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May 31, 2019

Jackson Glenn

Dan Heefner

MD Johnson

Lubbock, Texas

Florida-8, Dallas Baptist-11

THE MODERATOR: We'll start with an opening statement from coach and then take questions for the student-athletes.

DAN HEEFNER: I thought our guys really came ready to play, which is not a surprise. They were really excited to be here and couldn't wait to get on the field. I thought MD gave us a really good start through the first six innings. I thought up and down the lineup we had quality at-bats all game long, and I thought we played some really good defense, too. I thought the double plays, the three double plays, were a big turning point in a few of those innings. And then some situational hitting, too, the bunt, the scoring situation. Iser's double there at the end, the insurance runs ended up being a big deal for us.

So again I thought the guys were ready. I thought they were at the perfect level to go out and compete well. MD gave our guys confidence the way he started the game, and we're really looking forward to tomorrow night now.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. I guess, MD, for you I guess what was your mindset going into this? And I guess did you feel like you pitched the game that you wanted to today to kind of help your guys just in terms of keeping them in the fight?
MD JOHNSON: Really just tried to come in tonight and just get the start that we needed innings-wise, so we can save the bullpen for the rest of the weekend, and just pound the strike zone with all of my pitches. So beat them in zone and for the overall outing, I mean, we won and that's all that really matters to me.

Q. Jackson, you guys obviously got to Tommy Mace pretty early. Just what were you seeing out of him early that a lot of you that allowed you guys to have some success?
JACKSON GLENN: I don't know. I think just the whole lineup did just a great job of going up to the plate with a plan. With a plan like ours, we're just kind of sold out to a certain pitch and we're just trying to square them up the best we can. And luckily we kind of got away with that early. And so putting the ball in play hard like that really gave us momentum to just kind of push forward to the game. So yeah I think we just did a great job.

THE MODERATOR: All right we'll excuse the student-athletes and open up questions for coach.

Q. For a team obviously now Texas Tech next up for you guys, how do you quick scout a team like that?
DAN HEEFNER: Well, that's kind of the benefit of the regional, just the format. We had the conference tournament last weekend, as soon as we found out on Monday who we were playing, obviously we spent the majority of our time getting ready for Florida, but we have been ready for Texas Tech as well. So we have already been watching video on them and scouting them, and I think we have a good game plan. Need to find out who they're starting, and kind of finish up our work on that.

Q. So from what you've seen, as much as you can kind of give us, what is your quick scouting report on Texas Tech, as much as you can give?
DAN HEEFNER: I mean, they're a great team. They're a balanced team offensively, they have multiple ways that they can score, multiple ways they put pressure on you. Experienced, they have been in the postseason every year, so this is nothing new for them. But to win the Big-12 outright and to be a national seed, they're outstanding in everything they do.

But if we come and play our game, then we know it's going to be a good ball game tomorrow night.

Q. I guess kind of I asked MD but I guess could you have expected anything better than what he kind of gave you in terms of pitching to where he didn't really have to kind of waste some arms tonight?
DAN HEEFNER: Yeah, I thought that he did a really good job through the first six and then the three walks there were, that was disappointing. Because his pitch count was down. Thanks to the double plays, the three double plays really kept the pitch count down. Would have really liked to have seen him just pound the strike zone there in the 7th inning. If he could have got us through the 7th, that would have really put us in good shape from a bullpen standpoint.

But we're fine and for him to go six and two-thirds like that was a really quality start for us. And I thought I'm just going to focus on what he did early on, and I thought just his presence, his tempo, after giving up the two runs we scored and then he was able to put up some zeros, I think gave our guys a lot of confidence and led to some quality at-bats and able to extend the lead.

Q. How important is it for some of your guys to kind of have that experience of playing here before, compared to where sometimes at a regional you're at a new location so to speak?
DAN HEEFNER: Yeah, it definitely helps. Just to be familiar with the surroundings, the environment, the stadium, I think being able to visualize and see yourself do something before you do it is a big deal. So just like you said, the fact that half our team was here last year and has seen this environment. MD Johnson has pitched in a regional here before, so I think that just helps them mentally. When they do get in the game, it's not completely new and different to them.

Q. How much are you allowed to tell your players to remember what they've seen from Texas Tech in the past or how much do those types of teams change year by year?
DAN HEEFNER: Yeah, I mean teams change but I think there's different styles of play and ways that people go about things. And those things kind of stay the same, in good programs. I think that's what makes programs good, is they have a style of play, they have a culture that allows them to be successful and they continue to do that year after year. And Texas Tech is definitely one of those programs where they do things well, and they have just kind of a style of play the way they go about things, the way they carry themselves. So not a lot that we talk about with the guys. It's just honestly our focus is more about what we do, and we know if we do our job well, that we're going to be right in the ball game. And then it just comes down to making plays and pitches and getting the hits when you need them.

Q. It's going to kind of go down as a footnote that catch that your left fielder made at the end. What was your thoughts on that? That prevented some tense moments there.
DAN HEEFNER: Yeah, yeah, that would have gotten real dicey there if he doesn't catch that ball because now we're looking at a 11-10 game with a guy in scoring position. He is, he's the best left fielder I've ever seen. Like he's been doing stuff like that for us all year long. He's just, like you saw on that play, he's fearless. He gets great reads on balls. Just right off the bat he was sprinting in on that, and then to have the confidence to dive and do the roll on it as well.

So usually you think left field is a spot where you put a hitter and you can maybe hide them defensively, he's kind of changed our thinking on that a little bit this year.

Q. Every time Florida was able to score, you guys were able to respond and put runs back. How did that help MD and what does that just do for your offense in kind of keeping the momentum going?
DAN HEEFNER: Yeah, I do think momentum's a big deal at the college level, and just from a confidence standpoint, especially in the first game of a regional, where we do have -- we have some experience, but half our guys have never experienced it before. So I think that was really important for them to score first. It started with that, that we scored first and I think you can just kind of feel the everybody relax a little bit and then they came right back at us though and scored two of their own, but then for us to answer back again I think just to keep the momentum in our did you go out and relax everybody. And then MD started putting up some zeros for us and then I think that really led to, you know, it's said pitching gives you confidence and after MD, after we scored again and went up 4-2 and then MD started putting up some zeros for us I think that gave our team a lot of confidence for the remainder of the game.

Q. I know you kind of alluded to it to where you guys kind of looked at Texas Tech a little bit. Did you have an idea of who you might be starting, depending on what happened I guess today?
DAN HEEFNER: Who we will start? We'll start Jordan Martinson.

Q. A lot guys were saying in practice yesterday the ball kind of flies here. Is this are there certain parks where you just go in kind of knowing how the ball goes out or how the ball travels that it's going to be maybe a more high scoring game than you're used to?
DAN HEEFNER: Yeah, there's, definitely ballparks play differently. I think this one's kind of unique, like it has a reputation for being a hitter's ballpark, but we have usually been here later in the year and it hasn't been that way so much. I think this weekend, like it was blowing in today and there were some home runs, but they were kind of down the line and they were hit really well. There were some balls that were really well struck to center field early in the game that didn't go out and didn't even come close. So I wouldn't say it's hitter friendly right now, obviously if the wind switches then it can become very offensive, but it's not right now.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you.

DAN HEEFNER: Thank you.

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