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June 21, 2010

Taylor Featherston

Jim Schlossnagle


UCLA – 6
TCU - 3

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by TCU, Taylor Featherston, Kyle Winkler, and Coach Jim Schlossnagle. Coach, opening comments.
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: Obviously a good night for UCLA. I thought facing Cole, who was outstanding, for us to have a chance, we were going to have to pitch with him, just like last week when we played Texas. The games we won against a great pitching staff, we had to pitch with them. And Wink's had a phenomenal year for us. He's pitched really well in the back half of the season. But it wasn't his day. He pitched behind the count and walked some guys, couldn't keep the lead-off hitter off base.
He'll pitch again in this tournament. And he'll be better next time. I was really proud of the way Gerrish kept us in it, and Merc as well and Taylor getting the big hit to get us back in the mix.
But Cole showed why he's an All-American with the way he pitched after the 7th inning. That was really, really impressive. So we'll be back at 'em on Wednesday and ready to go.

Q. Taylor, how did the pitching tonight from Gerrit compare to what you saw in Austin?
TAYLOR FEATHERSTON: We saw a bunch of good arms in the Super Regional. And he's one of the best in the country. And he showed that tonight. I mean, he threw all pitches for strikes and kept us off balance all night.
And we didn't barrel up as many balls as we could. I thought we battled a bunch of counts early and late. But, you know, he had all pitches working for him.

Q. Jim, you guys had a pretty lengthy meeting out there in right field after the game. Do you mind summarizing who said what?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: Well, I was the only one talking. But I just told them that, as I said here earlier, the Super Regional didn't allow us to showcase the depth of our pitching staff. And a tournament like this does.
And so we really -- I'm sure UCLA is certainly sitting pretty, but I like the guys we have left to pitch. And with the days off and the fact that we haven't used Lockwood yet and Maxwell hasn't pitched and Purke's certainly come back on six, seven days' rest, and Winkler, 60 pitches, he'll be fine to go in a couple of days.
We just have to, right now, be totally locked in on playing well against Florida State. So that was the gist of it. And that's it.

Q. Coach, tell me about the thought process and going with Winkler over Maxwell tonight.
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: Just Wink, it's really a tossup to be honest with you. Wink threw a little bit better last weekend than Max. And the weekend before, we held Maxwell out.
So I don't think there was any -- they're a little bit different. If Wink could have kept the ball down, I liked his sinker against UCLA, who is a pretty aggressive swinging club. I thought maybe if he could throw strikes and keep the ball down, that he could get some ground ball outs kind of early. He does a good job handling the running game.
But honestly, between the two it's a toss-up. And once we won the first game, you knew that all three of them were going to pitch. So it was really, again, it's a coin flip, to be honest.

Q. Taylor, could you talk about your at-bat there, when you hit the triple. It seemed like the crowd was just going crazy at that point. It was as intense as we've seen this place in quite a while. Did you feed off that energy? And talk about the pitch sequence and battling back from behind the count.
TAYLOR FEATHERSTON: I was actually the most comfortable at-bat I felt. And the crowd, I guess, my stomach dropped there a little bit. That was pretty crazy, probably one of the most fun at-bats I've had in my entire life.
He started me off off speed all game long. I just missed some pitches in the first couple at-bats and came back with a couple of hard fastballs that I didn't really catch up to. So I think I battled him 3-2 and fouled off a couple of pitches, and he kind of just hung a changeup and I tried not to do too much.

Q. Coach, your team showed a lot of resiliency in the Super Regional and at different times throughout the season. They're going to need some resiliency to bounce back now. How confident are you in that?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: Very. Very confident. We're 52-13. That's pretty good. And we haven't had too many extended streaks during the season, and when you have good starting pitching, I know all the teams here have good starting pitching, but when you have good starting pitching it's hard to go on too much of a streak, a losing streak.
One thing we talked about out there in right field is the crazy thing about this tournament is you can lose two games and still win a national championship. You just can't lose any more between now and the championship series.
So we've used our Mulligan. Now we have to play with our backs against the wall in the corner, and we're a much better club when we're in that scenario.

Q. Taylor, you guys have already beaten Florida State. You get them again. As a player, does that give you more confidence going up against a team you've already beat or how does that work?
TAYLOR FEATHERSTON: Well, you know, personally if we -- like, for example, the game against UCLA, somehow we get to play them again, I know we're going to be fired up just like they're going to be. They're up there watching our game. And they played a good game against Florida today. So they're going to be ready to go.
But it's going to be fun. That's what we're all up here doing is playing baseball and we're trying to simplify it and doing what we're doing all year. So best team wins.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thank you very much.

End of FastScripts

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