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May 30, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA
INDIANA ¬Ė 10
YOUNGSTOWN ST. - 2
TRACY SMITH:¬† First of all, we're happy with the win.¬† I think it's important when you get to this point in the season, and you're in post‑season play in the regional, it's very, very important to try to stay in the winner's bracket.
And if we could have drawn it up before the game, and how we wanted it to play out with Scott doing what he did, us jumping out to a lead, I don't think we would have written it any differently.
So very, very important for us to get the win.¬† Today I thought we played a solid baseball game, and you know, putting that one behind us and ready for tomorrow.
Q.¬† Felt like especially early on, up and down the lineup, you were swinging early and staying aggressive at the plate.¬† How much of an emphasis was that tonight based either on what you saw out of them or what you wanted to accomplish?
KYLE SCHWARBER:¬† Yeah, they were throwing strikes early and getting ahead.¬† We were going up there not waiting for the pitcher's pitch; we were going to hit our pitch.
He was keeping the ball elevated in the zone.¬† We went up there, try to hit the ball hard and make something happen.
Q.¬† Scott, when you found out you were going to get the start tonight, how did you feel about how you threw out there?
SCOTT EFFROSS:¬† Well, I found out today, actually, it was final decision Skip made.¬† They told me early on in the week they might start me depending if it was the first game or match‑up wise but actually found out today the final decision.
Felt all right.¬† You know, had not started in a while, since high school, but felt comfortable once I got going with my fastball and established the strike zone, so felt all right.
Q.¬† Kyle in the last, you needed a double for the cycle.¬† Did you think about trying to go for two there?
KYLE SCHWARBER:¬† No.¬† (Laughter.) Didn't want to be‑‑ you don't want to be too selfish when you get in that situation.¬† You've still got to be playing team ball and Indiana baseball, so you don't want to be a selfish hitter at all.
Q.¬† You talked about using your fastball to establish the strike zone.¬† How quickly did that come for you?¬† Felt like you settled in as the outing went on, and I know you only went through four innings but how quickly did that come for you tonight, being able to set up with your fastball and then come back with your secondary pitches?
SCOTT EFFROSS:¬† After the first inning, I treated it like a relief appearance, pretty much the same way I've been doing it the last two years.
Like you said, took me a while to get established with that but once I got going, felt pretty comfortable with the fastball and curveball when I got those over for strikes and getting ahead.¬† Just tried to use my stuff.
Q.¬† For a pitcher that's always come out of the bullpen, just a minute talk about Will's performance at the end, how good does it feel to see him have that performance and close it out for you guys?
SCOTT EFFROSS:¬† It was definitely good to see that.¬† I know it's‑‑ as a team we were all happy for them and we wanted to get it there but to see what he was doing and the stuff that he was having tonight was electric.¬† If he can be able to do that moving forward, it's definitely big for us.
Q.¬† Can you talk about Scott's pitching performance and how it looked from your vantage point?
KYLE SCHWARBER:¬† He did a very good job I thought.¬† He had his fastball command somewhat today.¬† Maybe missed a couple spots inside, but he was doing a good job controlling the outside part of the plate and flipping over to his secondary pitches.
He was attacking with his fastball like he always does, and he was just out there competing like all of our pitchers do.¬† That's what makes this staff so good is that they are always out there competing; and they don't care if it it's two‑strike count, 3‑0 count or we are up ten, down then; they are still out there competing.
Q.¬† What happened on the pitches you guys hit out, on each of those at‑bats, take us through that and what happened there.
SAM TRAVIS:¬† Well, missed in the gap and got to third and I was just going up there looking to drive the ball to the outfield, and most of all, I didn't want to get too anxious, jump at the ball.
So I just waited for my pitch.¬† He gave me something up in the zone, I knew I could get it to the outfield and turned out well for us.
KYLE SCHWARBER:¬† Pretty much the same thing.¬† Going through the at‑bat, started off with off‑speed and I was just looking for something up in the zone to hit, and just happened to be outer third and it got up a little bit and I got some good barrel on it and happened to go out.
Q.¬† It may seem irrelevant in the total outcome, but four of your six runs were scored with out‑‑ four of your first six were scored with two out and all three in the first inning.¬† Kyle, if you would talk about, especially at home against a team that you're favored against, how significant is that to get four two‑out runs early in the game?
KYLE SCHWARBER:¬† I feel like two‑out hitting is what's going to win you a ballgame definitely coming down the road.
It's a stat that's not seen by many people, but it's‑‑ for a team, you feel like you've got a guy on first and second with one out, and you happen to move him; and then you have two outs, you don't have a chance to put the ball in play and score a run; you have to get a hit.¬† That's just huge for us, and, you know, we are going to continue with our ... (audio skip).
Q.¬† How does your arm feel and was there a pre‑determined pitch count going in, and do you feel like you can go again in the regional if need be?
SCOTT EFFROSS:¬† There was no predetermined pitch count.¬† We were definitely playing for this game.¬† We weren't going to overlook them.¬† First game of regional, everybody is going to be hungry to come out and beat us.¬† So there was definitely no predetermined pitch count; if I went the whole game, if they needed me to go the whole game, so be it.
But once we came out and got a lead, thanks to these guys, they figured, we can go to the pen and try to have me bounce back maybe later this weekend.¬† But there was definitely no predetermined pitch count as far as that goes.
Q.¬† I guess he talked about it, going as well as you would have scripted it, how much of that was being able to get Scott out in four innings and under 60 pitches?¬† Do you see him being able to get back potentially?
TRACY SMITH:¬† Yeah, that was the whole discussion after we jumped up on them in the bottom of the first.¬† It was, okay, this is good, let's try to keep his pitch count down because we would like to have him available if we were fortunate enough to progress in this tournament.¬† So I thought it worked perfectly with his‑‑ with the way that it all played out.
Q.¬† Obviously it's the first time Coursen‑Carr got in action in a while. ¬†What did you think of his performance, and do you see him as a weapon going forward?
TRACY SMITH:¬† You know, I thought that was a huge positive in tonight's game, I really did, because if you followed us at all last year, that kid kind of put us on the back end of the season, pitched us into post‑season play.¬† And he's really struggled, no secret about that.
And he made some adjustments, dropped down a little bit, and we worked on that the past week.¬† I was just glad that the scenario presented itself where we could get in there and take a look at it.¬† Because it's one thing to do it in practice; it's another to do it in a game.
And I thought that was‑‑ regardless of his scenario before tonight, that was pretty electric stuff, and so I'm happy and we are going to try to build on that and make a positive.¬† Because if we can get that guy back right, that's a weapon.
Q.¬† I had asked Kyle the same question, but you know, you talked about if you had drawn it out, maybe it wouldn't have played‑‑ couldn't have played out much better, but a key to that was getting three runs in the first with two out and then getting another run in the third with two out.¬† Would you kind of just embellish on what he talked a little bit about?
TRACY SMITH:¬† Well, first of all, great to see you, haven't seen you in a long time.
But yeah, when that double fell in front, I think their guy broke back a little bit.¬† When that fell in there, I thought that was‑‑ it kind of took the pressure off us and maybe threw a little bit of pressure in that other dugout, because if they get out of that, we had some baserunners on and we were rattled a little bit.¬† But I thought that was, again, it was a perfect scenario for us because we jumped on them early and I was wanting to make them chase.
Because I think what happens in games like this, if people are looking at records, they are looking at you're a national seed; if you are playing a perceived or so‑called underdog, the longer that game goes, whether the score is tied or we are chasing, the more pressure your team seems to put on itself.
So I thought that was big to get going like that in the first.
Q.¬† You obviously had a chance to see Stanford, I know you just got off this game, but how do you approach it as a coaching staff? ¬†You do stay up all night and look at them, and what are your thoughts on them?
TRACY SMITH:¬† The only thing I'll be watching tonight are Netflix; I always say that.
We watched a little bit of the first game.¬† They are a good team.¬† We are going to kind of take the same approach we have always taken is we are going to focus on what we do.¬† I know they have a quality starter against us tomorrow, the left‑hander, that's tremendous numbers for them.¬† They play in a very good baseball conference.¬† They are battle‑tested.
You know, I just don't think there's a whole lot of scouting and things like that done at this point in the season.¬† You try to see some tendencies, maybe lay some eyes on your opponent just to‑‑ I don't know, knock the edge off a little bit.
But we are not going to go back and scheme and game plan; and I'm serious, I'm going to go watch the second season of West Wing, I really am.¬† It's a great show.
Q.¬† Is the plan to go with Joey?
TRACY SMITH:¬† Yes, we are going to go with Joey, and he's ready and looking forward to it.¬† And we feel like that gives us the best chance with the opponent that we are facing tomorrow.¬† So, yeah, Joey is going to be our tomorrow starter.
Q.¬† A couple of national seeds did go down today in the first game.¬† Is it‑‑ were you happy with your team's focus from the start?
TRACY SMITH:¬† Yeah, I mean, I was, because that's one of the things we talked about.¬† I don't read a lot of it.¬† Some people point it out and you know, I've watched the show.
I wasn't real happy with the comments made, you know, I'll be honest with you, about us not deserving a national seed.¬† That didn't set well with me, because, you know, what more do we have to do?¬† We made it to the World Series last year.¬† Those are some pretty good teams that get there.
We have a pretty good core of that group coming back.¬† Our ERA is in the top three in the country so we did talk about that.¬† It wasn't about who we are playing and all that.¬† We are going to go out and be Indiana and let's play the way we play.
What the most impressive part for me tonight is that we had zero errors.¬† I thought we played some nice plays that we played out there.¬† But I thought we did ‑‑ it was what we said in the locker room:¬† We did what we needed to do.¬† We came out and beat an opponent soundly that we should beat soundly.
I get all riled up when talking about all that national seed stuff.
Q.¬† How did your whole thought process go?¬† What all went into it?
TRACY SMITH:¬† Well, today, because we wanted to know who it was going to be after that first game, who potentially we could face tomorrow.¬† For us, it was mostly that, but then just Scott to me has an overpowering fastball and we went with that.
As I said, if he had to go seven today, we were going to go seven with him but it worked perfectly because we were able to get him out of there with a relatively low pitch count; that if we can get in this thing and stay in it until Sunday, or possibly Monday, if you got into a scenario like that, he would be available.¬† So it worked perfectly.
And we don't usually ‑‑ and we don't, the gamesmanship.¬† But we have been unorthodox with our rotation because of injuries.¬† We've had some things‑‑ Coury (ph) had a little tenderness.¬† So literally we wanted to wait until we saw what would be the best‑‑ give us the best chance to win this regional.
Q.¬† You said that the talk of you being national seed kind of gets to you personally.¬† But you also said earlier that this team doesn't really care what anybody thinks.¬† It might get to you personally, but do you think that serves as motivation for your team?
TRACY SMITH:¬† I hope so at some level.¬† And I'll clarify that.
It gets to me personally because I think it's an underlying theme, and it goes unsaid, that we don't play baseball up here or the Big Ten is a bad conference.¬† I get sick and tired of hearing that stuff.¬† Because if you play in this conference, I don't care who you are; you've got to be on your game every single weekend or you're going to lose games.
And I get it.¬† It's tough.¬† There's no formula for that, but I think we earned the seed and I wish people would just leave it at that.¬† And I even say personally to myself, it's like you can't take it away.
Regardless of the outcome of how we play and from this point forward, our team has earned the No.4 national seed across the country.¬† However that plays out is great, but we earned it and people‑‑ and I just wish people would leave it at that.
And our guys will.¬† They will playto that ‑‑ but no, they are not sitting in there and saying anything on that.¬† But I certainly remind them that we are who we are and let's go out and prove to people that we are the best.¬† And we are one of the better teams; we've played well.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports