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NCAA BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: SUPER REGIONAL


June 8, 2014


Devon Conley

Dylan Dusek

Tyler Neslony

Tim Tadlock


LUBBOCK, TEXAS

TEXAS TECH ¬Ė 1
CHARLESTON - 0


BLAYNE BEAL:  Okay, at this time we'll take an opening statement from Coach Tim Tadlock.
COACH TADLOCK:  I'd just like to say congratulations to all the Red Raiders out there.  I think everybody out there deserves this.  As you could see, the ballpark was packed and we really appreciate everybody coming out, really from near and far.  I mean, there are people all over the place supporting us, and we really appreciate them.
College of Charleston, really, the game was kind of cruel to them.¬† I thought those guys competed awfully well.¬† Had a really good team.¬† Obviously, these guys had a little bit to do with keeping running off the board.¬† I mean, we had some guys make some really good plays, and had some pitchers make some really good pitches.¬† Just really went through our 27‑man roster.¬† Everybody did a great job.
Again, just want to say congratulations to all the Red Raiders out there.  It's just a special day.

Q.  Devon, can you just talk about those two catches today and how big that was for your team?  It was?
DEVON CONLEY:¬† It was huge.¬† Saved some runs, kept us in the game, and the last one kept us in the lead.¬† It was a do‑or‑die situation, and I ended up making the catch for my team.

Q.  Dylan, Tyler, was Devon's catch the best ever or the greatest ever for you guys?
DYLAN DUSEK:  When I saw that catch, I wasn't expecting it to happen, that's how awesome it was.  That's how far he extended in foot on that turf, so probably one of the greatest catches I've ever seen.
TYLER NESLONY:  From my angle, I couldn't see it.  He made a great play.  That's probably one of the he biggest, clutch catches I've ever seen.

Q.  Devon, can you go over it real quick?  Did you catch it right off the turf?  Just tell us what was going through your head right then?
DEVON CONLEY:  Yeah, it was full extension.  I saw the ball go up, we had just shifted, great shift by Coach Tadlock, and we had just shifted, the ball was hit.  I knew I had to make a play, put my head down, ran full extension.  I kind of hit the turf a little bit before I caught it, but it landed perfect in my club glove, and all I did was close it.  It was amazing.

Q.  Were you surprised?
DEVON CONLEY:  I honestly don't know how I caught it.  It was something crazy.  It was just kind of in the moment, and I ended up coming out on top for my team.

Q.  Dylan, obviously, this is two starts in a row now for you.  Do you feel like you're really getting into a groove here at the right time of the year?
DYLAN DUSEK:  When I get that ball from the coaches, all I'm going out there for is to get the win from my team and help them get the win in any game, any situation, no matter what happens.  That's really my only goal when I get the ball.

Q.  Dylan, you went five.  Were you surprised when you came out in the fifth, or were you done?
DYLAN DUSEK:  I wasn't that surprised.  Usually when Coach comes out there it's for a reason.  So he took me out of the game, and I knew that anyone behind me would have done the exact same thing as me.  And I had total confidence in anybody, any relievers, any pitchers going out there to pitch.  So no feeling, just awesome.

Q.  Tyler, the team kind of struggled a little bit hitting over the last couple days.  How nice has it been to give them that spark and get the scoring started for them?
TYLER NESLONY:  I started off the inning with a single.  I was just getting on, getting a runner on with no outs always gives us a chance to score at least one.  If it went over or maybe a big hit would come.  Just one or two runs is tough to get, especially this late in the year.  So I just try to go up there and start off the inning.

Q.  For all three of you, can you just describe the emotions after that 27th out in the dog pile and all of it coming together at the end?
DYLAN DUSEK:  Probably some of the greatest emotions I've ever felt in my life just running into the dog pile after that third out we made.  It was awesome.
TYLER NESLONY:  Yeah, it's something you dream about as a kid.  For this to happen right now, it's unbelievable.
DEVON CONLEY:  For this being my senior year, this is definitely a dream come true.  This is the last year I can play in college, and to be able to go to the College World Series my senior year is unbelievable.  It's definitely a dream come true.

Q.  Talk about the zeros put up by the pitchers?
DYLAN DUSEK:  When we come into each game, it's one out at a time, just getting that first out is the most important out of the inning, we all get together, just get outs, don't focus on the whole game, just inning by inning.
TYLER NESLONY:  We wouldn't be where we are now without our pitchers.  It's so huge.  For them to do what they've been doing this previous postseason, if they can just keep it up, I mean, it's awesome.  It helps the hitters out.  It takes pressure off of us especially at the plate.

Q.  For all three of you, the tradition that Texas Tech has in baseball, to be the group that finally gets them over the hump and gets them to Omaha, what's that mean to you guys?
TYLER NESLONY:  It feels good.  It's a start of something new here.  Baseball is getting big.  I've never seen this many fans here before.  It's insane.  It's definitely huge for us.
DEVON CONLEY:  I think all the sports in Lubbock are coming up.  They're on the uprising.  First to compete with the best in college, it's huge for the town, and I think it's nothing but more positive things to come for Lubbock.

Q.  Knowing how you guys have to do one game at a time, one pitch at a time.  How long is this guy going to let you enjoy this?
DYLAN DUSEK:  I'm sure he'll let us enjoy it today, but tomorrow we'll have to get back to work, show up in the cages or do whatever pitchers do.  So we'll celebrate it for today probably.  That's about it.

Q.  When you took the job two years ago, what changed?
DYLAN DUSEK:  I didn't know how it was before.  But I knew he was a good coach.  I knew he was going to make a change around here.  Everything he's done is awesome for this town, for this team.
DEVON CONLEY:  Just to compete and to forget the last game, work on every pitch and every out, and to move on, win or lose, forget it, leave it, and just compete.

Q.  Coach, being a former player here, what are your emotions like right now as you're heading into Omaha?
COACH TADLOCK:  Right now I don't know if it's really sunk in.  I'm kind of wanting to watch the game on TV over there even though we have plenty of info on one of those clubs really just want to move to the next step and get ready for the next game.  I'm sure when I get home this evening, I'm sure it will hit me.  Right now it's kind of, I don't know.  I just really appreciate these guys.  I mean, they're a special group.

Q.  Coach, you talked about the game was kind of cruel to the Cougars this weekend.  Two runs and two wins, go into depth a little more about that?
COACH TADLOCK:¬† I think our pitching had a little bit to do with it.¬† Really thought Wise, I mean, he squared up the ball there in probably the sixth or seventh there with men on first and second.¬† Most of us all do exactly what they did right there.¬† You take your chances with your three‑hole hitter, and it just happened to be hit right at somebody.¬† You know, Devon Conley goes and gets the ball there in the 7th, was that the 7th?¬† And makes a great play.¬† I mean, but all that kind of goes hand in hand.¬† I mean, our pitching really pitching ahead in the count, pitching with good tempo allows you to play good defense.
All of it kind of goes together.¬† I mean, it really makes it easier to pitch if you can score a few more runs I guess we could bunt in the 5‑hole, but we're probably not going to do that.¬† You're sitting there running the game, and you're going, man, maybe we should have, we'd be 2‑0 right now.¬† But the same guy is the guy that hit the double.
So, thought College of Charleston had some good at‑bats.¬† Like you said, sometimes the game can be that way.¬† It's a game of failure.¬† It will test you.¬† I'm sure those guys will bounce back from it and move on and have a great year next year.

Q.  Coach, talk a little about the defense.  You have Devon's catch.  You have a number of good plays on the day.  Talk about that and elaborate on what makes this team such a special defensive team?
COACH TADLOCK:  Well, the simplest thing is to be ready every pitch.  I mean, they make it a little easier than it really looks.  Everybody that's out there on the field is, I would say, ready to make a play and trying to help their team.  Like I said it, all kind of goes hand in hand.  I thought Ryan Long made a really good play there in the 8th, and Timmy obviously made some good plays.
Gut made a heck of a play there on a throw somewhere in there maybe in the 8th, the last out of the 8th.  I mean for a 5'8" guy especially, that's not an easy play when you have a guy barrelling down on you.  Just kind of it's probably just a testament, if that's the right way to say it, to how they respect the game and how they want to go out and play the game.

Q.  Coach, a guy like Devon who is a senior here, wasn't playing a whole lot early, waited for his turn and made some huge plays for you guys in the last couple weeks and down the stretch of the season.  What's it mean to see him make a play like that for you guys?
COACH TADLOCK:  At the time it meant they didn't score any runs.  That is the simplest thing.  Now that the game is over, I imagine we'll be talking about that catch a long time, right?  And later down the road, it's going to mean more than it means right now.  But right now it got us out of the inning, and it means he's got really good jump which good players do.
As far as the grand scheme of deals, as far as what it means, I don't think we'll really know that until‑‑ I mean, we've got some more games to play.

Q.  Coach, you mentioned the grand scheme of things.  Do you remember what you said in your introductory press conference two years ago?
COACH TADLOCK:  Come on, man (laughing).  Yeah, I do.  Of course I do.

Q.  Talk about what that means to you?
COACH TADLOCK:  I mean, why not?  Why not?  It's a baseball game.  We're baseball players, baseball coaches, just like you guys are.  I mean, why not?  Why not dream big?  We try not to make more out of it than it really is.  Absolutely.  We earned the right to go and are really looking forward to the opportunity of competing and the challenge going up there and whoever we play.
Obviously, yeah, I could shed a tear over it right now, if you wanted to.

Q.  Talk about Ray Hayward and the influence he's had on the pitching staff and the philosophy he's brought to your staff?
COACH TADLOCK:  Ray's just a guy that when he's around he makes everybody better.  I think you could put him in any company in the world and in any avenue in the world, any profession, and he's going to make people around him better because he's such a good person.  Then on top of that, he's got some experience with teaching pitching.
Obviously, everybody knows his pedigree as far as that goes, but just a calming influence on these guys.  He just makes people around him better.  Really, I would think you could put him in anywhere in the world and he's going to make that organization better.  It wouldn't surprise me, and we've said this since the day we hired him, if anybody walked in here throughout Major League Baseball and said we're going to put him in a big league dugout because he's that good.
I mean, we try to take care of these arms and try to develop them and try to put them in a position where they're going to pitch their best this time of year.  You have to get everybody some innings to do that, and you have to take some chances along the way.  He's willing to do that.  If there is a better one out there, I hadn't found him.  We haven't found him.  I mean, he's just a special person.

Q.¬† Coach, could you talk about the relief pitching, Smith, and then Dominic Moreno who hadn't pitched in quite some time, and Drozd gets the save back‑to‑back.
COACH TADLOCK:  Yeah, I thought Cam came in in a really tough situation and executed some really big pitches.  And really just did his thing.  We were kind of debating going into the day whether, okay, first of all, it was a thought to start him today or tomorrow because he was pretty special last week.  We brought him out of the pen the whole year pretty much.  We've given him a few starts to kind of prepare him if you needed to start him.  But he made some really big pitches.
Then Dom comes in, and Dom's going to be really tough on those guys right there, right on right.¬† It's a tough angle, both those guys, Cam and Dom for that matter, it's not just left‑handed, it's not just right‑handed, it's an angle that guys don't see very often.¬† Those guys did a great job competing.
As far as Devon goes, you've got to throw Devon in the mix there with Dom.  That was a great catch.  Again, I know we keep going back to that catch, but it was a really good catch.  Then Jonny comes in and just does his thing.  I mean, pitches ahead in the count, changes speeds, and again, it's a different angle.  He's 6'7", changes speeds, and I mean those are tough guys to hit in any league.
You could line those three guys up, throw them in some bullpens anywhere in any league and they'd get some people out.

Q.  Can you talk about Hunter's performance behind the plate?  Miraculous saves, getting the stops at the plate yesterday and continued his defense back there today.
COACH TADLOCK:¬† Yeah, he's just a special kid.¬† He's got special hands, special makeup. ¬†What people really don't‑‑ I mean, if you've ever caught before, you understand this.¬† There are pitches you get and pitches you don't get on how you receive the ball.¬† He's just really a special receiver.¬† I won't really know how special he is until he's not here because he makes it look really easy, and so has TYLER NESLONY for that matter.¬† Both those guys can really catch.¬† Both of them, too, their makeup is just off the charts.¬† I mean, you're talking about guys who you could crawl into a foxhole with and do whatever.¬† They're just really special kids.
As far as his catching goes, again, I mentioned this yesterday, you're talking about the Los Angeles Dodgers take him in the 8th round.  Logan White, good friend of all of ours, guy that's kind of from around these parts.  When you're running an organization like that and you're spending that much money in pitching, and you want somebody taking care of those young arms and somebody with some good makeup.
I think it's one of the better moves I've seen in a while.  I'd stick him in a big league game right now with some of the young guys that are pitching.  He could help them he could help bring them along, so could Tyler.  Hopefully his feet are on the ground back there when I'm talking about him.  He keeps them on the ground pretty good, that's another thing about me being able to say all those things.  He's a special catcher and special kid.

Q.  You've been around a lot of teams.  What makes this team so unique and so special.
COACH TADLOCK:  Well, I think you could talk across baseball as far as college teams.  Our bullpen has been pretty good.  I mean, throughout so far, our bullpen has been pretty good.  Guys have come in.  As far as the bullpen goes, guys have really pitched well.  Also, you're talking about some other people.  TYLER NESLONY, Zach Davis, Anthony Lyons, all those guys, Ryan Long.  There are just a bunch of guys that understand that they need to be ready to make an impact in the game when their number is called.
For the most part we had‑‑ for the most part I'll just stay with the positives‑‑ we've been pretty good at that.¬† Guys have been ready when the bell is rung, and that's what it takes.¬† It takes all 35 guys on a roster, which earlier in the year we used all 35.¬† I mean, literally we did some things‑‑ I mean, anyway.¬† Needless to say it's a special group when everybody understands their role.

Q.¬† Coach, if somebody would have come up to me and said before this start of the Super Regionals you're going to win two games 1‑0, 1‑0, what would you have said to them?
COACH TADLOCK:  Well, I would have said you got talking part done, probably.  Let's go do it and then talk about it.

Q.  Last year UCLA won the championship with pitching and defense.  You guys are pitching well, playing great defense, kind of in the same vein.  Talk about how you like your chances going into Omaha now?
COACH TADLOCK:¬† Well, I was thinking about this last night.¬† We haven't been great in a tournament setting yet.¬† That is reality right now.¬† We went to Minute Maid earlier in the year, we were okay.¬† Went to Rick Town and we were just okay.¬† So we need to understand that we've got baseball game sometime coming up, and we need to bring an edge and be ready to play.¬† I don't think we need to start talking about‑‑ my experience what it is, you win one, you wake up in the morning and you win it, you go, wow, you're really ready to go hit again or hit some ground balls.
These guys are baseball players.  As long as we did it that way and keep it as a game and not bigger than anything than that, we just need to go play Game 1, and understand it's going to be a tough challenge and accept the challenge.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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