NCAA Baseball Regional Game #6 Quotes

June 6, 2010

Recap |  Final Stats

NCAA Baseball Regional Game #6
Fort Worth, Texas (Lupton Stadium)
TCU 9, Baylor 0
June 6, 2010

TCU Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle
Opening statement:
“It was an exciting night, a great ball game. I thought (Baylor starting pitcher Craig) Fritsch was really, really good, and we knew he was going to be. I thought (Steven Maxwell) was equally as good. I thought the turning point of the game for us was when (Maxwell) after giving up the triple to (Baylor’s Brooks) Pinckard having good presence to pitch his way out of that. Taylor (Featherston) doing a good job on the double play ball. We talk pitching and defense all year long, and pitching and defense created some energy for us to come back in that next inning. Taylor got the big hit down the right-field line, and after that I thought (Maxwell) had really good control of the game.”

On TCU’s offense continuing to produce in the ninth inning:
“(Taylor Featherston’s play in the ninth) where he hit the single to left field and went to second base, we want that to define our program. We always say in our program that you never know which run will win a game. If we win that game 9-8, the ninth run won the game, not the sixth. You just keep playing. I was proud of Taylor, even though he ended up getting thrown out at home plate. That could have ended the inning, but it didn’t. We just kept getting the next guy up, kept getting the next guy up. (Kyle) VonTungeln, he’s a great player, and he has a phenomenal future in our program. For him to go up there, put the ball in play and beat that out—that’s just a hussle play.”

On having the advantage of playing only one game Sunday:
“We talked before the game that we felt we’d be at an advantage that we didn’t have to play two games today. I knew Baylor was going to get energy from (Craig) Fritsch, because he’s a really good pitcher. But I also felt that if we could just stay with them, put the ball in play enough, force them to play defense and move around a bit—the first thing to go when you get tired is your legs and the next thing that goes is defense. If you just play catch with the ball (on the bat), then you can create things.”

On TCU’s effectiveness manufacturing runs:
“We practice bunting more than we breathe. We bunt, and bunt, and bunt and bunt. We practice two-strike bunt, and we practice the squeeze all the time. We just feel like those are the things when you are facing a great pitcher, like (Brooks) Pinckard and (Craig) Fritsch, those are the things you have to do. It’s tough to string together hits against those kind of arms. Those things can also create energy to where you can get some other things to fall for you. I’m proud of it, because that’s what we practice every day. It’s nothing new.”

On the rematch against Texas in Austin:
“Ever since the way things went down last year in Austin, we felt like we learned a lot from that experience. We’ll find out how much that helps us. The thing I said to the team at the end of the game is I feel we are right where we expected to be. We counted on having a great regular season, counted on winning the Mountain West tournament, counted on being a No. 1 seed and counted on hosting. We felt like we were deserving of a national seed, but it didn’t go our way. With the way things are in the NCAA right now, with the way they tend to keep things geographic, once that didn’t happen we knew we were probably going to have to go somewhere in the state to get to where we want to be (Omaha). I like our team. I know they (Texas) have a great club, but I think it’s going to be a little bit different situation for us this year than last just simply because we’ve been through it. Whether that means success or not, we’ll find out.”

On whether having to play the Super Regional in Austin will be any added pressure:
“We’re little old TCU just trying to make our way to Omaha. I like our club, and I have a lot of confidence in our team. We’re just going to go down there and play baseball. We say this a thousand times—it’s not the best team, but it’s the team that plays the best. If we do, we’ll advance. If we don’t, we don’t. But I have a lot of confidence in my guys.”

TCU junior SP Steven Maxwell
On getting out of the no-out jam in the fourth inning with the runners on first and third base:
“I’ve been in that situation before. When it happened, I just really focused on my breathing and executing pitches. You have to take it like the game hasn’t changed any at all. All you’re going out there to do is execute pitches. That’s kind of what I fell back on and it ended up working out for me.”

On whether today’s pitching performance was his best of the season:
“You could argue that it was. I executed a lot of the pitches I wanted to in situations that I needed to. I’m looking at it that way and feel that I did that most of the time. I think it was one of my better outings.”

On getting to this point in his career after four years:
“I’ve learned a lot in the last four years, and it’s given me a better idea of what to go out and expect in these Regional environments. I’ve seen it before, whether I’ve pitched in it or not. Just seeing it, being around it and seeing how guys react to it has really give me confidence and helped me to know what to expect going into these situations. It doesn’t really change anything for me when I get out there.”

TCU sophomore SS Taylor Featherston
On leading off for TCU:
“I didn’t change anything. Of course the first at-bat went a little rough, but what can you do? I didn’t really change my approach. I just took it for what it was worth and relaxed. I felt good at the plate and comfortable.”

On the team’s confidence heading into the Super Regional matchup against Texas:
“I think we’re playing our best baseball at the right time, and that’s what it comes down to. Our starting pitching, I think they just battle with each other to see who can have the best ERA of the weekend. That’s what this team has that a lot of teams don’t. Everyone tries to one-up each other, but still has the team in mind. We’re playing defense, we’re pitching and we’re hitting, and it’s all coming together right now. We’re confident.”

Baylor Head Coach Steve Smith
Opening statement:
“I congratulate TCU, they have a very good club. I think this whole regional has been done really well. The fans created a great environment for the players on every team, especially tonight. Even though we lost the game, our guys will remember the experience of this weekend for a long time. I think that the game was a better game than the score indicated. There were some very odd things that happened later in the game. But I thought Craig (Fritsch) threw extremely well, and obviously Steven Maxwell was outstanding. We had an opportunity in the fourth inning with men on first and third and nobody out, that resulted in a strikeout and a double play. We had a similar opportunity the next inning, but every time we posed a threat he (Steven Maxwell) did a good job of getting a strikeout and keeping the ball in the infield. If you look at his (Steven Maxwell) numbers on the year, tonight was no surprise. I think Craig (Fritsch) had one of his better games. He raised his performance up a notch, and I am really proud of that. I think Brooks (Pinckard) had some tough things happen behind him that were scored hits and really were not. I am proud of our guys, I think we played hard and played well.”

On his team’s offensive performance:
“I don’t think there were any issues without focus. We had a guy or two who at key points in the game were completely over matched. It was way more about him than it was about us. We had a couple opportunities, and the way Craig (Fritsch) was pitching you are thinking it will be a three to two type of ball game. You aren’t going to win too many games when you get first and third and can’t get anything out of it. It happens, it’s not the first time. But that’s how you win or lose games.”

On not scoring men on first and third and nobody out in the fourth inning:
“At the time, with the way he (Craig Fritsch) is throwing, I thought we would be ok. Their eight and nine hole guys were the ones who were creating the problem. We walked one of them and gave up a double down the right field line to the other one. (Taylor) Featherston (Taylor) went the other way with a fastball out over the plate. But after that he (Craig Fritsch) got back to doing what he was doing, which is keeping the ball in on guys. I think he got away from his game plan for about three hitters, and that’s about all it took. We never really could get a sustained rally against Maxwell (Steven).”

On the Baylor error in the eighth inning:
“I think that Landis (Ware) full arm faked it to first, and it faked our catcher. Gregg (Glime) was looking at first base, but Landis (Ware) still had the ball. I guess if there is a silver lining it’s that it didn’t cost us the game. It’s an embarrassing moment, I am just glad it didn’t cost us the game.”

On whether exhaustion played a role in the late inning errors:
“I don’t think there is any question that the team that has to play two games is at a disadvantage. That’s why you stay in the winner’s bracket, there is a penalty for losing. Especially if you are in a regional in this part of the country and you have to deal with the heat like this.”

On his senior class of athletes:
“I am really proud of this group of guys, particularly the seniors. We have all been beat up over the last couple of years. These guys just really came together. I don’t know if I have had a team of guys that really loved each other like these guys do. I don’t know if I have coached a team that I had loved as much as I love this one. It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about them having a great experience and enjoying what they are doing. You cannot imagine the kind of abuse that players take, and it does not happen in other sports. For some reason in our sport it’s culturally acceptable to say anything you want to another human being as long as there is a net in-between you. It is really embarrassing. It happens at Baylor as well as every other institution.”

TCU sophomore RP Brooks Pinckard
On being fatigued and playing in the heat:
“It wasn’t really an issue. I felt pretty good for the first couple innings, and obviously that last inning was frustrating.”

On dealing with a frustrating inning:
“You just have to put it behind you. If you let it get to your head then it’s going to affect your pitching. You just have to focus on the mitt and throw strikes.”

On the physical demands of playing two games:
“You just have to do it. I want to help the team, and I was glad to be out there.”

Baylor junior SP Craig Fritsch
On the fifth inning and TCU breaking through:
“I definitely hit a wall in the fifth. I started missing locations and they took advantage of it. I refocused the next inning and was able to get some outs.”

On his early success in the game:
“I was able to have good velocity on my fastball, I had a good slider and I mixed the changeup in as well.”

On how rewarding this experience has been:
“It’s a little bitter sweet. You definitely want to go farther than what we have done. A couple of weeks ago we were battling to get into this. I’m not happy with how we finished, but it’s rewarding.”



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