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June 17, 2018

Nelson Maldonado

Kevin O'Sullivan

Brady Singer

Omaha, Nebraska

Texas Tech - 6, Florida - 3

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan and student-athletes Nelson Maldonado and Brady Singer.

COACH O'SULLIVAN: It was a great ball game. You gotta credit Texas Tech; they played really well. They played some nice defense early on. They made a nice play in left to lead off the game. And the third baseman made a nice play to his backhand there.

They just played really well. I think they had a really good approach against Brady. They battled. And give credit to them. I thought they played really, really well tonight. We hit the two-run homer there with Nelly, got it within two. And obviously they scored one in the ninth to get the lead back to three.

So, once again, credit Texas Tech, we'll come back Tuesday and be ready to go.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Brady, looking at the middle innings there, what were those guys kind of doing to start to chip away at you there?
BRADY SINGER: They were battling, like Sully said. They had good approach. I left some pitches up. I could have done better on that. But they're a good swinging ballclub and at the end of the day, like he said, they battled.

Q. Brady, that at-bat with Warren, the 14-pitch at-bat, can you take us through that? What were you trying to do? Seemed like obviously that was probably the toughest at-bat. Have you had a lot of at-bats like that this year? It was pretty rare for a guy to go 14 pitches with you --
BRADY SINGER: He had a heck of a bat. Obviously we were battling pretty hard against each other. But he was doing what a hitter should do. And it was a good at-bat for him.

Q. Nelson, their second pitcher, Shetter, what was he able to do that was effective against you guys?
NELSON MALDONADO: He was able to attack the strike zone. He kept the ball down. He worked ahead. He sunk the ball just like any other pitchers should do, and he got outs.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. Sully, you touched on Brady's performance a little earlier. Detailing that, what did you see maybe that was different the first couple of frames from the middle innings?
COACH O'SULLIVAN: I think the two runs we gave up in the fifth, it was difficult. I think it was an 0-2 hit he gave up on the slider, and then we had a chance to close out the inning with Deacon. He made the throwing error and that kind of led to the two runs.

I think the balk and the passed ball there that gave them the one run, we made some mistakes. We talk about all the time, that this time of year you've got to pay attention to details and talked about detail runs. And I think the passed ball hurt us because it put the runner at third base with less than two outs.

We made some other mistakes that don't show up in the box score. We were down four in the seventh. We put a take on, with the lead-off hitter, and we're down four, like I said. And we swung out of the zone. And if he gets on, Nelly's home run is a three-run homer instead of two-run homer. It gets us within one run. Obviously there in the ninth, we struck out the lead-off hitter and he gets on and reaches on a strikeout, and he ends up scoring. Those little mistakes, they add up, and it cost us a few runs.

Q. For most of the season your defense has been pretty reliable. Seems like lately is there anything that you can put your finger on why the defense hasn't seemed as reliable or is that just one of those things?
COACH O'SULLIVAN: I think Deacon had four errors coming into tonight the whole year. I don't know. I can't put my finger on it. I do know when we start struggling defensively we start doing some more live defense during practice. Actually we do it every day. We hadn't done that up until the last part of the year, but once we start struggling defensively we tried to play some games, you know, some defensive live stuff during practice and our defense got back on track. But obviously tonight it hurt us a little more.

Q. You only had five hits tonight. Was that all Texas Tech's pitching or did you swing at some pitches you wish you had back?
COACH O'SULLIVAN: I think there was one inning we had a seven-pitch inning. It was not a good inning. I think Langworthy led off, and then Blake Reese and then Horvath. I think it was a seven-pitch inning.

They were ready. We were prepared. We went through all the pitchers. We knew exactly what they were going to do -- start with their lefty and then go to Shetter and then go to their little right-hander there with a good arm. We were prepared. We went through everybody and they just executed some pitches, to be honest with you.

I think the two defensive plays -- certainly the one that starts the game, I know it's a nine-inning ball game, but that ball gets over his head, next thing you know you've got a runner at second, nobody out, and your offense starts going and people start believing in themselves.

That was a big play of the game. Even though it was the first out in the game. It's just you get in this situation in the World Series, you take a lead early and who knows how the opponent is going to react? But he made a heck of a play there to start the game.

Q. Looking at JJ tonight, did you feel like he looked a little uncomfortable at all?
COACH O'SULLIVAN: I don't know. He hasn't played in a while. The first at-bat was pretty good. He hit the ball to the warning track the other way. He had a good approach. At the end of the day we're here because he's one of the main reasons why we're here. And he felt like he could play tonight and I wasn't going to juggle the whole lineup. Just put him right in there and see what happens.

We did that a couple of years ago with Pete Alonso and he had a really good tournament. So I'm just happy that JJ went out there for his team and gave a great effort.

Q. Brady talked a little bit about it. But do you think, do you feel like Texas Tech had a pretty good approach against Brady tonight, especially in the middle innings seemed like they made him work really hard for every out and did a good job spoiling pitches?
COACH O'SULLIVAN: First time through the order, maybe first two times through the order, we were mostly fastball and breaking ball. We knew they wanted to be aggressive early in the count. We started using the change-up more, about the third time through. And the Warren at-bat was outstanding, I think it was 14 pitches, like you said.

And I think they just did a good job. They didn't miss some pitches. But obviously we didn't help them out defensively in the fifth. But credit their hitters; they did a nice job.

Q. I assume it will be Jackson starting on Tuesday and then following up on that, just the fact that you guys were able to win this thing last year, does that give you any bedrock to go back to knowing that you've done this before and help you out to come from the outside lane, so to speak, to win this again?
COACH O'SULLIVAN: At the end of the day -- I talked to the team at the end -- there's no rewind button here. We lost. So we've got to move forward. Jackson will start. I think Virginia in '15 maybe lost the first, game, if I'm not mistaken, and came back to win it. It's not impossible. It's certainly doable.

But we're going to have to Jackson pitch really good on Tuesday. We'll have to take it one day at a time. And ultimately we'll have to have some guys step up because we've got to win some more games here. But it's certainly doable.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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