June 2, 2023
Lexington, Kentucky, USA
West Virginia Mountaineers
Postgame Press Conference
Indiana - 12, West Virginia - 6
COACH MAZEY: Pretty disappointing. Been playing good baseball for a long time, two straight years. Picked a bad time to break out a bad game. We just didn't play well.
Q. Blaine, it's been two weeks since you pitched. What kept you out? Any rust with that? How did you feel going into tonight?
BLAINE TRAXEL: No. Won the ball. Prepared. Did stuff during the week to prepare myself. Just didn't show up today.
Q. Did you have an injury or something that kept you out?
BLAINE TRAXEL: No.
Q. Landon, like coach said bad time to have a bad game, bad stretch. Anything you guys see (indiscernible) baseball?
LANDON WALLACE: It's just baseball. That's all I can look to. We put our hard work in every day. It's just what it is.
Q. Dayne, for you personally, you did make a lot of hard contact (indiscernible) ball connecting -- good to see the ball get through a couple times?
DAYNE LEONARD: I mean, yeah. I guess. But you'd like to get a win with all those. But I don't know. Yeah.
Q. Blaine, when you got bases loaded there, two strikeouts, how deflating was it when they got the signal (indiscernible)?
BLAINE TRAXEL: I was just fighting through it and made one bad pitch. The guy made me pay for it. That's baseball. That's how it works.
Q. Seemed like you were more effective the lower your arm slot angle was. Was that true? Did you feel that? Is there something that clicked for you when you're in sort of a certain slot versus another one?
BLAINE TRAXEL: My game is switching it up, being able to affect that, use that to my advantage. I guess the low slot was working from your perspective. And I thought everything was fine with me. But it just wasn't going well.
Q. You only had one guy who has ever played in a Regional before. Did you see that inexperience in a game like this?
COACH MAZEY: No, you know, we've got some veteran guys on this team. And if you're going to win a Regional, your better players have to have good games. And that's what we didn't get tonight.
And Regionals can be won from a loser's bracket. People have proven that time and time again. I think Fresno State won the national championship a while back. Lost the first game of a Regional, first game of a Super, first game at Omaha. So we're not by any means feeling like the season's over. But we do have to come out and play well tomorrow. If we don't play well tomorrow, it will be over.
Q. One positive was at-bats for the bottom of the order, I thought there was no competitive at-bats. Can you talk a little bit about that?
COACH MAZEY: Well, yeah, the bottom of the order may be the top of the order tomorrow. It's just, at this time of the year, you've got to go with the hot guys. And those guys at the bottom are swinging the bat as good as the guys at the top. So you want to get those guys to the plate as much as you can. So we're going to have to shake things up a little bit.
Seems like -- I've never been bit by a snake, but sure does feel like we are right now. So we just need something good to happen. I think once something good happens and we get a win, I think we'll carry the same momentum that we have on the bad side right now.
So we'll just -- got Ben Hampton on the mound tomorrow. He's been good for us. If he pitches well and we get a win, get some momentum, who knows what can happen here.
Q. What did you see out of Ball State's staff?
COACH MAZEY: I mean, really a competitive team. They're an older team. Every kid that comes up to the plate, look at the scoreboard, it says either "senior" or "graduate." Those kids have been around a long time. And they went through the whole game basically with -- their best pitcher threw over eight innings today. So they've got some fresh arms that are really, really good. So if we think we're just going to wake up and win tomorrow, that's not the case. We're going to have to play a lot better.
Q. Will Carlson be available tomorrow?
COACH MAZEY: Yeah, for sure. He threw less than 25 pitches; he'll be available.
Q. Played really good defense through the year. Might have been your worst defensive game, I think, this year. Again, is that just a baseball thing, or was there something they did that put pressure on --
COACH MAZEY: I think it's just a baseball thing. When you play 60 games, one of them has to be the worst game of the year defensively. It's just a shame it happened tonight. But had it happened on March the 6th, we wouldn't be talking about it. But, yeah, we couldn't record an out on a bunt, it seemed like, and just gave them a lot of runs tonight.
But they played good. They earned it. Feel bad for their starter that went out with the elbow thing in the third inning. You can tell when that happens and both dugouts are clapping for him as he leaves the field. You know, if you've ever played baseball, that's a tough thing to go through. They may have fed off that like we did when our best player got hurt. So it seemed like they played with a lot of energy tonight. So they deserved to win.
Q. Obviously not a lot of turn around time until tomorrow. Not a time, I'm guessing, for speeches or anything like that. Do you lean on those seniors or experienced guys you talked about?
COACH MAZEY: Yes. Told them coming into this thing that your best players have to play good when you get in this environment, and hopefully, since today was not a great effort, that that's behind us and we'll come out and play a good game tomorrow.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports