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June 20, 2017

Dan McDonnell

Kade McClure

Brendan McKay

Omaha, Nebraska

Florida - 5, Louisville - 1

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Louisville.

COACH MCDONNELL: Well, I think you've got to tip your hat to Brady Singer. He was obviously really good tonight. And couldn't put him in the stretch, we couldn't put him in many jams. I think we got that one situation in the seventh and we had some really good at-bats and Logan Taylor had a really good at-bat but hit it right to the shortstop. That was our chance.

Obviously Kade is here, threw well. I thought the stuff was electric. Really good. He just had that one hiccup in the fourth. I know that's going to eat him up, just the 4-pitch two-out walk and bloop over Brendan's head and before you know it you've got a rally.

So that's baseball. That's part of it. I thought our guys competed. I thought we had really good at-bats. Towards the end we made them work towards the last three innings or at least two of the last three innings. So I was proud of our guys that we fought hard.

But this is baseball. And sometimes you just gotta tip your hat and give credit to the other team. I think they scored five runs on, what, three extra base hits. So it wasn't like we gave up a lot of hits. We didn't make errors. We didn't walk a ton of guys.

They hit a solo home run, three-run homer and a double to score their runs. But they're a good team, and that's expected. So we're looking forward to coming out Thursday night.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the players.

Q. Brendan, you had a hit and a strikeout against Singer. What did you kind of see from him that made him so effective?
BRENDAN MCKAY: Really, he's got a tough angle, and combined with the early shadows we had, you know, what I saw in the second inning was right when he released the ball that's when the ball disappeared. When you don't have much to go off of, I mean, it's tough no matter what, but he's got a little funky angle to him. He can spot up -- obviously when you combine that with velocity and good offspeed pitches, as you see in any level, it's tough to hit.

Q. Kade, this is obviously your first College World Series start and maybe not how you wanted it to go. Do you think it was nerves that didn't let you settle in, or what were you seeing out there?
KADE MCCLURE: No, I mean, I think I settled in all right. A 4-pitch walk is on me, and then jam shot and I golfed the ball over the fence. That's what happens. Like Coach said, it's baseball. Not too worried about it.

Q. Kade, as you're watching Singer work, what's your impression of how he's working? And when you guys kind of get into that pitcher's type of duel, what's the mental state when you're sitting over on the bench watching him?
KADE MCCLURE: Obviously he threw very well for them. You don't want to try to match what the other dude is doing. You want to stay on your own pace and do what you do.

But it's fun to compete like that when you're going back and forth for sure.

Q. Brendan, you guys now move into the elimination game for TCU. What's the mindset? Obviously you guys were in the 1-0 field feeling pretty good. Coach said don't get too high, too low as you prepare for an elimination game?
BRENDAN MCKAY: I'd say, as a team, take positive and whatever negatives that were from this game and do your best to take the negatives and turn them into positives and then take those negatives and just wash them away out of your mind and then come out tomorrow.

But we're going to practice and just have a good practice, clear your mind and do whatever you need to do to be in that mental state to when you wake up that next morning, you're ready to go.

Q. Brendan, what was the mood like in the seventh when you guys did get that chance and load the bases, what were you guys thinking in the dugout? Did you feel like you were actually going to have a chance to get some back there?
BRENDAN MCKAY: Yeah, absolutely. Through the whole game we had guys making good swings and making hard contact. The balls just weren't going our way.

And finding holes, and when you have that bases loaded and you're starting to get into the heart of your lineup, you know, you could be one pitch away from bringing it to a two-run or even a closer game at that point.

But obviously Brady made pitches when he needed to. And that's how pitchers work; they make pitches when they need to. And hitters try to do their best to fight them off or work to get a hit. But he made a lot of quality pitches.

Q. Brendan, in that seventh inning, when Louisville is trying to rally and Florida has got a reliever warming up, in the dugout are you hoping that they're going to take Singer out, or do you hope they're going to keep him in because he seems to be struggling, or what's kind of the mindset in the dugout?
BRENDAN MCKAY: In my mind I'm saying we've seen this guy a lot. If they were to keep him in, you've got two, three at-bats under your belt against him, you know what his pitches look like and everything. But on the other side, getting a new guy in, it's his first time pitching in Omaha, you could have the jitters and everything that accompany with it and he could be a little wild.

But you roll with what's thrown at you and you take it as it is.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. Dan, in that fourth inning, Kade got off to a good start got the first two outs and got in a little bit of a situation there and had a walk, and obviously the home run. What did you kind of see the first three innings and what did you see differently after those first two outs in the fourth, anything different at all?
COACH MCDONNELL: You look at the box score, too, one walk and nine strikeouts. He threw very well.

The first inning was lights out. Even when he gave up the solo home run in the third, it was kid put a good swing on a fastball up and away, and it just hit the foul pole. But you just felt like, man, he's locked in, he looks good.

I know Coach Williams. He does such a good job with these pitchers, and I know how frustrated he gets, that two-out walk. It's a 4-pitch walk and you lose your edge. And we talk about playing with edge a lot. We talk about this time of the year playing every pitch, every out, every inning.

And so I know Kade's disappointed, because he can't get that one back. And he threw a good pitch to India. We jammed it over the first baseman's head and he threw a fastball down, left-handed hitters they just kind of drop the barrel on that fastball down and in. Kind of an unfortunate spot there. I'm sure if he could do it over again he'd rather throw it in a different spot, but that shows you how quick it could turn on you.

And so hopefully we learn from it. And this time of the year you can't overemphasize anything really too much. I mean, they've played a lot of games. They understand what it takes to win. But you fall behind a really good pitcher like that. Let's give Florida a lot of credit. Did they give up one run or zero runs in the first game? I think they got two games under their belt giving up a run or two against, you know, TCU and Louisville.

So they've got great pitchers and they executed. They really made pitches.

Q. Obviously you've been really complimentary of Singer. It's rare for you guys to outhit an opponent and still lose a game. Was there something else going on besides Singer you think that led to that?
COACH MCDONNELL: No, just falling behind against a really good pitcher. That was, I thought -- and I'll let Sully answer the question -- I definitely thought his last batter was Taylor. They had Horvath in the bullpen and we had Fitch coming up. We're one hit away from making that score 5-3 and now they're going to the bullpen with runners on base and a quality hitter like Fitch.

We got to them, we just didn't get to them enough. And it is what it is. It's just two good pitchers. I thought it was a really good pitchers' duel and, as I said in the opening statement, three extra base hits were huge because those three extra base hits were RBIs.

Q. The play where the game was held up for the kid who got shaken up diving back into third. It was a long delay. And right after that he gave up the home run. He was ahead in the count. Do you think it took him out of his rhythm? Do you think it affected him at all?
COACH MCDONNELL: I mean, I hope not. Kade is -- we always say you've got to be professional, and he's a great pitcher. And that's just unfortunate. That's going to happen. We don't think Florida did anything intentional or -- just looking back, I forgot about that, honestly, that there was a delay there.

And we say it a lot: No judgment. Play the ball where the monkey drops it and there's nothing you can do about it. If there's a delay, there's a delay. If you can't win when there's a delay, then we're not going to win a national championship. That's about what it comes down to.

Q. Thursday will be the first time that you guys are in an elimination game this postseason. How do you think your team's going to respond to that?
COACH MCDONNELL: Well, I think we're, what, one of six teams left in Omaha. So I think they've got to be excited. I know I'm excited. I've got a lot of respect for TCU.

I'm assuming we're facing the highest draft pick that went to college last year, and, you know, I mean, it's a great opportunity. You know, it's Louisville/TCU on a Thursday night. I know I'm excited about it.

So, you know, we've just gotta take advantage of the opportunity we have and go out there and compete against a really good team.

Q. Does having the off days between games affect your flexibility with the bullpen versus having to play back-to-back games on days?
COACH MCDONNELL: It gives everybody more rest, and so we obviously have a full bullpen ready to go Thursday night. But TCU is going to have a great bullpen as well. So I don't see really any advantage there.

Where the pitching interest will come is whoever wins Thursday night, where Florida has the one less game, and then if you can win Friday, you know, you're always a little bit behind in pitching at this point. TCU and Louisville now have to fight through the loser's bracket. But it is what it is. Last year both teams that played for a national championship came out of the loser's bracket that and I'll be telling my kids that and I'm sure slosh will be telling his kids that.


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