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June 21, 2012

George Roberts

Tyler Skulina

Scott Stricklin


South Carolina – 4
Kent State – 1

THE MODERATOR:  Congratulations on a great season.  Scott, could you give us an overview on today's game?
COACH STRICKLIN:  Yes, first of all, I'm very proud of my team, and Kent State University just an unbelievable year and a season that no one expected.  Our best years in the past‑‑ Omaha was really a pipe dream.
We all talk about it, but to get here, the last team from Ohio was 1970.  So 42 years, it hasn't been done.  There have been a lot of great team that's haven't made it here.  Including our team from last year, who I thought was probably our most talented team we've ever had, and we weren't able to get here.  So I think it's just a testament to our kids how tough they are, and how bad they wanted this.  Just really proud of what they accomplished.  I think the thing that I'm most proud is how we responded after the Arkansas game, because we all knew we didn't play our best game, and again, that's not taking anything from Arkansas, they just outplayed us.
But to come back and beat Florida and be down three runs and have a chance to win, I think we made a statement that we belong here, and we made a statement that we're a program that should be recognized nationally, not just regionally.  That's what I'm really proud of.

Q.  Coach, what made Roth so effective?  It looks like watching him, he looks like he's not doing anything fancy, but just mows you down.
COACH STRICKLIN:  He's a strike‑throwing machine.  Throws from different arm angles.  You never know what pitch is coming.  I mean, our guys are used to that.  When David Starn is on his game, that's what David Starn looks like.  The thing about Michael Roth is he has so much experience.
Once we scored, it's almost like we made him mad we scored that run in the second inning, and that's not happening anymore.  He was outstanding.  Didn't walk anybody.  Had a three‑ball count that I can remember once, maybe one more than that in the 8th inning to Polen.  But just commanded the game.  That's why he's an All American.
To me, that's why college baseball is so special, a guy like Michael Roth, and I think Coach Tanner said the same thing three years ago, he was on the back side of the bullpen, and he's a superstar.  He is the biggest superstar our game has.  He throws 85 miles an hour.  He just knows how to pitch.  He does everything the right way.  Great student.  I've got a ton of respect for him.  I've enjoyed watching him on TV.  I did not enjoy watching him today.

Q.  George, what was it like batting against them today?
GEORGE ROBERTS:  He threw a lot of strikes and got ahead of us.  Just kept pumping the strikes.

Q.  Tyler, just the one inning, but other than that you were pretty much in command yourself.  What happened in that inning?
TYLER SKULINA:  Are you talking about, which inning, the third?  Yeah, that home run just cut out of the fastball.  It just happened to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time.  It's supposed to be a fastball cut out of my hand.  It went a little too far in and he dropped his barrel on it and did what he needed to do.  That was a mistake on my part.

Q.  When you got the message that SouthCarolina was going to change its pitch count in the game, did you anticipate that coming?  Or what went through your mind that Roth was going to go against you?
COACH STRICKLIN:  That they really wanted to win.  Nothing against Montgomery, he's very good.  But you could argue Michael Roth is the best pitcher in the country.  He's 8‑1, and spent three years in the College World Series.  I talked to Coach Tanner before the game and, you know, Roth was campaigning to pitch last night.
You know, you don't have enough rest, and he said after the game was cancelled that Roth came up to him and said you can't hold me out now.  That's what you want out of your senior and your best guy.  He wanted the ball.  He wanted to be on the mound.  And I don't blame Coach Tanner one bit.  When your senior says give me the ball, you've got to give it to him.

Q.  I just wondered what you think.  It might be hard to think about this now, but what will getting here do for the future of this program?
GEORGE ROBERTS:  I believe it will just motivate us to get back here and just push us, make us better ballplayers.  That's all you can ask for.
TYLER SKULINA:  Well, we have a lot of guys returning next year, and with all of this experience under their belts, it will help them out a lot.  We have a really good class coming in next year for our freshmen.  So that's going to motivate them to want to beat us out for spots and be able to play, so that's just going to make our team better.

Q.  George and Tyler, what has being in Omaha done for you as players and the experience in general?
TYLER SKULINA:  The experience in general has been amazing here.  The fan support, just the atmosphere all the way around the town.  This is going to give us more experience now for next year.  Hopefully we just have another great year and come back here next year.
GEORGE ROBERTS:  Omaha has been awesome to us and everybody here.  It's one of the best experiences I've ever had.  I know my teammates would say the same, so it's just been amazing.

Q.  What happened with Bagoly, did he make it?
COACH STRICKLIN:  To be perfectly honest with you, my phone has stopped working.  So I'm sure he's supposed to land at 1:24, but I could not tell you.  I cannot communicate with anybody right now.  So that's going to make for a stressful 24 hours until I get to the Sprint store.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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