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June 26, 2017

Kevin O'Sullivan

Mike Rivera

Brady Singer

Jonathan India

Omaha, Nebraska

Florida - 4, LSU - 3

COACH O'SULLIVAN: Well, it kind of worked out the way we kind of hoped it would. Brady would go deep in the ballgame and we wouldn't have to extend Michael Byrne, he would still be available tomorrow.

But Brady was outstanding. Obviously that one inning I think with two runners on with nobody out and struck out the side was huge. Get 12 strikeouts tonight. Threw seven. I think it was probably similar to Alex Faedo's start the other day where there was some tense moments where he had to make some big pitches, and he battled and gave it all he had.

And Michael Byrne did what Michael Byrne always does, throws strikes, change speeds. And I think the key play there obviously was when we got Smith at second in the relay play and then the pinch-hitter when he fell behind 3-0. Obviously offensively the big hit was Jonathan India's double to centerfield with two runners on and Austin Langworthy hits the ball in the gap, we brought him over, we get him in and we hit a short fly ball there with 2-0 count, end up scoring a run there.

Once again, we do just enough to stay ahead. I think that's maybe our 20th one-run of the year, I don't know how many, but there's been quite a few. And it's been a long time since we played LSU. And it's a really good lineup, a really good lineup. I forgot how good it was.

You're sitting there in the ninth inning and you've got Papierski leading off, and he can go yard at any point from either side of the plate, which he's already done in this tournament. And he's hitting in the eight hole. It's a very deep lineup. Talk to the guys tomorrow.

Obviously there's a long way to go in this thing. We're facing the winningest pitcher in LSU's history, which is saying a lot because there's been so many good pitchers that have come through that program.

So our players will be prepared to know that this is a long way from being over. And we're going to have to play better tomorrow. We were fortunate enough tonight to win a one-run game, but we've got to play better tomorrow that's for sure.

Q. Brady, how did you feel coming out of the bullpen? Did you feel like you had kind of your A stuff and how did that carry over in the game?
BRADY SINGER: Yeah, I felt pretty good coming out of the pen. I felt pretty rested on six days' rest. I felt like everything was working, and I did feel good coming out of the pen.

Q. Jonathan, that double there, what was kind of your mental approach coming up to the plate there? Are you excited to come up in that situation?
JONATHAN INDIA: Yeah, I was really excited for that situation to help my team produce some runs. I was just hitting fastball. He threw a curveball the first pitch, it was in the dirt, (indiscernible) got my pitch and drove it in.

Q. It felt like, Mike, the fourth inning there was a key moment in the game where the first two batters reached and he struck out the next three. What did you see from Brady in that moment and do you feel that gave this team a little bit of an emotional lift?
MIKE RIVERA: Yeah, I knew before the game started we'd have obviously some rough patches. They're a very competitive team. I knew it wasn't going to be easy. So I figured the fourth inning was going to be a start for them. And I was trying to slow Brady down, making sure they execute every pitch instead of overthrowing, and he did it. And we got out of the inning.

Q. Brady, seemed like the slider was working for you tonight. Did you feel like you were able to land that when you needed to?
BRADY SINGER: Yeah, I felt like I was landing it a lot more for strikes than I usually do. And two strikes just off the plate, but the slider did feel good. And I found fastball to both sides of the plate.

Q. Mike, the significance of this win, first time you guys have ever won a College World Series series game, and how do you carry over that confidence and momentum over into tomorrow?
MIKE RIVERA: Just stay level-headed. We know we won the first game. Now we just have to take on the second game, take it inning by inning and not look ahead.

Q. Jonathan or Mike, you guys have gotten really timely hits throughout the series. You've done a great job of getting runners in from third base with less than two outs, how is the offense managing to come up with the timely hits that you need at this point in the season?
JONATHAN INDIA: I mean, we just play as a team together. We have each other's backs. And we're doing really well in those situations, like you said. So it's helping us out. So we're excited for that.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. Who do you start tomorrow? Have you decided yet? What's your thought process?
COACH O'SULLIVAN: It's probably Tyler. He threw really good last weekend against Wake Forest, another good hitting team, and he's got a really good arm. So we're going to ride it. He's been really good for the last three weeks and we're going to run him out there and see what he can do for us.

Q. Brady looked like he was mixing things up after the first time through the order. LSU guys say he started throwing some more of those backdoor sliders. Was that part of the plan going in? Is that something you guys recognized mid-game?
COACH O'SULLIVAN: Yeah, you know, the unique thing about Alex and Brady, they can do a lot of different things with their breaking ball. They can backdoor it to lefties, backfoot it to lefties.

I just thought that the LSU hitters were really on time for fastballs tonight, and it was the one inning where Duplantis got on and Deichmann got on and they were on some pretty good fastballs. And at that point we just had to slow the ball down a little bit.

Q. Obviously everyone knows that starting pitching is the calling card kind of for this team. But have you seen two guys do four straight starts this dominant on this kind of a stage before? I think Faedo and Singer, I think they struck out 11 in all four of those games.
COACH O'SULLIVAN: Yeah, you know, it's hard to answer that question at this point because like names come to mind. Hudson Randall and Brian Johnson and Jonathon Crawford and Logan Shore. A.J. Puk. And so many other names, I don't want to name names, don't want to leave anybody out.

But we've had quite a good few ones. But these two guys, they've been really good the last few weeks. They've been great the whole year, but they've just elevated their game to another level.

Q. You kind of alluded to this in your opening statement, but you bring in Horvath as a defensive replacement and the ball finds him. Just how big was that to keep that tying run out of scoring position and the kind of play he made and what did you see on that play, that throw?
COACH O'SULLIVAN: That changed the whole complexion of the ballgame, to be honest with you. Now they've got a runner at second. They're down a run with one out, and all the momentum is in their favor. And a play like that can just change the whole complexion of a ballgame. I think that was really big.

And the other one was coming back from a 3-0 count with Reid with one out in the bottom of the ninth. We walk in and all of a sudden the crowd gets back into it, and now they're at the top of the order.

And I've seen LSU enough to know that when things get going, they get going in a hurry. And you gotta limit the walks. And so for him to come back from that 3-0 count, that was huge for us.

Q. I know that obviously haven't finished yet, but just the significance of this historically first College World Series Finals win and just what it means for this program going forward?
COACH O'SULLIVAN: We're here to win this thing. You know, that's the message -- we'll talk more about it tomorrow. We're going to have to play better if we want to win this thing. And this thing is not near -- it's not nearly over. We've got six hits tonight. Brady had to pitch his tail off.

We have a freshman going tomorrow against the winningest pitcher in LSU's history. We're going to have to play better. So is it exciting to have Game 1 under our belt, yeah, but tomorrow we're going to have to play better.

And that's the message. And we're going to have to swing the bats a little bit better. And we're going to have to get to Poché in the first part of the ballgame, and we're going to have to get a special start from Tyler.

He's certainly capable. But, you know, we're close but we haven't finished. We haven't crossed the line yet.


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