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June 24, 2013

John Cohen

Chad Girodo

Brett Pirtle

Wes Rea


UCLA テや 3
Mississippi State -1

THE MODERATOR:テつ Give us an overview.
COACH COHEN:テつ Yeah, I thought we played a very good baseball team tonight, which is what we expected.テつ Thought‑‑ I thought some things didn't go our way tonight.テつ But that's the way the game works.テつ The first run of the game scores on a hit and miss, ball hits us in the mask, no way to block it.テつ Story for the day.テつ Our kids kept fighting.
We told them if something bad was going to happen for us, something bad is going to happen for them.テつ It depends on how you react to it.テつ I thought the kids reacted great to it.テつ Chad came in, pitched really well.テつ It doesn't happen a lot when you punch out 12 guys and your guys strike out twice.テつ That's not an equation we lose a whole lot.
But that's how the game works.テつ They made the most of their opportunities.テつ I thought the biggest blow in the entire ballgame is bases loaded and our guy gets the pitch he wants and just absolutely hammers a line drive into right field and he's out.テつ That's how the game works sometimes.テつ You get the pitch you want.テつ You do everything the right way and it doesn't happen for you.
I'm not talking the ball leaving the yard; I'm talking about squaring up and hitting a line drive as hard as you possibly can.テつ So we had some sequences where we had opportunities.テつ That was definitely one of them.
You know, it's frustrating.テつ You feel like you put yourselves in a great chance to win a game over and over again.テつ And they hit balls to spots in the field down grass and we hit balls that found gloves.テつ And we punched out twice, they punched out 12 times.テつ Again, I thought they pitched really well.テつ I thought we pitched it really well.
So their error didn't cost them.テつ Our error did cost us.テつ We got‑‑ I just met with our club and what we're going to try to do is put everything behind us and try and win two ballgames.テつ I think we're very, very capable.
But so is UCLA.テつ I'm not trying to take anything away from them.テつ They're a very, very good club.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions?

Q.テつ Wes and Brett, seemed like it was trying to get you the ball up in the air, what was working for him in that regard?
WES REA:テつ That's the kind of pitcher he is.テつ That's his plan.テつ That's like Graveman going out for us and getting 19 ball outs, how many fly balls, putting them where he wants us to.テつ And we just didn't adjust quick enough to that.テつ Got some a little bit‑‑ when he came out started struggling a little bit, but he just executed his game plan.テつ We weren't able to adjust back.
BRETT PIRTLE:テつ Yeah, I mean exactly what he said.テつ That's what it was.テつ He was elevating, and we were just doing so much at the plate.テつ He didn't have anything overpowering.テつ He was leaving it up and we just did too much, just thought it was there.テつ And we just didn't do‑‑ I mean, do what we always do, just spread the ball up and hit line drives and hard ground balls.テつ We gave them easy outs, and that's not really who we are.

Q.テつ This is for all four of you.テつ The maroon half of the state of Mississippi showed up tonight.テつ And a lot of your key players are Mississippians.テつ Can you talk about what it's like to play for a national championship at this level from the state of Mississippi.テつ It hasn't gosh in a very long time?
CHAD GIRODO:テつ I think it's important.テつ We have a bunch of fans, and they're great.テつ They always show tons of support.テつ And it's just great to be in the opportunity we're in.
BRETT PIRTLE:テつ It just shows that how much these fans support us, how much they're always behind us, and just shows how much they really love the game as much as we do.テつ So it's great to have them here supporting us.
WES REA:テつ Can't say enough about the fans showing up tonight.テつ That's our goal tonight, that's what we're going to be focusing on.
COACH COHEN:テつ I thought the players‑‑ a little different format, yeah, we love our fans.テつ They're great people.テつ A lot of them are giving up vacation right now.テつ They're giving up work time.テつ They're giving up everything to be here for our baseball program.テつ That will always mean a lot to us.テつ It means a lot before and it means a lot after, and certainly the way they cheer for our kids are great.テつ But our kids' focus has to be on right now pitch by pitch trying to grind out two ballgames.テつ If their focus is anywhere else right now, then we're not going to be able to achieve our goal.

Q.テつ Wes, wondering how you're feeling, at first and the elbow?
WES REA:テつ Yes, it was just knee to knee.テつ I tried everything I could to get the ball in front of me.テつ But unfortunately we hit knee to knee, and caught a little bit of muscle.テつ But everything's fine.テつ So if you're wondering if I'm playing tomorrow, the answer is yes.

Q.テつ Chad, you were pretty masterful at the end of that game.テつ Just wondering, the last hit you gave up, the double, good pitch?テつ Mistake pitch?テつ What happened there?
CHAD GIRODO:テつ It wasn't one of my best pitches.テつ But they did a good job of hanging in there on my slider and they took a good swing on it.テつ I wish I had it back.

Q.テつ John and Brett, what does UCLA kind of bring to the table where it just seems nothing really stands out from them but they always seem to maybe come up with the clutch hit or that double play or something that always needs to come through in that clutch situation they do?
COACH COHEN:テつ Yeah, they seem to get those hits when‑‑ after a walk or an error.テつ I thought Chad was, outside of just a couple of tiny incidents, I thought Chad was masterful against them.
And first base runner of the game kind of spells it out.テつ I really wish that kid hadn't swung at that pitch.テつ I mean, I'm not saying it to be a smart aleck, but that kid doesn't swing that pitch, it lands in front of the plate, I think the ballgame could be different.テつ I do.
But crazy things happen in sports.テつ That's why you play the best of three instead of, you know, a one‑game winner‑take‑all.
BRETT PIRTLE:テつ Nobody that's extra special, they're just small ball, and double plays like tonight and bunt and put pressure on the defense is what helped them out and that's the kind of ballclub they are.テつ So keeping runners off base and just catching the ball and putting pressure on them will help us win the game tomorrow, so...

Q.テつ John and Brett and Wes, do you guys just feel like you got outlucked like the coach said, or do you feel you could have done more, taken better approaches, taken better swings, or this game just gets chalked up to being outlucked?
COACH COHEN:テつ You put yourself in a position to have luck for sure.テつ We had a lot of fortune to get here, so has UCLA.テつ You don't get here without having some good fortune.
So you have to make your luck in this game, but some things happened tonight.テつ That's just how it works.テつ And I was so proud of our club.テつ In that first inning we could have given up a two spot, three spot easily and we gave up a one spot there after some crazy stuff happened.テつ So, again, not taking anything away from UCLA at all.
We just got a ball rolling around and their guy's still standing in the batter's box.テつ And we're not chasing the ball down because we don't know where it is because it hit us in the face.テつ It's just one incident.テつ It's just one incident.テつ That's how this game works sometimes.
So you can either let it affect you in the negative way or you can let it affect you in a positive way.テつ I really believe in our kids and I think they're going to handle it in a positive way.テつ Luck plays huge into everything in our sport, in every game.テつ A guy can hit three line drives in a row right at somebody or it can go one for four with three punch outs and hit a ball at the end of the bat and it can fall for you.
Who was the more productive hitter that night?テつ That's just how it works in our sport sometimes.テつ So I thought UCLA did a great job defending tonight.テつ I thought they did a great job of situational hitting, and they brought in their closer.テつ He did a nice job.
I mean, they played really well.テつ But, again, some things didn't go our way.テつ If I think‑‑ we're probably having a different press conference if the ball's off the barrel in a different way off Trey Porter's bat there.テつ It's just how the game works.
WES REA:テつ You can call anything luck in baseball.テつ Like Demarcus Henderson gets a ball down in the seventh and they have the best hitter I've ever played baseball with Adam Frazier in that situation chomping on the bit on deck given another opportunity and the ballgame changes.テつ Chad Girodo punches that guy out instead of going the RBI that he did a thousand times this year, you could call that luck.テつ It didn't fall our way.テつ You can call it luck, call it getting done.テつ We just didn't get it done.

Q.テつ Wes, I think UCLA, we all might agree they lived up to their expectations, pitching and defense.テつ What did you guys do that maybe is uncharacteristic of you?
WES REA:テつ So like this postseason, just keep coming back.テつ We didn't get a lot of timely hits.テつ We had opportunities.テつ We had opportunities to move guys, and we just‑‑ we feel like we didn't have anybody in this form position tonight.テつ And when we had the opportunity we didn't get it done.テつ We had opportunity to move guys, didn't get it done.テつ So I mean a few things away, just getting the little things done, totally different ballgame.テつ But we're going to go look at it, focus in and come back tomorrow and make those things happen.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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