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June 19, 2013

Michael Basil

Justin Cureton

Aaron Slegers

Tracy Smith


Oregon State – 1
Indiana - 0

THE MODERATOR:  Tracy, give us an overview of today's game.
COACH SMITH:  Well, I mean, entertainment value, I think it was off the charts.  It's just one of those where you had two guys who were on tonight.  And both of them throwing extremely well.
And unfortunately we came out on the wrong end of that.  But when you sit back and, as a coach, you try to evaluate how your team plays and the performance, and sure, I could be disappointed with the lack of effectiveness in the batter's box, but I think a lot of that has to do with what their guy's doing against us.
But there was so much good in that game.  And Aaron Slegers I thought threw his rear end off and gave us a chance to win even down to the last out.
Probably the bigger perspective on this is that this thing, win, lose or draw, as a coach, you have those seasons where you just hate for it to end.  And unfortunately it ends for us tonight.  But whether we won a national championship or not, the toughest part for me was going to be walking off the field for the last time with some of the individuals here.
And so I'm disappointed with the loss.  But my stomach's going to churn when you gotta say goodbye to some of these guys, but that was nothing to hang our heads about.  That was a heck of a baseball game.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions?

Q.  Coach, given I guess the balance of your lineup and the way your team has performed all year long, were you surprised I guess how much trouble you guys had with lefties in between ED and Girodo and then Boyd today?
COACH SMITH:  Well, unfortunately, yes.  I'll qualify that, because I said it last night.  The unfortunate part is that these are some of the best lefties in the country, and it's hard to get mad at your guys.  I'd peek up there every once in a while and see the replay of some of the pitches.  They were executing the pitches.  I think my SID said right before I came in, this is the first time we were shut out all year.  Heck of a time for a shutout.
But I thought that kid, he threw a tremendous game.  I don't want to say threw the game of his life because I don't know if he's thrown better than that, but that was one whale of a game.
I give credit to them.  We're a good hitting team and that guy stifled a good hitting team.  And it's just one of those things.

Q.  Michael and Justin, talk about what Boyd was doing and just how difficult he was tonight.
MICHAEL BASIL:  He was spotting his fast ball and he was getting his breaking ball on the first strike.  It really kept us off balance a lot, and we wanted to jump on his fastball, but a lot of times when his fastball was in the zone, it was right on the inside corner, outside corner.  Didn't really leave too much right over the heart of the plate.  Just really spotted the fastball and kept us off balance.
JUSTIN CURETON:  As Michael said, he spotted us very well tonight, keeping us off balance with the off speed and in and out of the zone, his fastball, and pitched very well.

Q.  Aaron, just what was clicking for you?  Seemed like you had basically everything working today.  Seems like it was as good an outing as you've had in a while.
AARON SLEGERS:  Throwing the first pitch strike has been key for me all year.  That seemed to be effective early.  I got that first pitch strike over.  And it opens up my off speed.

Q.  Coach, two things after the game, what did Dave Kaylets (phonetic) say to you after the game?  And I saw you huddled up to your team in the dugout.  Could you share with us what you said to them at that point?
COACH SMITH:  Dave, being an old Central Michigan guy there, Midwest guy, just congratulated us and is certainly a leader within our organization of baseball, but just a simple congratulation on a great season.  And I've known Dave for a long time, so that was nice of him to do that.
At the end, very simple.  You're not going to take away the sting of the loss these guys are competitors.  Every guy in that dugout is a competitor.  They want to win.
All I hope is that whether it's two hours from now, two days from now, two months from now, that they can sit back and say they were part of the greatest baseball team in Indiana history.  I don't want to say Big Ten history because I know there's some championships way back when, but it's been a while.
And I think it's important, and it will be‑‑ we've said, maybe we'll put context to this when it's over.
But I'm so proud of them.  I want them to recognize‑‑ I don't expect it to happen tonight, but I want them to recognize how important that was, not just for Indiana, but for the schools in our conference.  And they have nothing to be ashamed about because we've said it, and this is who we are and the feedback from people.  And I'm probably most proud of, whether it's an usher or photographer or someone will say, Coach, we really enjoyed your team.  You guys were classy.  That means to me as much as anything we do, because that's what we're about.
But it was just a simple message of you're going to hurt, but there's a lot of positive and it will feel good some day when you sit back and think about it.

Q.  Coach hit it right on the head when he said it's going to sting right now.  But for all three of you, when is it going to be when you can reflect on the season and just your take‑away from this entire journey?
MICHAEL BASIL:  I don't think it will be that long from now.  We know what we were able to accomplish this year, and we know it was an historic season for Indiana and we're really proud of that.  But it obviously does sting now, but we'll be able to enjoy it at some point.
JUSTIN CURETON:  It's going to take a while, but we played very well this season.  No doubt about it.  The loss tonight stings.  It's not what we wanted.  We wanted it to go farther.  Didn't want the season to end like this.  You can't deny we had a pretty good season.  It will take a while but we can reflect on that.
AARON SLEGERS:  Building off what they said, too, it's just tough to know that a lot of these guys, it's our last time playing together.  And guys we respect a lot, our teammates.  We're all best friends and it's just really brutal to know it's the last one.

Q.  Aaron, you could see right off the bat that Boyd was going to be pretty sharp tonight.  Does that kind of cut into your‑‑ do you realize quickly that your margin of error is going to be pretty slim and does that help you raise your game?
AARON SLEGERS:  To a point, it emphasizes every pitch to pitch.  From the beginning, it's a big emphasis pitch to pitch, but when you know the guy on the other side is throwing well, it gives you a little bit more motivation to make those pitches because you know runs are going to be at a premium.

Q.  Aaron, specifically about this game, not necessarily the whole season, but looking down the road, how much do you think you'll maybe tell friends and family how outstanding you were tonight, even though you came out on the wrong side of it?
AARON SLEGERS:  Looking back on this game, I think I just talk about‑‑ I don't know about this game, but a lot of plays were made behind me.  Mike and Chad up the middle made some spectacular plays.  Sam Travis at first.  I just tried to do my part to get the win.

Q.  Tracy, looking ahead to the future here, from your perspective, being a northern guy, just talk about what you think this means to the conference.  I know you talked about that, touching on it with the players.  But now people are moving forward, are going to say Indiana is who we want to beat.
COACH SMITH:  First, I hope we get some respect.  But it's one of those things, you have to‑‑ I think why it's so important was to get here, because this thing seems so far‑‑ I'm talking about the College World Series.  This thing seems so far off for programming.  Hear people talk about it, but until you're there and experience it, it's kind of what you see on TV.  And I'm stubborn enough where I'm not going to come out and sit and watch it.  I'm not going to watch everybody else have fun.
I think it was important for our guys to see it.  It was definitely important for me to see it.  As I said, walking with some of the guys that are going to return, now we've seen the blueprint.  We know what areas we need to improve on.  We know what it takes to get here.
You've gotta be darned good.  And I almost think in some ways it's harder to get here, and that sounds stupid.  But it's harder to get here than actually play.
But I think it's important for your program.  I think you have to take that next step.
But as far as for northern baseball and what that means for Indiana, how that's going to play out in the future, I'll temper myself, but I hope people realize we play some pretty good baseball up there.  And it may take a little bit, I always say, to get our sea legs.  And unfortunately, the way that our system is set up right now, that can affect your access to the NCAA tournament.
Indiana hit it right this year.  We played well earlier in the season.  We were able to showcase what we do, but the truth of the matter is, I feel in my heart of hearts, there's probably three or four schools that we played against in that area that are probably playing the same caliber of baseball, but we just don't have the access.
I hope we earned some respect and some love from some national publications as we move forward.  But I say that jokingly.

Q.  Tracy, LSU came here with a really powerful lineup.  And their coach was pretty candid yesterday.  He said, I think we let the ballpark get in our heads a little bit.  Do you feel you guys did that at all, or do you just look back say we ran into some great left‑handed pitching and we just got beat?
COACH SMITH:  I don't think our guys‑‑ honestly, I don't think it was in their heads.  I really don't.  The ballpark conversation has been a big piece of a lot of conversations this week.  That's the only thing, I said last night, that's the only interesting piece.  I heard Coach Manieri's remarks, and that's the only interesting piece.
This is a gorgeous park and this is the grand stage, but it's sad a little bit to me to me that the conversation comes back to the park and not the game itself and the players and the teams themselves.
But I don't have a solution.  I don't think that was a part of what‑‑ in our failure.  I would agree with you.  We struck a couple of balls well.  I would say the Mississippi State game, it was probably was more of a factor.  But the pitching we faced, those guys were really good.  So small ballpark, big ballpark, I don't know what the result would have been.
But it wasn't in our heads.  I really don't think it was.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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