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June 16, 2018

Pat Casey

Adley Rutschman

Trevor Larnach

Omaha, Nebraska

North Carolina - 8, Oregon State - 6

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Oregon State coach Pat Casey and student-athletes Trevor Larnach and Adley Rutschman. Coach, an opening statement.

COACH CASEY: Well, we certainly didn't play our best baseball today. And we weren't the better team on the field, that's for sure. They were.

I know we're capable of playing much better. And a lot of the mistakes we made came back to hurt us. And I thought we competed. I thought we battled, stayed with it. We just didn't play the game of baseball very well.


Q. With some of the struggles, both defensively and on the mound, how frustrating was it today with just the kind of game you guys played?
ADLEY RUTSCHMAN: You know, you never like to lose. Losing is not fun. And a game like today, where you know you can play better is probably the biggest thing for us, is players knowing we can compete at a higher level.

And knowing that we're capable of more is probably the most disappointing thing for us. But we'll be back. We'll be prepared to play.

TREVOR LARNACH: It's baseball. It happens. Definitely didn't want it to happen today. But it happened. We'll bounce back next time.

Q. Adley, from your perspective, what was Luke doing out there today that UNC was able to figure out, and how difficult of a lineup is that to pitch to?
ADLEY RUTSCHMAN: North Carolina is a good team. Luke is a very good pitcher. Today he wasn't able to command his stuff as well as he would have liked to, which is unfortunate. Luke is a phenomenal guy and a phenomenal pitcher, a very competitive guy. To not be able to throw his best in his first game in Omaha probably kills him. But we know he'll be back and better. So I have no worries.

Q. I know you guys aren't going to want to make any excuses but how much of a factor was the heat? It's something that I'm sure you guys aren't really used to playing in those kind of conditions. Do you think that was a factor at all?
TREVOR LARNACH: Definitely don't remember it being this hot last year. But it is what it is. You've got to deal with it. You've got to play through it. I'm more concerned for Rutsch; he's back there catching with all the gear. I'm standing in the outfield. It was whatever to me. I'm sure it wasn't a big factor to guys, but it was there and it is what it is.

ADLEY RUTSCHMAN: You can, from the moment you step on the field you know it's hot. But it's one of the things that a lot of our guys are able to block out of their minds, which is good and kind of a test to our team as a whole. When it's hot out, the biggest thing is worrying about the hydration, what not. Our trainers do a great job of hydrating us. And I just think kind of that mental side can be a factor, but I think our guys did a really good job of blocking it out.

Q. Four and a half hour game, longest nine-inning game in CWS history. How does that affect your performance and stamina over the game?
ADLEY RUTSCHMAN: When you've got long innings behind the plate and in the field -- I know for Trevor he's out in right field, -but when you get those long innings it's really important for us as a defensive team to just make sure that we have that energy and are making sure to breathe while we're out there, because sometimes when it gets dead or you have those long innings, it can kind of spiral just because things seem to not be going your way even though you may have only given up one run in the inning.

So just making sure you keep that energy with that pitcher and that communication, just that positive mentality with him and letting you know that everyone's got your back is -- kind of makes it seem shorter than it is. Obviously a four and a half hour game is pretty long, but we do a good job with it.

TREVOR LARNACH: Like Rutsch said, the long innings kind of make things difficult, but we haven't played in about a week. So it is what it is, doesn't make any difference for us. We're out playing in the heat, long inning, doesn't matter, we're trying to get a win.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. Pat, from your perspective looking at Heimlich, did you understand that he was nervous? What did you kind of see from him from the get-go?
COACH CASEY: It's difficult because I haven't seen that before. But he certainly didn't have his stuff. I don't think he was nervous. I don't know. He just couldn't command anything. He couldn't get it to go where he wanted.

I think it's tough when you can't throw the ball across the plate and he wasn't used to that. Certainly come out and don't make the first play of the game, and I don't know.

We just -- he just never had a rhythm and he never -- he could never find it. And when you have a guy that's an All-American and gives up six earned in three innings, that's tough.

Q. Really the mistakes came early and often for you guys. What did you see out of your team as far as something you can put your finger on for why there were so many and so costly?
COACH CASEY: You know, the mistakes that we don't make, so it was tough for me to tell you exactly what was going on. We made some errors we shouldn't have made. We made some base-running mistakes.

It all starts from the mound and defending. Every game is -- we had 13 hits, and -- but we didn't defend and we didn't pitch and therefore we couldn't close the gap.

I thought that a couple things that happened that could have changed, tighten the score a little bit. And like I said, we could just never get it turned around. Seemed like we got it turned around, somebody would boot the ball, we'd walk somebody, we'd go from 0-2 to 3-2, we'd give up a hit. I don't know. If I knew the answer to that I would have turned around during the middle of the game.

But it's pretty hard when these guys come out and play 60 games, come in here, you trust the way they play. This game isn't easy. I'm not certain that there's anything that they didn't prepare for. They just didn't play well.

Q. With the length of the game, length of some of the innings and combined with the heat, what kind of impact did that have on the game in your opinion?
COACH CASEY: I don't think it had any impact on the game from our standpoint. I think it was as hot for them as it was for us. I think obviously the kids that were on the field, those were some long innings. Guys behind the plate, that's difficult. But I don't think -- the wind didn't have an effect, I don't think, on the game like it could have. I don't think the heat had -- obviously it was warm. There's no question about it. But North Carolina had to endure the same circumstances as we did, and we talked about that prior to the game. We talk about those things all the time. If you let those things bother you, then they can be a problem.

Q. There's been a lot of media attention around Luke. I was wondering how do you think he's handled it in the College World Series?
COACH CASEY: I think he's done a real good job.

Q. I know this is probably the last thing on your mind given you just lost a game, but is there anything that goes through your mind when you're sitting through a game that goes as long as that is? I know part of it is that just every pitch is so important. But in terms of things that you think maybe could be taken out that could help the pace of the game move along?
COACH CASEY: Do I think of things that could help the pace of the game move along?

Q. [Inaudible]?
COACH CASEY: You're talking about college baseball within itself? Yeah, I'm sure there are. They could limit the number of trips catchers could go out. We could eliminate the 3-1 move. I think we sped the game up pretty good.

I just think it's going to be a long game when you walk people and make errors. Four and a half hours is too long to be on the field. You can go to a big league game and those things can happen as well. But I'm certainly not thinking about those things during the game.

Q. Just going back to the call that was made at third base and NCAA rules about reviewing things, do you have an opinion on if that should be a play that should go under review or if that's just the way the ball's played and you guys just have to deal with it and move on?
COACH CASEY: Well, there's two parts of that. One, I definitely think that that play should have been reviewed and I believe it would have been overturned.

So it is what it is. It's not a reviewable play, you cannot review that. There are about five things you can review and those are plays at the plate, those are fair/foul ball beyond the first and third baseman, it hit the ground first; catches in the outfield and non-catches; catches in the infield that makes the last out; and catches in the infield with the batter/runner. So, a nonreviewable play. I'll have to watch it. We had somebody come down and say that he was out. I'm not saying that because -- it's tough to make calls.

So that's just one incident that -- obviously that's a run on the board for them and tightened the game. But it's certainly not a factor in the game.

The biggest factor in the game was we didn't play the game we can play it and it's the game of baseball. And you gotta play it better than the way we played it today if you want to beat good teams like Carolina.


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