NCAA Lincoln Regional
Sunday, June 2, 2008
Nebraska Press Conference
Head Coach Mike Anderson
"It’s a tough group of kids to let go. I’d also say that they’re probably a group of kids that are more ready for the world than a lot of others who have come through here. It’s tough for me to let them go, but they’re going to be just fine as they move on. I’m really proud of them. I’m really proud of the group of seniors that we had. We always talk about adversity, and adversity created an opportunity for these kids. Last spring, this summer, this fall – it created an opportunity to prove to people that this team and this program were good kids who did things the right way and worked hard. Our seniors set the tone for that, and I’m extremely proud of that group for doing that. That came from some difficult times. This group has left a nice legacy, and I can’t say enough about them and how proud I am of them, not just on the field, but off the field. This game can be an extremely humbling game, and obviously that is the case today. This one day won’t represent to me what these kids represent, and I’m proud of them for that."
On the difference between the loss today and last night
"I thought we were a little bit flat. I was fearful of that. Leaving that night game, losing like we did with a tough loss, we tried to shake it off. I kind of anticipated us to be down 1-0, 2-0 after the first couple of innings and seeing what we could do after that. That’s the way the game is played. You see that stuff all the time. But they did a good job of locating some pitches. I didn’t think we were very disciplined. Throughout this year, we were able to hide some of our weaknesses. Teams see you play, and they attack you the same way they did last night."
On struggling against left-handed pitching
"I think it’s exaggerated in the fact that you’re in a regional, and it makes it look like it’s a bigger factor than it is. Oklahoma State had two left-handers, and they got us. Those things show up. I think Oral Roberts did a good job of figuring out what they needed to match up with us, and they got us. That’s why we play a lot of games in the game of baseball. You hope to get the right matchup in the regional and hope to get the right situation. If you do, and you have some savvy and moxie, you move through it. We just didn’t have it."
On finding energy going into today’s game
"Scoring early was the big thing. I think they had the same intention because they’re not too much of a bunting team. They try to do everything they can to score early. They did, and we didn’t. We didn’t have that early. They came at it, and we were going to have to work for our runs. We were going to try just about anything. From a pitching standpoint, everybody was on call. A two-run homer hurts. Three runs, we can figure out a way to try to make that up and stay in it mentally. Six runs is difficult. That happened quickly, and we had a full bullpen and guys ready to pitch."
On the team’s performance since the Texas A&M series
"I would say this team kept trying to move on. We had adversity, some of it in the beginning, middle and end. We got some losses in the end. I wouldn’t categorize our loss today as because of (Texas) A&M. It’s always a mindset to stay even-keeled in the game of baseball and not get too far down or up. These kids aren’t patting themselves on the back; that’s not the issue. This team plays with a lot of emotion. We got 41 wins this year because of the energy and what these guys did to create that. You leave it out on the field all the time, and in a series like that, there’s bound to be a few valleys in there. You just hope they’re not too deep and the mountains aren’t too high to get fired up about it."
On the team taking a confident approach
"It’s baseball. I wouldn’t say I’m shocked, but I wouldn’t say it was expected either. I’m still confident in them. Opitz and I were looking at each other at third base saying ‘anything could happen.’ That’s the mentality. I’m not shocked that it happened, but I like the fact that our kids go into games with confidence and not cockiness and talking about it. I think that’s what Nebraskans want, and that’s what they deserve, that they have confident young men who can do this all the time. They go out and think it and believe it. I’m not shocked, but those things happen."
Infielder Jake Mort
On Oral Roberts starter Kelly Minissale
"All credit goes to him because he did a good job. We were undisciplined in counts that we shouldn’t have been, in counts that were hitters’ advantage counts. I thought sometimes we tried to do a little too much, but other than that, he pitched pretty well. When you have a guy who is pitching well and you’re undisciplined, it’s hard to produce a lot of runs when you’re doing that."
On last night’s 3-2 loss carrying over to today
"It might have. It’s one of those things that this team has done a good job all year of coming out and playing the next game. We’ve done that all year. Like I said earlier, we have a great group of seniors who make sure we haven’t done that. That’s one thing that has always stayed with us."
Infielder Jake Opitz
On carryover from last night
"Last night was a tough game, obviously. They came out with the same type of pitcher, and we didn’t adjust very well. Once we didn’t adjust those first few innings, it was almost like ‘here we go again,’ and we couldn’t stop it."
Outfielder Craig Corriston
On finding momentum in the dugout
"I don’t think it was a concern, really. As the game progressed into the second and third inning, you could tell we were dragging. But going into the game, I think we were fine. Our mindset was fine."
On the team facing adversity
"Obviously we didn’t want to end on this kind of note, but we handled adversity throughout the year pretty well. We played pretty good baseball all throughout and overcame a lot of things. It’s baseball, and that’s the way it happened."