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June 24, 2017

Pat Casey

Michael Gretler

KJ Harrison

Omaha, Nebraska

LSU - 6, Oregon State - 1

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Oregon State.

COACH CASEY: Well, like I told the guys, it's a tough day when you've had such a great year. And now is not the time to really think about that or talk about it, but I know there will be a time when they get to sit back and reflect and realize what they accomplished.

And I know they're not satisfied. But they'll feel better about it in a few days, I can tell you that.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. KJ, you guys hit them so well in the first game on Monday. Only five hits the last two days. Do you feel like it was more you guys just not having good days, or what were they doing pitching-wise?
KJ HARRISON: LSU is a great team. That's why they're still playing today. They've got great pitchers. They're a great ballclub. If you come off flat and don't come out playing well, then it's tough to win.

MICHAEL GRETLER: Like KJ said, LSU, they have some good arms, but I think we didn't put any pressure on them like we did that first game, and that was the difference.

Q. What did you notice about the way LSU was pitching, these last two days, maybe their game plan of how to attack you?
MICHAEL GRETLER: You know, they were coming right after us. Like I said, I think a lot of the game we were in defensive -- taking a lot of defensive swings. We didn't put any pressure on them, like I said. Just accumulation of that stuff.

KJ HARRISON: Yeah, I mean, just to go along with that, just a lot of fastballs, and I think offensively we missed a lot of pitches and a couple of balls didn't fall our way here and there.

Q. I know your coach just said it's probably going to take a couple of days to process this, but when you think back to this season and what you guys accomplished and bouncing back from last year and being in discussion for one of the best teams ever, how are you going to remember this season and what you guys did?
MICHAEL GRETLER: I mean, I love all these guys so much. It's been an unbelievable season. And I think that's just a testament to how much we love each other. We're truly brothers. I mean, I look forward to every 6 a.m. weight room, every practice, every game. Every moment I get to spend with these guys is very special. And that's what I'm going to remember the most, is the relationships.

KJ HARRISON: Same. This is a great team. And for us to end up the way we were, obviously it's not the best. Obviously we wanted to win it all, you know, but as everyone was saying, as the days go on, you know, it's definitely a season to remember.

Q. Guys, obviously it was a wide strike zone today. Did you feel like you were unable to adjust to that, or was it just too difficult to adjust to it?
MICHAEL GRETLER: Yeah, I mean, we didn't adjust. I think it's as simple as that. Both teams have to deal with the same umpire. And we didn't make any big adjustments.

KJ HARRISON: I think the same thing. You know, it is what it is. And you can't let the umpire dictate a game and you can't say it was the umpire's fault in any way. You've got to adjust and do with what you've got.

Q. KJ, you said the team just came out a little flat today. Why do you think that was?
KJ HARRISON: I do not know. You know, we've been playing well all season. And I felt like just after a couple of innings it tightened up a little bit, and it felt that way the whole game. I think we didn't stay aggressive like we normally are, and it's just how it was.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. Pat, what did you kind of see from your vantage point that Gilbert was able to do to keep you guys from ever getting into any sort of groove?
COACH CASEY: Well, he got ahead of hitters. He had to throw 90 percent fastballs.

We just -- I think our guys got a little frustrated early and weren't able to get good swings off. We couldn't get the lead-off man on. Without getting the lead-off man, it's hard to do a lot.

We never could get multiple runners. We just really never got anything going. I think the momentum early went their way, and we didn't recover from that.

Q. Did you plan this with Rasmussen and change your mind to go with Bryce?
COACH CASEY: Did I change my mind? We had thought about it yesterday after the game, and we thought we'd go with Ras. And then we said let's sleep on that and visit it in the morning. And we changed. We just felt it was in our best interests to make sure we had Ras at the end of the game, and Fehms was so good against them early, it was something we decided to do this morning visiting with those two guys and Coach Yeskie.

Q. How did you sense your guys' level of frustration with the strike zone tonight, and did they ever let that get to them as the game wore on?
COACH CASEY: Well, it appeared that they did. I can't really speak for them, but by their at-bats, I think they were in the hole a little bit. And felt like there was some situations where they got -- they could have got in some better counts to hit, and they weren't able to get in those counts.

Q. Historic season in terms of the wins you guys put together and the winning streak, and how do you put that in context and how are you going to remember this group?
COACH CASEY: Well, obviously I think this is the first time in 70 games or something we've lost two games in a row. That's hard to do. Those guys have really played their tail off.

And I think to a man they'd tell you that we've played better baseball, that's for sure. But I told them that there will be a time come here rather shortly that you'll realize what you did and how amazing of a season you had and how you guys fought through so many things. And you're playing in the College World Series and playing a really, really good team.

And we couldn't get that thing turned around, the momentum. And we were down a little bit there with a couple bullets. And we just never could get anything going.

But I do think they'll reflect on this in a short period of time, and it will be something that they'll be very proud of.

Q. In looking at the freshmen and sophomores who contributed this year, obviously they're coming back next year, what's kind of the outlook for next year, the players that you're bringing back?
COACH CASEY: Well, like you said, almost everybody on the field, other than KJ, is a returner. And so that's a pretty good piece of the puzzle. But there's always things you think you could do better. We felt that obviously we had things lined up pretty good and our bullpen was really, really good all year long, and they were young guys, they'll be back.

Starting pitching, Thompson will be gone, and that's a real quality starter, and Ras will be gone, and that's a real quality pitcher, leader, those kinds of things. There's a lot of good things those guys can think about.

Q. You came out and spoke to the umpire for just a little bit in the ninth inning. Can you tell us what that was?
COACH CASEY: I didn't know if he was warning me or Trevor. I was trying to keep Trevor separated from it a little bit there. So I asked him if he was warning me or Trevor. And so I certainly didn't want to see Trevor thrown out there in that situation. It probably wouldn't have looked very good. And that's about it.


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