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June 22, 2018

Kevin O'Sullivan

Brady Singer

JJ Schwarz

Omaha, Nebraska

Arkansas - 5, Florida - 2

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Kevin O'Sullivan, JJ Schwarz and Brady Singer.

COACH O'SULLIVAN: Congratulations to Dave and Arkansas. They had a great year. Obviously deserve to move on, wish them the best of luck.

As far as our team's concerned, you know, we fought all the way to the end. This is probably the -- well, it's not probably, it is the best four-year run in our school history. And these guys to my left were a huge, huge part of that.

I think JJ broke the all-time games played at Florida. He surpassed Preston Tucker, and obviously Brady is going to go down as one of the best pitchers who ever put on a Gator uniform.

We battled. And unfortunately there's only one team that's going to move on, and that's Arkansas from our bracket.

But I couldn't be more proud of our team. It was obviously the disappointment on their faces when the last out was made, it was not easy. But awfully proud of the way they played this year, their careers, and I know there's a lot of disappointment right now.

But we've got a lot of good players coming back. Good recruiting class. And we've created something really special here at Florida. And the next couple days will not be easy, but certainly proud of them, the way they handled themselves both on and off the field. It obviously goes a lot deeper than wins or losses.

But it's just disappointing right now.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Brady, Arkansas seems it's had your number for a couple of years. Any idea why it's been tough to pitch against them?
BRADY SINGER: Well, I mean, they're one of the best offensive teams I've ever faced. I don't know. I feel like in a career, a lot of teams will do that to certain people. Sometimes you're just unlucky.

But they're one of the best offensive teams I've ever faced, if not the best.

Q. JJ, I know it's been a while since you guys faced Campbell back in March. But could you just kind of go through what maybe the difference was in him tonight versus when he struggled so bad against you guys back in March?
JJ SCHWARZ: I would say he was throwing way more strikes, and his fastball was playing up. It was a lot harder than the radar gun was showing. And I think that was evident by our swings.

He was throwing his slider at the right times, and he was playing off his fastball. So it was a tough night for us.

Q. Brady, specifically tonight, what do you think was the key for them to get you a little bit early in the game? What wasn't working for you tonight?
BRADY SINGER: I think they're ultra aggressive. I threw some pitches, but they capitalized on the bad ones. I think that's what a good hitting team does. Obviously (indiscernible) every one of them, but I could have obviously made some better pitches. Probably 0-2 especially. But they were just aggressive on, like I said, the bad pitches.

Q. Brady, when you think back -- I know that it's hard at this point -- but when you think back to your career, what do you feel like is the legacy that your class has left at Florida?
BRADY SINGER: I feel like there's a list of things. Obviously a national championship. Obviously the past four years coming back to Omaha. But I think the effort and the attitude and the confidence and everything we showed on the field was just incredible. To be a part of these past four years with these teams, it was something really special.

I think anybody and everybody on the team and a part of this group can say that. Just extremely grateful for the last four years, and I feel that somebody did something to help.

Q. JJ, similar question. When you look back at this season, won a national title last year, could have gone out and played pro ball, but what did it mean to you to come back and help this team get back to Omaha for a fourth straight year and reach the final four? What does that mean to you personally?
JJ SCHWARZ: It means the world to me. And this school means the world to me. And I don't even know how to put it into words. God's been so good to me and having an opportunity to play for a school like this, I'll be forever thankful for Sully and the staff for giving me the chance. And I thank God every day for putting me in the spot and giving me the stage to show the world how much God loves me, how much God loves every single one of us.

And that's my real purpose and that's what I really care about. Going off his question, that's the legacy I want to leave behind.

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. Questions for Coach.

Q. What did you see that Brady wasn't able to do tonight? And do you think the four days' rest had anything to do with it?
COACH O'SULLIVAN: I mean, to be honest with you, he gave up four runs over five. I mean, I don't think he pitched terribly. I think he made a couple mistakes. And they capitalized on it.

I think the first inning I think they ran his pitch count up close to 30 pitches, and I don't think it has as much to do with Brady as it does their offense.

We had three hits the whole night. So to not answer your question, but I think Brady was okay. I think sometimes you've just got to tip your cap to the other team. And I think that's the way I'll look at it.

Q. In the 20 years of national seedings, the No. 1 seed has only won once, and not for 19 years. Is that just a number or a vivid example of the parity in this game and how hard it is to win this thing?
COACH O'SULLIVAN: I think it's twofold. I think it's hard to win. And I don't know if you can -- I don't think there's a whole lot of separation between the No. 1 seed and the No. 8 seed. You've got to remember when these seeds come out it's almost a month ago. Teams go through ups and downs. And I said this when we first got here, we had our press conference, if Auburn was sitting here, and they had won our Supers, they would have had just a good chance to win this thing as we did.

I don't think the number has much to do with it. This game's very fickle. It could change from game to game and from week-to-week.

The way we played yesterday and against Texas and tonight was a lot different team than when we first opened here Sunday night playing Texas Tech. I think the number and seedings is really irrelevant as you get to this point in the season.

Like I said, we played Coastal Carolina a couple of years ago, and they ended up winning the national championship. I don't really think the seeding on the national scene has much to do with it, to be honest with you.

Q. Could you just describe what you saw out of Campbell tonight and was he better than you thought he could be?
COACH O'SULLIVAN: I'll answer it honestly, yeah, a lot better than I thought. He had, I think, a perfect game through 4. Didn't walk anybody. Once we got him in the stretch, seemed like he lost some of his command, but it was certainly different pitcher than we saw in Gainesville, that's for sure.

I mean it was 94, 96, he was pounding the outer half of the zone and threw enough off-speed pitches to keep us off his fastball. He was good, really good tonight.

Q. When you look back at this corps of juniors and two seniors you have, what will you take away from that group?
COACH O'SULLIVAN: I think they set the standard. I think we've got to the final four three out of the last four years. And most of the time schools just dream about getting to Omaha and we had four straight years, won a national championship, been in the final four three out of the last four. It's not easy to do.

I think they've set the standard. And when we first got here 11 years ago, that was the goal was to get to Omaha and have the expectations.

Now I think it's even a step further. I think the expectation is to win a national championship, and that's not easy to do. That's a credit to our players, our staff. And like I said, it's really disappointing right now. But we've got a really good core of young players on our team.

We've got a really good recruiting class again. I think the outing by Jack last night was awesome. I think Brady Smith has grown up overnight behind the plate and with Tommy Mace and what Jordan Butler have been able to do on this stage, I think it's a great foundation moving forward.

Q. A little bit of a follow-up on that. You've got a team full of elite pro talent and you won a national title last year. Seems like maybe some teams in that position could have rested on their laurels a little bit. But what do you think it says about just the character of this group that they got back here, they lose the first game, they still make a run through loser's bracket and fight to the very end here?
COACH O'SULLIVAN: Yeah, it speaks volumes to the competitive spirit of our players. Let's face it, in any sport, when you have the bull's-eye on your back you're ranked No. 1, you're supposed to win it, how many times have you seen that teams fall short of expectations.

And seeing the disappointment on their faces at the end of the game, that's when reality really hits you right square in the face. You see kids are upset, and my kids are upset. So many people that are invested.

Like I said, there's been a lot on their plate, so to speak, from day one. And they battled and they lived up to the expectations. As you know, it's not easy to do.

Q. You and Dave seem to have a great relationship. As disappointed as you are with this, is there some level on which you can appreciate their opportunity now?
COACH O'SULLIVAN: I'm sorry, as far as like what?

Q. Sort of being happy for Dave, as disappointed as you are, that Arkansas gets a chance to do this now.
COACH O'SULLIVAN: Oh, yeah, I have the utmost respect for Dave. I consider him to be a really good friend. I told him at the end I wished him the best of luck. He said he might give me a call over the next couple of days maybe for some advice or questions. But I really do like -- I like playing Arkansas, because they're always well coached. They play extremely well. It's almost as if we're playing ourselves.

They're playing at a very high level right now. I think getting Campbell to pitch the way he did today, obviously Murphy does his thing, and obviously Knight is one of the best pitchers in our league, and with their offense and defense, they've got a really good chance at this thing.


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