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June 2, 2023

Mitch Canham

Micah McDowell

Trent Sellers

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Oregon State Beavers

Postgame Press Conference

Oregon State - 18, Sam Houston - 2

COACH CANHAM: Good way to start the postseason. Guys did a great job on offense. Obviously early on, first inning a little bit of hiccups.

Trent made a great adjustment moving the ball back down in the zone and then also landing his off-speed. I thought his change-up was really good today. And his composure was off the charts. Watching him go that deep into a game, it's something that -- excited to watch him go out and do in a big game like that.

And sets us up in a good spot as far as our bullpen for the next couple of days.

And offensively I know we ran into four outs on the bases, but honestly thinking about it I'd rather those guys be going hard and trying to create stuff as opposed to being passive. And that kind of just matched their mentality at the plate.

So very happy with how everyone did. And also the chatter in the dugout. The look in their eye. The demeanor in which they went about today was outstanding. So we would love for that to continue.

Q. Trent, can you just lead me through what was working today? Did you feel good from pregame on? Like just lead me through your day?

TRENT SELLERS: Felt a little weird coming out of the bullpen getting into the game. I was pushing everything instead of just flicking it. And after that home run I gave up, I really locked it down and started using not just my fastball but my change-up, slider, curveball. And yeah, it was good, though.

Q. Trent, given the injuries on the pitching staff and given the importance of the postseason, have you ever been in a game like this where the pressure is at its highest?

COACH CANHAM: Yeah, the last two years at my old school for the NAIA World Series. It's not as much pressure as this. It's a bigger stage, I would say, but I have been in this type of pressure situation.

Q. Micah, I have a text question for the press box, have you ever had a day like this before?

MICAH MCDOWELL: No, I think this is the best day I've ever had as a player overall, I think in my whole life, yeah.

Q. The home run obviously in the first was the big hit of the game. Kind of flipped the momentum there. Could you lead us through that at-bat? And could you just speak to the offense overall? You guys set postseason records for the school in runs, total bases and home runs?

MICAH MCDOWELL: I think entering that at-bat kind of frustrated I didn't get the bunt down on the first pitch. But I just went back to my process and kind of reset there. And I got a good pitch over the plate and just put a good swing on it.

But I'd say our offense as a whole, just 1 through 9, and even the four, five guys on the bench, I think we really bought into a plan at the plate that the coaches have preached to us, and have just done a good job staying confident, especially I think a guy like Travis Bazzana just feeds off all of us and gives us a lot of confidence going into games like this.

Q. Micah, you get to play center field and see everything develop. How does this park compare to your home one?

MICAH MCDOWELL: It plays pretty similar. I'd say that humidity kills the ball a little bit. It hangs up a little bit more. But definitely plays a lot similar to Goss. But we had a pretty good time seeing the ball at the plate today, too. So I think you see the ball a lot better here for sure.

Q. Trent, I know you made some adjustments kind of last week or so of the regular season, including moving to the wind-up. Obviously those changes are going well. Could you lead us through the process of making those changes, how they've helped, how that came about?

TRENT SELLERS: I think the base thing is trusting what our pitching coach says and believing what he says. And when he told me he wants me to try the windup, I was, all right, I haven't done it in a couple of years I'll go for it.

Against Western Carolina, I felt really good out of it. I felt more comfortable than I ever have. And I feel like I have better command, too, as well. I tend to rush a little bit. And that going out of the windup helps me not rush, let's say.

Q. (Indiscernible)?

TRENT SELLERS: No, (indiscernible) just said he just recognized me with my short hair, but it's a little different. Feel a lot better. A lot cooler.

Q. (Indiscernible) next two and a half years?

TRENT SELLERS: I'm going to keep cutting it, I think.

Q. Just in light of leaving two starters at home, does it put more on the offense to kind of produce? You guys have been swinging a hot bat lately anyway. But I feel like maybe you might feel like there's more on you?

MICAH MCDOWELL: I wouldn't say there's too much pressure. I think our guys go out there and they compete every day, which is awesome.

I mean, last weekend we played in Scottsdale and it's definitely a hitter's ballpark for sure. I think we just got unlucky on a few balls in play there.

But, no, we just know these guys are going to go out and compete and give their best. I wouldn't say there's any press. It's just let's get one every inning for these guys, let's get one early for these guys early.

Q. Given the injuries on the pitching staff, how important was it for Trent to go seven and a third tonight and go deep into the game like he did?

COACH CANHAM: I think definitely went out there and set a great example of how to compete, how to make adjustments, how to stay involved in the game. As Trent said he tends to rush and go.

I think moving him into the windup, creating some rhythm, slowing it down a little bit and how he's handling in between innings, he handled it like a pro today and set a great example for a lot of the other guys.

And obviously having a couple of guys down right now can put you in a tight spot, but it's also a great opportunity for other guys to step up and dominate the 0-0s and 1-1s. If we can do that like we have been preaching all year long, then guys go deep into the game and get outs.

Hits are going to happen. The ball will bounce the wrong way from time to time, but for all those guys that are getting ready to throw, they all can go deep in the game -- we've worked them up plenty - whether it's Larson, Lattery, Ferrer -- really any of those guys -- Jimi, Hutch -- I wouldn't be worried about any of those guys going deep in the game as long as they do what we've been preaching all year -- 0-0s and 1-1s, get after it.

Q. The records I was referring to earlier there from '05 against St. Johns. Does that sting a little bit or do you take more pride in this one?

COACH CANHAM: I did not know that. Thanks for pointing that out, Joe. I'm thrilled for what these guys are doing offensively. I know how hard they work and watching them in the cages, there comes a point when you don't have to sit there and breathe down their neck and be too demanding because they're holding each other accountable the way they're putting in their work, they go through their routines each and every day.

We talk a lot about the lonely work, as you and I have talked about before, but it's not those three hours that they spend with us on the field, the coaches. They dominate those other 21 hours of a day each and every day of the week.

Part of it, when we got back from the Pac-12 tournament, I was curious, hey, take a couple days off. Sometimes that can be scary because all you want to do is work, work, work. But it seemed like how the guys came back refreshed paid some strong dividends today.

And they didn't miss a beat. I mean, five walks, six strikeouts, driving the baseball. At one point in the game Darwin leans over and says, you know, we really haven't chased that much. A ball over the head, one in the dirt. But the guys controlled the zone really well. They just kept feeding off each other.

They put in a lot of time on the scouting reports, the players themselves did as well. And so whenever somebody new came in, there was someone there sharing about what they knew and how we should attack them and how he was going to come at us. Guys took a big step together this week.

Q. You were really aggressive on the base path, do you think that will continue with LSU or play more base to base?

COACH CANHAM: They better keep running. Like I said, I'm not a big fan of playing passive or doing anything passive in life. If Tanner Smith hits the ball down the right field line, he's not going to swipe 30 bags this year. But he worked to unhook the trailer and get there.

The guy made a great throw on it. Same with Kasper. They're pushing the envelope. I think we're going to learn a lot from those kinds of mistakes. But not everyone's going to play catch that perfect every time.

I don't want them to lose that enthusiasm for running. They had a catcher who likes to back pick a lot to first base. So we're very well aware of that. I don't want it to make us start to worry.

I want us to be in a good position. I want us to put pressure on the defense, the pitcher, and allow our hitters to get fastballs down the middle or breaking balls that hang up in the zone.

So we'll learn from some of those moments. There's a hard-hit ball to left field, I think Mikey Kane hit it, up against the wall, and Guerra went back to second to tag. I love the idea of, hey, I'm going to go back and tag and get to third. But in that situation if it bounces off the wall and he doesn't score we've got a problem.

So mixing a lot of the video, we'll take that and we'll send it out to the guys tonight or tomorrow morning and learn from those as they've done a great job all year learning from one another, and some of the mistakes and some of the successful moments.

Q. Couple LSU questions for you. One, could you describe the challenge of facing them here in their park with their crowd? And two, were you surprised that they didn't save Skenes for you guys?

COACH CANHAM: No, I know they've got good pitching. They've got good hitting. Really that game one, you've got to go out, and getting in the winners' bracket is a big difference, as far as what could happen.

But that's out of our control. We weren't really thinking about that. All our focus thus far has been on today's game. Obviously done some prep knowing our opponents, each opponent here.

And as far as playing here against LSU, I think when we got selected for this Regional, all of our guys were very excited. I think no matter what Regional we went to, there was going to be excitement. But they were looking forward to playing against Sam Houston and Tulane and LSU. They wanted to go out there and play in front of a lot of fans.

But really we were talking about it before the game. It's a great feeling going out and playing in front of thousands of people as opposed to just a couple hundred. You don't really notice them, really because there's so many people out there, it just becomes a hum.

But how these guys are acting with one another right now, I don't really think they notice much else what's going on around them other than play the baseball game and be there with one another.

So we'll study. We'll put together a game plan and work our hardest to go out and execute tomorrow.

Q. Have you had a chance to think about who you might start tomorrow?

COACH CANHAM: Yes. I've been thinking a lot about it. I'm still thinking about it. I know Micah McDowell is going to start tomorrow. On the mound? We'll see. But I think we've got a good idea. We'll see.

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