June 2, 2013
NCAA BASEBALL LOS ANGELES REGIONAL
JACKIE ROBINSON STADIUM
JUNE 2, 2013
GAME SIX: #1 UCLA 6, #3 San Diego 0
UCLA Head Coach John Savage
"I'm very excited and proud of our team. I thought we played Bruin baseball the entire weekend. We pitched, we played solid defense, and we had enough quality at-bats throughout the entire weekend. The first 4-5 innings of last night, it was upside-down, as everybody saw, and we bounced back and came back from a 4-0 deficit to beat a very good Cal Poly team. Tonight was the reverse. We jumped on them, and we turned the ball over to Grant (Watson). I thought Grant was outstanding. He pitched on both sides of the plate - good change, good curveball, good cutter. I thought he was in complete command of the game. Also, defensively, which is a big part of our pitching, Kevin Kramer's play at third, Pat Valaika, Shane Zeile, our outfield, Eric Filia on the play at right field. It was a team weekend. It's the first round, we can move on, we can enjoy this for about a day, and then we've got to look forward to next week. I'm very proud of our guys in terms of their approach. It was a difficult regional. We had four good teams, all west coast teams, good players, a couple of high drafts. I think you'd have to say our guys did their job, and at the end of the day it was really how we had to draw it out. I'm very proud of players and the program."
on pitcher Grant Watson:
"Grant's a lot like Adam (Plutko) and Nick (Vander Tuig) - high, high preparation, very high confident guy, believes in what he's doing. He's a very good team guy. He's had a tremendous start to a young career; he won nine games last season and won his eighth game today. I don't think there are a lot of left-handers in the country who have won 17 games at this level. There's a lot of faith. He pitches in the Pac-12 on Sundays; it's not easy. But he's handled that. He didn't get a win for two months. He kept after it, and he got off to a great start, won five games early and then really cooled off. He went through struggles; he's a young guy, it's a tough league. But he outlasted it, and now I think he's a very high confident pitcher and a guys we're certainly going to need in the postseason."
on Pat Gallagher earning Most Outstanding Player honors:
"He's probably one of the hardest workers in our program, a guy who didn't play for two years. He traveled to Omaha with us last year and worked extremely hard over the summer. Everybody in clubhouse would say the same thing. He's a complete team guy. I couldn't be any happier for Pat. A lot like Brian Carroll who played behind Jeff Gelalich and Cody Keefer. Pat played behind Trevor Brown and Cody Regis. It's his time. I just couldn't be happier. Brenton Allen is in the same boat. I'm just so happy for those guys. They didn't play very much for two years. In college now, when you don't play, a lot of guys want to leave, and those guys didn't. They're true Bruins, and they're team guys, and that's why we are where we are."
on expecting to win a regional:
"Each year's a little different. Each team is different. We've done it a lot of different ways. The basis of our program has been good kids, good players, team players. We broke out in 2010, and obviously when you get to Omaha it's a new world. For a program to be stamped, you have to get to Omaha, plain and simple. We've done it two of last three years. Our expectations are very high. We're excited about this weekend, but certainly we know there's a lot of baseball left."
on being a key to get back to Omaha:
"It's about yourself at this stage. It's about 2 out of 3, it's how you pitch, first pitch strikes, it's good defense, qualityat-bats, winning the 3-2 counts. It's playing baseball. That's why I'm so proud of our team. We played good baseball. I think at this stage, if you don't, you're going home. I'm very proud of our approach, and as a team they went after it pretty good, and tonight was impressive."
UCLA Pitcher Grant Watson
on how he felt to start the game:
"Our offense helped me out. It's always nice getting four runs in the first. I was trying to get some pitch toward contact and go pitch to pitch and work ahead. Just have some conviction on my pitches, and I felt like they were working for me."
UCLA Shortstop Pat Valaika
on going up 4 runs early:
"It's a lot easier to play when you're up four. Grant threw the ball extremely well today. I think we only faced 29 batters total. It was good tempo. It felt like we were always hitting and never on defense. It's always a lot easier to play when it's like that. Today was one of the biggest team wins. We were running on all cylinders. Our pitching was outstanding, our defense was good, and our hitting showed up."
San Diego Head Coach Rich Hill
"Adjectives really can't describe this year with the opening of Fowler Park. Getting swept that weekend, bouncing back and really doing some special things, turning the season around that Saturday night at San Francisco when the peer group really took control of the team, really making a run through this deal and playing in a Regional Championship with three top-25 teams, having a player like Kris Bryant in your program for three years and especially his junior year I consider a once-in-a-lifetime honor. I think players like Kris come along once in a coach's career. To see the development of some of our younger players to win the WCC Championship in the inaugural tournament--like I said, adjectives really can't describe how special this 2013 team is in the history books at USD. I'd like to give credit to UCLA also. They're a great team. Coach Savage and his staff do a great job and they're a juggernaut here at Jackie Robinson Stadium."
On UCLA's performance tonight:
"They did a great job in that first inning and Grant Watson, I thought, was spectacular. Their bullpen is the best in the country and rivals any bullpen at any point in college baseball history and they put it away. They did a great job."
On short turnaround:
"It's extremely difficult. That's why you want to avoid the loser's bracket. Like I said, our guys are on the field--we left the hotel today at 10:55, now it's about 11 hours later. Each pitch is emotion-filled. You got a Cal Poly team that's a top-25 team and every single at-bat is of consequence, every pitch is of consequence. A bunch of pitchers, a bunch of pinch-hitters and then you got to come right back and beat a team like UCLA... UCLA was just the better team tonight."
San Diego 3B Kris Bryant
On his at-bats this weekend:
"I felt they were pitching me tough. I didn't have the weekend I wanted to. I didn't really help my team as much as I wanted to, but sometimes you have to tip your hat to the pitcher and sometimes they make a good pitch. Sometimes they throw it 100 miles per hour. We'll see what happens in my future. I'm just kind of lost for words right now."
On what he told the team after the game:
"I just told them that it's been a fun year and that this is the best decision in my life to come to USD. You know I shared it with some special people and made some special friendships. These are people that I can call anytime and they'll pick up the phone and tonight was more than just a baseball game to me. Just looking back on the three years that I've had at USD, I can't even put into words how special it was, especially with Michael Wagner and Dylan Covey, my roommates for three years. They made these three years a whole lot of fun. We goofed around a lot in the dorm room and I just had a lot of good memories here."
Thoughts on season and if some satisfaction:
"I thought this season had a lot of bumps, but we overcame a lot of them. I like to focus on the positives of what happened. We won a WCC Championship and made it to the championship game in a Regional. I know that's not what we wanted, but I don't think USD's ever gotten that far. This group of guys is special. It's been a fun year for all of us."
San Diego P Ryan Wagner
Thoughts on season and if some satisfaction:
"It was exciting to see what we could do. It didn't start out how we wanted it to. I just didn't want that first weekend to start how it did. Once we had our team meeting after the game against USF, things really turned around and it turned into something special, something that we wanted to keep going with. It sucks to see it end tonight, but it's something you can always be happy to look back on and know you're a part of."