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May 27, 2022

Jim Schlossnagle

Kole Kaler

Trevor Werner

Hoover, Alabama, USA

Hoover Metropolitan Stadium

Texas A&M Aggies

Postgame Press Conference

Texas A&M 12, Alabama 8

JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: Well, obviously tale of two games. The first three innings is about as ugly as of baseball as we have played the whole season. I can't remember us playing that poorly. I thought Dettmer, although he didn't have a breaking ball going, he threw his fastball down enough, he got the ground balls that he normally gets. And certainly we played very poorly behind him, both in the infield and the outfield.

But that's typical for our team. We've played from behind so much, nobody ever panics. Kept having good at-bats, Palisch did okay, Cortez got us a few outs, and Will Johnson has really been awesome the second half of the season. We'll take it and move on to tomorrow.

Q. You went down 6-1 and you had five errors in four innings. How impressed are you that your team didn't quit? A lot of baseball players, a lot of baseball teams would have given up at that point.

JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: Yeah, I mean, if you've seen us play every day this year, especially since conference play began, that's really what we've been all about, to be honest with you. Not the five errors. We haven't had great starting pitching most of the season. That's going to catch up with us at some point. Hopefully we'll pitch better when it gets here.

But we've been down 9-0, we've blown leads, we've done everything you possibly can. It's as gritty and resilient of a team as I've ever been around, and that says a lot. Been doing this 32 years. They never panic, they just move on to the next pitch and then see what happens.

Q. Was there any thought of leaving Dettmer in because you're kicking around him and he's getting those ground balls and then also how is the blister on the foot? Did it turn out okay in his start?

JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: Yeah, as far as I know the blister on the foot turned out fine.

I knew having played them, obviously they beat us two out of three, and then you look at the numbers and watch them play, you'd much rather be left-handed against them. Even some of their right-handed hitters hit right-handers better than they hit lefties. I knew we were going to go to the lefties, I just wanted to Dettmer his work in, but I also wanted to have a chance to win the game. I figured I'd get Palisch 30, 40 pitches and get him out and see if we can't piece it together, which is what we did, I just wish we wouldn't have given up the extra runs.

I took Dettmer out because he didn't have a breaking ball, and we needed to change the look and be left-handed.

Q. Jim, you said yesterday check the conference-only stats about your offense, and you're leading the league in runs and batting average and hits. The way you guys swing the bat up and down the lineup, is that something that gives you confidence? You said there's no panic when you get down five, six runs. Is that a function of the way you swing the bat?

JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: Yeah. I mean, it's been our season. It's been our season. Fortunately. It's not my brand of baseball that I would prefer. You would prefer to combine that with good starting pitching. I thought Hitt did a really nice job for them. I thought we battled. I thought he was really tough. I thought he gave them a great chance to win. Obviously Dylan got one really good swing on him, but -- Grayson is his first name, right?

I thought Grayson did a really good job, and we need somebody like that to give us a good -- like Dallas did yesterday. We're going to need somebody -- if we're going to achieve something deep into a postseason, I don't know, I mean, very few teams swing their way to Omaha. But this is certainly one that's capable of doing it.

Q. Coach, about half of Dylan Rock's home runs have been with two strikes. What is his approach like late in the count fouling off pitches and stuff?

JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: Yeah, he just doesn't panic and that's our whole team. They're allowed to swing at the first pitch, but we've shown them what the numbers are. We've shown them -- if we just see one pitch, we've shown them what the batting average is -- if you swing at the first pitch, and we've shown them what the numbers are, if we just see one pitch -- and we actually hit higher in an 0-1 count than we do in a 1-0 count. That's been a constant conversation throughout the whole season is every pitch is information.

Dylan has done that since he's been on campus. Jack Moss has done that since he's been on campus. A guy like Bost -- did boast have five walks yesterday, I think? He had a bunch of -- anyway, a guy like Bost, we used to say everybody in the ballpark should get free ice cream when he draws a walk because he's always hacking.

But yeah, up and down the lineup, our goal was to see pitches. It's not to drive up the pitches because you do that against a good pitcher, you're going to get beat up. But Rock just doesn't panic. He sees the pitches and he knows what the shape of the pitch looks like when it's a strike, he knows what it then looks like when it's not a strike, and then he'll process that information.

Obviously he's just a really good hitter and he doesn't panic, and he's had about 600 college at-bats, so he's been around a while.

Q. Your dugout had the picture of Jimbo Fisher on the wall that was shown on TV a little bit. What was the story behind that and was that a source of motivation for you at all?

JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: No, it wasn't a source of motivation. That was just -- I just got a text from him, by the way, so it's awesome. He's fired up. Congratulations, gritty win, fun team to watch.

For me, coming to this conference, that's -- the attraction is the -- whether it's mean-hearted or not, I'll let those guys decide. But for us, that's part of being in this league, man, is the rivalries. It's exciting.

I'm not saying that doesn't happen in other conferences. It just doesn't happen as much.

We threw it up there for our guys -- it's really just to keep guys loose. If we need motivation to win the SEC tournament, then there's something wrong. But it was just something funny and guys were laughing at it. And meant no disrespect to Alabama or Coach Saban, respect him greatly. That was just something fun to do.

Q. Any thoughts on who will get the ball tomorrow or will that be something you discuss tonight?

JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: Probably Prager. I want to watch and wait and see who wins, but more than likely, Ryan Prager, more than likely.

Q. Kole, does an 18 year old Kole Kaler respond the way you did tonight after the rough first inning?

KOLE KALER: No, no, he definitely doesn't. Panics a great amount right there. But no, just the maturity and what I've learned since I've been here is really -- hey, one pitch at a time. It is what it is after that. But just get right back to it. That's kind of what we did as an infield tonight. Didn't start the way we wanted to, but it's just continue to play pitch to pitch.

Q. Did that picture keep you guys loose?

TREVOR WERNER: Yeah, I honestly didn't see it until after the game started. I don't know what inning it was, but I kind of looked up on the wall and it said gig 'em and Coach Fisher up there. Rough start, but if something happens to loosen the mood and that was it, then so be it. Maybe we'll keep going with it.

KOLE KALER: Keep it up there.

Q. After those four errors, did you guys say anything to each other? Did you just kind of knowingly turn the page?

TREVOR WERNER: Yeah, we kind of all knew, hey, we need to come together and reset there because those first three innings were not Aggie baseball. So we said we're going to reset, deep breath, get back to doing what we do, and just kind of went from there, and it was smooth from there on out.

Q. Kole, got a couple big knocks tonight, but typically what you do is get on base, but the guy hitting in front of you, Jordan Thompson, and the revelation he's been to your lineup, the ability to get it back to Trevor, how big is JT's emergence late in the year?

KOLE KALER: Huge. Huge. JT has been super productive. He's starting to see a lot of pitches, too, and that's helping me on deck. I'm getting to see, pick up some more information on the pitcher. But yeah, JT has been huge and he had a lot of great at-bats tonight.

JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: That's who I was thinking of on the four walks, Jordan Thompson. Free ice cream.

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