June 18, 2013
COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
TD AMERITRADE PARK OMAHA
UCLA HEAD COACH John Savage
"Well, I mean, what can you say? Right now I guess that's who we are. It's Bruin baseball. Sometimes it's grueling, it's tough to watch, I'm sure, from outside the dugout. But our kids hung in there and they persevered. We really didn't do much offensively. You have to give their pitchers a ton of credit. They pounded the zone. And we were opportunistic, would be the right word, I guess. And pitching and defense, I think, is clearly our strength. Our guys know our strength, and sometimes it's walking a tightrope, that's for sure. And tonight was one of those nights. So we feel very fortunate to beat a very good North Carolina State team. They're offensive. They can run. Turner hit the ball in the eighth. That was driven on the line. And then our defense replacement Christoph Bono went up and got it. Great play, and we pitched out of problems. So I tip my hat to our guys. We hung in there, and at the end of the day we're moving on."
On Nick Vander Tuig's performance:
"That's I think a really different level of pitching. When you're talking about pitching out of the zone when you want to, and then pitching in the zone when you want to, that's another level of pitching. And I think Nick showed that ability. And I think Turner, that shows you how special he is to be able to recognize that. Because not many players can recognize that when it's being done to them. Wow, that's impressive that he said that. You hear coaches sometimes say that or scouts or whatever, but coming from a player, that makes me think he's pretty sharp. But he's right. He pitches in the zone. He pitches elevated, out of the zone. He pitches in very well. We pitch with a fastball. And the change and certainly the breaking balls. But at the same time, our foundation is a fastball, and Nick has as good a command as we've had in a long time."
On David Berg's performance:
"This one is difficult. He has thrown some 2-three-inning saves. We don't really like to do that. But with a couple of days off, we went to him a little earlier. We tried to sneak another out or two without using him. And hit the first pitch for a base hit in the eighth. So what can you say? I mean, we would never be here without him. So we're going to go down with him. He's one of those guys that he works extremely hard at what he does. He's a great teammate. All these guys are. I mean, these guys are team guys. We would never be in the position we are without having great teammates. And David has learned a lot in our program over two years, played for Team U.S.A. He's starting to become a pretty experienced guy for how young he is. So he can handle big moments. And I think tonight was as big a moment as you're going to see in Omaha. So we're excited he's on our team. And the guys trust giving the ball over to him, Nick, Adam, Grant and Cody and even our other guys, James, Zach and Ryan. We have a strong belief in our bullpen. And that is one of our strengths. So David did his job. That's the bottom line."
On UCLA's 1-2 punch of Adam Plutko and Nick Vander Tuig:
"Well, I really think they're two of the most underrated players in the country. And I think they're showing that right now. And if you look at what they've done, specifically Adam over three years as a starter, Nick was our closer as a freshman. I mean, I don't know if you can find two guys that have had those types of careers in the Pac-12. A major Division I program against major competition. To put up the type of numbers they have - one's a sixth rounder and one is an 11th rounder, they're getting some great guys. They know how to compete. They know how to make pitches. I really kind of look at them almost like professionals right now in the sense that their work habits in between starts, their conditioning, their throwing programs, their bullpens, they're well-schooled. But I mean a lot of people are well schooled. It's a matter of them finishing up their work and being resilient and trustworthy of what they do. And I can't say enough about those two guys. We would never, ever be in the position without those two guys. And to go through Regionals, to win the Pac-12 two years, to go to Fullerton and beat them and beat LSU and NC State, the way we've done it, what can you say? I think those two guys have pitched masterfully."
UCLA PITCHER Nick Vander Tuig
On his performance:
"I just try to make pitches, stick to the same approach I've had all year. And just like Coach said, pitch in the zone, pitch out of the zone, and try to make the hitter swing in my pitches instead of swinging at his pitches. Just try to change speeds, move the fastball around. And Shane (Zeile) and our defense played really good defense behind me."
On his relationship with Adam Plutko:
"I think going back to my freshman year, seeing Gerrit (Cole) and Trevor (Bauer) kind of having that Friday/Saturday, the rotation there. And you see them how they act kind of throughout the year, and they're different guys. They're great teammates with each other. And I think me and Adam just saw that and we kind of built off each other. He's an outstanding pitcher, and we pitched very similar. So I get to see the hitters Friday and then see Adam, how he pitches to them, and I try to do the same thing on Saturday. I think our whole pitching staff is very close. Our whole team is very close. I don't think it's just me and Adam, but the whole team's bond has really grown throughout the year, and we'll see if we can finish this thing out."
UCLA PITCHER David Berg
On his reaction to Trea Turner's long flyout in the eighth inning:
"I knew he got a good swing off on it. I wasn't quite sure how well he hit it. I kind of watched it. My heart sunk a little bit. I made a bad pitch, and I knew he's a great hitter. So a lot of times, those combinations, not very many good things happen. Luckily Christoph went out and made a great play for me, and I was able to get out of that inning."
UCLA INFIELDER Kevin Kramer
On UCLA's offense:
"It's more of a mentality with us. We try to grind out runs, and like Coach says, take advantage of opportunities. We're not going to put up any gaudy numbers. It's just more so a team effort. There's guys off the bench. Brett Urabe had a key walk. Chris Keck came off the bench. And we need everyone. And from the offense, it does get a little frustrating at times, but when you have great pitchers like this, we know that we can put up a couple of runs and play defense because we know these guys will take us a long way."