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June 18, 2018

Lindsay Meggs

Levi Jordan

Nick Kahle

Omaha, Nebraska

Oregon State - 14, Washington - 5

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Washington coach Lindsay Meggs and student-athletes Nick Kahle and Levi Jordan. Coach, an opening statement.

COACH MEGGS: Congratulations, obviously, to Oregon State. They played a great game. That's a great program. And they're going to represent the Pac-12, I think, and be here for a few more days, if not the duration.

A lot of respect for what Coach Casey and his staff have done and what they've built. And it's a great model for everybody, not just in the Northwest, from the Pac-12.

Really proud of our guys. We've come a long way. There was a time when we were 18-18 and kind of up against the wall and could have easily rolled over with some of the injury issues we had and some of the difficult starts we had. But our guys really love to play. They love to play the game of baseball. They love the game itself. They love each other.

They fought for each other. And this is a tough way to end your season. And we talked about that after the game that -- I don't want to talk about tonight's game, I want to talk about how far you guys have come.

And the reason it hurts is because our guys care so much and that's why we're here. And these are two great examples of that, and I'm proud of them. I'm proud of all of our guys and hopefully we'll see you back here next year.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Could you sort of reflect on what Coach just said and obviously the loss was disappointing but what the season meant to be part of the team that broke through to the World Series?
LEVI JORDAN: Congratulations again to Oregon State. Hopefully they can represent the Pac-12 moving forward.

Secondly, just to go off of what Coach said, it's been a great season for us. A lot of people expected us to roll over halfway through the season.

But instead we went the other direction and brought this program to its first-ever College World Series. And we can be proud of that. And we worked extremely hard to get to this point. And so to hang our heads about our performance in the College World Series shouldn't be a reflection of our season because of how hard we worked.

So we're proud and I'm happy for a lot of guys on our team and proud of the way they worked and got us to this point. So obviously a tough loss, but the program's moving in a great direction and it was great for us to be another team from the Pac-12 representing here in the College World Series.

NICK KAHLE: I agree with everything both of them said, and I think we also showed that you've got to have fun while you're playing baseball and to stay loose. And that was one of the most fun experiences I've had with baseball this year, just playing with these guys and just not rolling over when it was the middle of the year. And when we got all our guys back we really just enjoyed ourselves, and I think that's what really got us going and carried us throughout the rest of the year.

Q. Four and a half hour rain delay, what did you guys do during that time? Did you try to stay loose? It just seemed like when the game resumed it was -- just wasn't the same. Was there something that you could put your finger on?
NICK KAHLE: I mean, we just tried to stay loose with -- in the locker room with each other. And we were having a good time. We were having fun, just playing some games with each other, interacting with each other, not just sitting on our phones and stuff.

And then coming back for the game, it's tough, but I don't see any explanation or reason why we shouldn't have won the game. But I don't see any way that -- we were still playing hard. A couple of instances didn't go our way. And I mean credit them too as well. You can't not credit them. But especially their guy coming back starting before the rain delay and coming back after the rain delay which was very impressive throwing strikes and everything. But credit to them they played really well after that. And it's all I've got.

LEVI JORDAN: We actually had a blast in the locker room. We were playing hangman and other games. But that sort of puts our season into a nutshell right there with how much we enjoyed being with each other and being around a group of guys that we had.

We came out flat, I guess you could say, and Oregon State came out firing on all cylinders. They were hitting the ball hard. They were throwing strikes, playing good defense. And at the end of the day we, I guess, couldn't keep up with them. And whether lightning delay or not, you play nine innings of baseball for a reason, and if you want to win a baseball game you have to compete in all nine of those innings.

There's no excuse for being a weather delay or not. We should have continued to fight as hard as we could and we did that. Our guys gave as much effort as we had in the tank. And it didn't work out for us in the end, but again the effort was there.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. Lindsay, you guys were able to tame Oregon State's offense the first four innings, what did you see differently from their offensive approach from that point on and even after the rain delay?
COACH MEGGS: Everybody talks about their strength and their power and the balance they have, but really what's remarkable about what they do is the way they can separate balls from strikes. I mean, they just do not chase pitches out of the strike zone.

And I mean that's for me based on how we approach our hitting plan on a daily basis, it's tough to get kids to do that. It's tough to get kids to be patient and to not chase, and when they have leverage in the count they don't chase, when they're down in the count they don't chase.

Great example of that when we come back from the rain delay with the bases loaded and we throw strike one and you think we're in good shape. An 0-1 count we end up throwing four balls in a row that are not ideal pitches but some pitches people would swing at.

And when they rolled back in the next inning, the same type of deal, and they really used the backside of the field. Gretler takes a great at-bat. And we intentionally walk the catcher to get to Gretler, and it was a percentage move. And it's the right move, and he just puts a great swing on a pretty good pitch.

I give them a lot of credit for that. People talk about how athletic they are. They talk about the kids that they have that are high draft picks but those coaches have done a phenomenal job to get those kids to buy into a hitting plan that is second to none.

Q. What are your thoughts on sort of the dynamic of the game changed from the first half to after the long delay?
COACH MEGGS: What hurt us was when we -- we wanted Jordan to go through the order twice is what we wanted him to do. That was our goal and to get him out of there after he did that. And I think when Burgy struggled, when he came in and we had to get him out and get Stevie in there earlier than we had planned, all of a sudden we were chasing innings, with some arms that probably weren't ready for a moment like this and give them credit, they took advantage of that and they bludgeoned some of our guys. And that's how you learn.

So I think just the fact that we were short in terms of the depth because we lost an inning or two from Burgy and then all of a sudden we're up against it, had to give in a little bit and center the ball more than we wanted to and they made us pay the price. That's what good hitters do.

Q. Pat was saying way back in their first College World Series they went 2 and out. He felt it laid the foundation for what followed, a couple of national titles. Do you feel this is something that you feel you can build on as well?
COACH MEGGS: I would agree with that. Getting here is a breakthrough for us. It's a significant step toward where we want to be. We want to be an Omaha program. We want people to think of us as somebody who belongs here. And I think if you look at the first game we played, we played as clean a game as you can play against Mississippi State. We just don't get the big hit.

For five innings we played a lot of good baseball today. We're sitting for four hours. Again, that's not an excuse. But we come out and we're also now a pitcher short because we're not -- I wasn't going to roll our guy back out there. I didn't feel good about that.

And so we had to go to Alex early. And we got caught short toward the end. But it hurts right now. Doesn't take away from what we did. I think this is a huge step for us. When I took this job there were people that told me I could never -- we would never get to this point because of the academic challenges we have, because of the facility we started with.

And again I'll credit Oregon State because of the fact that they had done what they've done in the northwest, it has proven that cold weather schools, if you will, can make this happen if you have the support and the facilities and we do. And the University of Washington is a great place to go to school. I think we're going to continue to recruit great student-athletes, and I think we're going to be back.

Q. You guys are a 3 seed in your Regional, had to go across the country. I don't know if you can put it into words, but just is this an improbable run? How improbable was it to get through that sort of daunting task?
COACH MEGGS: Our guys really embraced that. It was one of those issues where you didn't have much choice. We want to keep playing. So we're going to go wherever they send us. And we were happy to do it. And I mean I remember sitting in our Omaha room during the selection show and it says we're going to Coastal, and our guys were fine with that.

And we endured the travel. And we grinded and we fought through the weather. And then you go to Cal State Fullerton and we're still good with it. And we're fired up and we have energy, and we're absolutely up to the challenge. And we get here, and it's the same mentality. But I think physically it finally caught up to us.

That's part of what you saw tonight. And I think part of that with the rain delay, to sit down and not know and have to wait, it took its toll on us a little bit. It doesn't take anything away from what they did. But I think the answer to your question, by the time we finished tonight we had some guys that were running on fumes. And maybe that's why.

Q. As you look around at the other teams here, think back to your season, is there one area you feel you need to beef up to maybe take that final next step to be a national title contender?
COACH MEGGS: We need more depth on the mound, that's clear. You can't get to this point and win if you don't have more depth.

And that's a high priority of ours. And I think we'll accomplish that goal. And like any coach, you always want to be as athletic as you can and we have some athletic guys coming back.

We have some athletic guys coming in. We always talk about if you're not applying pressure, you're feeling pressure. And once we stopped applying pressure tonight, I mean, every inning we were up against it and we were feeling it. There's no in-between. You want those athletic guys so you can apply that pressure.


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