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June 17, 2018

David Pierce

Tate Shaw

Nolan Kingham

Omaha, Nebraska

Arkansas - 11, Texas - 5

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Texas coach David Pierce and student-athletes Nolan Kingham and Tate Shaw. Coach, an opening statement.

COACH PIERCE: Well, I mean, honestly we pitched well early. Even though Nolan gave up a couple of hits and a run in the first, I thought he really attacked the zone well. And he was a little bit of a victim of two strikes maybe, just leaving the ball, not in the middle of the plate, but a pitch they could hit.

So he gave up a little bit there. But he really, really settled in in the middle of the game and pitched ahead. Had a wipe-out slider at times and made quality pitches. But when he got there in the sixth and the game kind of unravelled, went back-to-back singles, and at that point I felt he started pitching behind.

Hindsight is a beautiful thing. You look back at that and you would really say should have stuck with Nolan. But Parker Joe hadn't walked two guys in the entire year back to back and that's what happened. And it just unraveled. We tried to get it settled down with Chase right there and finish the inning and just, again, they just continued to hit and created a huge deficit.


Q. Nolan, in that sixth inning what kind of happened with those first two batters? And did you feel that you could have stayed in the game? Did you still have stuff in the tank?
NOLAN KINGHAM: Yeah, the pitch count was down, just a couple of balls running away from me and leaving the ball up, and made a few mistakes and they capitalized. And that was it.

Q. Nolan, you guys haven't really been through many games like this in a long, long time. What was the mood afterwards? You're one of the veteran guys. What was said amongst the team after the loss?
NOLAN KINGHAM: I mean, Super Regional, we lost the first game. I mean, we've been here before. I mean, all we can really look forward to is the next game and worry about Game 2 and move on from there.

Q. Tate, what's the mood for the team and what do you guys have to do to keep going here in Omaha?
TATE SHAW: Everyone's down right now, but I'm sure everyone will get over it. It's baseball; you gotta forget.

Q. What did you guys do during that lengthy delay and how did you guys kind of get warmed back up and get back into the game?
TATE SHAW: Everyone kind of just chilled and sat down. It was pretty quiet.

NOLAN KINGHAM: I would say it was more of just everyone just trying to get off your feet and just being ready to come back. And we knew what the situation was and trying to basically minimize as much as possible.

Q. Nolan, probably not the start you wanted but what do you take away from this? And what do you try to forget and move on from the next time you get out there?
NOLAN KINGHAM: Arkansas is a great hitting team. They found a lot of barrels today. And I left a few mistakes up and they hammered it. I mean, it's baseball.

Q. Tate, obviously you go 3-for-3 today and you're hitting pretty well in the Super Regional. How do you balance out you have a good performance but the rest of the team doesn't? What do you take away from that individually, if anything?
TATE SHAW: I don't really take anything away from it. I mean, we lost the game so it doesn't really matter in the end.

Q. Nolan and Tate, what did you guys -- obviously you had that really long rain delay -- what's the mood? What are you all talking about in there? Have you ever been involved in a game like that where you're stopped, bases loaded you're in a really weird situation, and you have this almost three-hour delay?
NOLAN KINGHAM: Yeah, we've had it, I think, a couple times. One was, I remember, West Virginia. I mean sometimes it can go good for you and sometimes it cannot. It depends on what the rally's that's going on. And in this situation, I think, it could have went better for us. It gave us time to settle down and have a plan going, moving forward, and just having it not go our way.

TATE SHAW: Yeah, it's happened earlier in the year and it actually turned out better every single time earlier but this time it just didn't.

Q. Nolan, since your pitch count was in the 80s today, do you feel going forward this is kind of a situation where, like last week, where you could be available later in the week if needed?
NOLAN KINGHAM: Whenever they decide I need to come in I'm going to come in and determine whenever it is. We'll see.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. Take us through the thought process after the long delay, you choose to go with Chase in that situation. He throws just 11 pitches. Does that affect his availability at all as a potential starter for the next game? And what was the thinking there?
COACH PIERCE: No, that's why he only went 11. The thinking was we're in a pickle. We need to get our best guy in the game right now. And if we can get it within one run, as far as giving up one run, so it's a four-run deficit, and then we can tack on runs, maybe two, then we were going to stick with Chase.

Otherwise, we were going to get him out, keep him available and move to the next guy, and that's what we did.

Q. The plan was always one inning unless you added on?
COACH PIERCE: If we were in a game at that point we were going to continue with Chase. But you didn't want to burn him in a deficit. So pulled him and went to Cam. And it just wasn't good.

I thought Chase threw solid pitches but they hit early in the count. You have to throw quality pitches early, and he threw pitches with velocity but poor location.

Q. David, are you a little bit shellshocked to give up 11 runs? You gave up 14 in six games. Did you feel that Arkansas is just that good a hitting game?
COACH PIERCE: They were today. I thought early in the game we pitched well. You just can't afford to pitch behind against Arkansas. And that's what happened when we got unraveled. Either we pitched behind or we tried to get strike one and threw white-on-white instead of a quality pitch.

I'm not shellshocked. It's just part of it. It's not the way we wished it had gone. Unfortunately, it got away from us and we couldn't -- we just couldn't overcome the deficit.

Q. Is there anything to be taken out of the later innings? Austin comes in, gets a good hit, which I'm sure was nice to see. Michael has a couple of nice at-bats. You guys showed some fight. Is there anything to be taken out of those last couple of innings?
COACH PIERCE: It's the same reason we threw so many guys is to give them opportunity because as we get deeper in this tournament I want guys that have been on the bump.

And those two guys have earned the right to play. And it was the perfect time to play both of them. And it also rests D.J. and gives Michael the opportunity he deserves. And then Austin's been coming.

So knowing late today, had they come with a left-hander in that situation I knew I was going to hit Austin anyhow, so it was good to get him a couple of at-bats and get his feet wet.

Q. What did you see on that ground ball to McKenzie that David tried to turn on the double play, and whether he turned into the field and when he shoved Jake? What was the explanation on that?
COACH PIERCE: We talked a lot about the play. I thought Jake did the -- the ball was a rocket and he handled it well. But I think when he slightly bobbed the ball, I think David lost his timing on that. So he probably got a little bit on his front foot early instead of staying behind the bag on that.

Then I think once that happened, I felt like -- it looked like David felt like he had to rush. And probably still did and he could have gathered his feet. That's what it looked like. I haven't talked to David about it. The coaches, we've talked about it. I just haven't talked to David about it.

Q. A shove, anything from that?
COACH PIERCE: No, it wasn't anything. I mean, it was competitive. I didn't think anything of it. I went out basically to make sure that he turned the correct way and to make sure that there wasn't anything else going to happen.

Q. What went into wearing the No. 16 jersey today? Obviously it's Augie's number. What went into wearing that?
COACH PIERCE: Like we've talked about, since Coach's passing, we basically have come to the conclusion that he's a huge piece of our program. He's a huge piece of this team.

And so I talked to the players about it early on, early in the week, and basically said the story about how it happened with Woody Woodman and Augie wore his No. 2 jersey. Vinny and I were sitting in the clubhouse in Oklahoma City, and I said, Vinny, if we make it to Omaha I want to wear No. 16. He said that would be really cool. So started working on it. He got the jerseys together.

Once we clinched the Super Regional I walked into my office and Vinny was sitting there holding them. It was a good moment. I was able to tell the players about it.

What I was impressed with was there wasn't any fist pumps nor anyone rolling their eyes. It was basically the same way we've approached it from day one, and understanding that he's a piece of us. And I know Augie would not want to be the center of attention. And I think he would probably appreciate the way we handled it.

Q. Will Chase be a possibility to start, or are you already thinking about Henley? And are you worried about any mental hangover from this?
COACH PIERCE: No, they're both available. I haven't chose which one yet. It may have something to do with who we face.

I will say I like Chase following Henley more so than I like Henley following Chase, but there's still no decision.


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