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June 21, 2010

Beau Amaral

Gerrit Cole

Cody Regis

John Savage


UCLA – 6
TCU - 3

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by UCLA, Beau Amaral, Gerrit Cole, Cody Regis, and Coach John Savage. Coach, opening statement.
COACH SAVAGE: As everybody knows, the second game of your bracket, if you win the first game, is critically important to put yourself in this position. So two very good teams. A ton of excitement. I thought it was a very good baseball game. We were fortunate. We jumped out and scored in the first three innings.
Winkler is very good. We did a very good job of, you know, the home run with Cody and then Jeff and two freshmen. And Gerrit was as solid as you can be all night long. You're talking about a guy that had good bullpen sessions, was totally focused.
When Trevor took the ball on Saturday, he was in position to throw Game 2. Total team guy and a guy that really stepped up on the big stage tonight. And you just have to really give him a ton of credit. He went pitch to pitch. He threw three pitches for strikes and you just can't say enough about Gerrit's performance.
So we're in a good position, but I just told the guys that we have three days to get better in terms of practice and prepare for the Friday game, and we're looking forward to that. But it was a good win for the Bruins and we'll prepare for the next ball game.

Q. Coach, when Bauer goes out on Saturday and fans 11 and only lets up 6 hits in three runs, do you expect Cole to beat that, two days later, with 13 Ks? Were you expecting this?
COACH SAVAGE: Well, they compete against each other. That's what our pitching staff has done all year. It's not about, hey, I'm the best guy, you're the second-best guy. Gerrit has been our Friday night guy since day one. He threw on February 19th, the opener, and he really has done an unbelievable job for us.
But he threw a solid eight innings. I was about to take him out with two outs in the 8th and he said, Coach, trust me. I trust you. I think I can get this guy. And the next pitch, the inning was over.
So there again, it was just an outstanding performance by our number one guy.

Q. Coach, what about Gerrit's composure, bouncing back after they came back with three runs, not only to get out of that inning, but then to come out the next inning and mow them down, it seemed like?
COACH SAVAGE: Very, very impressive. That's the thing that he's shown this season, ton of maturity, a guy that everybody knows is the first-round pick of the New York Yankees, talent off the sheets. But the guy, his mental game has really gone to another level. And in this case we told him that the crowd would be a TCU crowd, and it was.
You had that three-run triple, and you thought -- I mean, it was loud. There was a ton of excitement. And he settled back in. And our philosophy is pitch to pitch. Move on to the next pitch. And I think that was a case in point tonight that Gerrit did about as well as you can do it in that situation.

Q. Gerrit, talk a little bit about that 7th inning yourself and the game in general.
GERRIT COLE: I thought it started off that 7th inning pretty good. I'm pretty sure I recorded the first out. And then I think it was two consecutive hits. So runners on first and second. And then I knew in an RBI situation, the guy was going to be pretty aggressive towards the end of the inning. I think we went in and out, and I just kind of tagged the fastballs and got them to pop up.
And then the next guy, I thought I made a pretty good pitch. And he just hit it. And sometimes you've got to tip your cap, especially guys here. I mean, they're here for a reason. It's because they're good.
And then the guy after that, he started battling, 3-2 count. I thought I'd shown him the fastball and the slider and the cutter a little bit earlier. So I decided to go to the change. I threw it. It was just up in the zone. I don't know how good he hit it, but he hit it well enough so that we couldn't field it. And you gotta tip your cap. 3-2 change, not many people can hammer that in the gap.
So after that I just kind of, you know, just flushed it, got rid of it. We still had a two-run lead. Still felt really good. Got the next guy. Made some pitches. And then, you know, the next inning really wanted to get back out there. Got back out there, took the bull by the horns, slipped up a little bit on the catcher, I think the 3-0. Then Coach came out and said, hey, we want to go to Klein, and I told him I wanted the ball. And he had a lot of trust in me, and so does everybody in that field. And I have a lot of trust in them.
So actually, Niko wanted the ground ball. It didn't quite get to him, but anyway, got him on the next pitch.

Q. Gerrit, you only gave up one hit through the first six innings. How were you feeling during that stretch?
GERRIT COLE: Pretty good. But, you know, as well, you know it's coming. TCU is a good offense. You look at their numbers, you're pretty impressed. It was just a matter of time, I guess, before they put a few good hacks. Obviously didn't want that to happen.
But you gotta tip your cap. They strung a few hits together, which I wanted to make them do. I didn't want to give too many free passes. I wanted them to hit the ball. We had a five-run lead. So they did. But we got out of it, and we bounced back with the one the next inning. Beau took third. Pretty huge deal.

Q. To paraphrase you, before this tournament started, you talked about how this team didn't have a whole lot of offense, but you guys scored the first 11 or 11 out of the first 12 innings that you've played out here. Where is that coming from?
COACH SAVAGE: Well, I never really said that we didn't have an offense. But we -- this team is built on pitching and defense. You're right in that regard. But we have a bunch of very good young position players that have done a remarkable job this season. This guy to my left is as good a young player as you're going to see in college. Jeff Gelalich and Cody Keefer who is hurt, you guys don't even know who that is. He had 45 games, 50 games for us. And you've got Cody Regis, another freshman down on the other side.
So there again, Coach Vanderhook has done an outstanding job of putting his offensive scheme together. And the guys were following it.
And like I said, we used the middle of the field. When we do that, we're a tough team to pitch against. We don't have a bunch of, you know, home run hitters. We don't have a bunch of guys that are knocking down the fence, but we have a bunch of guys that are gritty and certainly offensive enough that if you leave some pitches over the plate, they can do some damage.
So we believe in our offense as much as our pitching and defense. But everybody talks about our pitching. But we really like our future in the offensive side as well.

Q. Cody, Tyler goes down and the two guys who kind of stepped into that role, Dean at third base and you move over to second. He had that double play I think in the third inning, you had the home run, and he ends the game on that charged ground ball. Talk about replacing Tyler in a way and your role changing as well.
CODY REGIS: When Tyler went down, it was a shock to us all. And basically, Coach called me, told me that I'd have to be ready to play second base. So the flight over here, the bus rides, everything, I've been working with Tyler and Coach Pearse just getting ready to play second base. And Dean's, he's been playing third, so it wasn't that big of a deal for him. But moving to second base, it's been a little bit of a crazy ride. But...

Q. Coach, just wanted to say, I know judging by what you said last week at the Super Regional and the week before, the Regionals, you probably say nothing as been accomplished yet, but just tell me, could it have worked out any better for your first two games so far, and do you go with Rasmussen on Friday?
COACH SAVAGE: Well, yeah. I mean, whenever you get into the College World Series, you win the first two games, you have to be happy where you're at. But when I say we haven't done anything, there's no disrespect. We certainly have. I mean, we beat a very good Florida team and a TCU team.
But this team is on a mission. This team feels pretty good about themselves. We want to compete. That's what this team is based off. And when I say we haven't done anything, you know, I mean, we still have a lot of baseball to be played.
So, you know, we have three days off, but we're still in position to get after it again on Friday.
But I'm very proud of this team. They have accomplished quite a bit. Whenever you win 50 games in a college baseball season, I think it says a lot about your character and our schedule and the Pac-10 and so on and so forth.
But this team is not satisfied. That's the one thing I would have to say is this team is -- their vision is out there. It's not one step ahead of them. So it's really a compliment to the team and really the assistant coaches.

Q. You guys at the beginning of May dropped the series to ASU. And then since then are 20 and 4. Was that maybe a turning point, a motivating factor at all? And that's for the players.
BEAU AMARAL: Definitely, that was a very tough series for us. Definitely sparked a little fire in us and wanted to -- we wanted another chance at them. We talked about that. Right after that, we wanted to get them later. But, yeah, it definitely sparked a little fire in us, and we've been definitely playing very well after that.
GERRIT COLE: I think we learned a lot from them. They came out and in some circumstances, we beat ourselves. But for the most part, I mean, I can't remember them not playing perfect baseball. They were unbelievable the way they took the field and the way they really played 9 on 1, really smothered you at the plate. And I think we took a lot of those elements that they have, the foundation of their team, and we kind of incorporated them into our team and we tried to sort of replicate that on the stuff that we had already built our team on.
And I think that it really allowed us to step our game up to a whole 'nother level. We knew we were on a roll. But we also knew at the same time that we could be a lot better. And they showed us that.
CODY REGIS: I think that series when they swept us, it obviously knocked us down. And at that point in the season, we really hadn't been knocked down before. And I think it just shows the character of this team, how we rebounded and how we came back from that.

Q. Beau, this is for you. You do a quick comparison of the starting lineups tonight, I think they had 84 home runs, you guys had 43. They had something like 470 RBIs and they had 60. You always talk about being overlooked and the hidden gem of the offense. But and talk about going up against an offense like that. Were you in awe of what they could do in any way?
BEAU AMARAL: We have a lot of faith in our pitching staff. We know that every time they go out there, they're going to do very well, and it kind of gives us some confidence at the plate knowing that we put up a couple of runs. We're going to be right in that game.
But I mean, TCU is a great team and can't really look beyond that. And we knew they were going to come out and throw some punches. But we have a lot of faith in our pitching staff.

Q. Gerrit, you get all kinds of questions all the time about guys turning down the draft. I'm sure you've gotten a lot of those. But when you're walking off the mound in the 8th inning and the crowd is like that, a moment like that, is that kind of why you came to college, basically?
GERRIT COLE: Yeah, I think that defines what my -- that defines my goal going into college. I was really excited about coming to a program like this and having an opportunity to compete for the UCLA Bruins, and just to be surrounded by such great guys, such great teammates, have such great chemistry, and to be involved in a community that none of us are ever going to forget. To come to Rosenblatt in the final year, playing the College World Series, you really, even if you go 0 and 2, you can't really ask for anything more.
It's just an unbelievable experience. And coming off the mound in the 8th inning, it kind of leaves you speechless.

Q. Coach, you've had, obviously in your career, several impressive pitchers. I don't know if you've ever had this before. The nation leader in strikeouts is 155. Bauer second with 152, and Cole at third with 151. Have you ever seen that kind of domination in one staff?
COACH SAVAGE: Not in terms of strikeouts. I've coached some good staffs at USC and Irvine and certainly at UCLA. But these three guys -- and Garett Claypool had a remarkable year as well for us as our fourth guy. It's just really a credit to them. They came in very talented guys. No question about it.
There's guys with a ton of pitchability. They have three or four pitches. They have power stuff. They have really shaped their physical game as well as their mental game and mechanical game. And it all comes together, certainly. And those guys still have a very long journey and a bright future and so forth. We've got two sophomores and a junior, which Rob looks like he'll more than likely go out and sign, certainly.
But it's fun to coach those guys. And it's really fun to coach a Dan Klein and a Matt Grace and Erik Goeddel. We have a bunch of good guys on the staff that are really just as good pitchers as they are people. So it's fun to be around those guys.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thank you very much. Congratulations.

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