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June 20, 2010

Jackie Bradley, Jr.

Blake Cooper

Ray Tanner

Christian Walker


Oklahoma – 4
South Carolina - 3

THE MODERATOR: Joining us from South Carolina will be Jackie Bradley, Jr., Christian Walker, and Blake Cooper and Head Coach Ray Tanner. Coach, an opening statement.
COACH TANNER: I realize it's been a long day at the yard, but despite the length and the conditions, it turned out to be a really good college baseball game. They took advantage of some run-scoring opportunities. I think they had the first two runs with two-out hits. Buechele gave them a little bit of a cushion there with a home run. We battled. We had some good at-bats. Never came up with a really big hit. Brady Thomas squared that ball up. I guess that was in the 8th inning, but right at Reine. So it didn't go down. But we battled and Oklahoma did a nice job winning the ball game.

Q. Ray, especially after the length of the game and the delays, will it be a little tougher to pick the game back up and get ready for the elimination game on Tuesday?
COACH TANNER: I don't think so. The college World Series. I know we're disappointed that we lost, but we get a day off. We'll regroup, try to rest a little bit and be ready to go.
Our guys, I'm pretty sure they're not ready to depart. They may be a little bit weary tomorrow morning, but these guys are young. They'll bounce back. They'll be ready to go.

Q. Ray, talk about how tough it is that you had a lot of run-scoring opportunities, just weren't able to capitalize, kind of reminiscent of that little stretch where you guys struggled, just couldn't get a big run home.
COACH TANNER: Well, it gets a little frustrating, but it's part of the game. You have to give credit to Oklahoma's guys on the mound, too. They made a couple of pitches when they needed to and ended up loading the bases there for Brady, and he squares the ball about as good as you can. But it was right at the right fielder.
So we did a nice job battling, but we did not get the big hit to get us where we needed to be.

Q. Coach Tanner, could you kind of walk us through the 9th inning, what was kind of the scouting report on their closer and when he's a little bit erratic, what do you tell your guys when you approach the plate?
COACH TANNER: I thought we did a great job there at the last inning. We had some pretty good swings in there. We took some pitches. We got on base. We just failed to come up with the big RBI single or double to put us in a good position. But their guy, Duke had -- what's he got? 10 or 11 saves? He's had a nice year for those guys. He's been out there at the end. He was very calm. He missed a couple of spots, but he was able to get out of it.

Q. Jackie, just six hours of delays today, how did you guys try and stay fresh for a really big game in your season? And I guess as difficult as that is.
JACKIE BRADLEY: We just pretty much used each other's momentum. We got each other up in the locker room, and we really didn't -- I guess when you say get down or anything, we knew we could battle back.
We just wanted to come out, like Coach Tanner said, you don't really get down when you're here. So just weren't able to get it done today.

Q. Blake, early on, did the hand affect you at all? And did the hits they got, just mistake pitches by you or good swings by them?
BLAKE COOPER: No, my hand didn't affect me. It feels fine. I made some good pitches and they hit some good pitches. The changeup the guy hit out was right over the middle of the plate. Bad pitch. I was trying to get ahead in the count, and they came out swinging. A lot of their guys swing early.
And that could be a good thing for them or it could be a good thing for us. I make a good pitch, it's probably out. But unfortunately for me, I made a bad pitch and he hit it out, so...

Q. Jackie, talk about two things. Number one, what happened on the pick-off in the first inning and what did you see on your home run?
JACKIE BRADLEY: I actually saw the ball hit the dirt, so I kind of crossed over. I made a bad read. Instead of just staying square and taking a shuffle, crossed over and I wasn't able to get back in time. And I saw a changeup when I was taking at bat. He was down in the count 2-0, and I was looking to be aggressive.

Q. Ray, just curious how you thought the team adapted throughout the day to all it had to deal with, maybe even when you came back late. It's pouring and there's lightning in the area. Did you think the guys just played through it?
COACH TANNER: Yeah, it was a challenge. I'm sure it was a challenge for Oklahoma as well. Our guys tried to relax. We tried to have a little fun in the locker room. It's just part of baseball. You have rain delays. And that was a tough one.
But it was the same for both teams. And we came out -- we came out fighting to the end. I know that the fans got a little disappointed, maybe upset with us, when we kept going to the bullpen, but we were trying to stay in the game. We were trying to have a shot at them at the end, so we tried to do some matchups. And other than the one breaking ball that Mata left up to Buechele, it kept us where we needed to be, and we made a pretty good run. We just weren't able to come up with the big hit.

Q. You said you guys tried to have a little fun in the locker room. What do you mean by that?
COACH TANNER: I went in there a couple of times and these guys were just having a good time and trying to stay relaxed. Some guys were resting. It's just part of it. It happens at all levels.

End of FastScripts

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