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June 20, 2010

Garrett Buechele

Caleb Bushyhead

Sunny Golloway

Mike Rocha


Oklahoma – 4
South Carolina - 3

THE MODERATOR: Joined by Oklahoma, Caleb Bushyhead, Michael Rocha, and Garrett Buechele and Coach Sunny Golloway. Opening statement.
COACH GOLLOWAY: On an opening statement, I want to commend both groups of student-athletes. It was not an easy day. I kept looking at my watch during the delay and thinking that we left the hotel at 10:00 and we were at a 10-hour mark at one point. And it's a good thing that the student-athletes were performing. I don't know that my body would have allowed it after that long of a delay.
But I thought the focus and the competitiveness of the game, even after the long delay, you know, I think both coaches understand that our student-athletes stayed loose and performed well.
I kept thinking they were going to make a run. I really did. You look at the game, and through six innings, they've scored two runs. And you say, okay, quick math, the average is they're going to score another run. And they did. So we've got to keep try to keep scoring and do what we do.
I thought Garrett's home run was really big. It reminded me of a bedlam game which is Oklahoma, Oklahoma State earlier in the year. I keep saying the Big 12 prepares us for post-season. And he hit a two-run, I believe, shot there, and it gave us a three-run margin. At that point, we needed every one of those runs at that time.
And I think there's some maturity. Our guys understood and kept focusing, and we didn't think the game was over when we were up by one run and coming out of the rain delay.
So, again, I'm just in awe that the student-athletes went out and performed in that kind of a day. And when are you going to play rain delay? I kept thinking, when would you, as an amateur, stay and try to finish a game? The only place you would is Rosenblatt. And to be honest with you, it's a great place. I kept thinking Father's Day and we're in a great long rain delay, and there's no place we'd rather be.
It wasn't bad from that standpoint, which I think is something that all the student-athletes could probably draw upon, is how great it is to be here and how hard you have to work to get here, and surely you're not going to let a little rain dampen your day.
But hard-fought contest, and I thought South Carolina was just as competitive. We got some breaks. You have to play well and you gotta get breaks this time of year. And what I mean by that, bases loaded, line drive right at Cody Reine, that was really big for us. We needed that ball to find a glove and it did. It could have gone the other way if it had not.

Q. Sunny, coming out of the rain delay, when you know you've got Erben and Duke lined up there, do you feel pretty good?
COACH GOLLOWAY: Well, we do because we trust our student-athletes. One thing we always talk about is getting out of their way and letting them do their thing. We knew that if Erben is going good, we usually try to let him finish it here late. If not, we'll go straight to Duke. If there's something we see, we just try to basically coach with our instincts and our gut. And we trust our athletes. You want to have the lead when you've got to bridge the gap, when you've got a guy like Erben and a closer like Duke.
Again, I talked to Rocha about this, and he kind of agreed. We had to really compete on the mound. You go through each guy. And Rocha struggled trying to find the slider.
He really competed well with his fastball. And I can remember when I called the slider on the double play ball, and I'm talking to Coach Bell, and I'm like he hasn't located this thing yet but he needs it right here. We called a slider. Ended up being a double play ball. That's a compliment to the student-athlete on the mound. He hadn't been able to find the slider. He knew he needed it right there. Because they were sitting on fastballs, putting good swings on us.
When I thought about Erben, usually his changeup command is usually outstanding. It wasn't what it usually is. And then Duke's fastball command is usually outstanding. It wasn't where it was.
And I think that talking to Rocha, he said it best. He said, Coach, it's the first game jitters. And I'm like that's a long first day for those other two guys. They've already got experience at being at Rosenblatt for a long time, kind of. But I think that's what it was. We really had to compete. And we trust our guys, and we try to get out of their way and let them play.

Q. Caleb, can you talk about your approach at the plate and what you were thinking when you were rounding the bases after the homer?
CALEB BUSHYHEAD: When I'm getting up to the plate, I'm always looking to do something to help the team, any way to get on base, whether it's base on balls, hit by a pitch, just sitting up there and looking for a pitch in the zone that I can really handle and drive into a gap or just finding some way to get on the sack and let my teammates do the rest and get me in.
That's usually my approach coming to the plate. Coming around the bases, I thought it was surreal. I thought, man, this is it; we're doing it. Let's go ahead and take it all the way.

Q. Sunny, how careful were you there with Bradley in the 9th? When it goes 2-0, are you kind of pitching around him at that point?
COACH GOLLOWAY: You know what, I didn't. I almost made a trip to the mound. I get onto myself when I get in their way sometimes. And I made a trip in a Super Regional at Charlottesville to see Jack Mayfield. At a certain point, I said, hey, we're going to make this guy hit our pitch. We're not going to give in here. And the ball ended up leaving the yard.
That's what I was thinking when I wanted to go to the mound and make sure that we knew we don't want to give in right there. But decided just to let it go and trust the guys.
But to be honest with you, when we ended up walking in their third run, they needed a hit. They needed a hit to take the lead. They needed a hit to tie it. And they still needed the hit.
And so it wasn't a deal where we wanted to really go to the mound, say, hey, we're going to pitch around him. But I clearly wasn't really disappointed, to be honest with you, with a base on balls. Because we needed a out and they needed a hit. It didn't change a whole lot even though I understand, it would have been a hit that potentially could have helped them take the lead versus tie it before we walked in the run.
But I thought we did a good job being tough on the mound and not giving in. And that's usually a key. And I really think that South Carolina can -- they can get after a fastball. They came out very aggressive and so did Oklahoma offensively. So you had to mix a little earlier maybe than you would want to in this game.

Q. Caleb and Garrett, as position players, you both had to return to the field after the second delay. But it begs the question: With over six hours of delays, what did you guys do not only to stay relaxed but to stay loose as well?
CALEB BUSHYHEAD: I mean, it's not real easy. It's pretty tough. But we just kind of hung out and kept our cool. We knew we were going to get back on the yard at some point. Being here at Rosenblatt, they really take care of the field and do a good job holding all that water. We planned to play. We kept that in our mind.
Our club, we really are built on mental toughness. It just takes some of that to just hang in there and keep the right mindset going into that game. Knowing there's rain in the area and just sticking with it and being tough and toughing it all out. And it worked out for us.
GARRETT BUECHELE: Yeah, absolutely. Our team is so tough mentally, that we knew we were going to continue the game no matter what. We just went in the locker room, hung out and goofed around, told some stories.
Just kept everyone's spirits up and didn't get bogged down in the fact that it was raining here our first day in Omaha. I think that's one good thing about our team, we never get too down on ourselves in any situation. And that's what's been carrying us so far through the season.

Q. Michael, how did your routine change, if at all, today pregame and through the first rain delay? And did it feel like a different game by the time the night was over?
MIKE ROCHA: No, my pregame didn't change at all. I never actually started warming up before the game. I have some actual experience with this. This would be my third rain delay to start.
So I'm getting kind of used to it now. But everything stayed the same. After the second rain delay, we were just trying to stay in the game, trying to get through it quick.

Q. Coach, how gratifying was it to see Ryan get the tying save at this big of a stage?
COACH GOLLOWAY: Well, I thought it was special. To be honest with you, he probably hadn't thrown the ball as well lately as he was earlier in the year. And it had caused us to stay with Erben a little bit.
And I was really glad to see we challenged there late with that fastball in, and it was right where I was used to seeing it, and his teammates were used to seeing it earlier in the year.
And I think that takes a great amount of confidence sometimes. When you're a slider guy, and you're getting guys to lean over, and we start seeing a pretty good foul ball on a slider, we know we've got to come back in, and that was probably something we weren't sharp at late in the year as we were earlier.
But he looked to have that. He ended up getting in a little trouble, missing with the fastball way to the left-hander there, and couldn't find it but came back and, I thought, pitched well again.
So you have certain athletes that they don't change. In the heat of the moment they don't change. And we're very fortunate as the Sooner coaching staff, because when you're recruiting and you watch the stopwatch and you watch athletes perform, you're still not sure about it.
And I'm telling you, for us to lose -- and I'm documenting it in the meantime -- nine guys last year to the draft, seven juniors, and watch these athletes perform, there's a special "it" factor going on with them. And Duke exemplified that today. Caleb has at shortstop, not starting last year. Garrett, of course, played and was Big 12 Freshman of the Year last year. But we've got guys stepping up.
I think Rocha and Garrett as returning starters and the guys out on the yard out there, they're probably as amazed as I am how some of those guys are performing. I know it's a long answer to your question, but it's all part of what Duke and what's going on with him and the way Ogle back picked a guy and then threw out a would-be base stealer is pretty special. He's getting the job done back there also. And another guy stepping up. And it's got the "it" factor working for him.

Q. Caleb, could you talk a bit about how much easier it is going into the rain delay with the lead as opposed to sitting there for two hours knowing you're behind? And, Garrett, could you just talk about the big home run in the 9th?
CALEB BUSHYHEAD: Either way, we're going to come out the same. Being in the 5th or 6th inning, whatever it was, when that big delay hit there for a while, either way, down or up, we'll come out battling for runs, just like it's the start of a new game. I mean, one run isn't always going to do it. I mean, it did tonight, eventually, by the end of the game.
But we're always looking to go out there and score more. If we're down 1, we're not going to get bogged down by that. And if we're up by 5, we're not going to let that affect us either. We're going to come out with the same tenacity, really.
GARRETT BUECHELE: The home run, I honestly was just trying to hit a ball to right field, get on base for our team and try to get an inning going. And he left the pitch up and I put a good swing on it and hit it out of the ball bark.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts

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