That was good stuff.

I mean, I'm sitting over here in the dugout, and I'm not saying everything's calm, there's a lot going on inside this young body. But I'll tell you one thing, it got interesting when they just kept battling and kept scraping, which you knew they were going to do. But we had the guy on the mound that we wanted.

Drew is a great competitor. Many of you do not know, we moved him to the bullpen about two and a half months ago. He was our number one starter. He is really a great teammate. He's a guy that has the same demeanor every single time he goes out there. I had a coach come up to me, when Drew walked one or two in the ninth, and said, Who do you want to get loose? And I said, Nobody. This is his ballgame.

So Drew gives you that comfort. Not saying he's going to go out there every single time and be successful. But I tell you one thing, you know you're going to get a guy that's going to go out there and give you everything he's got and stay in total control of his emotions.

Q. They loaded the bases with -- I think in the second inning, scored the one run on the bunt, where you guys didn't field the bunt. Number one, what happened on that and how impressive was Parrish to get out of that with just one run scoring?
COACH MARTIN: That's a great question. We spent a lot of time yesterday on that situation. And we made a mistake. Plain and simple. We just made a boo-boo. And I thought Parrish, as you alluded to, showed great composure. And, I mean, the guy had a good pitch, roped it to the left. Sacrifice fly. And he kept his rhythm, poise, and got us in the dugout with only one run scoring. That was impressive with that freshman having this opportunity.

Q. Given how the LSU game ended, was there some extra gratification seeing Steven get you guys going with two RBIs early in the game today?
COACH MARTIN: Yes. And I mean this just from the bottom of my heart. That ballgame that we lost, it's in the background. Do I remember it? Yeah. But we can't dwell on it. We had to move.

We're playing a day later, a day and a half. You have to just be able to throw it away and go to the next game, be ready. If we had a little pity party and pointing a couple of fingers, we wouldn't be sitting where we are today.

But we were able to do what we've tried to do all year long. Throw it away, be ready to go the next day.


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