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June 24, 2013

David Berg

Eric Filia

Adam Plutko

John Savage

Pat Valaika


UCLA テや 3
Mississippi State - 1

COACH SAVAGE:テつ Hard fought game, tight game, lot of situations that could have gone either way.テつ We pitched out of some problems.テつ I thought Adam was fairly sharp.テつ He competed.テつ I thought he was sharp early, ran into trouble in the fourth inning.テつ I thought that was a good one.テつ That could have been more.テつ Mississippi State is dangerous, and I think they proved that to us tonight.テつ One game, I told the team that there's not much to get excited about.
It gets down to tomorrow.テつ And, you know, we can enjoy this one for about half an hour, 45 minutes, and then move on and prepare for tomorrow.
I'm proud of our guys.テつ We hung in there.テつ We put up some zeros, some difficult zeros.テつ Kaprielian and Weiss and Berg couple of innings, we dodged some bullets, no doubt about it.テつ But you also gotta give credit to our defense.テつ I think our defense was outstanding, Filia, Berg, Weiss, Regis turned a couple of double plays.テつ I thought deal was good behind the plate.テつ It was kind of a Bruin game.
Tight game, and at the end of the night we were fortunate to come out of it with the win.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions?

Q.テつ Coach, Eric I guess continues to perform really well in the postseason and today with the defense as well.テつ Kind of discuss what he's brought to you here in Omaha and postseason and Eric kind of break down the fourth inning, scored a couple of runs.
COACH SAVAGE:テつ Well, Eric's a very good player.テつ He's a very talented player.テつ He didn't play a whole lot last year behind Bo and Cody and Gelalich and went to Northwoods League and turned it up.テつ And he struggled this year for whatever reason, but we know he's very good.テつ He's very capable.
A lot of times bigger the moment, the better he is.テつ And it's a consistency and maturity thing.テつ And he's doing a good job of I think getting into that realm of things as to where he can be a high end player because he's very capable of.テつ So he's been huge for us, Aaron, and he's one of our go to guys.テつ And the double down set the tone for the evening.
ERIC FILIA:テつ Basically, he really threw his best with the slider and I was just really focusing on that pitch.テつ Not focus on the other.テつ And the guys in front of me getting on base really put a huge momentum to everything and my at‑bat, and so basically I was just trying to focus on that one pitch and trying to hit it up, not trying to get too big.テつ That's basically it.

Q.テつ David how does it feel?
DAVID BERG:テつ At this point it doesn't really matter.テつ Records are meant to be broken, but titles are what matter.テつ So if we all win a national championship, I'll enjoy that.テつ But right now I don't think about it at all.

Q.テつ John and Adam, can you talk about the defense of Cody Regis, couple of diving plays and couple of double plays that really got you out of trouble?
COACH SAVAGE:テつ Yeah, our defense has been our key to our success in our postseason run.テつ We haven't struck a whole lot of guys out.テつ Our strikeouts are down really in the postseason.テつ We've been a strikeout program.テつ But it's a credit to our pitchers.テつ It's a credit to our defense.テつ Like I said, Regis made some outstanding plays.
The double play against Henderson was a game‑changer.テつ You got first and second, nobody out, two strikes.テつ He doesn't get a bunt down and we turn that double play.
So I think any pitcher in our program will tell you that we rely on our defense, and tonight I think Adam in our bullpen did a good job of doing that.

Q.テつ Adam, just talk about your performance and kind of your approach with Hunter Renfroe you kind of had your way with him tonight, specifically on a couple of fastballs?
ADAM PLUTKO:テつ Yeah, I felt good early.テつ I came out of the pen and I had thrown a really good one.テつ And I just‑‑ I was feeling confident, and first time through the lineup I really wanted to attack them and see what they were all about.
And they started getting to me later in the game.テつ The grind out at‑bats just like we do.テつ But with Hunter we wanted to pound it.テつ We wanted to make him hit our pitches, and we just kept doing that and kept doing that.テつ And ultimately it paid off.

Q.テつ Coach, talk about the mental toughness of your team.テつ Because it was practically a home game for Mississippi State out there and you guys have played in big situations but this is as big as it gets.テつ Talk about how tough they were.
COACH SAVAGE:テつ We've really embraced that environment.テつ Since we've ever been to Omaha seems like everybody has bigger crowds.テつ And you go back to TCU, you go back to Stony Brook, you go back to LSU and North Carolina a couple of days ago, and tonight was big time.
I mean, there was all kinds of Mississippi State people, and it's great to see.テつ They support their program.テつ They're close enough to get here and great environment.テつ And I applaud them for showing up and supporting their team, they're classy fans.テつ They love baseball.テつ And I think you just have to tip your hat.
But we've embraced kind of that stadium‑against‑us philosophy.テつ And our guys enjoy that.テつ We like people in the stands; and on the West Coast, you don't get that as much as the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast.テつ I think anybody that's been out on the west can tell you that.
We're a top five, top ten team and we're forced to get a thousand people, and we're starting to draw better.テつ People of Los Angeles are starting to take notice and the UCLA community.
So you've gotta grow it.テつ You've gotta build it.テつ And we think they'll come.テつ But you've gotta tip your hat to the fans of Mississippi State.

Q.テつ Coach, first off, can you talk about going to the All‑American again David Berg in another tricky situation, having no hesitation there.テつ And David can you talk a little bit about how important it was getting the double play in the eighth and pitching out of trouble there in the ninth?
COACH SAVAGE:テつ Well, that's why he's an All‑American.テつ I mean, we do have a ton of trust in our bullpen, David, James and Zack, but when you're the visiting team and you're up a run or two in the eighth inning, you just cannot leave your All‑American in the bullpen.テつ It's a rule.テつ You can't do that.
And we wanted to get Weiss to get a couple of more outs.テつ But when he hit Renfroe, we couldn't afford to.テつ And Berg, he's kind of an old school closer.テつ He's not a one pitch, one out guy been up to three inning, two, inning and two‑thirds.テつ He's used to coming in.テつ We don't like to have him come in the middle of innings, but if we have to, we definitely will.
DAVID BERG:テつ As far as the double play goes in that eighth inning, definitely helped with the pitch count, wasn't obviously a clean night.テつ But relatively a short one.テつ So I wasn't able to get my pitch count down, so I could come back and pitch in the next game, in a possible Wednesday game.テつ So that was important for that.テつ And ninth inning just keep making good pitches, they're great hitters, they grind it out, at‑bat.テつ They're not going away.テつ They want to win this thing as bad as we do.テつ And they're not going to give up.テつ Gotta keep making good pitches and rely on my defense and that's what I did tonight.

Q.テつ Eric and Pat, can you talk briefly about your mindset as an offense, as a pitching staff that you do, and how important every at‑bat is early on in the game to try to get a lead?
ERIC FILIA:テつ Basically just we know our pitching is phenomenal, and we just really try to build the momentum, get the few runs in the first or whatever and get a one run, be comfortable.テつ But we're really big on just really passing the baton and everything like that, trying to get momentum through our lineup, because our one through nine can really produce and execute and really that's what we did tonight.テつ And we really helped Plutko with momentum behind him and getting that 1‑0 lead.
PAT VALAIKA:テつ I think getting that first run in the first inning really set the tone for our offense.テつ It's such a great pitching staff and defense.テつ We don't really have to score that many runs.テつ But it's not like we're only trying to score three runs.テつ But 1 through 9 we tried to have quality at‑bats and get a runner on execute him over and get a timely hit.テつ That's what we've been doing all year.テつ And that's what we'll continue to do.

Q.テつ David, your comments, you seem like you're very focused on tomorrow already.テつ Do you give yourself any time at all to enjoy this?
DAVID BERG:テつ A little bit.テつ Really, the last 24 saves don't mean a thing, only the one that matters is the next one.テつ I just go out there, whether it be tomorrow or the next day, if I get the opportunity I have to be able to do my job then.テつ Those don't matter.テつ Gotta live in the present.テつ Can't worry about the past.
Again, if we win a national title I'll go enjoy that.テつ But a record without going out and winning this thing really wouldn't be worth it.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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