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June 29, 2010

Brett Krill

Rob Rasmussen

John Savage


South Carolina – 2
UCLA - 1

THE MODERATOR: Now joined by UCLA baseball players Rob Rasmussen, Brett Krill, along with head coach John Savage, who will now make an opening statement.
COACH SAVAGE: Just on behalf of UCLA and our baseball program, we'd like to congratulate South Carolina. They've earned the right to be called national champs. Coach Tanner and his staff certainly earned it. And they're the last ones standing.
So on behalf of our program, we'd like to congratulate them.
In terms of our program, I'm so proud of our players and our program, the strides that we have made. It's been a long journey. I've told the players that they have now reached the pinnacle in college baseball.
They've experienced the rigors of the Regionals and Super Regionals and the bracket of coming out and playing for a national championship. So now every player in that locker room knows what it feels like, what all the hard work and all the sacrifice to get to where they are. And we can sit there and be very proud of our entire program. And now the bar's been raised, and we look to be back as soon as possible.
This team can say that they have been the best team in UCLA history, which is a long and rich tradition. And I just can't say how proud I am about every single person that's been part of our program.
The game was special. The game was as good as it gets at this level. Rob and Erik and Dan, you know, big reason why we're here. And South Carolina just wouldn't give us anything.
We just couldn't knock the door down and get a couple of runs early. And it might have been the difference in the game, would have got to Game 3. But, you know what, the national championship is supposed to be played like that. And we came up short tonight. But we're very proud and look forward to the future.

Q. Coach, obviously 2-1 in this ball game, this was all about pitching. You had the bases loaded in the top of the 9th and Gallego up. I am guessing you were feeling pretty good right there. Talk about what a big strikeout that was for Price on their end, and then overall just talk about the great pitching that both teams had tonight.
COACH SAVAGE: We left 10 on and South Carolina left 14 on. So both teams really had opportunities. Clutch pitching, big-time pitching. Big pitches in big counts. We had a rally going after two outs, and we just could not come up with a big hit. And that was the story the last two nights.
And I think South Carolina's pitching is very good. And one of the big reasons why they're national champions. So we just could not let an opportunity -- we let an opportunity get away from us, and you gotta give that entire staff credit.

Q. Brett, this question for you. When you hit that fly ball deep in the late innings, did it feel like it was off the bat, did you think it was gone?
BRETT KRILL: It felt pretty good. But I didn't think I got all of it. Really in that situation I was just trying to get on, get a lead-off hitter on. He threw me a fastball and got a hold of it. It just wasn't enough.

Q. For the players, can you just describe, I guess, the emotions of this game and the intensity and the highs and the lows, and obviously you guys are pretty emotional right now. What happened in the locker room afterwards? Was there any consolation there?
BRETT KRILL: Emotions are running wild. I just can't say enough about this team. And, really, it was a battle. And South Carolina played a great game. So did we. And they came out on top.
But I'll tell you what, I'll go to battle with any of those guys on my team any day.
ROB RASMUSSEN: For me personally as a pitcher, once you get taken out it gets nerve-racking, when you're not in the game, especially as it started to go on. Erik and Dan have been so great all year for us. And I personally as a pitcher -- I had total confidence in them. I know the whole team did.
And in the locker room, obviously, it's hard to hold your emotions in. To get so close and to fall short hurts. But I think maybe later tonight or tomorrow, as it all kind of sinks in, and as we look back on it, we're all going to be proud of what we did. We were under .500 last year at 27 and 29.
And we really were, like Coach said, the best team that this school has ever seen. And we set the bar for this program, really. And that's something that we're all very proud of and something that we came here to do, and when we signed our letters of intent.
And so looking back on it I think we'll all be pretty happy. But of course it stings right now.

Q. Coach, two questions I'd like to ask your thoughts are on John Wooden and also Gary Adams, your thoughts about them right now at a time like this?
COACH SAVAGE: Well, Gary is one of the best guys in college baseball. Gary was here for 30 years, established a very good program. Means a lot that he's back this weekend to enjoy this moment. I know he's very proud.
I know the former Bruins, all those players that played for him cherish the moments and times that they spent with Gary. And whenever you're at a program for 30 years, you know, you make a major impact. And when I got the job at UCLA, Gary could not have been any better.
I mean, the guy's such a generous and professional, kind, giving -- I mean, that's the way to describe Gary Adams. So I have a ton of respect for Gary and what he did at UCLA and certainly always will. And I feel very humbled to be in the position that he was in.
Coach Wooden, you know, he's a legend of all legends. He's why coaches coach. He's the guy that, you know, laid the groundwork for so many programs and coaches and the messages and the lessons of the players that learned from him and played against him and the coaches that played against him and coached with him.
You just cannot describe what he means to athletics, let alone UCLA. And I think everybody in this room knows that. And it's just an honor to be at UCLA and to be able to have his initials on our hat.
We're very proud of that. And, you know, we just can't thank him for everything that he did for our university and athletics, really.

Q. Coach, how much -- what happened to Espy in the dugout? And, B, how confident were you with Klein going into his 4th inning?
COACH SAVAGE: Espy got upset and hit his hand and I think that's what you're talking about. Doctor was in the dugout, and we had to take him out of the dugout, very unfortunate thing.
Klein is a starter who is closing. He's a four-pitch guy. One of the best closers in the country. Could be a No. 1 starter in most programs, that's how good he is. And if there's a guy out there with the ball at the end of the game any better than him, then I'd like to see him. And he's going to have a very, very successful professional career. And he was a great Bruin, and we had no second thoughts whatsoever to have anybody else.

Q. Brett, obviously you guys have got the flamethrowers, yet Michael Roth -- we were sitting there watching the first five innings when you had a 1-0 lead, finally broke through and got one in the 5th, and we're looking up on the scoreboard, he's literally throwing 63, 65, 70, 69, 65. Talk about what a difference that is from the normal guy you face and how that might have played to their advantage because you weren't able to get off on him.
BRETT KRILL: Yeah, it's definitely different. But I gotta give the guy credit, because he hit his spots and he pitched well. And he pitched in and out and he kept our hitters off balance.
But, you know, whoever is out there, we're going to put a plan of attack and we're going to do our best to go after him. And he threw well. So that's all I've got.

Q. Rob, talk about your guys run as a whole. You ended up playing 70 some-odd games. What did that take out of you physically? What did it take out of you emotionally? And talk about the season and playing this many games.
ROB RASMUSSEN: Looking back on the season, like I said, it was a special one. And right now, I mean, I can tell you that it doesn't take a lot out of you physically, mentally when you're here because this is what you're playing for.
But, you know, you hit towards the end of the year, the middle and the end of the year. We have guys banged up and really no one is 100 percent at that point in time because you're playing so many games.
And I think it's a testament really to any team who can get to Omaha, just because they're so mentally tough and able to get through injuries and if you're still playing you still have nagging injuries and whatnot. It's a testament to any team who can get here, especially South Carolina and us, to make it all the way here.
And, I mean, that's all you can really say is both teams were just mentally tough and hats off to them.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thank you very much. Congratulations on an outstanding season.

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