TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle
May 28, 2009
FORT WORTH, Texas -- TCU hosted media day for the Fort Worth NCAA Baseball Regional Thursday in the Frank Windegger Room at Lupton Stadium.
For any information for this weekend, visit the Tournament Central page on GoFrogs.com.
TCU Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle
"Welcome to Fort Worth. We're excited for the weekend and hope it will be a great regional. We're going to have great weather and big crowds, so this is a really good weekend for college baseball in the Metroplex."
On TCU's program hosting its first regional:
"It's not the ultimate goal, but it certainly is a step in the right direction. To come here six years ago and have those kind of visions, but more importantly for the people that have been here longer than me. The administration made a commitment to baseball, building a new stadium. We have continually tried to upgrade our facilities, marketing and promotions to draw larger crowds. We have also worked on scheduling great teams to come play here in Fort Worth, like Cal State Fullerton, Wichita State and the Big 12. Just to watch the continual growth of this program and then to have this weekend be the next step. It's not the highest step, but it is the next step."
"With me not being from Texas, I have quickly learned that we are pretty much in our own country here. So, to get your piece of the pie, not just nationally with 300-plus Division I teams, but just in this region with all of the great programs in Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, LSU and Arkansas, it's really tough. You have to do all of the things that are in your control, such as have a great season and get your facilities right, but then you need some things that aren't in your control work for you. One big thing that was big for us this year was that our league was better and that allowed us to maintain a higher RPI once we got into conference play. "
"I will feel like we have arrived when we get to Rosenblatt Stadium and playing for a national championship, because a lot of the schools that I mentioned earlier have done that. We haven't done that part yet, but again, that is the next step."
TCU senior infielder Matt Carpenter
On hosting the regional in Fort Worth in his final season:
"It's a great feeling and a dream come true. When I first came and signed with TCU, this was one of the things that was on the goal list and to do it in my last year here is really exciting. It's just a result of all of the hard work that this team and coaching staff puts in and we are really excited about it. It's a thrill."
On looking at this weekend as a second chance after falling in the MWC Championship:
"I don't know if you would call it a second chance, but we are as fired up as we have ever been. Not playing well in the conference tournament was frustrating and we were embarrassed about it. We want to take this opportunity and run with it. We are ready to go. We have played our best baseball lately, but what a perfect time this is to play well in our own regional."
TCU junior pitcher Paul Gerrish
On starting on the mound for the Frogs' first game against Wright State:
"I was excited when Coach told me that I was getting the ball. We didn't come out and play well in the conference tournament, so we just want to come out and play as hard as we can and do the things we need to do to win the game. We need to throw strikes and use the ballpark, because as anyone knows, it's pretty tough to hit a ball out of Lupton Stadium."
Texas A&M Head Coach Rob Childress
"We are excited to be here and we know that it's a great regional. We are very familiar with Oregon State, TCU and Wright State. This should be a great tournament and we feel very fortunate to take part in the postseason and we are glad to be here in Fort Worth."
On playing on the road:
"We are fortunate to be here in the South, because early in the season we don't have to travel. We have an opportunity to play a lot of home games. Being at Nebraska for eight years, having the opportunity to go on the road lot of times, give you a chance to bring your team closer together and there's not many distractions. You are around each other 24 hours a day and we have had that opportunity for the last 10 days, being in Oklahoma and on to the Big 12 Tournament. Now that school is out, our only focus is baseball. Now we have the opportunity to come back, have a good week of practice and get the chance to stay together for another week longer. I think it has been good."
On the pitching philosophy in a NCAA Regional:
"It doesn't change anything we do. I don't think you set out for a three-game series the way you would during the regular season. You do everything you can to win the first game and then you worry about the next game. We have announced our game one and two starters, but after that it's TBA. We're going to do whatever we have to do tomorrow and then move on to Saturday. You've got to try to win each day.
Texas A&M sophomore pitcher/outfielder Brooks Raley
On starting on the mound for the Aggies' opening game against Oregon State:
"It's another good opportunity for our team to go out and prove that we are a good team. We are playing against a great team in Oregon State and I get the opportunity to throw the ball again. We are going to go play our game."
On the importance of this opening game:
"It's just as important as any other series we play during the season. Granted, we haven't played this team yet, but we are going to take the field just like we usually do, play hard for nine innings and see where it ends up."
Texas A&M senior outfielder Kyle Colligan
On the mood of the team:
"I think the mood is great. The chemistry is back and we are having fun again. Whenever you go through a little streak that we went through, a little rough patch, it's difficult to put that behind you, but I think we managed to do that."
On the hitter's approach at the plate in Lupton Stadium:
"We are going to see some great pitching this weekend. We will need to do a good job of getting inside the baseball and drive it the other way. This isn't a ballpark where you can try to just yank everything and hit home runs, so we will try to hit hard ground balls and hopefully those turn into line drives and extra-base hits."
Oregon State Head Coach Pat Casey
"We're excited about being here. It is a nice place to play, nice yard. We are looking forward to getting on the field."
On playing Texas A&M and matching up with the Aggies:
"We know that they were ranked No. 1 in most polls to start the season, so we definitely know how talented they are and all of the weapons they have. They have 80 home runs and 74 stolen bases; they are just a very, very good club. We have played each other a couple of times in the last few years at their place and we know how well they can play. We know they are dangerous in all aspects of the game. Anybody that beats A&M is going to have to play the game as well as they can play it."
On getting his team ready for this weekend:
"I think that if we are trying to coach up our players now, we are in trouble. They know what we need to do and what we expect of them. We are all in this together, but I always tell this to my club in the beginning, middle and end of the season and to the reporters; Coaches get way to much credit and criticism for winning and losing ball games. The players play them and the practices are for us. If we do a good job in practice and then go out and do the things they are capable of doing with confidence and energy, we will do well."
"Everything that happens outside the white lines are for the people that pay and everything that happens in between them are for the ones that play."
Oregon State freshman pitcher Sam Gaviglio
On facing Texas A&M's offense:
"It seems like the balls get knocked down going out to left field in this stadium and carry a little more to right field. I just need to keep the ball down and hit my spots."
Oregon State junior infielder Joey Wong
On having postseason experience heading into the weekend:
"My part on that team was to just go out there and play as hard as I could and do a job. My job was mostly to play defense and hit in the two-hole to move guys around. It was a great experience for me and I think that it will help me be a better leader now as far as knowing what our younger guys are feeling. I know that in my first regional, I was so excited and a little amped up and the upperclassmen did a good job of communicating with me."
Wright State Head Coach Rob Cooper
“I appreciate you guys being here and having us here. We are excited. I know this is kind of an exciting weekend for this area with this baseball tournament and the Colonial. Our guys are ready to get going tomorrow.”
On playing former Tulane colleague and TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle:
“Honestly, we are excited to be in the tournament, because I believe we have a really special group and they deserve to be in the tournament. Now having said that, Coach Schlossnagle and I coached together at Tulane and he actually did a reading at my wedding, so he is a very, very close friend of mine. It means a lot for me to come and compete against him. He’s a guy that I talk to regularly throughout the year and bounce ideas off of. I think he is one of the best coaches in the country, I really do. I think the people in this area are really lucky. Obviously in the short period he has been here, not only are they going to a regional on a consistent basis, but now they are hosting. He does an unbelievable job.”
On taking on playing in front of the a big crowd:
“Typically, if you make the tournament out of our conference, you’re going to be a four-seed. We knew we were going to play on somebody’s home field in front a big crowd. I have been at Wright State now for five years and if you look at the way we schedule, we take on tough teams on purpose. We opened this season at Texas A&M, we played at Tulane then went down to Georgia and Vanderbilt – these are all clubs that are perennial College World Series-type teams. Our guys are used to big crowds like that. I think that is one of the best parts about being a four-seed, you get to play in front of some big crowds against the home team. I know my guys are excited about it and so am I.”
Wright State senior Rylan Ostrosky
On taking the mound against the Horned Frogs Friday:
“It’s exciting. This is something that I have been waiting my whole life for. To be in this situation, on this stage, against a tough team like TCU. I’m going to have a lot of adrenaline going and hopefully I can get us a win. I’m typically a ground ball pitcher, so I am going to use that to my advantage to keep those guys in the park and use our great defense.”
Wright State infielder Jeff Mercer
On coming into the weekend as an underdog:
“I think that all of that stuff is good until the first pitch is thrown. Once the game is underway, it’s just another ballgame. I know the stadium is nice and there will be a big crowd, but we have played some good teams all over the country. We won’t be thinking that we are the underdog, we will be more worried about what the pitcher’s breaking ball is doing. You don’t think about that stuff once the game has started and you are competing.”
On entering the weekend with confidence and momentum:
“It does, especially with the way we won the last game. We had several opportunities to lose that game, so to come out and find a way in the 12th inning to win that was good for our team. We were behind in every game and had to come back to win. It really feels like there is never a game that we aren’t out of, there’s not an opportunity where we can’t come through and win. Confidence is a big thing, especially when you start four or five freshman. We do feel good about ourselves right now.”