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June 24, 2017

Jim Schlossnagle

Connor Wanhanen

Cam Warner

Omaha, Nebraska

Florida - 3, TCU - 0

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by TCU.

COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: Congratulations to the Gators. Very well-played game I thought on both ends. Alex Faedo again was just really, really tough on us.

I thought our at-bats were significantly better today than they were the last time we faced him. But the chances that we did get, he made pitches. We hit some balls hard. The balls we did hit hard seemed to be at somebody. But that doesn't take away from how outstanding he was, and really proud of our team.

Just what an awesome experience it is to be here, and we never ever take it for granted. And as you sit in that dugout when you lose, as a coach, all you think about is how hard it is to get here.

And you never know if you'll get to be back because it's that hard. And to have been here four years in a row is an incredible accomplishment. But we truly never take it for granted.

So on behalf of TCU and our baseball program, our university, just really want to thank the people of Omaha for just a life-changing experience that it is every single time we come.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Cam, can you take us through the eighth inning at bat and how you felt when that ball came off your bat?
CAM WARNER: Felt like I put a good swing on it. I was taking it early in the count to see what he had. I got a pitch out over the plate. And I put a good swing on it. But seemed that all the balls that were hitting tonight were going to fielders.

Q. Connor, seeing him the second time in a week, what is he able to do to keep you guys just from getting in the groove at all? Did you see anything different from him this go-around?
CONNOR WANHANEN: He's just an all-around outstanding pitcher. We've got him on two consecutive days where he's been really good. But at the plate I think he does a great job of mixing up sliders and fastball counts and moving it to both sides of the plate as well, not getting predictable at all.

We weren't able to see any patterns. But, I mean, it just comes down to he made pitches when he needed to, and we weren't able to string enough quality at-bats together.

Q. Connor, can you talk about the three years you've spent here and if you appreciate what Coach Schlossnagle said, how hard it is to get here and whether you can come back?
CONNOR WANHANEN: The last three years I've been here, I mean, I can't even begin to express how grateful I am just to be a part of the program and just being able to come -- this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I've gotten to do it three times now.

I never take that for granted, and on days where we'll joke about going to Omaha again, we slap each other, because it's so hard to get here.

And just this group of guys is so special. And most of us have been together for two, three, four years. And we're so thankful to be here and obviously we'd love to keep playing. But it's an incredible experience coming here every single year, and I'm praying we get a chance to come back again.

Q. Both of you, obviously the season started with a lot of expectations, preseason, all that stuff. To get to this point, even after losing Luken and the other injuries you had to weather over the season, could you describe the way you guys came together as a group this year?
CONNOR WANHANEN: Since I've been at TCU, the culture is we fight and we scratch no matter what the situation is. My first year coming back from eighth and one in the eighth inning against NC State, that's just what we do, it's in the culture that Coach Schloss ingrains in all of us.

But a lot of expectations at the beginning of the year, and I think we handled it right way. And obviously in any season we handled the ebbs and flows and there were ups and downs, and losing Luken and the other injuries in there, just a testament to the TCU program that we always found a way to do what we needed to do to get to this spot. And just continue to trust what we've been taught.

CAM WARNER: Pretty much the same. We have a great culture here. Anyone is able to step in and fill a role. I think we saw it this year.

Q. Connor and Cam, very good team for you guys. Did you feel you were one step short, one player short, one play short all year?
CONNOR WANHANEN: I mean, we never know which pitch is going to determine the outcome of a game. Do I think we were a step short? No, I think we just got beat by a good team tonight.

And I think we had all the pieces to do what we wanted to do, but sometimes you can do all the right things and baseball gods just don't have it in your favor.

So, no, I don't think we were a step short or anything like that.

CAM WARNER: I'm the same. I think we gave it all we got tonight. And we just got beat.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach.

Q. You've talked about these four years and how difficult it is to get back here. When do you think you'll get a sense about what this four years has meant to you and this team?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: Well, I know what it's meant to me now. You're so grateful to the players for providing this experience for me and for my family and their families and our fans and our administration.

None of us within the program take it for granted. I hope that our Fort Worth community and fans don't take it for granted. It's really tough.

But I'm sure there will come a day where I appreciate it more. But, I mean, honestly I don't know how I could appreciate it more. It's just from walking around town on the off days to the way that we're treated, the baseball honestly is secondary to everything else.

Honestly, if we didn't have to play the games it would be really awesome. Because the baseball is the stressful stuff, you know. But everything else is just -- it's such a great life experience, you know? You get to spend -- you're outside real life for however many days you're here. Just spend time with family. Our administrators get to spend time with our players that they don't get to do during the regular season.

I mean, it's literally the greatest event the NCAA has to offer. And we've just been lucky to be a part of it.

Q. Talk about the resolve of your team to lose so early in the tournament and to get as far as it did.
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: Just incredibly proud of them. And we had a lot to lean on there with Arizona and Coastal doing it last year. And felt like with our starting pitching we had four legit starting pitchers that could give us a chance, and they did.

It's just Alex Faedo got in the way. In 2010, our first time here, the exact same thing happened and it was Trevor Bauer and Gerrit Cole. Now we watch those guys pitch in the Big Leagues. Took my daughter to the World Series, Trevor Bauer is pitching. I'm sure there's a day I go to pay a pretty penny to watch him go play in the Big Leagues. It's part of it. It's baseball. And like I said before, it's what makes it great and what makes it miserable.

Don't get me wrong. They have a great team. It's not just him. But that one guy on the mound can just change everything in this sport. Or affect everything. And he did that. And to his credit. And Byrne, the closer, too.

Q. Obviously the end of the year is always hard when you have to say goodbye to players you've drawn close with, but this group, as we talked about, they've done a lot here, three or four years these guys have kept coming back here. Can you kind of put their careers, the departing guys, into context?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: It's a super tough group to lose because you have a combination of some drafted players that most likely sign in Wade and Skoug, and then you have some guys that are seniors that were drafted last year that could have signed. Whether they were drafted or not. Had they said the right thing, they could have come back.

So all that speaks to is their love for TCU and their love for our program and our fans and our love for them. And it's a tough group to lose. But we've lost players before. And I think what stays true is what they talked about, the culture of a program, our great coaching staff, our awesome administration.

It's not like you plug and play. I mean, we have work to do. That's what makes leaving here so hard. Because we'll get on the plane tomorrow and we'll land and there's games being played on our field. We'll start sitting out there and watching them to find the next bunch to get us back here. It's a grind every single day just to have this awesome life experience, and I'm incredibly grateful to this entire bunch.

Q. I asked the players a version of this question, but is it fair to say you can have a complete team and still fall just a step short?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: Of course. Oregon State, are you kidding me? That's crazy that that -- they had the great season they had, and that's the dumb sport of baseball. It is what it is.

And I love our team, but you have to play the best. You have to play better than the other team. And Oregon State got outplayed the last couple of days and TCU got outplayed today.

We didn't get out-efforted. We tried hard. I felt good about our attitude and our effort. But Florida played better. And they deserve to be in the championship, and best of luck to them.


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