June 19, 2022
Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Texas A&M Aggies
Postgame Press Conference
Texas A&M - 10, Texas - 2
JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: First of all, congratulations to the University of Texas for an awesome season. I want to specifically congratulate Austin Todd. I mean, been a part of competing against that young man for six years now, between TCU and Texas A&M. What he has done with his career, he's just emblematic of everything that college baseball and college athletics and being a student-athlete, as far as I know, should be about.
And of course we have a lot of guys like that, too, but I'm a big fan of his in the fact that he's back in that ball game, hitting in the middle of the lineup for his college team in the College World Series is pretty awesome.
Excited for our team to get to continue to play. Micah was great. I didn't think we helped him out very much. But he just kept moving on to the next pitch. And Werner and J.T. continued to get big hits for us. We're excited to have a day off and get back at it.
Q. Micah, going back to what Coach Schlossnagle said about battling, what was it after that second inning that really kind of turned the tide for you out there on the mound?
MICAH DALLAS: I feel like I performed about the same. I mean, after the first inning, I knew I had my stuff. I knew that it was going to be effective. And it was really all about sticking to our game plan and not getting too ahead of myself and just syncing to our training, like we say.
But stuff just turned around after the second inning. We made some really good plays behind me. There's some unfortunate things to happen. But I mean, it was just sticking to us, really.
Q. Jordan, tell us about yourself and your teammate's approach at the plate today and being able to get deep into the those counts and continuing to win battles?
JORDAN THOMPSON: Me and my teammates have had the same approach all season. We just keep going one pitch at a time. If we get a hit, great. If we don't, put on a lot of pitches on the pitcher, make him make pitches. And just pass the bat along to the next guy behind you and have trust in them.
Q. J.T., what happened -- the ball to right-center with you and Brett on that play? And then playing behind a pitching staff that was really in rhythm and throwing strikes today, how much did that make easier on you all in the later innings?
JORDAN THOMPSON: It was good. The ball in right-center, there was some miscommunication. I wasn't loud enough. There was a big crowd out there. It was great having our staff behind us. They worked their butts off all year for us. And glad that we could help them today.
Q. Talk about playing Texas. Obviously that environment was pretty awesome. Talk about beating them and beating your archrival to advance on in the College World Series?
MICAH DALLAS: It's a lot of fun. But at the end of the day it's just playing the game and playing a nameless opponent. But there is a little extra umpf behind everything, especially when it's Texas, because you just look at the fan bases, there's a lot of like genuine hate between each other.
We kind of feed off of it. A lot of fun. We respect them. They're a great ballclub. But there's a little more, I don't know, competition, yeah, I don't know what to say. But, yeah, it's fun.
Q. Jordan, four runs and four hits in the bottom of the second inning. Was there anything in particular you all were able to do in the bottom to chase Gordon out of the second inning?
JORDAN THOMPSON: I think collectively we put together great at-bats. Just kept making them make pitches, and we took the balls and hit the strikes. Nothing more you can do.
Q. After that second inning, what was kind of I guess your psyche after -- especially with the way the Oklahoma game went -- you guys give up two runs, but limited a lot of damage that could have been done. What was your mindset knowing obviously how good of an offense you guys have, kind of how those two innings played out?
MICAH DALLAS: It's really about limiting the damage and keeping crooked numbers off the scoreboard. Coach Schlossnagle came up to me after the first inning, just encouraging me, saying way to limit the damage; we got you. Just keep doing you. That gives me a lot of confidence.
Obviously our offense is incredible. So I know that one or two runs isn't going to be the end of the world for us. I know I just need to keep going out there and compete.
Q. Micah, obviously had a strong performance. Could you speak to the performance that Jacob had to come in and relieve you in that inning and get out of it without any runs coming across?
MICAH DALLAS: It's exactly what we needed, and more, honestly. That inning could change around the whole game. I think it was bases loaded with one of the best hitters in the country up to bat. And for him to attack them, fastball, fastball, showing no fear at all, it's inspiring to our staff. And it's something that isn't just going to affect this game. We're going to be able to use that momentum and just learn from it for the following games.
Q. Micah, what was it like to be just back on this stage and coming from Texas Tech? And just what's your experience been like playing with this club?
MICAH DALLAS: It's super exciting, and I'm blessed to be able to play with this club. I love this team. I love the staff. It's just one of those things that you never really truly think that you're going to get the chance again.
And the fact that I did get the chance with all these guys and just the staff supporting me, it's something I'll forever be thankful for.
Q. Jordan, nine RBIs through the last couple of weeks of play here. I know the two home runs, what's been different, what have you done the last couple of weeks that has caused a little bit of a spark late?
JORDAN THOMPSON: Personally, I don't think I changed anything. I think I have been putting together great at-bats, I feel like, all year and finally starting to pay off, all my hits right at people and stuff like that. And they're all finally starting to drop for me.
Q. The 12-pitch at-bat with Trevor, how have you seen that develop in his game where he can get that deep? And how important was that to the ultimate outcome?
JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: Obviously it's important. Two-out hitting was a big part of the game. It's a big part of the reason we lost the other day. We gave up seven runs with two outs. Pitching, defense and timely hitting is what you're looking for.
We knew Werner, throughout the fall and going into the season, if he was healthy, he does a really good job knowing the difference between a ball and a strike. Now, he swung at a ball four several times in that at-bat, but normally he doesn't swing and miss much.
He hasn't had the at-bats everybody else has had because he had so many injuries this year. But I believe he's an SEC Player of the Year-type candidate next year, if we can get him back. But certainly a big hit today. And he made a couple really nice plays as well.
Q. Would you look at that at-bat and kind of feel like that's kind of a microcosm of what your season has been, that one at-bat? And I was going to ask about Palisch and your decision to bring him in and why at that point.
JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: That's been our offense all year. I looked at Danny in -- the ESPN Danny in our dugout -- and said, I hope you get paid by the hour because you'll be here for a while, between these two teams. And especially our offense. We play some long games.
But Palisch, that was a super easy decision. That's our -- game's in question. Our season's in doubt. And you gotta go to him right there. Faltine actually handles right-handed pitching better than he handles left-handed pitching. That was the thought process.
And I knew Kennedy was coming up soon. So that would be a better matchup. They're all right-handed for the most part.
But that was our best guy at that time. Kind of kicking myself -- should have taken him out with two outs and nobody on in the eighth before Hodo came up. I was trying to limit his pitches. But other than that, he did an awesome job.
I think the story of the game, other than us, we made pitches to Melendez. It's first and third and nobody out and he's up in the first inning. And then I think the next time he's up or the third time he's up the bases are loaded. So he's a Golden Spikes winner. And we executed pitches against him. And he's a great hitter. Going to have an awesome career. But that was a massive part of the game.
Q. Micah talked about feeding off the fan base. Just what's it like for the team, you think, to get a win here for the first time since 1993? Unchartered territory for a lot of Aggie fans, a lot of new Aggie fans, and obviously to do it against Texas.
JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: I think that's great for the fans. Obviously -- I haven't been at Texas A&M long enough to -- I know it's a big deal. I'd rather win a national title. And so if that comes at the expense of winning a game against Texas or whomever, then that's great.
I don't want to downplay it but I think those things are more for the fans than they are for the players and coaches. If we get into that kind of thought process, then we're going to be having a different mindset in one game than we are in another game.
I would rather have beaten Oklahoma, to be honest with you, and being 1-0 and playing a night game. It's a little cooler at night.
But yeah, I get it. It's fun. It's fun to hear the fans going back and forth. It's fun to have the alma mater sung or war hymn on one side and whatever they call it on that side. I think that's great. You don't see that a lot of places. To bring that to Omaha is pretty awesome.
Q. In a format like this, though, how much thinking, how much process goes throughout the game in saying we want to have a guy like Palisch out there as long as possible, but we also want to be able to save our bullpen? How much back and forth does that go in your mind in the dugout?
JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: A lot when you get it to 9-2, 8-2. But you respect -- one big part of today's game is the wind is blowing in from center and right field. If we could just keep the ball in the outer half of the plate and have them hit it into the wind, I think the ball would get out down the left field line, but it wasn't going to get out to center or right.
So we want those strike throwers in there. But there's no doubt, I'm sitting over there thinking, how can I save pitches, because we know we're going to need Palisch and we get one more day of rest and I think after that we have to play a lot of games in a row. So it's going to take everybody to get on to the next game.
Q. What are you seeing from Micah the last three weeks? He's obviously thrown a lot better. It's interesting. He's not getting past the fifth but giving you five good innings?
JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: If we weren't the worst defending team in the College World Series, we would have had him going deeper into the game. It's brutal. Some of that is himself, too, by the way.
He's just more confident. He was throwing his fastball today more than -- he normally throws a few more breaking balls than he does. He was throwing his fastball and he was throwing it down. I think that's a big difference.
He has to have his fastball down. When his fastball is down and in the strike zone or close to the striking zone he'll get the chases on the breaking ball.
But more than anything, I think the Florida game, in the SEC Tournament, really just kind of got his swagger back. He had lost that. And it's not power stuff. So it needs to be power demeanor and big body language.
And hoping Nathan Dettmer sat over there and watched what that looked like because we need that out of him as well. But to me it's more mindset than it is anything.
Q. Do you think Dylan Rock is getting closer? I thought he had good swings today. What's the plan pitching-wise going forward? Have you made a decision on a Game 3 starter?
JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: I have not made a decision on a Game 3 starter. I want to watch them play a little more. I haven't done as much research as I need to. I'll get to watch a little bit of that tonight and have a lot of time tomorrow to do so.
I think Rock is taking better swings. Last two at-bats, he hit a ball to right field, stayed on the baseball really well and then took a walk or hit by pitch, maybe, against Morehouse. So, yeah, again they call it an average for a reason. He's due. So I anticipate him having a great game next time.
Q. How do you manage the team and the environment that that was? Because obviously guys are fired up, the fans are fired up. What kind of approach do you do to coming to that Texas game? Also how do you feel about them coming to the SEC and making the SEC all that much better in a couple of years?
JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: I think when we played earlier in the year in front of the second largest crowd ever at Disch-Falk, no disrespect to Omaha, it's a lot tougher to win there than here. Because we had more fans rooting for us and they didn't have as many rooting against us.
And you play in the SEC every weekend. This is -- again, no disrespect to Omaha -- but it's like that almost every weekend almost everywhere you go. That's obviously something I'm experiencing for the first year.
The SEC, yeah, looking forward to -- it's only going to get better. It's only going to get tougher. I watched David's press conference with you guys. This is the golden era of college baseball. I truly believe that. It's only going to get better when you have more scholarships, hopefully more coaches and more programs committing at a high level.
I hope it's not at the expense of other people, because I think our game needs to be spread across the country, but when you have a 20-round draft and now you have more scholarships coming, that means there's going to be some awesome, awesome players like a Melendez, like a Troy Claunch that stays in college. It's going to be that way for a really long time.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports