June 24, 2013
UCLA 3, MISSISSIPPI STATE 1
COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
TD AMERITRADE PARK OMAHA
UCLA Head Coach John Savage
"It was a hard fought game, a tight game, with a lot of situations that could have gone either way. We pitched out of some problems. I thought Adam was fairly sharp. He competed. I thought he was sharp early, ran into trouble in the fourth inning. I thought that was a good one. That could have been more. Mississippi State is dangerous, and I think they proved that to us tonight. One game, I told the team that there's not much to get excited about. It gets down to tomorrow. And, you know, we can enjoy this one for about half an hour, 45 minutes, and then move on and prepare for tomorrow. I'm proud of our guys. We hung in there. We put up some zeros, some difficult zeros. Kaprielian and Weiss and Berg couple of innings, we dodged some bullets, no doubt about it. But you also gotta give credit to our defense. I think our defense was outstanding, Filia, Berg, Weiss, Regis turned a couple of double plays. I thought deal was good behind the plate. It was kind of a Bruin game. Tight game, and at the end of the night we were fortunate to come out of it with the win."
On Eric Filia
"Well, Eric's a very good player. He's a very talented player. He didn't play a whole lot last year behind Beau and Cody and Gelalich and went to Northwoods League and turned it up. And he struggled this year for whatever reason, but we know he's very good. He's very capable. A lot of times bigger the moment, the better he is. And it's a consistency and maturity thing. And he's doing a good job of I think getting into that realm of things as to where he can be a high end player because he's very capable of. So he's been huge for us, Aaron, and he's one of our go to guys. And the double down set the tone for the evening."
On the team's defense
"Our defense has been our key to our success in our postseason run. We haven't struck a whole lot of guys out. Our strikeouts are down really in the postseason. We've been a strikeout program. But it's a credit to our pitchers. It's a credit to our defense. Like I said, Regis made some outstanding plays. The double play against Henderson was a game changer. You got first and second, nobody out, two strikes. He doesn't get a bunt down and we turn that double play. So I think any pitcher in our program will tell you that we rely on our defense, and tonight I think Adam in our bullpen did a good job of doing that."
On the team's mental toughness
"We've really embraced that environment. Since we've ever been to Omaha seems like everybody has bigger crowds. And you go back to TCU, you go back to Stony Brook, you go back to LSU and North Carolina a couple of days ago, and tonight was big time. I mean, there was all kinds of Mississippi State people, and it's great to see. They support their program. They're close enough to get here and great environment. And I applaud them for showing up and supporting their team, they're classy fans. They love baseball. And I think you just have to tip your hat. But we've embraced kind of that stadium against us philosophy. And our guys enjoy that. We like people in the stands; and on the West Coast, you don't get that as much as the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast. I think anybody that's been out on the west can tell you that.We're a top five, top ten team and we're forced to get a thousand people, and we're starting to draw better. The people of Los Angeles are starting to take notice and the UCLA community. So you've gotta grow it. You've gotta build it. And we think they'll come. But you've gotta tip your hat to the fans of Mississippi State."
On David Berg
"I would say he's been pushed. But come on, I mean, you get ran out there as much as he does, I mean, you're not going to go 1, 2, 3; 1, 2, 3. Things are going to happen. They're loaded with left handed bats. Stubbs hit a 2 2 breaking ball. The next hitter, Bolt, had a two strike base hit. They did a good job against them. Then they had the walk with Russell. Then you've got bases loaded, nobody out. And you still gotta go through Zolk and Jordan Parks and Frank. So, hey, he's our guy. That's who we're going to go to. He's one of the major reasons why we're here. And he can screw up every now and then. It's okay. I mean, we give him a little opportunity to get out of trouble. And he had bases loaded nobody out, and he did a great job pitching of out of it. And he only got one run. So some closers are like that. Yeah, he's had a lot of clean innings, and tonight, it wasn't a clean inning.
On going to Berg in the eighth
"Well, that's why he's an All American. I mean, we do have a ton of trust in our bullpen, David, James and Zack, but when you're the visiting team and you're up a run or two in the eighth inning, you just cannot leave your All-American in the bullpen. It's a rule. You can't do that. And we wanted to get Weiss to get a couple of more outs. But when he hit Renfroe, we couldn't afford to. And Berg, he's kind of an old school closer. He's not a one pitch, one out guy been up to three inning, two, inning and two thirds. He's used to coming in. We don't like to have him come in the middle of innings, but if we have to, we definitely will."
UCLA outfielder Eric Filia
On his two-run single in the fourth
"Basically, he really threw his best with the slider and I was just really focusing on that pitch. Not focus on the other. And the guys in front of me getting on base really put a huge momentum to everything and my at bat, and so basically I was just trying to focus on that one pitch and trying to hit it up, not trying to get too big. That's basically it."
On the team's mindset on offense
"Basically just we know our pitching is phenomenal, and we just really try to build the momentum, get the few runs in the first or whatever and get a one run, be comfortable. But we're really big on just really passing the baton and everything like that, trying to get momentum through our lineup, because our one through nine can really produce and execute and really that's what we did tonight. And we really helped Plutko with momentum behind him and getting that 1-0 lead."
UCLA right-handed pitcher David Berg
On breaking the NCAA single-season saves record
"At this point it doesn't really matter. Records are meant to be broken, but titles are what matter. So if we all win a national championship, I'll enjoy that. But right now I don't think about it at all."
On his outing
"As far as the double play goes in that eighth inning, definitely helped with the pitch count, wasn't obviously a clean night. But relatively a short one. So I wasn't able to get my pitch count down, so I could come back and pitch in the next game, in a possible Wednesday game. So that was important for that. And ninth inning just keep making good pitches, they're great hitters, they grind it out, at bat. They're not going away. They want to win this thing as bad as we do. And they're not going to give up. Gotta keep making good pitches and rely on my defense and that's what I did tonight."
On looking ahead to tomorrow
"Really, the last 24 saves don't mean a thing, only the one that matters is the next one. I just go out there, whether it be tomorrow or the next day, if I get the opportunity I have to be able to do my job then. Those don't matter. Gotta live in the present. Can't worry about the past. Again, if we win a national title I'll go enjoy that. But a record without going out and winning this thing really wouldn't be worth it."
UCLA right-handed pitcher Adam Plutko
On his start
"Yeah, I felt good early. I came out of the pen and I had thrown a really good one. And I was feeling confident, and first time through the lineup I really wanted to attack them and see what they were all about. And they started getting to me later in the game. The grind out at bats just like we do. But with Hunter we wanted to pound it. We wanted to make him hit our pitches, and we just kept doing that and kept doing that. And ultimately it paid off."
UCLA infielder Pat Valaika
On the team's mindset on offense
"I think getting that first run in the first inning really set the tone for our offense. It's such a great pitching staff and defense. We don't really have to score that many runs. But it's not like we're only trying to score three runs. But 1 through 9 we tried to have quality at bats and get a runner on execute him over and get a timely hit. That's what we've been doing all year. And that's what we'll continue to do."