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June 28, 2010

Gerrit Cole

Steve Rodriguez

John Savage


South Carolina - 7
UCLA - 1

THE MODERATOR: Now joined by the members of the UCLA baseball team. Joined on the podium by student-athletes Steve Rodriguez and Gerrit Cole, along with Coach John Savage, who will now make an opening statement.
COACH SAVAGE: Well, it was clearly South Carolina's night. It just seemed like we got off to a rough start. Two outs in the 1st inning. They touched the ball a couple of times. And I thought their hitters did a terrific job off of Gerrit of touching the ball. And they got rewarded.
I think he had two strikeouts in seven innings, which is probably a season low. I thought Blake Cooper was outstanding, off three days' rest. Gotta give him a ton of credit. He pounded the strike zone. Threw his change and breaking ball for strikes. And really kept us off balance all evening.
You know, so it was clearly their night from the get-go. They deserve to win the game. They dominated us I think in every phase, really. So it's one game. And it's the best two out of three, and, you know, we have bounced back -- we have bounced back all season, and this is a team of being very resilient. And we'll get back after it tomorrow.
But tonight they had our number, and you gotta give them a ton of credit.

Q. Gerrit, talk about your night and how it started, especially.
GERRIT COLE: Well, you know, they had a great approach. I don't know what the approach was. But it was -- whatever it was, it worked. You know, they touched the ball with two strikes.
You know, constantly worked counts, foul balls off. I jumped ahead of a lot of batters. Had a lot of guys 0-1, 1-2. And, you know, they touched the ball. They didn't chase the fastball up. They just did a very good job. A night like tonight with a line like this, I mean, sometimes you gotta kind of beat yourself up about it, but they did a great job.
I mean, I don't have really anything else.

Q. Steve, talk about Cooper, and talk about what you saw from Gerrit tonight.
STEVE RODRIGUEZ: Well, Cooper, he mixed it up well tonight. Kept us off balance. And we didn't make enough adjustments at the plate, obviously, with only three hits.
And then Gerrit, Gerrit pitched very effective, I thought. He had good stuff tonight. South Carolina just -- they battled all night, put the ball in play, and it's tough for them -- we didn't get many to fall for us. I think that's what killed us tonight.

Q. Coach, obviously anytime you play baseball it's tough to win when the other team has ten hits before you have a single hit. Talk a little bit about the fact that you guys -- you weren't getting anything done at the plate.
COACH SAVAGE: Yeah, I mean, yeah, you don't look at the hit column. I mean, it's a run game. But, you know, when you do have ten hits, you don't have any hits. That goes to show you they certainly are doing a much better job. It's pretty clear on the scoreboard.
But, hey, it could be 2 to 1 and we could be sitting up here, you know, at 7 to 1 and they had 14 hits and we had three hits. And they're up a game, and Game 2 is tomorrow night.
So, like I said, it was their night. You gotta give them a ton of credit. And that's when I look at the game, when we get back at the hotel we've got to look toward tomorrow.

Q. Coach, similar situation to what you guys faced against Fullerton in the Supers, can that experience help you at all in this series?
COACH SAVAGE: I think all season can. I don't know how many series we lost. I think we lost two series all year. I don't think there's many teams in the country that can say that, probably the ones except that are here.
So, you know, we've been in this position before. And we have bounced back, and it's all about tomorrow for us. You lose Game 1, anybody would have the momentum up 1-0. That's baseball. That's the way it is. That's how series work. They're certainly up a game, and it's their advantage right now, but, you know, that's why we're playing tomorrow.

Q. Rasmussen or Bauer tomorrow, do you know yet?
COACH SAVAGE: It won't be Bauer. Looks like it will be Rasmussen. We're going to announce that. I'll get back to my staff. We'll announce it tonight. It won't be Bauer.

Q. The Rahmatulla injury hasn't really reared its ugly head until Regis' error cost a little bit, and then Niko's. Talk about the defense in general and what went wrong.
COACH SAVAGE: It's one play, Regis has played really well all week. I mean, guys make errors all the time. I mean, the ball kicked off his glove.
Kind of a funny hop, but, hey, we're here because of a lot of reasons. And to say that tonight was a night we missed Rahmatulla, I think that's not the right way to look at it.
So we didn't play well in all phases. I told the team this after the game. It wasn't our pitching. It wasn't our defense. It wasn't our offense. It was everybody. But on the other hand of that, you've got to give South Carolina a ton of credit. They had a lot to do with that. They fought this guy pretty good.
This guy hasn't been touched like that all year. So they had a good plan, and they executed their plan and we didn't.

Q. Steve, did you guys feel shell-shocked at all, I mean, to come out and have them jump on you have a couple of breaks not go your way and all of a sudden you're behind and seemed like things steamrolled. Is that how it felt like to you guys at all?
STEVE RODRIGUEZ: Not really. They threw a couple of good punches, and we didn't feel like it was going to steamroll like it did. We just wanted to put a couple or a few quality at-bats together. We figured if we put in a few more quality at-bats we'd be right in the game. And Cooper was on his game tonight, and he didn't allow us to do that.
So that's when things started to steamroll a little bit. But we never felt we were totally out of it. Even that last inning. Bases loaded, nobody out, we were a couple hits away from getting right back into it and putting a little more pressure on to them.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thank you very much.

End of FastScripts

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