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May 31, 2019

Cory Acton

Nelson Maldonado

Kevin O'Sullivan

Lubbock, Texas

Florida-8, Dallas Baptist-11

THE MODERATOR: We'll start with an opening statement from coach.

KEVIN O'SULLIVAN: I think we gave up four innings with two or more runs, so just credit their offense and credit their pitching, they did just enough there at the end and it's a tough loss for us, we got a little bit of ways to go now in the tournament, but we hand the ball off to Jack tomorrow and see what we got.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Cory or Nelson, what was MD Johnson, what was he doing well tonight to kind of move the pitches around?
NELSON MALDONADO: He commanded inside, outside, low and away, he had his slider going and that was his main pitch tonight and he knew how to locate it and he knew how to throw it for strikes.

Q. Cory, playing in your first postseason game here, what was your approach your first at-bat, and what did you see on the home run?
CORY ACTON: My first game in the regionals, it's a really big experience. I tried to not let the game get too fast for me and look for a pitch I can handle, and I got lucky enough to drive one.

THE MODERATOR: All right, we'll excuse them and then open up questions for Coach O'Sullivan.

Q. Probably not what you expected from Tommy. Was there anything you could see in his warm-up or early on that could have led to what happened tonight?
KEVIN O'SULLIVAN: No, I really don't have an answer. I fully expected him to come in and pitch well. He had nine days to prepare for the start, and I honestly I don't know what happened. I know he had trouble locating his slider down and away. He had two outs, nobody on in the first, and we end up giving up two rungs. We gave up four consecutive hits I believe, and I think we hit Sosa to start the second. So obviously it wasn't ideal to go to the pen that early.

Q. And then having to go to the pen that early, did you like what you saw from Christian Scott? He was able to get out of that first inning quick. He gave up the one run later.
KEVIN O'SULLIVAN: Well, I mean honestly, I mean, none of the guys really located and threw the ball that well. You kind of saw up close tonight what we have been going through the entire year. We got a 25-pitch first inning, we give up two outs with nobody on -- I mean, two runs with two outs with nobody on and didn't close out the inning. Then we scored two in the top of the second, and then we turned around and gave up rebound runs again. I think we did it three times again tonight.

Christian came in and did a nice job, got a ground-ball double play, and then two consecutive innings we start the count 2-0 to start the inning. We gave up two hits to start the inning because we're behind in fastball counts. We had to remind them three times or so tonight to make sure he came set because it almost looked like he balked. We had that issue with a couple of the freshmen this year about coming set.

I thought Ben came in and did a nice job. But it always comes down to a pitch here or a pitch there. We had Bandy with two strikes and I think we threw three sliders in a row. I think he's got about 50 percent swing and miss on sliders, and we didn't land one of them, one of the three. So the plan was hopefully to hopefully get Bandy right there. And then I felt good about bringing in Ben with his velo, the way he's been throwing recently and sure enough he struck out Iser. That would have ended the inning but we couldn't land one of the sliders.

And then obviously in the 9th there we make an error but we walked the next guy. And then there's a three runs on the board. We gave up, I think like I said, three times tonight I think we had we gave up rebound runs. And that's the tough thing that you kind of replay the game in your mind, you lose by three and you got a chance if we just make a couple more pitches here or there, close out the first or land one of those sliders or give up one instead of three late there, who knows?

But that's been kind of our MO all year long, we have been -- we have given up big innings, and we have had a lot of leadoff men get on because they have been offensive counts. I don't know if we have ever had a staff give up that many runs after we have scored, rebound runs. And I told the team at the end, I couldn't be more pleased offensively how we been swinging the bat and defensively how much we have improved throughout the course of the year. I mean, you score eight runs in the first game of a regional, you should win. Over the years we have been hard to score that many runs against somebody who is No. 1 or 2, especially regional setting.

So, yeah all in all it's disappointing. I'd think by game 58 we would have some of these things squared away, but obviously we don't.

Q. As a coach game 58, do you run out of ways to talk to your team about that? Is it the same thing over and over?
KEVIN O'SULLIVAN: I mean, we do this every year. I don't know, this is my 21st year between Clemson and Florida, I'm not quite sure why it hasn't sunk in. But we'll have to figure out another ways but at the end of the day -- these freshmen they got to learn, there's ups and downs and it's a process, but you shouldn't have to be at a point by game 58 to remind them to come set. You're sitting over there in the dugout getting nervous because I mean it's close and we did that at Georgia and we did that quite a bit this year. So we just got to figure out another way to get our point across.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you.

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