June 9, 2012
UCLA Head Coach John Savage
"First, I'd like to congratulate TCU. It feels like a rivalry for some reason. We've only played each other five times in the last three years, but it's been on a big stage, and I can't say enough about the job that Jim and his staff do. Those guys can really coach. They've got good kids, play the right way and endured a difficult year and at end of day they played a game to get to go to Omaha. So I'd like to congratulate them firstly. Next, I'm just so proud of our program. Proud of our players, their accomplishments, their hard work, their dedication, their resiliency. That junior class is special. It will go down as one of best classes in history of the school. This may be only team in the history of Omaha that doesn't have a senior. I don't know if that's a fact, but I don't think there's a whole lot. It just says a lot about our leadership and our captains. We just chipped away. This was a typical game for us. We don't blow anybody out, just hang around. We had 8 hits, 4 runs, and we made everything count. I'm also very proud of Nick. Nick pitched extremely well again, back to back in the postseason. I'm just happy for the Bruins and everybody that's associated with the program."
(on this year's team compared to 2010) "It's just a bunch of baseball players. It's a lot of the same group that went to Omaha that showed no fear in 2010 and played for a national championship. We don't have the Cole/Bauer effect, but at end of the day, it's a strong minded team that gets along with each other and has very good chemistry. It's a team that every time they step on the field, they feel like they can win. It says a lot about their character. It has a new identity and we'll be going into Omaha with the Bruins across our chest, but with a little different roster."
(on the sophomore class) "Well we've got a bunch of good classes in program right now. It starts with Beau, Gelalich, Keefer, and Griggs, but this sophomore class is special as well. They have great makeup and are team guys. We have a good freshman class as well. Now that everybody has a taste of it, it's great. Everybody can share it and they can pass it on to the incoming class. That's how you build a program."
(on pitching Berg in the 9th instead of Griggs) "This was the most difficult decision of my season. We would not be in a position without Scott Griggs. I do feel bad. I told him in the clubhouse that he's our closer and is going to be our closer in Omaha. I played the hot hand in Berg. They weren't picking him up. They weren't seeing him and I didn't want to change. My deepest sorrow was not getting Griggs in the game at that time. We talked about it, we handled it and we're going to move on. I played the hot hand and David did what he needed to do."
(on if going to Omaha is becoming a habit) "It never gets old. It's like going to one of the biggest bowls or to Final Four. It's the epitome of college baseball to go to the middle of the country in the middle of June and to play for a national championship. To come out of the West, I've always said is the most difficult thing in college baseball to do. This team has found their way to Omaha for the 2nd time in 3 years. It never gets old. It's very difficult to do and we don't take anything for granted. It's a program victory and I can't say enough about our players and their character."
UCLA Pitcher Nick Vander Tuig
(on how he felt during the course of the game and what it means to be going to Omaha) "Coming into game, I was kind of nervous. The game sped up to me in the beginning. Later on during the game, I kind of settled down and started making better pitches. Going to Omaha, you dream about that when play college baseball and it's just a great feeling to spend this with my teammates."
(on his last two innings) "As the game went on, I got more comfortable. I started getting better angles on my pitches and started to make better pitches. TCU is a great hitting team. They're aggressive and I just went pitch to pitch and made my pitches."
UCLA 1st Baseman Trevor Brown
(on how this team compares to the 2010 team) "It actually feels really similar. I feel we like we had a really good chemistry my freshman year, good leadership, and I feel like this team is very similar to that. We all get along. We have great starting pitching and a great lineup. I'm just really excited and feel blessed that this team has opportunity to go to Omaha as well."
UCLA Shortstop Pat Valaika
(on methodically beating teams by stringing together hits) "We're not a power-hitting team. Our game plan is to just grind pitchers down. Our approach at the plate is to try and see a lot of pitches. We work really hard to pass the baton and get the next guy to the plate and we just wear people down. It worked tonight and it's been working all season."
(on watching the team in 2010 as a high school senior) "Watching the 2010 team the year before I came in, just motivated me to get back there. They didn't take care of business that one year, but the goal when you come to UCLA is to get to Omaha and win the national championship. That's what we've been working towards the entire season."
TCU Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle
"I'd like to congratulate UCLA, Coach Savage, his staff and players. They have an outstanding team. They're not just talented but they play very good baseball, and certainly played really well the last two days. Every mistake we made, every opportunity they created for themselves, they cashed in on it. That's what good baseball teams do. I'm proud of my guys. Certainly disappointed with the way things ended, but considering where we were a month and a half ago, to be at this point is something that I'm very proud of."
(on not being able to get that extra hit to score runs) "We scored three runs in the Regional, all solo homers, and we tell our pitching staff every day that solo homers aren't going to beat you. Obviously it didn't in the last two days. We didn't string enough hits and they certainly didn't give us anything. I think Nick (Vander Tuig) walked one guy, the last guy he faced. Berg was also really good. He made it tough on us. So for a club that needed to hit a homer to get back in the game, it wasn't the right formula."
(on what the team accomplished this year and how things look for next year) "I'm not thinking about next year just yet. I just told the guys out in left field that from our senior class standpoint, four years ago TCU was going to Regionals and winning a game or two before heading on home. This senior class has hosted three Regionals, been in three Super Regionals, been to the College World Series and played within a game of the Championship Series. They've helped elevate our program and certainly that creates more expectations. We sell out our ballpark and we're in the top 10 in the country in attendance. You can go on down the line but I think we're one of eight schools to be in three of the last four Super Regionals, and I think 1 of 10 to be in the NCAA Tournament every year for the last nine years. It's certainly disappointing where we are today, but I feel good about the health of our program."
TCU Right Fielder Branch Rivera
(on UCLA's pitching) "They just controlled the zone really well. We had competitive at bats all day. We were grinding all day. We just didn't seem to get the hits when we needed them."
TCU Pitcher Andrew Mitchell
(on the passed ball that scored a UCLA run) "It was just supposed to be an outside fastball and I overthrew it I guess. It had a little tail on it and it got away. It's on me. It probably should've been a wild pitch. I think it was scored as a passed ball but it just got away from me."