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June 23, 2011

Brian O'Connor

Kenny Swab

Keith Werman

Tyler Wilson


Virginia – 8
California - 1

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. Give us an overview, please.
COACH O'CONNOR: Well, I thought that we played a really good baseball game overall. Tyler Wilson was just spectacular tonight. All year long, whenever we've needed a great outing, maybe after a difficult loss this year, he's responded every time for his team. And he was the right guy to give the ball to tonight. That's for sure. And he went out there and charged the mound and gave us everything that he had.
And we were fortunate to capitalize on a lot of opportunities throughout the game, and I'm just happy. And I know the players are happy that we have another shot tomorrow night and we have another chance to play.

Q. Coach, who do you pitch tomorrow? And if necessary who do you pitch Saturday?
COACH O'CONNOR: I don't have any idea right now, honestly. I'm going to go back to the hotel. Coach Kuhn, our pitching coach, and I will discuss it and have a decision by tomorrow morning on what we're going to do.

Q. Coach, that's three times this year that Willie gets to seven and two-thirds, any thoughts about leaving him in because you don't know what is going to happen the rest of the week you want to pull him there?
COACH O'CONNOR: No, his pitch count wasn't that high. He ended up throwing 94 pitches. But he looked like in that eighth inning he was starting to tire a little bit. He did throw a couple of innings on Sunday. And he did his job.
I wasn't thinking at all about maybe another outing down the road. I was just doing everything we could do to win today's ballgame. And I just felt it was the right thing to do to bring Cody in at that time.

Q. Keith and Kenny, what was it that was so different about that South Carolina game and what you guys have to do tomorrow night?
KENNY SWAB: I wouldn't say anything was different. Sometimes you go in there and you have great at-bats and they fall. I think guys, one through nine, everybody stepped up tonight and had quality bats and got good swings on the ball.
KEITH WERMAN: Yeah, I think that's just part of baseball. You'll have it some days and some days it's not going to fall for you. And we'll always go out there and battle and today, like he said, all nine of us came through at some point in the game and that's what we needed.

Q. Tyler, the Cal players said that you did a really good job getting them to hit the ball in the air, hit a lot of popups. How were you able to do that? What was the key for you?
TYLER WILSON: Well, the Cal players were aggressive very early in the count. Pretty much all game long. And I knew it was going to be important coming in to establish my fastball, command of the fastball both in and out of the zone and to be able to pitch under the zone, try to get under the hands if necessary.
And they put some really good swings on some fastballs throughout the entire game, and luckily they hit it right at our guys. But I think that was the key was being able to command the fastball.

Q. Brian, on a personal note what was it like to have this game take place in front of your Creighton teammates and coaches?
COACH O'CONNOR: It was nice. It was a nice honor before the game. I'm glad they did it. But I talked to the players a couple of hours before the game, our players, and told them what was going on and that I didn't want it to take away from what their experience is, this experience us being in Omaha playing in the World Series for a chance to play for a national championship is about them, not me.
But it was a nice tribute before the game, and the fact that all my college teammates had an opportunity to see our team play was something that is definitely memorable.

Q. Tyler, talk about the adrenalin rush you were feeling out there, and could you pitch tomorrow?
TYLER WILSON: Well, I mean, it's the College World Series. How can you not pitch with adrenalin every time you step out there on that mound.
The atmosphere is incomparable to anything else that you'll ever play at this level. And I was ecstatic just to be out there to give our team a chance to build some momentum going into the rest of the tournament was really important.
So I'll be ready to go whenever.

Q. Kenny, can you walk us through that single/inside-the-park-home-run, and I guess let us know why you decided to reach down and swipe the home plate instead of slide?
KENNY SWAB: Well, he threw me a curveball/breaking ball up in the zone and just got good aluminum on it and hit it out in center field. And saw him kind of trying to make a play make a short hop catch on it and it went by so I just started running as hard as I could. Saw Coach Mac around third base waving me around and I just went.
I heard -- I heard -- I thought I heard somebody say get down. I don't know last second I didn't get down. And I didn't see him grabbing the ball or anything like that or seeing the ball coming in, so I don't know, it's dumb. But it worked out.

Q. Tyler, obviously you were excited to pitch tonight. But just what was your demeanor like today? I mean, preparing for this game?
TYLER WILSON: Well, we came in -- I approached this game the same way I've approached every one of my starts all season long. And that's what it's going to take for all of us to continue to be successful is to play the same way that we've played all year to get us to this point in the season.
You know, sure, once you get between the lines it's a little bit different, given the circumstances of where we are. But I had the same mindset today as I've had all year, to go out there and set it to them for our ballclub, try to turn the lineup over and give our offense as much opportunity to put some runs on the board as possible.

Q. Brian, what has Tyler meant to this team not just here in this series but the total year?
COACH O'CONNOR: Well, I'll say this, and in all my years of coaching, it's not too long, but in the 20 some, close to 20 years of coaching, this guy is as good of a leader as I've ever seen.
Not only does he perform on the field and is he talented. But he's just -- he does things the right way. And the fact that he decided to come back for his senior year and the conversion that he made from being a relief pitcher to a starting pitcher and now he's 10-0 in this year, he's just your perfect teammate. He does things the right way. He cheers his teammates on, whether he's in the game or not, and I just, I think the guy's a warrior out there and tremendous leader, and he deserves any and all accolades that he can get, that's for sure.

Q. The same kind of question but about Keith. He's leading the nation in sacrifice bunts. He had two tonight. What has that meant to your program as well to have a guy give himself up like that?
COACH O'CONNOR: He does a really good job with it. And Keith understands his role in this ballclub. Sometimes it's to knock runs in and he's already done that a couple of times here since we've been here, but it's also to move runners on and fight and battle up at the plate and play great defense. And I think that's part of what makes our team really special is our guys understand what their role is on this club for us ultimately to have success and Keith is certainly a tremendous example of that.

Q. Keith, can you talk a little bit about Tyler's performance, and I'm sure you guys have noticed that he's come up really big for you, and like coach said, in games you needed him, games after losses this year, not that you've had many, but why do you think he has that knack to be able to pitch like that in those situations?
KEITH WERMAN: I think Coach had a good word for it. He is a warrior. He goes out and competes. It started out from day one in the fall. He comes out there on those days and battles and pound the zone and he's going to challenge you. And he's shown that all year. And he's just going to go out there and get the job done. And it's great to be able to play behind him. Knowing he's going to throw strikes if those guys put the ball in play you're going to do everything you can for him. And he just does it every day, and you couldn't ask for anything better.

Q. Coach, the first time you played South Carolina, you got off to such a terrible start. What are the keys for tomorrow, and do you approach the game any differently?
COACH O'CONNOR: No, I don't think we approach the game any differently. South Carolina's got a very good ballclub. So do we. Tomorrow night's game has nothing to do with the previous game that we've played. There's no question we're going to have to play a really good ballgame. But so are they to win.
And I know whoever we start in that ballgame on the mound, our entire team will have confidence in that player that they'll go out there and get us off to a good start. And that's all we're hoping for.

Q. As important as getting the win tonight Tyler was able to save your bullpen. Talk about how big that was going in a situation where you have to win two games here?
COACH O'CONNOR: That's a great question. There's no doubt that was huge, the fact that he was able to go seven and two-thirds innings and we only had to use Winiarski for a short stint for what we have potentially in front of us, obviously a game tomorrow night, and if we can find a way to win tomorrow night, another one the next day. Saving everybody we possibly can helps your chances of advancing on. And that was big for us, there's no doubt. We have the benefit of that tomorrow and possibly the next day.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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