Tennessee Tech Baseball Press Conference – 2018 Oxford Regional Championship


Alright, Coach if you could start us off (inaudible)? Yeah, I mean, you know, these guys are resilient. I said that yesterday, and say it again. And it’s a fighting group and you know, Ole Miss obviously a great baseball program and an incredible environment to come in here and be able to do what these guys did to come out of the loser’s bracket and have to win you know, what? I don’t know, four games in, how many hours? 30 hours. I mean, you play four games and win three of them in the last 30 hours, pretty incredible. These guys are a hardworking group, great group and just really proud of everything they’ve accomplished. Love these guys. Questions? Coach, yesterday became the first team to win 50 games in (inaudible) history. Being the first team, you know, to see history to ever make the Super Regionals. What does a run like this mean to Tennessee Tech University? Oh, it’s huge. What a great spot. Tennessee Tech is an incredible university and an incredible town. And you know, it’s great for the Ohio Valley Conference. I think a lot of people don’t really know much about the Ohio Valley Conference and we typically have been a one-bid league. And we get overlooked, and it’s like I’m like this is a good league, and no one believes me, you know. And it’s a really, really good competitive league, and has been the whole time I’ve been at Tennessee Tech. So I’m happy for the league as well as Tennessee Tech, what a great place. Nick, yesterday you give (inaudible) to hit two homeruns. Today you come in, you pitch the final innings. What was it about this environment that made you so locked in? First of all, I’ve never played in anything like this ever. It was incredible. A lot of our guys, you know, a lot of our seniors are really good about feeding off of the crowd, you know. And even if everybody’s against us, you know, we’ve been the underdog for a while now and even if everyone’s against us, you know, we find a way to just feed off of it keep fueling the fire. So, (inaudible). Thought process leading up to that homerun? Man, honestly I just – I was looking fastball, I saw a curve ball out of his hand, and it was up and I just hit it pretty well. I kind of just watched it the whole time. I couldn’t run anyways. I’ve been playing with a kind of messed up hamstring all weekend. But man when I hit it, it felt really good and luckily it went out. So it’s pretty amazing. And Coach, obviously (inaudible) all season, this tournament. You lead the nation in wins. Was this an upset to you? You know, I don’t ever look at it as an upset, because I think these guys are really good baseball players, a very talented team. And I tell them all the time, if they go out and play good baseball, you know, execute pitches, minimize freebees, have quality at bats, we can compete and beat anybody and I truly believe that. And that’s no disrespect to anybody at all that we play. But it’s just how much I believe in these guys. Coach, so much has been written about your offense, but you just had spectacular starting pitching performance. I mean just kind of take me through the last three games, from the starting pitching perspective? Well, you know, it was all set, the tone was set last night. That’s a great question. The tone was set last night by Alex Hursey. Hursey went out there and gave us that complete game, one run when we needed it. And he set the tone and then Roberts who threw about 40 pitches on Friday, hasn’t started a game since his freshman year, because he’s so valuable out of the pen and we told him about an hour, two hours before the game today, “Hey, you’re starting today, man go get ‘em.” And he was ready. The guy’s an ultimate competitor, he went out there seven and a third, whatever it was he did. And then, you know, Moe came in and got a big out, whatever. And then we were able to score. And then tonight, I mean to watch Devin Lancaster go out there. Devin was outstanding as a freshman last year for us, outstanding. A lot of people were like, “Well he doesn’t throw that hard,” it doesn’t matter. He knows how to pitch and he’ll continue to do that, but he has not had a great year. And so for him to go out there, he was a high school quarterback that had like, honestly like 75 touchdowns his senior year. The guy is a competitor, we figured he’d be really good in a big game environment, and he was. And then Moths came in again, for an out or two. And then we went to Osborne, who again is one of the best competitors around. So it was great to see, because yes you’re right, the hitting is all that’s talked about. We got some guys that can pitch and understand how to get outs. What specifically made Lancaster so effective? He just knows how to pitch, I mean honestly he can mix pitches, he can mix speeds, he doesn’t over power you. You know, it’s funny he can go up to 89, I think today he topped at like 84. And so – but that’s sometimes what he does, and honestly sometimes he’s at his best when he’s 84. Kind of below ramming speed so to say. And just did a great job, really competed. When you follow the loser’s bracket, you got to have performers out of guys that you haven’t necessarily done. You know, haven’t had the greatest year or haven’t played that much. You had a great performance out of Nick tonight to close the game. What (inaudible)? Oh fantastic, I mean he was just dynamite. You know, Nick has electric stuff. I mean, right? He’s got electric – he really does. And it’s an electric fastball, and an electric slider. And so – but we’ve had to use him in a different role this year, where we put him in right field so we just haven’t pitched him as much. But if you go back and look at about his last four or five outings, oh like it’s been pretty good. So we had an idea, even though the numbers don’t show it, the numbers are not great on the year for him, we had an idea if we could set this thing up for Ozzy to close, Osborne to close this thing that we might be in pretty good shape. Coach, I know this game just ended, but you have Texas next up in the Super Regionals. What’s the mindset as you go to shift to Super Regionals? Yeah, you know, it’s funny, on the way over here we were talking about that, and Ozzy goes, “Hey let’s just enjoy this for about 24 hours.” And I’m 100% with them. I don’t know that much about Texas, I know they’ve got a storied history with a great program and obviously one of the most decorated programs in all of college baseball. And so you know, we’re excited for the challenge, we understand that it will be a challenge. But this was as well against a great Ole Miss team. But we’re excited for that opportunity. Chase this weekend you hit the ball really well, what was clicking for you? I was just seeing it really well and hats off to the guys in front of me for getting on base, they did a great job and they were in scoring position, I mean I’ll say almost every at bat I was up there it felt like, I mean I just saw the ball well and tried to just help out the team. And then Trevor, (inaudible) Tennessee Tech, this is the first time to ever had made it this far. What do you feel like this means for Tennessee Tech? Man we all from the meeting over winter break, right before we left, we were like setting goals and stuff; our very first goal was Omaha. Man I know we’re a small school, middle of nowhere, nobody believes in us to get to Omaha, but I mean we just come out here and we’re not scared of anybody, the atmosphere was crazy man, but we love that. I mean, so it’s great for this program, you know, nobody thought we’d be here except for us. So, it’s great. Coach, sixth inning they break through, but you bring in Moths and you’re able to keep the two run deficit with (inaudible). How important was that at that point? Huge. And how we go back to Friday again, and Moths threw 90 pitches on Friday. And you know, he’s a guy that will hear his name called in the next couple days and you know, he came to me he was like, “Coach I’m not trying to overstep boundaries, but I’m throwing today Coach. I want to help this team win, it’s why I wanted to come back to school.” I want this team to reach the goals that these guys have set. Certainly not that I set, it’s their goals, their team. But he came out and he’s like Coach, so we were able to use him a couple times today in some leverage or competitive moments and he’s our guy on the bump and him and Robbie are our guys.

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