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June 17, 2013

Adam Engel

Dan McDonnell

Jeff Thompson

Zak Wasserman


Oregon State テや 11
Louisville - 4

COACH McDONNELL:テつ First, let me congratulate Oregon State.テつ There's a reason.テつ They now have 51 wins.テつ A very good team.テつ And those guys deserve to move on.
From our standpoint, you know, speaking specifically of today's game, you know, I'm sure our guys are very disappointed, just didn't play well, didn't play clean there in the third and fourth innings and it got out of hand.テつ And unfortunately that happens, especially when you're playing a really good opponent.
I know our guys are very disappointed.テつ This is very tough at this moment, but I don't want this game to define them or define their season.テつ It's a special group.テつ Had a special year.テつ And I told them just what I told the '07 team:テつ If our season had to end on a loss, I'd always want that loss to be in Omaha.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions?

Q.テつ Dan, last week Jeff kind of had his way with Vanderbilt.テつ Today, obviously didn't get much help from the defense.テつ But it wasn't quite as crisp as he was last week.テつ Just kind of your overall thoughts on how he kind of performed out there today.
COACH McDONNELL:テつ To me it goes hand in hand.テつ You can't have great pitching without great defense.テつ And you can't have a great defense unless you have pitchers that pound the ball into the zone.テつ And we've been a good bond, especially the second half of the season.テつ I mean, we really put it together the second half defensively as well as on the mound.
And I feel bad for Jeff, because I think in that one inning they scored three.テつ I think they got the one double down the left field line.テつ I think that was the only hit of the inning.
Tip your hat, kid had a great bunt.テつ We work on that bunt defense all the time, and we know it's the toughest play to make, that bunt that stops right in between, about a third of the way down between home and third.
I would have liked Todd to have been a little more aggressive on that, but again, sometimes I tell these guys just tip your hat when they make the perfect bunt.テつ And then we just didn't make the plays behind them.
Overall, I really didn't think Jeffrey pitched that bad.テつ Yes, everybody remembers the dominant performance last weekend.テつ But I would have liked to have seen us play better behind him, because he was competing.テつ He was going to give us a chance.

Q.テつ Jeff, it appeared on the scoreboard that your radar readings were in the high 80s as opposed to the 90s last week.テつ Did you feel a difference?テつ Did you feel that you had as much on the ball?
JEFF THOMPSON:テつ I felt‑‑ I didn't feel 100percent, I guess you'd say, but I was still able to make effective pitches and keep the ball down.テつ So I was getting ground balls, but, unfortunately, the ball just wasn't going our way today.
COACH McDONNELL:テつ On the radar thing, I'm a little confused because we didn't have the radar working the first day of the tournament, so we didn't know if we could have the radar and then we had the radar going today.テつ I don't know the reasoning we didn't have it the first day.テつ I don't know if it malfunctioned but they didn't have it on the scoreboard.
In defense of Jeff today, I thought everybody's readings were low.テつ So I don't know where the angle of that gun is.テつ I don't know exactly how hard their guy throws, but just seemed like all of the readings were a little bit low on every pitcher running out there, which is not norm.テつ This time of the year with adrenalin, usually the V loads are up, kind of like everybody saw last weekend, those V loads were up.テつ Maybe the angle of the gun, where it's at.
I haven't seen enough games and or know exactly how hard their guys throw to know if it's accurate.

Q.テつ Dan, your thoughts on the play at first as bang, bang, play but looked like replay showed he should have been out in the fourth.
COACH McDONNELL:テつ Yeah, we don't have the luxury of instant replay.テつ It's unfortunate, obviously.テつ I've got a bunch of text messages and about four different people walked up to me said the guy was out.テつ But I'm not going to blame an umpire.
It's a bang, bang play and more times than not, they're right.テつ If we play clean behind them, you know, we only give up a run.テつ And so I don't think that play cost us the game by any means.テつ We gotta handle that better and just play cleaner.テつ We just didn't play clean today.

Q.テつ Zak, did you feel like that struck your concentration at all or did you feel like the team didn't recover very well after that?テつ What was your take both during the play and after?
ZAK WASSERMAN:テつ I don't really know about that.テつ When I got the ball first, I felt that he may have been out.テつ But that's not my call, and the umpire made the call, and so if he says he's safe, then he's safe.
And from there, I just feel that if maybe we had a little more focus, we would have been able to execute defensively.

Q.テつ Any of the players, how tough is it to kind of remember that you had a great season to get here when you have a loss like this and it's the final game of the season?
ADAM ENGEL:テつ After the game, it's not so much that we're looking back at the season, but the relationships built after a game like this.テつ You know, some guys may be moving on to something totally different.
And pretty much the one thing that's on everybody's mind is the relationships we've built since we've been here.テつ And that's very special to us.テつ And that's something we'll take with us forever.
And even the younger guys that are going to be here in the program the next year, the guys that are leaving.テつ We built those relationships and that means a lot to us.テつ So that's kind of where we're at right now, mentally at least.

Q.テつ Dan, you were substituting pretty freely toward the end.テつ And I assume you just wanted to get everybody into the game or into the series at some point.テつ How do you balance that with the possibility of a comeback, bases loaded in the ninth?
COACH McDONNELL:テつ As a coach, I've always raved about our depth.テつ And we have very talented kids on the bench who work extremely hard.テつ So it's twofold.テつ You want everybody to get an opportunity to play, especially in the College World Series, and then they're able to tell their kids they played in it.
But we also had a game and a half where we weren't totally locked in.テつ So sometimes it's fresh to get some new faces out there, give them an opportunity, no pressure really.テつ They're definitely not slumping because they're not in there.テつ So sometimes you see that quite often when you empty the bench per se.テつ Guys mount a rally.
But it was‑‑ clearly the second half of the game was to play good baseball.テつ It's challenging to come back down nine or whatever it was.テつ But I knew we could play good baseball the second half of the game.テつ I just didn't want to get too focused on the comeback as opposed to let's keep it simple, just have good at‑bats.
And we did.テつ The second half of the game we played much better, obviously.テつ We just put ourselves in too big a hole.テつ But I did believe in the end, I thought the same thing.テつ Bases loaded.テつ We hit a grand slam right here.
And, again, if we make a comeback, it's credit to those guys that are in the game.テつ So there's never a point where you go, man, I wish I had the starters back in the game, because we've got depth, talent, and if those guys make the comeback, then those guys deserve to win it at the end.

Q.テつ You guys have had so much success this year getting guys on and running on the base paths and things like that.テつ You didn't really get to unleash that during your two games here.テつ How disappointing is that, that that didn't really become part of your offense here?テつ And second of all, how much did facing a couple left‑handers have to do with the fact that that never really got going?
COACH McDONNELL:テつ You can't steal first, as the saying goes.テつ You've got to get guys on base.テつ And the more guys you get on base, the more opportunities you have.テつ When you're up a little, it does go to our style.テつ It's a lot easier to be aggressive when you're up a few runs as opposed to‑‑ we were down 2‑0 the other night and never‑‑ didn't have enough guys on base.テつ And then today, whew, we were down 3‑0 and 10‑0 in the blink of an eye.
But as I tell these guys, they know.テつ We won a lot of games without stealing bases, and they know.テつ I always tell them:テつ The steal is great, but the threat of the steal is just as effective.テつ So we don't want to be one‑dimensional.テつ But it's hard to be as aggressive and run when you're down.テつ It's such a big gap there.

Q.テつ Coach, kind of big‑picture this thing, though.テつ What did getting here and the season mean to your team?テつ And kind of moving forward, what did this do, this appearance here and the season you had, do for your program going on from here?
COACH McDONNELL:テつ I told this group how proud I was of them in the outfield.テつ It's hard watching these guys.テつ Their hearts are broken.テつ And they do love each other.テつ And it's hard for me to look at a player, see him cry.テつ I get emotional.テつ But I told them how proud I was of them.テつ I don't want this game today to define their season.テつ I know it hurts.テつ But I challenge them to celebrate, because the one thing this team did was they were expected to come here.テつ I think you mentioned it in one of your articles.テつ We were ranked fourth to start the season in one poll.
And it's one thing to have a great year when nobody expects you to have a great year, but I was proud of this group, because the bar was set very high from themselves and from the baseball community.テつ And to a degree, we backed it up.
With that being said, we came here with the expectation to win the whole thing.テつ And that's why it hurts.テつ That's why it hurts so much right now.
But I did, I told these guys:テつ One day we will win a national championship at Louisville.テつ And you have to look back at this team for what they did.
The '07 team got us on the map.テつ And we've been in the Regionals six of the last seven years, and this team made a strong, strong statement.テつ I challenged them to leave their mark at Louisville baseball.テつ And they did.テつ And I'm very proud of them as well as I know their families are, our fans are.テつ And we definitely hope to give more.
I'll end with these last two comments, because I said one of them last week:テつ God is good.テつ God is real good.テつ And from the movie Gladiator which we watched a couple of weeks ago, we will see you again.テつ Thank you.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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