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June 19, 2017

Pat Casey

Trevor Larnach

KJ Harrison

Bryce Fehmel

Omaha, Nebraska

Oregon State - 13, LSU - 1

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Oregon State.

COACH CASEY: Well, it all started with Bryce, just coming out and being so good. He was, you know, wow, really good. And we knew we were playing a really good club. We probably caught them on a day where they didn't play as well as they normally do. And we played very, very well. I thought the one play that Rutschman made really energized us and kept us going.

We believe in little things that make big things happen. Obviously KJ, the grand slam, was phenomenal. Trev getting us off the dime in the first inning.

So I tried to inspire them before the game and I told them that I was out running and an elderly woman passed me. I said, man, I'm not very good. But I caught her at the end. But these guys, we just talked before the game about this is our time. This is our opportunity. This is what we came here for. Let's not miss that moment. So the guys played great.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for student-athletes only.

Q. Bryce, obviously they have a pretty good offensive club. I mean, you held them to two hits over eight innings, what was your plan of attack against those guys?
BRYCE FEHMEL: I guess just the main thing was keep them off balance as best I could. Mix all three pitches for strikes. And I did that for eight innings to the best of my ability, and it worked out.

Q. Bryce, the time off that you had in May and into the start of June, what did that do for you, your arm, your mentality, your ability to pitch the way you have the last two times out?
BRYCE FEHMEL: The main thing, it helped me get my mind straight and give my arm a break. I have been throwing for two years straight. I didn't come in here as a pitcher only. Just pitching for two years straight took a toll on my arm. Main thing was getting my mind straight and realizing what I had to do.

Q. KJ, can you talk about hitting that grand slam and the biggest stage in college sports and the first one in this ballpark since it opened?
KJ HARRISON: It was amazing. I'm very thankful and blessed to be able to do something like that. And, I mean, that's the kind of stuff you dream of growing up as a little kid, and for it to come true and at such a big stage, it was an amazing feeling.

But the main thing for me is what it did to help the team out and put some more momentum on the board.

And we attribute that to our success as a team this whole season so far. We're out there for one another. We pick each other up, and it's a lot of fun being a part of.

Q. KJ, I think the batter before you drew a 4-pitch walk. Bases were loaded. Were you going out there thinking like to jump on something? And then how big of a difference is an 8-run lead and 4-run lead and how big was that hit?
KJ HARRISON: I think it was really big. Like I was saying before, I think it's kind of a big momentum shifter, especially in that kind of situation.

But I was just looking for a good pitch to hit and put a good swing on it, keep it simple and stay relaxed, and I was able to do so.

Q. Trevor, did you feel like you guys were able to set the tone there in the first? I think the first pitch of the game was that Kwan drag bunt, and you took advantage. Did you feel like that set the tone?
TREVOR LARNACH: Yeah, two guys at the top of the order do a great job of getting on, and mine and KJ's job and everybody else's job to get him in. I was fortunate to get a pitch to do it on and help the team out.

Q. Trevor and KJ, the way that you guys pitch, can you describe what that does for your mentality at the plate and the way that you're able to approach things knowing that your guys out there probably aren't giving up too many runs?
KJ HARRISON: I think it's great. You know, especially to be able to set the tone like that and they've been doing such a great job the whole year.

And like Fehm was saying earlier, he was able to keep him off balance and work down and pitch to contact. And it worked out really well. But, you know, that's what makes a good team a good team. Pitching does their part and offensively we do our part, and it's all through our mentality.

TREVOR LARNACH: I have to say we trust them and they trust us and everybody does their job and we have fun. When we're really rolling, we have games like this, and it's really fun.

Q. This guy had quite a bit of hype. I don't know how much you guys pay attention to that. But 17-game winning streak and 22-game winning streak. How fired up, I guess, were you? Any more than usual, or is it just the same old "one game at a time" thing?
BRYCE FEHMEL: It's just baseball. Maybe on a bigger stage. Once we get between the white lines, it's the game of baseball. And we've been playing since we were young, so it's just the same game.

KJ HARRISON: I think as a team, I think that we all didn't even know that we were on a winning streak. And we just go out there and play every game to our best of our abilities and compete. And we all owe it to the man over here sitting two seats down from me. He instills that in us and he instills confidence within us. And when you compete at a high level, that's what sports is all about. So it's been a lot of fun.

TREVOR LARNACH: I'd say we've got a group of guys that just love to fight for one another and doesn't matter whether we have a win streak or whether we lost or we're focused on the next game and today, yeah, it was a big game and the rest of the games are going to be big, but it doesn't matter, we always try and do what we can and help each other out and come out on top.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach.

Q. This is two 23-game winning streaks. The route here, is this the best you've seen them play to this point or have you seen them play better than tonight?
COACH CASEY: We played pretty good tonight. And it's all -- the situation was big. So it even made it bigger. But they've handled almost everything that we've thrown at them.

And the one thing, they keep saying this, and I know it may sound like it's not true, but we really -- there are times when somebody told me, hey, you broke this record or you did that, and nobody thinks about it.

And I know the record is really good, but that's not how we approach it. And those guys just -- I don't know, there's something about them. So they make you look good when you win games. And they put in a lot of work, and now they're enjoying what they've done.

Q. You guys capitalized on just about every single one of their mistakes this year. What makes them so good at that, at turning the other team's mistakes into (indiscernible)?
COACH CASEY: I think the one thing in baseball, if you're kind of a team that can do more than one thing, then you're hard to defend. And we always talk about the '06 championship team, and I always talk about when people were maybe more offensive on the corner, that we should be able to drag. And when people maybe had a situation where they vacated holes, we should be able to hit and run.

So I just think the versatility we have allows us to take advantage of those things. And obviously base runners create problems, and we have a lot of guys on base tonight. And got some big hits at the right time. But it all comes down to pitching and defense.

You know, that last double play that those guys turned, I mean, that thing there is real. And to be ahead 13-1 and for Cadyn to have that mindset that I'm going just as hard as I would be going right now if it was the first inning or the second, it's pretty good group of guys.

Q. Coach, two weeks in a row now Bryce has, I mean, pitched exceptionally well against really good teams. What have you seen that's different about him now versus the mid point of the season when he came out of the rotation there?
COACH CASEY: Well, you know, your eyes are the gateway to the soul. And so when I looked in Bryce's eyes about a month ago, he was looking like he was doubting himself. And he even talked about "I had to get my mind right." And you just can't do that.

I think the main thing is his stuff is the same but he really believes he can do what he needs to do and he cannot pitch in the middle of the plate. You're talking about a guy, 86, 87, the guy they brought in to relieve was 90 to 95. So he has to throw three pitches for strikes. He has to flip sides of the plate and he has to be able to subtract. He was doubting himself.

So it was a great time for us to shut him down when we did and get him going again. And we had some depth at the time, and that allowed us to do that.

Q. Walker has been really great for them lately the last couple of weeks. For him to have to come out of the game early, you guys kind of wanting to jump on him right away there and kind of get to that bullpen of theirs?
COACH CASEY: I saw him on tape. I don't know how many games I watched him. I turned it off today because my eyes were going blurry. But he's not a guy that will overpower like Lange will. But the change is really good. He can flip sides of the plate.

He's got a little deception. He's got some movement. So, yeah, that was really unfortunate, I think, for them to have their starter go out in that situation. Of course Gilbert's really good.

But when you have to go that long, we just tried to get him in pitch counts because we really weren't doing a lot with him. I think at one point he struck out four hitters out of five or something, and then we were sitting in the dugout and I said: Guys, we've got to make some adjustments, man, you've got to make a box adjustment or -- he's too good to think that you're going to chase and you're going to have to pick a side of the plate and stay with it.

And so we made some adjustments and got him in some pitch counts.

Q. I think Aaron mentioned the way you guys started, drag bunt on the first pitch hit and run on the next pitch and five pitches later you were up 1-0. What was your reaction the way the guys came out and jumped on them the way they did?
COACH CASEY: I think we were visitors, and we just wanted to be aggressive. I just wanted to maybe take the first shot. And Kwan did a great job, made a great bunt. And I thought: What the heck, let's just go again. So we took off. Nick actually got a good pitch to get a hit and run on. Got early on it.

But wanted to be aggressive. I think that takes the edge off a little bit, too. I thought we were a little tight against Fullerton. So I thought if we force them to do something here, takes their mind out of it. And got going, and Trev got the big hit and got us ahead 1-0.

Q. 12 walks tonight. That's a season high. Just is it contagious? Do guys come in with that ability to lay off? What do you think was going on tonight to allow guys to be that patient again?
COACH CASEY: You know, I don't know, just like I said, we were looking for pitches to hit. And they've got some power arms. You're just not going to -- you're not going to bludgeon them, that's for sure. If you can get in pitch counts and see more pitches, probably give you a better opportunity to get a good swing on.

Q. You touched on it earlier, but talking about the way Cadyn is going hard at the end, I mean, everyone was. Madrigal is tagging up in the ninth. What does that say about the team they're doing that stuff so late in a blowout?
COACH CASEY: Like I said, those guys that will tell you all the time that we just play. And I think that when you take out all the distractions -- there's just a lot of things you can get in your mind: Hey, we're ahead 13-1 or it's hot, windy. I tell them all the time -- we went out and practiced at Boys Town, probably not a Division I diamond. This is the greatest field in the world because you're here. You make it. You make it. You create the environment that you want to excel in.

And that's our belief. I mean, we just think that. We're not cocky. We're not -- we're just business, business, business, and then now they get tomorrow and they want to go to the zoo. So, hell, go to the zoo. You know? I mean, you did your job, go to the zoo. We're going to go over to Boys Town and see some kids out there, and then let them have some fun, give them a day off.


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