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COLLEGE WORLD SERIES: LUBBOCK SUPER REGIONAL

June 9, 2019

Tim Tadlock John McMillon Kurt Wilson Josh Jung

Lubbock, Texas

Texas Tech - 8, Oklahoma State - 6

TIM TADLOCK: All right. Y'all ready? I don't know about any type of recap. I'm just really proud of these guys. Proud of who they are. Proud of the way they prepare. Proud of the way they compete. I mean, honestly, I think the better team won today.

The wind was a little bit of a factor going in. It was really interesting. Down two going into the bottom of the eighth. Josh put together a really good at-bat against Battenfield, who has been really good this year against most of the Big 12, and I think that at-bat gets Battenfield out of the game and gets us to Leeper, and it's Leeper's third day in a row to throw, and guys put together some good at-bats on him. Just a lot of good individual things in that game. Max Marusak getting in there and putting pressure on them, stealing the base, just a lot of things.

Congratulations to Josh and his staff and Oklahoma State. These guys, it's not every day you're going to run into a team who's got some guys that can play the game a little bit.

Q. Josh, could you envision a better way to potentially probably play your last game at Rip Griffin Park?
JOSH JUNG: Unbelievable. Our whole lineup was just resilient today. Oklahoma State is a big home run-hitting team and the wind blowing out, we knew they were going to be hitting today. We did all we could to elevate the baseball in the zone, get our pitch, and put a good swing on it.

This guy next to me, huge at-bat. I think he was Oh-fer going into that at-bat, and I looked over at him and I said, "Hey, this is your time. Those other at-bats don't matter," and he goes up there, and I've never seen somebody more intense in a moment, but hits one to the scoreboard, just unbelievable. Great experience.

Q. Kurt, earlier this year, legend has it you wrote into a coach's show about hitting, potentially hitting again. Do you think that's the best cover letter you've ever written in your life?
KURT WILSON: I would say so. I was just messing around with Tadlock, just see what he would say, and next thing I know I'm in the lineup. It's been fun.

Q. Kurt, was this the biggest home run ever in your baseball career?
KURT WILSON: Yes, sir. No doubt.

JOSH JUNG: He only has six, to my knowledge.

TIM TADLOCK: You hit one at Midland, didn't you, one time?

JOSH JUNG: High school?

KURT WILSON: He still remembers me. Thanks.

Q. The pitch before you had a good read on it but just missed it, and then the next pitch you come back to hit it. What did you take way from that pitch and what adjustment did you make?
KURT WILSON: I was still trying to get my pitch. Tadlock told me before I came up to bat, see the curveball down and get it up in the zone, and he threw me one right where I wanted it.

TIM TADLOCK: Sounds like you've been yellin'.

KURT WILSON: I was a little bit.

Q. What were the last couple of innings like, home runs, back and forth action?
JOHN McMILLON: They're a club that's going to swing the bat, and I just left a couple of pitches up and they made me pay, and I'm just really glad that my teammates were there to have my back when I might not have had my stuff today, like Kurt. Dane Haveman came in in a big spot and really gutted it out for us. I'm just really proud of the way we responded after some homers by them.

Q. Can you speak to what Dane was able to do today?
JOHN McMILLON: Well, you know Dane is a guy who wants the ball, no matter what. When presented the opportunity he's always going to go attack it. He can pick me up. We gotta a bunch of guys in the bullpen that can pick me up, and Dane was not shy of the moment tonight. I'm really proud of him.

Q. Josh, what were your emotions when you saw Kurt hit that 3-run home run?
JOSH JUNG: I don't know. I was blacked out, I couldn't tell you what was going on. But going back on the Dane thing, he gave up a home run to Simpson yesterday that gave them the lead, ultimately, in, I don't know, eighth, ninth, seventh, eighth inning yesterday, and for him to come back and bear down and come out to win today, that just shows you the kind of guy he is. He just attacked them. But, yeah, in that moment, for me, I was just jumping up and down. I don't know what was going on, but pretty special moment for this kid right here.

Q. Josh, I want to go back to the game Saturday. One thing I noticed, I think it was the sixth inning, when you had a guy on second base, and you got an out, but you moved a guy over to third base. What does that say about the quality of baseball you can play and play all facets of it?
JOSH JUNG: My approach at the plate is just to get the job done for the team. Yesterday I wasn't seeing the ball great, I was pulling out, doing all kinds of things. I was looking for a pitch that I could move Klein over, in that situation, what were we, down a run maybe? We have a solid lineup that anyone can get the job done at any given time and be the guy, be the star of the day. I was just passing the baton to Cam, to the next guy.

Q. John, since you work closely with him, what has Braxton meant specifically this weekend, not just behind the plate but at the plate?
JOHN McMILLON: First of all behind the plate as a pitcher there is a big -- it's kind of like a mental thing, when you got that guy back there you have a really good relationship with. Braxton is a grinder, catching three games in a row, intense games. That can put wear and tear on a catcher, and he never shows it. And offensively, just like a lot of other kids this weekend, he put together some good at-bats and got some big hits and really so proud of Braxton the whole year, and I really love throwing the ball to him.

JOSH JUNG: Words can't describe what that guy has done for our team. He sacked up backed there and blocked the balls. Last night, he kind of hung his head, he put that game on himself. And I was sitting in the hot tub next to him, and he was in the ice bath, he was just sitting there with his head down, and I was like, "Hey, kid, you're fine." And for him to come back, bounce back today be a wall back there, and then he hits the home run off the scoreboard. I never seen him hit a ball oppo, and he puts it off the scoreboard. What a moment for him, especially being from Lubbock. That was pretty cool.

Q. Coach, I know you talked about Max Marusak. Did he have the green light on the 2-1 pitch to steal the base in because I think he put pressure on their staff.
TIM TADLOCK: Max has a green light pretty much the whole time. The numbers added up in the dugout. We were talking to him about running. As soon as Cameron was going to the plate told him what the guy's time to the plate was, and he felt really confident he was going to be able to go and pick the right pitch and be able to get there.

Q. I know it's been a disappointing season for him. I've known him a long time. To come in and still put together the effort that he has, what does that say about a young man like that?
TIM TADLOCK: He's got great makeup. He's a team guy. He's working really hard. He's had a really good last couple weeks.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if he pushes somebody between now and next week. He had good at-bats within this last week. It's not the easiest thing to do, to be over there for eight or nine innings and come off the bench and be ready to run. We had one other guy that could really do it, guy might play in the big leagues, Zach Davis. Both elite runners, both confident in what they do, and right now with Gabe being out, Max is in the thick of it, right where he wants to be, competing to play.

Q. Where does that performance rank for Josh, probably knowing he's not going to be back here in Lubbock and to see him finish off like he did?
TIM TADLOCK: Saw him do the same thing at Austin, at the end of that series. It's interesting because it's like the game rewards people that prepare, and sometimes it just takes a little time sometimes for it to reward him.

He's a guy that through all of his preparation, man, there is not any doubt that he's going to go trust what he does and really cool to see him hit a home run his last at-bat. Cooler to see his teammates pick him up and pick everybody up throughout the game, all the things that happened.

At the end of the day, that's what baseball is. You gotta pick your teammates up. There's going to be bad things. You keep doing that, you've got a chance.

Q. The fact that he had a talk with Braxton last night, what did you think of Braxton's performance bouncing back after the game he had yesterday.
TIM TADLOCK: Yeah, you never know on Sunday, with catchers, when they go three days in a row. There's some times on Sunday you can almost tell the legs are a little deader, and back quickness might not be the same. I think Braxton would probably tell you adrenaline might have carried him a little bit today. The guys were excited from the get-go. They weren't too excited when we were down two in the eighth, but they were excited.

The one thing we -- I mean, just going into the game, Braxton was part of it, and we wanted to make them earn every out. I think we gave 'em one the whole game.

Q. Josh said he was jumping up and down after that Wilson home run. Do you have any recollection of what you were doing at the time?
TIM TADLOCK: Well, I was trying to take a look to see where McMillon was, making sure he wouldn't hurt anything if he got too excited and wanted to make sure he was staying calm in the dugout, and maybe we should have let him get out there and get right in the middle of it. At that moment, really you think about keeping your team back and being respectful of the other team and respecting the game, and I'm not sure there is much you can do with a little bit of celebration outside the dugout. The umpires did a good job with it.

Q. This was a nerve-wracking game. How do you get through one of these? This was a special game.
TIM TADLOCK: There's certain things we can do and the kids play the game. Man, whatever you want to say, there's -- we can make the lineup out and we can make some moves, you know, as far as offensively if you need to, applying some pressure, game tells you to change pitchers, be ready to do that. Maybe give a pitcher a breather every now and then.

Other than that, I trust these guys to go play about like if I asked you to go turn that light switch off over there. Pretty sure you could get it done.

We got a bunch of guys that prepare and there's a lot of trust there.

Q. Coach I know yesterday you spoke about Dane and how you have to get it out of your system, flush it out. What do you think of his resiliency today to come out and forget about yesterday and kinda get some rhythm so to speak?
TIM TADLOCK: Whew, I don't know if it's ever going to be perfect. He was deep in the count on Morrill. He was deep in the count on Funk. I think he was 2-2 on Simpson. He actually probably had a little more intent on him than the other ones. He kind of just got through it. It's one thing that makes him really hard to hit, because he's elevating the ball. He doesn't mean to elevate it all the time, but it's elevated some, and at that point you're really thinking -- your percentages are with the guy that's on the mound.

Again, you're trusting him to make some pitches and that might be full count. We kinda know that over there. His resiliency, I mean, we felt pretty good when we left the locker room last night that he was going to be ready to go today.

Q. You know, you mentioned last night if you or your players would have been told that you had one game to play to get to Omaha, sign you up. I guess, 61 games later you got that chance. What do you feel now after you did get that chance, you guys were able to execute?
TIM TADLOCK: I don't know if I want to think about what I feel. What I do know is June 26th or 27th, you can win the whole thing. We're five games away from doing that, and that's a long time. There's going to be distractions along the way, but it's usually play a game, take a day, play another game. So that's not necessarily what I feel, but that's our plan. We plan on playing.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

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