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June 19, 2011

Robert Beary

Jackie Bradley, Jr.

Michael Roth

Ray Tanner

Scott Wingo


South Carolina – 5
Texas A&M - 4

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, Ray. Give us an overview.
COACH TANNER: It was a great college baseball game. Going into the first inning tonight, I have to admit that I had been paying attention to the other games and the other pitchers in the inning, it appeared that all four games, to begin the College World Series, every pitcher seemed to scuffle a little bit in the first inning.
Although, runs weren't scored in every inning it seemed like the pitchers scuffled a little bit, and we made an error to start the game and Roth had to get in the battle mode and they had the four-spot and we came back and battled our way back into it with a four-spot.
And then it was pretty quiet for a long time. Stripling, I thought, from A&M was very effective. He was hard to square up. His breaking ball became really good as the game wore on. He could locate his fastball, threw some really good changeups. We kept battling and hung in there, and Roth did what he's accustomed to doing for us.
He gave us a chance to win. And that's all you can ask after a dismal start. We came back and tied it and patched it together in the bullpen with Taylor and got Price in there and came up with a couple of big hits there at the end.

Q. Scott, just take us through that last at-bat, what were you trying to do and just what happened?
SCOTT WINGO: I just saw they brought an outfielder in, and I was really trying to get the ball up in the air. When I got two strikes on me, I just tried to battle. And I think he threw me inside fastball and I just got it up.

Q. Jackie, more than a month ago you told us you would be back. What does it feel like to be back on the field tonight?
JACKIE BRADLEY: It's great to be back out there and just being able to help my team win. I'm glad I'm able to get back. I feel good and I'm getting more relaxed up there in each bat.

Q. Michael, did this just kind of feel like Omaha again, another tight ballgame that you guys had to win dramatically and also how does it feel to finally get that win for the school in the opener?
MICHAEL ROTH: Yeah, it's pretty good. I think we had the last walk-off in Rosenblatt and the first one in the new stadium.
So that's pretty special. But I don't think it would be South Carolina baseball if we didn't give up a couple of runs in the first inning.

Q. Ray, from your perspective what's it like to be in the winner's bracket?
COACH TANNER: (Laughter) Well, I'm happy to be sitting here. It's a very unusual feeling for me to be in Omaha and win the first game. But I got a text from Morales today, and he said he wanted to help me get off of losing the first game every year I've been here.
And I said to him, "Weren't you on the team last year? Didn't you assume some responsibility as well?" He said, "No, it's all on you."
But it's great. So many great teams. I thought A&M was really special. A lot of tremendous athletes over there. And we just tried to hang in there and got in a position to win. And just can't say enough about the job Roth did, and then Taylor gets some big outs, and Matt P, not an ideal situation really when you're using your bullpen, you've got your closer out there and he doesn't have the lead.
But you're trying to win. And if we had -- if he pitches well, we don't score, we maybe get two or three innings out of him and have another crack at it. It worked out great for us.

Q. Scott, I think this is like your fourth walk-off win in this season. Is that a situation that you want to be in, that you kind of maybe demand to be in?
SCOTT WINGO: I think I probably want to be in that, definitely want to be in that. But, yeah, I just knew bases loaded, no outs. I know I needed to come up big there and I just tried to go out there and put a good swing on it. I took that first pitch, I was mad at myself I could have drove that pretty well. When I had two strikes, I went out there and battled.

Q. Robert, talk about your hit to start that inning off. It looked like for a second that you were thinking about going to third, when did you reconsider that one?
ROBERT BEARY: Coach Tanner told me before the inning started that I needed to get on base; I knew my job. Before I walked up to the plate, I told, I was talking to myself I gotta hit one for my father. He's in Afghanistan. So he couldn't be here today.
But, well, when I saw the ball go off the wall and it coming towards the infield, I thought I had third, but I felt my coach holding me up, and I didn't want to make the first out at third. So I just listened to him and stayed there. And Jackie ended up getting a nice base hit there. And giving us the chance to win there in the inning.

Q. Coach, can you walk us through the decision-making process of how you went about picking your outfield and where to put them in the order?
COACH TANNER: It's been a battle over the last few days. Jackie has meant so much to our program, and athletically I felt like he's where he needed to be. Obviously he missed a lot of at-bats. It was a struggle for me. Honestly, probably had everything remained the same I might not have played him tonight but Marzilli aggravated his hamstring. That was a question mark whether Marzilli was going to be good to go.
And our trainers and Evan have done a great job the last couple of days. And that being said, I was willing to play defense. And that made it a no-brainer to get Jackie in there. And Stripling has a pretty good changeup. So that was the decision I made maybe not to play Neff tonight. But at first I had a lineup, I had Jackie hitting second, and then I went back and looked at it and thought maybe that that's putting a little too much pressure on him right now, although he can handle it.
I felt like we should drop him down there let him get relax and get ABs under his belt, and sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn't. But that was the thought process going into it.

Q. Ray, talk about the ninth inning with Jackie at the plate; any thought of letting him hit away right from the opening pitch rather than trying to have him bunt?
COACH TANNER: There was, but you get a man to third with one out, they gotta bring the infield in. Had he been maybe in the lineup the entire season, there's a good chance he would have swung away there because he could have pulled the ball and got him over.
But because he hadn't had a lot of at-bats I made up my mind immediately we were going to bunt and try to get him to third with one out. And try to get him to third with one out, let them bring the infield in. We had a couple of lefties coming. They didn't have a lefty left in the bullpen. So that was the process there.
And he did a tremendous job of hitting with two strikes there and getting the base hit to left.

Q. Jackie, what's your familiarity level with Virginia and what's their challenge that they're going to pose?
JACKIE BRADLEY: I'm not really too much familiar with them. I know a couple of guys that are on the team, and most of them are pitchers, actually. So I've played with Danny Hultzen. We were all on the same team. Tyler Wilson, Will Roberts, Kenny Swab.
So from that standpoint I know what they have, but I really haven't seen them enough to actually key down and give really too much of a scouting report.
But I know it's going to be a battle. And everybody's itching to get back out there.

Q. Michael, can you talk about your mindset going into the dugout after the top of the first and then what your mindset was kind of the rest of the game, and how you maybe changed the rest of the game?
MICHAEL ROTH: Just really after -- in the first inning I didn't adjust to the strike zone well enough within that inning. And so I just tried to collect myself, and I've been through a situation like that before giving up a three spot in the SEC tournament in the first inning. So I just knew I was going to go back out there and battle and get a chance, give the team a chance to win. I think we've worn out battle, but that's the way it is.

Q. Ray, sort of the same question I asked Michael earlier, just the familiarity with these kinds of games; you've seen them all year, especially what happened here last summer. When you're in the eighth, ninth innings and you're grinding through those calls, did it feel just like a continuation of that and last year?
COACH TANNER: Well, it does a little bit. And the thing is, you know, when you play in our league, you're in a battle almost every weekend, almost every game.
And you get accustomed to that. And it doesn't guarantee you anything as far as winning is concerned, but what it does is give you that familiarity and experience that you are going to have an opportunity, if you can hang in there and battle, you may be able to push through.
You don't take ever the attitude, well, we're down it's going to be very difficult. It's baseball. And we've been in these situations many times. And you just have to keep plugging and hope that you get some opportunities.
If you can just leave it as it is, baseball, and you don't let your negative emotions enter into it, you've got a chance. If they don't get too many. Four's a tough one, but we did have 27 outs to go. That's the only thing I said to the guys in the dugout, they've got four but we haven't hit yet. So let's see if we can get back in this thing and figure it out along the way.
And it's all you can do. But if you let the wrong emotions enter into it, it's going to get you. And our guys continue to try to find a way. Results-oriented. Keep it close. Give us a chance at the end and see if we can push through.

Q. Michael, I think it's 37 and .1 innings, no earned runs. .097 ERA for you, are those numbers staggering even for you?
MICHAEL ROTH: I think some of the pitchers want some the luck I get, have all these unearned runs. But it's pretty cool.

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