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June 22, 2017

Jim Schlossnagle

Connor Wanhanen

Sean Wymer

Austen Wade

Omaha, Nebraska

TCU - 4, Louisville - 3

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. Give us an overview, please.

COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: I felt like it was a classic ballgame from beginning to end. Obviously the story tonight was -- is Sean and how well he pitched out of the bullpen for us. I was trying to hold off on putting him in there as long as possible but felt like in the -- it was the fifth inning there with McKay coming to the plate, that could be the game with how good their bullpen is.

So proud of our team. I want to congratulate Louisville on an awesome season. I have a lot of respect for Coach McDonnell and their program, their staff.

And just a treat to watch Brendan McKay play. And they have great other great players, too, but certainly we'll look up in a couple of years or in 20 years and probably say it was awesome to be on the same field with one of the premier players ever to play college baseball. Excited for our team, and looking forward to tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Sean, after coming in a couple of games ago for Brian Howard and you pitched very well then came in tonight, pitched well again, what's it about your last two games to keep your team on top?
SEAN WYMER: I've been able to control all three pitches -- fastball, curveball, changeup. Throwing for strikes when I want to them, and throwing down when I want an out pitch. Keeping the game simple and making good pitches.

Q. Sean, obviously fifth inning there's still a lot of game to be played, but that strikeout you got of McKay, where did that compare with some of the biggest outs you've had in your life, and what was that like from the mound?
SEAN WYMER: I treat it all the same. Throwing quality strikes, try to get the strikeout in that moment. But I treat it the same as any other batter, throw quality strikes.

Q. Sean, I was going to ask you about the same at-bat, you come in to face McKay with two runners on, and it's a close game. What were you thinking coming into the game at that point? It's pretty early for you.
SEAN WYMER: I knew what my job was when I came in, is I had to get that out, because you wanted to keep the game obviously in our favor. So that's really it.

Q. Austen and Connor, facing a pretty good lefty there with a good breaking ball. You guys both were able to get big hits there, knock him out of the game in that big inning. What was your approach against him?
AUSTEN WADE: Obviously my first at-bat in the first inning, I mean, the last three or four weeks may have been a struggle, pressing a little bit at the plate. And today, honestly, had one of my better repeats going in the last month and a half. Going into that game I felt like I was in a groove, felt like I had confidence and I guess a better demeanor at the plate.

And then to go down looking in the first inning is basically -- I felt like I kind of wasted the at-bat and wasted momentum going into the home half for us.

The next at-bat basically faced another lefty, I said I got an opportunity to jump on a fastball, and hopefully put a good swing on it and stay behind it, and that's what I tried to do all day, stay behind the baseball (indiscernible) on the left side. So basically it went the fastball way and was able to stay on it and put together a good swing.

CONNOR WANHANEN: I was going to say something similar. We've been talking the last couple of days about getting a lefty, and big thing for us is going to be staying on baseballs, because when we get away from that, that's when we get in trouble. I know for Austen and I especially, we're at our best when we're staying on baseballs, driving them to left center. And we both were able to put some good swings on balls tonight. And Elliott had the same thing going the other way, and we talk about all the time some of our best strings offensively is when we're hitting the ball the other way, staying on balls and letting it get deep and really getting our pitch and trusting the plan we have out there.

Q. Austen, Connor can I get your impressions of Sean's performance tonight.
AUSTEN WADE: His poise this season is like no other. He's at his best all the time. I can't remember a time when Sean felt flustered on the mound. He's one sided in emotion. He's always intense. He was stellar tonight. Stellar basically all season for us. He was dominant tonight, and it was fun playing behind him.

CONNOR WANHANEN: I've been very fortunate to have the opportunity to see Sean pitch for the last eight years now, being high school teammates, but I was just talking to our high school coach out there. I said he looks like a completely different guy.

And that's so true, just watching him out there, it's like, honestly, just a machine at work. And it's been awesome to see him grow up. We're roommates on road trips so we get to spend a lot of time together, and it's been a really awesome experience I think for the both of us to go through our time at Flower Mound and then to come here on the biggest stage in Division I baseball, just to see him do his thing, it's been awesome. That's what he's been doing all year and going to continue to do through his career.

Q. Your opinion of how the Josh Watson score at the home plate changed the game in your favor?
AUSTEN WADE: Basically Connor was -- he was in a view first, I was coming from the on-deck circle after Ryan put the ball in play. Basically what we're taught to do, once he scored and basically on deck, I'm trying to get behind the plate as fast as I can, judge how well the ball is thrown from the outfield.

And obviously we've had multiple plays this year where tags have been really close, but we -- we're trying our best to slide hard or get around to the backside. And I think both Connor and I saw the throw short to the catcher, and he reached out from the bag. We're telling Josh to get to the back of home plate.

And it was bang-bang. And Josh's hand, from my perspective, I mean, I thought he snuck in there. It was very close. But from the naked eye it was a tough call. And honestly I never saw the replay on television in the dugout, but it was very close.

CONNOR WANHANEN: We talk all the time about, you never know which run is going to win or lose a ballgame. And that ended up being obviously a huge run for us. And it allowed Austen to get up there and put the great swing on it that he did.

But anytime you can get multiple runs on one swing of the bat, I think that's a huge momentum swing for any team. And that play especially might have taken some wind out of their sails and really got our momentum going. So it was obviously a huge play in the game for us.

SEAN WYMER: Like he said, in the bullpen we love getting insurance runs. We didn't really have a clear view from how far we were out. We saw the replay on the TV, but we thought Josh snuck his hand there, and we were obviously ecstatic when they called him safe.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach.

Q. In back-to-back elimination games you guys have been able to stay on top and pull it out. How much confidence is in this team leading on to tomorrow going against Florida?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: I think the same amount of confidence coming into today. We feel good about our starting pitching, Traver has been throwing really well. And Nick, even though he hadn't pitched in a while, they both threw really well, about a 70-pitch simulated game last week.

And again, as I said the first day here, the best quality that our team has is just their presence, their experience, their poise under pressure. And so we know we're going to face a great team that's not only talented but they're hot. And they're playing with a lot of confidence. And they're absolutely loaded on the mound.

But you've got to play the games. And it's never about the best team. It's only about the team that plays the best. And I think the Major League draft will show that Louisville has a much more physically skilled team than our team. And that's not a slap to our guys. It's just a fact.

But we happen to play just a tick better and had some things go our way for sure. So that's why this game is awesome and that's why it's miserable at the same time.

Q. You've seen some great relief performances in your time at TCU. Where does Sean Wymer's rank?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: Certainly I have to think about a better one. I'm sure there's been some out there. But he's been so consistent.

He's a guy that can pitch in any role. We plan on him being the starting pitcher for us next year. And to be able to throw three pitches for strikes, that's what a good starter looks like.

I felt good about bringing him in and having him throw extended innings. I didn't want it to be in the fifth. That's why I brought Cal in. When I brought Cal in, I said I just need you to get these outs. That's all I need you to do is get these outs in the fifth inning and let Sean take it from there, hopefully we can score a little bit.

So we have full confidence in him. But obviously he's not going to be out there for a couple of days now. It's going to take some other people to help along the line.

Q. Talk a little bit more about Sean, the jump that he's made from last year to this year. Did you see this coming? This kind of dominant reliever that he's been and what has been the key to him making that jump.
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: I think a lot of credit goes to Kirk Saarloos. He's always had a good arm. He's always been able to spin the ball. But in the fall, Kirk dropped his arm angle just a little bit. And that's allowed him to command his fastball more. He had actually a different breaking ball, it's a curveball, shorter, tighter than the true overhand breaking ball that he used to throw. And his changeup has really come on in just the last three weeks.

He used to kind of tip that pitch and slow his arm down a bit. But the more he's gotten to pitch and use that pitch, it's gotten better.

So obviously the majority of the credit goes to Sean. But Kirk's done an awesome job with him. And he's a weapon down there. He can pitch in any role. And hopefully we can hang around long enough to where we get to use him again.

Q. What did you think of Lodolo and the way he was able to start the game for you?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: I thought he was okay. He hadn't pitched in a couple of weeks. I thought he handled the situation well. I thought he handled the quality of our opponent really well.

We were just trying to get ahead of McKay with a fastball. You never know what to do with him. You don't want to throw him a ton of breaking balls, try and maybe steal a strike, and obviously he put an awesome swing on it. And the other home run before I took him out was the changeup that cut a little bit.

He kept us in the ballgame. And my thing with a starting pitcher is, whenever I take you out, just make sure we're still winning the ballgame somehow. Obviously we like for it to be a little cleaner, but that's a good experience for Nick.

And hopefully we can again hang around long enough to where he gets to pitch again. But I can tell you this, I don't know if they talked about it on the air, but two years ago I went to watch Nick Bennett pitch in the Mickey Mantle World Series in McKinney, Texas.

And Coach Saarloos sent me up there to watch Nick pitch for the Midland team, and I was completely there to see Nick Bennett pitch.

They happened to be playing a team from Southern California. That's the first time we ever saw Lodolo pitch. And it was cool, we saw those kids pitch two years ago in McKinney, and now they faced each other in the College World Series. So pretty sweet. And I thought Bennett was good. And Nick did fine, too.

Q. With the way Wymer was going, was that ninth inning his no matter how it went, even though you had Feltman out there?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: It felt like there was a time -- when I brought him in in the fifth inning, I thought all right, if he can get us through the eighth, Feltman is going to have to go. But he was so efficient with his pitches. And then he still felt great. I thought his stuff was still crisp enough. And I had burned him.

So I might as well, if I'm going to go down, let's at least start the inning with Sean. If he can finish it, great. Because he's not going to be able to pitch the next day or two anyway.

So Feltman still have awesome confidence in him. He's definitely going to have to pitch, and he may have to pitch more than just one inning.

Q. You mentioned Traver. I assume he's your guy tomorrow night?

Q. Where would you stand with Jared; is it just wait until Saturday?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: No, Janczak won't pitch before Saturday, no chance. We'll keep him on normal rest. He already had a little bit of an issue earlier this year. So we had other guys down there that have to pitch, and they know if we're going to come out of this thing, some of those guys that haven't been pitching will have to pitch.

Q. You stole four bases in the second inning. What effect did that have on Nick Bennett and your own offense?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: It was huge. I mean, if we don't steal those bases, then Merrill's hit only scores one run instead of two.

And Merrill also did a great job on the play that everybody's talking about, of just running on through second base and trying to get the guy to cut the ball to allow that run to score.

And that allowed Wade to drive in a run. So base running for us is a huge part of our offense. You see our batting averages, when you see us play every day. When you make it out on the bases, everybody gets upset. I bite my own lips, too, but that's part of who we are because we're not hitting .300 as a club.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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