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June 23, 2010

Matt Curry

Brian Holaday

Jim Schlossnagle

Jantzen Witte


TCU: 11
Florida State: 7

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by TCU players Jantzen Witte, Bryan Holaday and Matt Curry and Coach Jim Schlossnagle, who will now make an opening statement.
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: Amazing game. Certainly like Coach Martin said, you know, in any game, but certainly in Rosenblatt Stadium, you're never in or out of a ball game.
And it was an honor to be on the same field with Florida State. I really, really love their club. And when McGee came in the game, certainly he's one of the best players in college baseball. You had to wonder about our chances.
But so many great things happened in that inning. Matt Curry's home run will get the bulk of the credit, but some things happened in that inning that we pride ourselves on. And that's Rivera beating out the double play ball, Holaday's hit, and then a great slide at second base.
The umpire -- I think it was Gus Rodriguez or I'm not sure -- I think it was Gus at second base had the wherewithal and was patient enough to make the call. A lot of people will make the call quick there. They watched the slide and Bryan did a great job.
And then Coach laying off the 3-2 breaking ball, which he's a pretty free swinger, and for him to lay off a great pitch to get Matt to the plate was outstanding. And then Kaleb Merck just kept his composure, made great pitches to the 2 and 3 hole hitter there to get us out of the bottom of the 8th. So we're fired up and ready for a day of rest.

Q. Jim, with six outs to go as you enter the 8th inning, you're down 7 to 2, and then you have the eight-run explosion. I imagine you and all your boys -- 8's a pretty nice number for you right now.
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: It is. We'll take it. It was a lot of fun. And I just felt like -- we don't have that many left-handed hitters in our lineup. When they brought in the righties, the very last second before we went on the field today, I switched my lineup. Was planning on leading off Rivera and I switched to get Pena at the top just because I felt like eventually he was going to have to hit left-handed with the way the wind was blowing to the right. And they took advantage of it early. Felt like if we could just get a couple left-handed hitters to the plate with some guys on base, we might have a chance to get back in the ball game. And that's what happened.

Q. Matt, when you hit it, you obviously knew you hit it pretty good. Center fielder kind of dinked everybody else out. But you obviously knew it was gone. The feeling when you knew it was gone, and was that your biggest home run of your life?
MATT CURRY: Definitely the biggest home run of my career. When I hit it, I knew it was gone, because I've hit some home runs and I usually know when I get them. I look and I'm all fired up. And I looked back out there and he's camped underneath it. My heart sank in my stomach. I'm like, there's no way this ball's not leaving. I just happened to look up, and that's when I got fired up again. But it was awesome. It was the biggest hit of my career, definitely.

Q. Bryan, could you talk about the slide at second base that Coach alluded to? You could see that you were beat. Were you just trying to slide around? Did you have any hope at that point?
BRYAN HOLADAY: Yeah, I was thinking, too, all the way, trying to get the tying score run in position and the throw beat me there. And that's part of TCU baseball is taking pride in the small things like sliding. Not a lot of teams do that. Coach Mazey, our best running coach, has done a terrific job with everybody on working on sliding, just in case you got in that moment, and it paid off for me.

Q. Jantzen, you had another big home run that kind of gave you guys a little extra breathing room. Tell us what that was like for you.
JANTZEN WITTE: Felt great. Biggest home run of my career for sure. For some reason when I hit the ball -- I don't hit too many balls out of the park, but when I do, I don't really know they're going out. So it's kind of the opposite of Matt's where you sit there and got to watch it. With mine, I was just running out of the box and having to go out, and it felt great. I couldn't tell you what pitch it was or -- it was a 2-0 count, but I mean, I don't know if it was a or fastball or what it was. But I just know I hit it hard.

Q. You've got UCLA again. They're obviously very tough. The pitching is very tough. Do you guys feel confident going in? And this could be anybody answering this. And did you learn some things the other night that you might be able to use to beat them two in a row?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: We're just going to have to play really well. And I think UCLA, no disrespect to anybody else we've played, they're the best team. Oklahoma and UCLA are the two best teams I think we've seen all together. Texas is right there with them with their pitching for sure. But UCLA is a very complete team.
We're going to have to play really well. And the great thing about baseball is the best team doesn't win. It's the team that plays the best. And so we have to play well. And if we play well, I like our chances.

Q. Two things, first for Coach and actually for the players as well. I'm just curious for how you guys reacted on that home run. How electrifying was it for you guys? And secondly, Matt, if you could talk about that at-bat, battling back from behind in the count and what you were looking for on 3-2 and what you got.
MATT CURRY: Well, I knew it could be my last college at-bat, and I was definitely going to go up there and battle. And I got a curveball earlier in the count. I just missed it, fouled it back, and he just happened to throw another one full count and I didn't miss that one at all. And that's the ball I hit out.
But I was definitely battling that at-bat and I didn't want to go down with a strikeout my last college at-bat and just so happened to be the opposite, the biggest hit of my career.

Q. Your reaction to the home run, how much did that energize you guys?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: My first thing I turned around to the bullpen phone to get Merck ready. I leave the celebrating to those guys. And to be honest with you, it's just like Holt had me fooled. I mean, I almost dropped on to my knees in tears when I saw him camped under that ball.
But that's just -- he's a great player. He was obviously hoping maybe it hit the fence and he could keep somebody from scoring. But I just -- as soon as I saw our guys go crazy -- I did not see the ball go out of the park. I just saw Holt not catch it.
And then I just ran to the bullpen phone to tell them to get Merck hot.
JANTZEN WITTE: I was really excited when I saw Holt camped, like Matt said, my heart sank and I felt terrible for a second or two. But right after everybody was so pumped up and everybody was jumping over the rails, it was a great feeling.
MATT CURRY: The next inning actually Holt got on first base, and I asked him, I said, hey, did you mean to do that? Were you meaning to scare me like that or did you just not see it? He said, man, I never saw it off the bat. He said the twilight got me. So I was just camping, hoping I could hold some runs. I guess he just never saw it.

Q. For the players, two quick things. What was the feeling going into the 8th inning six outs from elimination and looked like Joe drew something in the dirt? Was that a horned frog?
BRYAN HOLADAY: That was our rally turtle. We were just basically digging in the toolbox, trying to find something to energize the dugout, trying to get everybody into the game and just realize that it wasn't over yet and we could still fight back. It was just a testament to how resilient our club is, especially our hitting and just our ability to trust each other no matter what the situation.

Q. Turtle?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: Where does the turtle come from?
BRYAN HOLADAY: It's been around for a while.
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: I absolutely have no idea what goes on in the course of the game in our dugout.
MATT CURRY: We were feeding him and giving him water and everything. He got us that rally. You'll probably see it again.
JANTZEN WITTE: It happens in the Big Leagues every day. Barry Bonds and those guys draw a rally turtle.

Q. Bryan, your thoughts on UCLA you've seen them once, they're obviously very good, very tough, great pitching. Your thoughts in going into that showdown?
BRYAN HOLADAY: They are a great club. They have great pitching. They play really good defense. They hit really well. It's going to be a really tough game going into them, but we're really looking forward to it. We're right where we want to be, our backs against the wall, and we're throwing one of our best pitchers and I'm sure they're going to be throwing one of their guys, too. And we're just looking forward to the challenge.

Q. Purke, Coach? Did you make up your mind yet?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: We have three really good pitchers, a lot of good pitchers. It will probably be Matt. We haven't talked to him. We'll get back -- we haven't discussed it. We talked about it the other night if we could just get through tonight and maybe get back to Matt, that gives us a chance for a one-game deal. But we'll see how he feels.

Q. Jim, you've had a lot of wins over the years, and this year you're the Coach of the Year. Is this your biggest win in your career, period, tonight, so far, with hopefully bigger ones to come?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: That Sunday in Austin is pretty big to get us in this position. But this is probably right there with it. Just because it's in Rosenblatt, and you know, you sit and -- you sit and watch the great games in this place over the course of my life. And you just keep waiting for something like this to happen, whether it's in one of our games or when you're here. But this is what it's all about, when you turn it on and you see a bunch of college kids on both ends, Florida State and here, and the rally turtle and different things in the dugout.
I mean, that's why college baseball -- I'm very biased -- it's the best sport around. It's great. It gets to be showcased in such a great forum here in the Rosenblatt forum.

Q. Coach, this team obviously has a resiliency. We talked about it the other night, did not look good for most of the game tonight. Somehow they got the spark. Have you seen that in this team all year long? Has that been there throughout?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: Yeah, you know, we haven't had that many come-from-behinds, and a couple, Matt hit a walk-off to beat UNLV at home one day. But it's really the trademark of our program, not just this year but in the last year, and the last two or three years, we've really had some great leadership on our club.
And it's just things we talk about all the time -- really in our entire athletic department. Gary Patterson, our football coach, he leads the way in terms of we always feel like we have something to prove in football and the rest of our sports, and we like it that way. And we like being relentless, we like being resilient. And they're great qualities to have further in life.
And these guys will learn a lot from that beyond baseball.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations.

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