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June 25, 2010

Niko Gallego

Rob Rasmussen

John Savage


TCU – 6
UCLA - 2

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by UCLA players Rob Rasmussen and Niko Gallego and Coach John Savage.
Opening statement, Coach.
COACH SAVAGE: Well, you just -- it's one of those days. You gotta give Matt, Purke and TCU a ton of credit.
I thought he did an outstanding job of pounding the zone, throwing strikes. You know, there wasn't a whole lot of strikeouts, but he did his job. And it seemed like we were hitting the ball on the ground. We had a ton of ground-ball outs, and you've got to give Lockwood a ton of credit as well. He came out and threw the ball extremely well.
Just seemed like we were swimming upstream all day defensively. A little bit on the mound. Certainly offensively.
But that, you know, that can't happen, we know, at this stage. And we live another day and we need to kind of make sure that this one -- there's no residue tomorrow, and we'll go with Bauer tomorrow. And it's a new ball game tomorrow, and we feel very, very confident about our team. And we had a misstep, and I think you gotta give a lot of credit to TCU. And we'll get back after it and play Bruin baseball tomorrow.

Q. Rob, talk about your outing and the issues you had early.
ROB RASMUSSEN: Quite honestly, just didn't throw enough strikes. Obviously those two walks in the first inning hurt. Like Coach said, we were kind of swimming upstream. From that point on I didn't feel like I had it, but just tried to keep our team in the game as much as possible and just hope that there would be enough for a win.
Like Coach said, you've got to give Matt Purke a lot of credit. He pitched an unbelievable game. And unfortunately it didn't happen for us today.

Q. Coach, talk about the defensive issues you had early. They weren't that striking and you had a couple nice catches late. But it seemed a little bit off.
COACH SAVAGE: It was. I actually thought Rob did fine. He had some tough luck. And there wasn't a whole lot of errors on the board. We made one error, but there was a bunch of plays we should have made.
Certainly in the 1st inning, I think there was a ground ball. There was a popup that was foul. And then we walked a guy. And it just seemed like we just couldn't finish innings defensively. And I think Rob kind of found it a little bit and deserved much better, to be quite honest with you. He walked three guys in four and a third, which is uncharacteristic.
But I think it kind of -- we didn't play, like I said, Bruin baseball. And he didn't make some pitches that led to him not making some pitches, and then what good teams do is they pecked away, they got a 1, a 1, a 1 in the fourth and two big swings late in the game. So it just wasn't our day.

Q. Niko, the wind was really brutal out there. Have you guys played in conditions like this this year? And how difficult was it to deal with the wind today?
NIKO GALLEGO: Yeah, the wind was blowing pretty good. But, I mean, TCU had to deal with the same wind as we did. And we know we should have handled it better.
To answer your question, I don't know how many times we've played in the wind, but I know we've had wind and we've had other conditions.
That's no excuse to play the way we did with those fly balls.

Q. Coach, the decision to go to Claypool rather than maybe wait on him and use two of your starters, where does that leave you now, and talk about that decision?
COACH SAVAGE: We feel like we're in good shape. We'll go Bauer tomorrow. We've got Goeddel. We've got Grace, we've got Cole. We've got Klein. I think we're in very good position.
After tomorrow, there's a day off. So you have to look to the next step, certainly. But it's all about one game now. And we have plenty of arms that are very, very capable of doing what we need to do.
Bauer has his -- I think one day short of a normal week, which is real good. Gerrit certainly will be ready to go, Gerrit Cole, and you've got Grace and Goeddel and Klein. We feel very comfortable where we're at.
It was a team loss. I don't think it had -- you can't look at Rasmussen and Claypool and say that's why we lost. I don't think you're saying that. But I just think it was just not a well-played game all the way around for us. Therefore, you lose 6-2.

Q. Rob, Coach mentioned some plays that should have been made that weren't. Did that affect you at all? And how about the play to get you out of the 1st when you had the bases loaded and Beau came up with that catch?
ROB RASMUSSEN: Beau's play was unbelievable obviously, just to keep that to a 1 at that time in the game was huge for us.
And you can talk about plays that should have been made, but from my standpoint you can also talk about the walks I had.
You forget about those plays and don't walk those guys, those runs don't score. So it's a double-edged sword, and something that I never looked at, because I was still in a position to get a guy out with no runs having been scored.
So, yeah, it's something there. But we're big on our team on picking people up, whether it's at-bats or defensively or Beau picked me up. He made an unbelievable catch.
It's something that I do take that I should have done to pick someone else up.

Q. Niko, what was Purke doing out there to kind of take you guys out of your rhythm?
NIKO GALLEGO: I don't know if there was anything he was doing. He was pitching well. That was one of the factors. And he threw a great game. And he has his own rhythm, and he stuck to his rhythm and got a lot of ground balls. And that's his game. So he pitched a great game.

Q. Niko, did the break have any effect on you guys at all, having not played? You guys played a couple games early and then had a couple of days off; did that have any effect on the rhythm at all?
NIKO GALLEGO: It didn't affect us at all. We had practice every day and the whole time we were watching games on TV and we still felt like we were out here and we'll be ready for them tomorrow and they're going to be ready for us, too.

Q. Niko, can you just talk about you guys haven't lost back-to-back games since the start of May, what have you guys learned that might help you going into tomorrow's game?
NIKO GALLEGO: Well, I mean, you gotta be able to flush games. I think that's what we've done a great job of this year. And we're going to go back and Coach just told us we're going to hash it out, talk it over, and time to get ready for the next game.
And we've got them again tomorrow. So we're going to go home, talk it over, and be ready for tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thank you.

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