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June 2, 2019
Dallas Baptist-0, Texas Tech-3
COACH TIM TADLOCK: I guess first, congratulations to Dallas Baptist, their university, Coach Heefner, their staff, their team. Had a great year. Had a great team. You know, their kids really battled today. They had a good game earlier, and I thought Reeves threw the ball really well. Pitched out of a big jam there.
I don't know about you guys, I have a lot of fun watching these guys. Our group's a lot of fun to watch, offensively, defensively. Really, in every phase of the game, they never cease to amaze me, how fun they are to watch. Not saying it's always perfect. Baseball is not perfect. But you run out there in Game 3, real stuff, and then obviously your starters right there, Bryce really threw the ball well. Really proud of him.
And then obviously John, I don't know how many -- I don't know if you'll ever see that again, other than while he's here. That's a special arm.
Q. How important was it for to you get the first pitch strikes today just in terms of confidence and putting them behind the 8-ball?
BRYCE BONNIN: That's always kind of the goal. It's easier to pitch to a guy when you get the first one. Gardner called a great game. Brax caught a great game. Made it really easy. Offense put up runs, so I was pitching with a cushion the entire time I was out there and made it really easy. It was really comfortable and had a lot of fun.
Q. I asked you earlier in the season, obviously your first start wasn't one you wanted to remember. What was this like?
BRYCE BONNIN: You know, this whole season, it's just been getting better every week. Those coaches have had a plan with how they deal with us as a team and individually and I feel like they really helped me develop and been able to throw more strikes. Been able to get quick innings, and obviously I've got a great defense behind me. Just makes it really easy.
Q. Can you talk of what you've been able to do, the three home runs, just in clutch moments.
CAMERON WARREN: I don't think -- all my home runs, they all got on base and that gave me a chance to come up to the plate.
Q. Carlos mentioned it, but from that first game until now, was it kind of special to go out there, not just you being out there, but to have Easton with you kind of in that start?
BRYCE BONNIN: Yeah, you know, we've been through a lot this past year, but you know, had a plan, and I'm glad everything's worked out so far. We both love it here. Couldn't ask for a better coaching staff or group of players to come to work with every day. It's been a blast.
Q. Josh, if they did a revote of Big 12 Player of the Year, do you think the co-Player of the Year would be --
JOSH JUNG: (Pointing to Cam) I think he's just be the Player of the Year. He's had one heck of a year and this weekend, you see it every game, he's hitting a home run to put us ahead.
We always say the whole time, he just rakes, he's the best hitter in the country, hitting that home run, when he came across home plate, that's all we were saying. Just a lot of fun, having guys in our lineup that can go up there and get the job done and then when our pitchers go out there and just show like they did today, it's so much fun.
Q. Coach Heefner mentioned the fact that you had a long swing-through, making contact all weekend long. Can you take us through that at-bat? It looked Adrian Beltre-esque with your knee almost on the ground.
CAMERON WARREN: I was just talking to Josh about the picture I saw on Twitter. I didn't even realize I was down that low until I saw the picture, but 3-1, I was just hoping I got a fastball and I didn't want to be late.
Q. Ever since you're becoming that third starter a little while ago, these last five games or so that you've pitched, everything, obviously numbers better in that span. What about the game has gotten easier for you on the mound?
BRYCE BONNIN: You know, really just throwing strikes. I feel like that's always been my biggest downfall, and you know, I've just put all my trust into these coaches and Brax done behind the plate and know every game we go in with a plan and just to execute it, not to do too much, trust your stuff. Things like that.
But I couldn't be more thankful for the people that I have behind me and that have helped me develop and get here, and still getting better every week. Still not done. Still not satisfied. Got to keep working. Keep getting better.
Q. For Josh and Cam, this team, how does this team compare to others that have also made post-season runs?
JOSH JUNG: Clutch home runs (laughing) honestly. Last year, Ramos was the guy that stepped up and this year we got this guy over here, he's just been hitting clutch homers for us all year.
But really, it's a whole team, 1 through 9 the lineup is going to come up and attack you.
One thing I want to speak to is just our defense. We're playing lockdown D right now, and it's a lot of fun to play defense when your pitchers go up there and are pounding the zone like Bryce did tonight. It's a lot of fun to play back there when it's 0-1, 0-2 all the time, bouncing around, lots of high energy and just the energy in the ballpark, that's just fun to play in front of.
CAMERON WARREN: Well, it starts with our pitching. They only gave up I think four runs in three games. That's unbelievable. It's tough to lose when that happens, starting with Bryce, Neuse and John, unbelievable to watch him come and finish it off. Everybody was looking at the board.
Q. For any of you, as you go down this great stretch near the end of the season, or regular season and conference tournament, how much is the confidence level building up on this team right now?
JOSH JUNG: I think the confidence is very high, especially when you are pitching staff goes out there like that and just has a great weekend. We used, what, like two guys really out of the pen and we had two other guys come out and throw one inning apiece. We didn't even get to use everybody on the team, so that just speaks to our starting pitching going out there and throwing the ball really well. So we're really confident (laughing).
Q. I would be remiss to ask, obviously it's a unique situation, tomorrow, MLB draft, what are your thoughts?
JOSH JUNG: I haven't thought about it. I've been so focused on this and we have seven more games to bring a title back to will Lubbock and that's really my only thoughts.
Q. Kind of as a kid growing up, what's that like to be able to even kind of hear your name amongst those type of things?
JOSH JUNG: You know, everyone grows up wanting to be a Major League Baseball player, so getting that opportunity will be awesome, but I guess here tomorrow, it will be one of those things I've got to be happy about, but it's like.
BRYCE BONNIN: Said, we're not satisfied here. I'm not going to let that be a distraction. So just going to go get seven more.
Q. What's it been like playing with Josh?
BRYCE BONNIN: Obviously he's a tremendous player. He makes hard plays look routine. I sit on the mound; I laugh every time he makes a play like the ones he made tonight.
Both these guys sitting right here, they are great leaders. You couldn't ask for better upperclassmen to help lead a team and we are going to miss both of them next year but right now we still have seven games to win. That's our main focus and we're going to keep working toward that.
Q. I know everyone is talking about the seven games, but what's it been like to play so many games with Josh and the switch he's made from third to shortstop and shoring you guys up on defense?
CAMERON WARREN: Could probably put him anywhere on the field. Obviously, like you just asked, he's going to go tomorrow in the draft really high. He's a great player. He can hit. He can do it all. He can't run, though (laughter).
JOSH JUNG: I'm still faster than you, though.
Q. I know Micah made his first start, had a really good performance. How did you feel about Bryce and his first regional appearance?
COACH TIM TADLOCK: Bryce pitched in Omaha last year. So he's had some experience in big games. Probably the neatest thing is, just watching him develop over the last, since February or really, throughout the whole year. He was in command today from pitch one. Probably could have ran him back out there if he wanted to.
We tend to try to do what's best for them in those situations, not necessarily what's best for, you know, like you're going Hayes (ph), he could probably finish the game, but you have a real special arm down there in the bullpen.
So I mean, your question's got good merit to it because he has developed. Matt's done a really good job with him. J-Bob's done a really good job with him, those guys. He believes in him.
Q. You talk about his mound presence, even though it was a third of an inning in that first start, but what do you think in that seventh inning where things could have turned a little different, but he was able to keep his heart rate down?
COACH TIM TADLOCK: Yeah, the Jones kid had a really extended at-bat. I would say it was at least eight pitches it. Was a good battle. Really felt good about really leaving him, no matter what happened at that point, based on how he was throwing the ball and stuff.
So I was really glad to see him execute the last pitch.
Q. What's it been like to coach Josh and what's it like to -- I know it's a unique situation, but it's potentially a first-round pick tomorrow.
COACH TIM TADLOCK: I tell you, it's a lot of fun watching these guys each day. You know, they love to prepare. Josh loves to hit. Loves to play baseball. Loves to work at it, as does the rest of our team. He's a guy that, you know, coming out of high school, out of San Antonio, since we're talking about the draft, probably turned down, you know, the fourth round and pretty much said, hey, no, I'm going to Texas Tech.
I mean, at that point, what really probably hits me is, you know, they believed in us, and there's not a lot of guys that have the guts in the fourth round, when their dream their whole life has been to play baseball for a living to, say, I'm going to school, but the one that is do are special. That's what I would tell you.
Q. You have to coach guys all the time playing in really big games when the MLB draft is right around the corner --
COACH TIM TADLOCK: Not tomorrow.
Q. How do you make sure -- what's a good middle ground for them to stay focused and not preoccupied?
COACH TIM TADLOCK: There's all kinds of distractions. The draft might be the smallest one for these guys. At this point, the more you win, the more you go; along this path, the more distractions come. Sometimes it's just simple things; weather, scheduling change, you name it.
These guys are pretty good about taking things in stride, and know that they are going to have some adversity along the way.
The draft, you know, as far as that goes, it's probably a blessing we're not playing tomorrow. We've all seen that. That's really hard. But you know, this team's committed to playing for their teammates, and they know all that's going on, but they know this is a great opportunity in front of them.
Q. Your starting pitching this weekend, you got 19 innings from your starting pitchers and combined from all three of those guys only gave up two earned runs. When you look back at this series, is that what anchored you to get this series win?
COACH TIM TADLOCK: That being said, I probably ought to take J-Bob, Matt out to dinner. Those guys probably need a steak or two.
Those guys threw phenomenal. I mean, really, they commanded the fastball. You're talking about three guys with wipe-out breaking pitches. They have all got a changeup. Really, it's special to watch those guys. I mean, I might have the best seat in the house but there's a lot of good ones. Just told Cam and Josh out here, or somebody, I don't remember who, told y'all, you might not see what John McMillon is doing. If you think you're going to see a hundred on that board, he might come to this ballpark in another 40 years and not see it. That's really special, and his rhythm and timing's gotten better. He's got a lot of confidence.
Q. The depth of this pitching staff, both starting and bullpen, how would you compare it to some of the staffs you've had in the past?
COACH TIM TADLOCK: Oh, God, here we go.
I had a really good one at Grayson County. I mean, Garrett Mock was really good. Had some guys that were really good. Had one in Norman at Chase Anderson and Garrett Richards were coming out of the bullpen. Those guys were pretty good. So we've had good staffs before.
At the same time, this staff is throwing the ball really well at the right time, so give a little kudos to those guys. I could probably rattle off some more names, but there's no reason to compare them.
Really right now what you're seeing, we all need to appreciate it, and it's pretty special.
Q. Along those lines, do you think you would have gone into this regional and only pitched seven guys?
COACH TIM TADLOCK: Oh, I mean, if you really think about it, you do what the game is telling to you do, and I guess if we had to pitch 12, we'd pitch 12. The guys that didn't, we have to give them some work now. So you're talking about some guys will be getting some simulated at-bats sometime tomorrow to give them some normal rest and be able to throw a side in there before Friday.
Q. The run Cam has been on, probably most of the Big 12 -- how special has he been this year as he's grown in the program?
COACH TIM TADLOCK: Oh, wow, I'm telling you, he's -- I had a guy I played with text me last night, he might be the best home run hitter this. Guy could hit. I'm like, come on, dog, what are we talking about here. I don't know about that. There have been some really good hitters roll through here. But he's special.
I mean, the neat thing is, nowadays, is the analytics behind everything, proves it. His on-base percentage, everything that you talk about, his slugging percentage, he drives in runs. He does what a lot of good hitters do; they take the straight one away from him, and then you obviously saw what he did to the spinning one yesterday. I mean, he hit it in that tree, so pretty neat.
COACH TIM TADLOCK: Start with great teammate. I'd start with a guy that could hit in the middle of an order. Start with a guy that's become a really good first baseman. A lot of people don't know this but in high school, Cam threw really hard. And so he used to be a third baseman, believe it or not, and he's athletic enough to play a corner in the outfield. He's -- anything he does from this point forward won't surprise any of us, I don't think.
But really, what I touched on a minute ago is the numbers back up what he is. Those numbers pretty much will tell those people -- I don't know if you know, front offices, there's a lot of people in there looking at numbers, and his pretty much back up what he does.
On top of that, I mean, look at the play Josh made there up the middle on Isaacson, pretty good runner. Cam made it look easy, made it look like it was Hargrove. He's gotten to where he's -- it's a long answer, huh.
I think they know we love him. I mean, it's a neat deal.
Q. You did the matt adore song, everybody went to the loom, business as usual. Does this get old for you guys? I know there's an ultimate goal, you want to get back to Omaha, but to breeze through this it seems like the way you guys did, does it get old?
COACH TIM TADLOCK: I wouldn't say "breeze through it." We had a one-run game yesterday, and scored three today, and I mean, when you step back and look at it, you either -- still things you can work on, improve on, get better each day, try to find that rhythm and timing, but we don't take it for granted, the position we're in. These guys know what's in front of them.
You know, we want them to enjoy the wins, at the same time, when they wake up in the morning, want to be ready to go.
Q. What kind of went into the decision to bring in Neuse again, was it just pretty much asking him if he was good to go or not?
COACH TIM TADLOCK: Well, I wish it was that easy. If it was that easy, he'd just played probably yesterday.
He did rehab at 11:00. He ran with Torre and Brian right after we stretched, so two and a half hours before the game. They both felt like he was pushing off really good. Didn't feel like he's 100 percent but felt like he could at least play left.
We went into it and I talked -- we talked to him. I said, man, if we play, just like to leave everybody in their spot. Really, as a result of not taking batting practice on the field. If you had the luxury of taking BP on the field, you could run Kurt to right and Dylan to left or whatever combination you wanted to do. Kurt to center however you want to do it.
Without the preparation of batting practice and seeing balls off the bat, we just felt like the reads wore better at their normal spots. Ball might land with Dylan out there because he's 80 percent, 90 percent, whatever he is. But it wasn't going to land in the other two. So you could have had that if you go to moving everybody.
There was a play where Kurt called off Josh, and I actually thought of it at that time. I was like, you know, there's one where if you got a guy nursing a hammy, he might want Josh to call it. So I like batting practice before games, by the way. It helps, especially when a guy is nursing a hammy.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports