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June 17, 2019

Tim Tadlock

Caleb Kilian

Cameron Warren

Cody Masters

Omaha, Nebraska

Texas Tech - 5, Arkansas - 4

TIM TADLOCK: We had a hunch these guys were going to be fun to watch with their backs against the wall. We really hadn't been in that position throughout the year. Played really good baseball pretty much, and we try to approach each day and good win that day and play the game the right way. Caleb Kilian gave us an opportunity today that the way he pitched gave us an opportunity to come through late in the game. Cam got on with a walk and Cody ran the ball out into right center. There was a lot of really good at-bats throughout the day.

And again, we just kind of had a hunch after the other day these guys -- they're going to be fun to watch with their backs against the wall. They like playing baseball, and they like preparing.

It's just one of those deals, it's going to be fun to watch them.

Q. Caleb, how would you assess your start? Seemed like you had a lot of success with that breaking ball, especially against the top of their lineup?
CALEB KILIAN: Yeah, I think it improved throughout the game. I don't think it was that great at the beginning. But I felt like I had good command with all my pitches for the most part, and I think that's what really helped me out.

Q. Cam, more fun to hit one out of the park or get to show off your wheels there?
CAMERON WARREN: It was probably more fun to hit it out. I'm still kind of tired still probably a little bit.

Q. Caleb, how much of a lift does it give you personally, or the team in general, when Cam runs that ball out there like that because at the time Arkansas had put some runs together against you and you guys had really had to get it going offensively?
CALEB KILIAN: Yeah, that was huge. That gave me a ton of confidence. Man, that was awesome because I was kind of just grinding it out, out there, hoping for some run support, and then Cam comes through with that. I kind of knew it was coming. I had a feeling about it, so when it happened I was pumped and that got us going on a little roll, and then our hitters started getting some hits, so it was good.

Q. Caleb, what helped you settle in there after that third inning when Arkansas got up 3-0? Seemed like after that you retired seven of the next eight. What helped you settle in?
CALEB KILIAN: Honestly I didn't feel like I changed a whole lot. I just felt like I was commanding my pitches from the very beginning, so I just kept doing the same thing. I didn't let it get in my head that they were hitting me or anything, and I just kind of flushed it real quick, kept doing what I was doing, and it seemed to work.

Q. Cameron, how long did it seem, feel, from first base around to home, that distance?
CAMERON WARREN: Pretty far. Honestly whenever -- I didn't see that I was stealing. That's the first time I've stolen in so long, and I didn't even look in, and it got so loud and I heard it off the bat, I was like, I think it's gone but I was like I gotta run. Then I saw J-Bob at third base telling me to go, so I was like, come on, big boy, you've got to score. (Laughter).

Q. Cody, just going into that spot, what was your just mentality going into that, especially in that big spot?
CODY MASTERS: Prior to that, didn't have many good at-bats before that, and so whenever I was stepping on deck, just kind of took a deep breath, tried to forget everything and tried to come through for the squad that's always come through for me when it mattered. Just basically flushing it, I guess.

Q. Cody, Scroggins obviously was having a lot of success with that slider. I think he threw all sliders to Jung. Were you expecting him to attack you with the fastball and were you sitting on that pitch?
CODY MASTERS: All day I was kind of getting myself out on the changeups and sliders. So early on I was kind of looking to hit that, I guess, and I got up 3-1, so I kind of scooted up. He was missing away a little bit, so I figured he'd go there again and I got ahold of a low-and-away pitch, I believe.

Q. Coach, I'm curious the thought process on going with Easton in the leadoff spot. That's a big spot for him, for a guy that hasn't been in this position a whole lot.
TIM TADLOCK: Yeah, we've played two years with the same leadoff hitter. Gabe Holt has been very dynamic for us. It's not really up for debate if he's healthy who's hitting leadoff. Really wanted to give our lineup the same look and wanted to get a left-handed bat in there, and you're really looking at there's some guys that have hit leadoff on our team, Dylan Neuse, Max Marusak, Dru Baker, and I'm talking about in their career, and Easton Murrell is the other one.

Really just felt like the left-handed bat was the right thing to stick in there. And then the advantage he has by he's seen everybody out of their bullpen, the older guys. He's seen them a number of times. So a little bit of both went into it.

But really we've played -- let's see, we played opening day here and then our third game of the super regional, those are the two games we've played without Gabe Holt. So we're going through some changes, and we've got to try to be as competitive as we can be 1 through 9, and just felt like Easton is a guy that's handled that.

Q. Did you feel like a genius when he ran that ball out of the ballpark against his old team?
TIM TADLOCK: Well, what's funny is I was talking to Matt and we were talking about the next inning, and really -- no. I mean, no, it didn't surprise me at all. He's put together really good at-bats over the last month, maybe even the last six weeks. He hit some balls in Oklahoma City just like that, that went for outs. The ballpark was playing a little bit bigger. So I mean, I'm just really proud of him and thankful we've got him.

Q. Did you see anything from Caleb in the first couple of innings that would be easy in an elimination situation that you guys were down -- did you see something specific that you wanted to let him have another shot out there?
TIM TADLOCK: He was commanding the ball. The pitch to Kjerstad was a fastball away, and we just didn't -- we really thought it would be a hard fly ball to center or left, and he just got every bit of it, back-spun it and the ball went out of the ballpark. And then the other two runs scored in that inning, ball barely lands in front of Kurt. You're talking about a foot, maybe two feet from being out of the inning. And then the other one is supposed to be an elevated fastball, and it's a ground ball in the 6 hole with a left-handed hitter.

So we thought he was executing pitches for the most part, and Caleb is a guy that'll battle. He's a guy no matter what happens he's going to keep trying to execute pitches and shows a lot of his maturity as a pitcher.

Q. I don't know if you've answered this already, but just that last inning where Caleb was able to get out of there to maybe save Taylor from having to go to an extra batter at some point, how big was that for him to get out of that, just kind of really end --
TIM TADLOCK: It was huge. Martin had had really -- he'd been seeing the ball really good on him, or we'd be missing location and really just felt like Caleb was locating at that point and felt like if he located the pitches, we were going to be in good shape, and he did, thank goodness.

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