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June 17, 2022

David Pierce

Dylan Campbell

Tristan Stevens

Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Texas Longhorns

Press Conference

Notre Dame - 7, Texas - 3

THE MODERATOR: David, please give us an overview.

DAVID PIERCE: I thought Notre Dame played really well, and they pitched really well. Pete struggled just getting to really arm side. And when he tried to go there, the ball was cut on him.

But he competed. He just had way too much traffic and too many things happening that we just couldn't overcome. We kind of minimized them to the one inning.

And offensively they did a great job of just pitching hard in with both fastball and cutter and then mixing the change-up and occasional fastball away. So they deserved to win. I thought they were better than us tonight.

And we'll regroup, practice tomorrow, and bounce back before a Sunday game.

Q. Dylan, can you talk about Bertrand? I know you did pretty well tonight, but he seemed to kind of keep the rest of the guys in knots. Were they chasing the pitches out of the strike zone or anything special he was doing?

DYLAN CAMPBELL: I feel he was more like a pitchability guy, not really have a lot of velo to beat us. But he was landing his slider and stuff and kind of gave us some trouble with that and just kind of overall just missing our barrels the whole day. We just couldn't really figure him out.

Q. How long do you guys give yourselves to think about today's game and then versus flushing it and getting ready for Sunday?

DYLAN CAMPBELL: I'd probably think about it a little bit tonight. Just look at the game as a whole, see what we can do better. And tomorrow is a whole new day, flip the page and get ready for practice and get ready for A&M the next day.

TRISTAN STEVENS: I'd say it's more than just learn from what happened, learn from the mistakes, make the adjustments and move on. Tomorrow's a new day. We've been in this situation in the past. So move on and get back to work.

Q. Tristan, when you came into the game, did you think that you were going to have like a two-inning outing or did you think the rest of the game was yours?

TRISTAN STEVENS: I honestly just throw until they get the ball out of my hands. I don't really go in there with the expectation of when I come out. It's whenever Coach Pierce comes out there and takes the ball, that's when I'm done.

Q. I know a lot of thoughts coming into rivalry game the second game no matter what happens. Your thoughts on facing A&M and what that will mean for you all in the field and for the fans in the stands?

DYLAN CAMPBELL: I'd say we just kind of look at it as just another game. I know it's bigger than that. But if we go into the game thinking like, oh, this is a big game, like don't want to get sped up and stuff. We just want to take it one pitch at a time and try to minimize as much as we can.

TRISTAN STEVENS: It's just another game at the end of the day. Not a lot of teams like us anyway. So there's nothing new with that. It's just another game.

Q. Tristan, could you explain the whole balk situation, your whole situation and what you did?

TRISTAN STEVENS: Just miscommunication with me and Skylar. Just unfortunate, but just a miscommunication.

Q. I know this isn't where you want to be, but piggybacking on what you said earlier, you talked all year about keep going, fighting back from adversity. You were here last year, losing the first game and fighting your way back. Is there a, I don't want to say silver lining, but familiarity with where you guys are now?

TRISTAN STEVENS: Like I mentioned, we've been in this situation last year. Big thing is what we've been preaching is next pitch. We can't think big picture. We can't be looking three games ahead, two games ahead. Our next target now is A&M. We just go from there and take it one game at a time, one pitch at a time.

Q. What are you seeing a little differently from Pete the last couple of weeks and maybe before? Do you see him maybe getting a little tired, worn down, or is it not really that?

DAVID PIERCE: He took the ball and felt like he was very fresh. He had a good week. I just think that he's just not getting the arm side, and I don't know if he's cutting the -- I know he's cutting the ball, and just working around it a little bit.

And his slider hasn't been as sharp either. But it's just, he's frustrated. He's frustrated about it. But on the back end of the season, I'm sure he could be a little tired, fatigued. He's not going to go there and use that as an excuse. He just hasn't been as sharp, and I can't pinpoint why.

Q. First game you all haven't had an extra base hit all year long. Obviously the pitcher really pitched well. Curious on your thoughts on the mentality at the plate, were they expanding the strike zone for him or chasing high pitches, or what did you see?

DAVID PIERCE: I didn't think we chased a lot of pitches. I thought he made a lot of pitches, honestly. He's really good on the inside corner to right-handers, and we've been so good against left-handers this year throughout our lineup.

And both he and Findlay are very different because they trust their slider back in, and they can pinpoint where they want to throw it. And they throw it for strikes and then they'll run it all the way in, just off the plate.

But they also have the ability to use the other side of the plate, especially with the change-up. So I just credit two veteran kids that did a great job of pitching.

And I know we were ready. We had extra period of work. And our preparation was right. But just wasn't our day. We had a couple of line drives back to back there, could have changed some things. We couldn't get that flow going, and we just couldn't get their traffic off the bases all day. So we were just constantly under stress, defensively and pitching.

Q. Confirming Lucas on Sunday?

DAVID PIERCE: No, because of the extra day, I haven't made that decision yet.

Q. The two bang, bang plays, David, especially the one at the plate, how did you see it? And did it unsettle your team any?

DAVID PIERCE: Yeah, I was wasn't sure if we should have reviewed the first one at first base, and we actually got that one overturned and I agreed with it.

The one at the plate, to me it looked very difficult to overturn. Just couldn't see where they had enough or conclusive evidence to actually change the call. But evidently they did.

And that was a factor, because we get out of the inning, potentially, and give up two instead of three. So you take the balk out of there, which was a communication issue. It was a call that they didn't have the right communication on, and that's from the field.

So you take that run away, you take that play and it stands and it's a 4-3 game. And maybe it's different. But the review has been good. It's been beneficial. It's just unfortunate.

Q. Ivan Melendez went 1-for-4. Did you notice Notre Dame doing anything special to contain him tonight?

DAVID PIERCE: He went 1-for-4. He's not going to go 4-for-4 every night. They did a good job of pitching him.

Q. I know it's a rivalry game coming up, an elimination game. What does that mean for your players and especially for the fan base?

DAVID PIERCE: It's going to be huge for our fan base. These guys downplayed it, and they should. We just can't get caught up into playing Texas A&M. We have to keep it about us and just do our prep and they're good. They swing the bats well. They're a good team.

It wouldn't matter if it was A&M or whomever. It's just a game we're playing for our lives to continue, our baseball lives for this year. I know the guys will be ready to go. I don't want them playing tight. I want them to go out there, relax, let it fly and see what happens.

But I think it's huge for our fan base. It would be nice if it was in the winners' bracket. But it's not.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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