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June 26, 2010

Brian Holaday

Jim Schlossnagle


UCLA - 10
TCU - 3

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by TCU player Bryan Holaday and Coach Schlossnagle. Coach, an opening statement.
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: Congratulations to UCLA. Certainly outplayed us in every phase of the game today. And they certainly deserved to win, I thought. Bauer was outstanding. We felt like we were getting into deep counts against them and battling, but when you throw out that 5-spot and 6 in the first two innings, you know, against the great pitcher, it's really tough to get back from.
I'm really proud of my team. I told them all along there are no bad days in Omaha. There's no bad days here. And I am really proud of them, to come out here and not just show up and feel good about it, but to compete within one game of the championship series is amazing.
And to be the only private school here, I think it's a great accomplishment. It's not something that's been talked about here this week, but with the scholarship limitations in baseball and things the way they are, it's really tough from a private school standpoint to get to this point, and we did that.
So I can't say anything more about this guy than hasn't already been written. He's one of the greatest players in college baseball today. And he proved it on the national stage this weekend, and he set a precedent for the way our program should represent itself. And now we have a higher standard to live up to, and we plan on being back.

Q. Coach Schlossnagle, can you talk about the year this has been and what it means to the program to come to the College World Series?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: Well, certainly, you know, like I said, it elevates our program in every fashion. To host a regional again, you win a conference championship, regular season tournament, regional at home, and then go to the University of Texas in that environment and win. And then I think there's a lot of people that expected us to keep our video cameras out and take a lot of pictures during the games and go home in two games. And we didn't do that.
So we've been talking for seven years about what we're going to do at TCU, what we can do, and now we've proven that we can do that. We still have something to strive for, which is to win the whole thing.
But just to get in this position is so hard. There's so many good college baseball programs and so many universities that are committed to baseball now, to be at a place that really wants to win at the highest level is special, and to be able to honor that commitment this year has been really neat.

Q. Bryan, obviously Kyle struggled in his two starts here. What did you see from your perspective, the difference between the way he pitched here and maybe the way he pitched all year?
BRYAN HOLADAY: The difference probably is his fastball command. All year he had been throwing his fastball down the zone and throwing it for strikes, whenever he needed to.
And his last couple of starts, he elevated his fastball, and they ended up being good pitches to hit. When you can't throw your fastball for strikes, it makes other pitches easier to hit, too, because people can sit on pitches and stuff like that.

Q. Coach, talk about your post-game handshake with John. I saw you say a couple of words to him. Was that about Bauer? I kind of had a feeling it was something about Bauer.
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: No. I said, "You've got a great club. Congratulations. We'll be rooting" -- I don't know if we'll be rooting for them. I mean, I've got friends at Clemson and friends at South Carolina, too. But certainly -- especially with the guy that hired me back there in the back (laughter).
So I just felt like they had a great club. And John, as we talked about in the opening press conference before the tournament began, I mean, John -- I was an assistant coach running the roads. John has been an assistant coach. When I was at Tulane, he was at Reno and SC. And then it's nice to see a guy like that, like Kevin O'Sullivan, too, who you've been on the roads with for a very, very long time as an assistant coach and then you kind of all meet up at a point in your career at the College World Series.
So I was just really happy for him. I know the expectations at a place like that, and for him to be able to get his team to where they are, that's just a great thing.

Q. Bryan, describe in your own words your last season here, the roller coaster it's been, the run you guys had, and how much it means to you and just in your own words.
BRYAN HOLADAY: I mean, it's been a great year. It's been a dream come true with a great club, and I'm proud of these guys and the way that we fought every day. And just the whole year's been fun. I can't say anything else besides that, it's just been a joy to be around these guys.

Q. Being down on the field, it seemed as if Purke was almost inconsolable after the game. What does that say about him, and what do you think this will mean to him next season?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: I didn't see that. You know, that just tells you right there, you know, people -- until you coach a guy, you're in the dugout with somebody, you don't know anything about him. His hat fits his head the way it fits his head. He's not a prima donna. He's the ultimate team guy, just like Bryan Holaday is and the rest of our guys.
And he's as excited to be in college baseball today as any, you know, as a walk-on, the 27th guy on our roster. And he just wants to win at the highest level. And he was dead set on helping us get to this point. I didn't see him after the game like that after the game, but if that's the way he is, then I'm sure he'll continue to be dead set on getting us further next year.

Q. Coach, UCLA put Cole in the bullpen in the 4th, I think it was, and then Bauer came back out and kind of took control. Talk about what he did as the game progressed, and especially in that 8th inning when he struck out the side.
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: He's really impressive. We had a point where I said something in the dugout before Curry got up there. I said, "He hadn't really thrown his breaking ball for a called strike early in the count." With two strikes, he'd throw for a called strike. We told guys to try and get fastballs down below your hands because he's so good with the breaking ball and his fastball up. If we can get the ball down and lay off that pitch up in the zone, I think we have a better chance to hit him. Then he goes out to Curry, and goes breaking ball, breaking ball, just lights out two for strikes.
Obviously he's a competitor. He can smell it. All the great things that every great pitcher is. And it's just a true testament to him and Coach Savage, who coaches him every day. And he's a special, special player.

Q. Bryan, how much of a grind was this game? I mean, with the heat and the time of the game, the fact that they just kind of kept coming at you, seemed relentless, did it start to wear you down a little bit?
BRYAN HOLADAY: Absolutely. It was definitely hot out there. And then those long innings, had a lot of really good bats and seemed like every inning they had runners on. And definitely it wears you out a little bit being out in the heat like that. And constantly working hard trying to get everything under control.
And it does wear you out.

Q. Jim, I've been in Matt Purke's performances. What do you think happened with your starting pitchers here? And was some of that the big stage that they were having to perform on?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: I don't think it was the big stage, because at least with Winkler for sure it wasn't, because, believe me, there's no bigger stage than what he pitched in the deciding game of the Super Regional in Austin, Texas against a great team.
I don't know, just didn't pitch well. And they both, him and Maxwell, have both had their bad days. And if you play enough baseball with 18- to 22-year-olds, there's going to be bad days. You just never know what you're going to get some days.
And that's part of it. And those guys will learn from it and be better. I thought Lockwood pitched well. The story of the tournament for me, for our program, for next year, is Kaleb Merck, a guy that -- he ran out of gas today. I probably shouldn't have run him back out there when he gave up the homer. But that's when we found ourselves a reliever, legit reliever there that -- we leaned on Lockwood more this year, but Merck grew up in this tournament.

Q. Can you both give us a statement on how this last week, how this College World Series lived up to your expectations and your dreams?
BRYAN HOLADAY: I mean, I think it actually exceeded my expectations. I really didn't know what to think when I came in here.
I knew the stadium was going to be packed. I knew the community was great. But in every aspect, I mean, in our hotel, people were unbelievable.
And the way people treat you when you're walking up and down, going to the field to watch other games, it's just the environment is unbelievable. And it just exceeded every expectation I had.
And the crowd, during our games, just everybody into it, just nothing but baseball fans. It's just great to play in front of those people.
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: You know, every single day is like light stopped. No bills to pay. Baseball camp's going on in Fort Worth, and I could care less about it. It was amazing, like you said, and it was all because of the people.
The NCAA people, I want to thank them, that ran the tournament. All of you guys have been great. Around the hotel, I mean, we're staying at the ESPN headquarters, and every day we're hanging out with Orel Hershiser and Omar and Mike Patrick and Ravitch and all those guys. I told our players coming in, unless you play in the Big Leagues, this will be as close to the Big Leagues as you'll ever get in terms of your experience, the way you're treated, the way you're catered to.
So I don't know, I think Omaha and the NCAA they have a big challenge ahead of them because you have to replicate everything that this whole part of town and Rosenblatt is about at that new place.
And I'm sure they'll do it, because it is about people. But that's going to be a big challenge. And I'm hoping we're back to see it in its first year. But you can't -- other than winning the tournament, it couldn't have been any better for us the last ten days. And not just for us, for our fans because when I came to TCU -- it's about getting the players there, but it's also about getting your entire community and getting in to say, hey, this is real college baseball. So hopefully we'll take that back to Fort Worth and continue to grow our program and our crowd and fan base.

Q. What were the early warning signs you saw from Winkler, because he had the quick hook there, and then when you got back to 6-3, did you feel like you had just turned the corner and got back into it?
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: We did. I don't think he had it from the get-go. Hit the lead off hitter, didn't throw a strike, and had the chopper go through in the 3-1 count on the right side and then tried to find his breaking ball since he didn't have any command of his fastball. And they hit it out. So he just didn't have much of anything.
And Gerrit shot some success against them in the last two games ago, the first game against UCLA.
But we pitched behind the count the whole day. We had the lead-off hitter on base, I don't know, six or seven of the nine innings, I'm guessing. You may know the stats. It was like Coach Savage said yesterday they felt like they were playing uphill. We were playing uphill, upstream all day. When we got to 6-3, I felt if we could keep it there, maybe get one more great at-bat after Merck punched out the guy, first and third, I thought we had a chance. But Bauer was just too good.

Q. Bryan, you were obviously this team's leader this year. What kind of legacy do you think you leave behind?
BRYAN HOLADAY: I don't think -- I don't know. I don't know how to answer that question.
COACH SCHLOSSNAGLE: He leaves the ultimate legacy. The ultimate legacy. You can replace the baseball stuff. You cannot replace -- you guys see him on the field. I see him in practice every day and in the weight room.
I just had a long talk with Featherston about: You better grow up quick, big man, as a leader because you have to replace this one and he had to replace Matt Carpenter. Great programs can do that. But we have a lot of work ahead of us to replace this guy.
It just doesn't happen overnight.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thank you very much.

End of FastScripts

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