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Postgame Quotes (CWS Finals Game 2 - UCLA vs. Mississippi State)
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  06/25/2013

June 25, 2013

UCLA 8, MISSISSIPPI STATE 0
COLLEGE WORLD SERIES FINALS - GAME 2
TD AMERITRADE PARK OMAHA

UCLA Head Coach John Savage

Opening Statement
"Well, first off, like I said, I want to congratulate Mississippi State for a great season. Whenever you play for a national championship and you lose, we've been there, pretty empty feeling, and it shouldn't be, but it is. You know, I want to congratulate Coach Cohen and his state of for a great season. So proud of our program, players, coaches. This is for the UCLA baseball family, Coach Adams, Coach Reichle, Dan Guerrero, all the people that have been meaningful to this program for many, many years, certainly before I got there, and it's an honor and a privilege to be the coach at UCLA and I'm just so proud of these guys. They did it on the field. I don't think any of the experts thought we would be here at this stage, and we did it the right way. We played baseball. We played good baseball. We pitched. We defended. We had quality offense, opportunistic offense for sure, and at the end of the day I think we outlasted everybody. So congratulations to our players, their families and everybody associated with UCLA baseball. Thank you. "

On UCLA's tough road in the postseason
"I think that's why you can call us champions. It was a tough road. We had a difficult Pac-12 conference, we finished third behind Oregon and Oregon State, two very good teams. We had a very difficult regional with Cal Poly, San Diego and San Diego State. Then we went to Fullerton, who I thought was the best team in the country and to our credit we played 'em and we played 'em tough. We came out of that with two wins. So I think that was an indicator. I think a lot of people saw that and knew how difficult that was and there was, I think, telling signs that this team was going to be pretty tough to beat. To make the run we did, I think it's one of the best runs clearly in the history of UCLA baseball and, really, for a single season on the west coast. "

On how UCLA executes so well
"Practice, we call ours a good practice team. For us to play well in the games you have to do it in practice, and you have to do it in front of the coaches. We work hard, conditioning, weights, practice, we got better, we got better in this tournament. That was one of our goals was to get better, you know, with our time off. We had practices. We made the most of Saturday and Sunday, and I can't say enough about the guys to my right because they've earned it and people didn't believe in them. People didn't think they were the best team and I don't know any reason why you couldn't think that. We lost 17 games, but we won 49. Coach Peters, Coach Bruce, Coach Silverman, it was a team effort. We had a few stars, but Adam, Nick, Pat in my mind are some of the best players ever to play at UCLA and they proved it on the field. Hard work, to answer your question, and practice."

On senior Cody Regis
"We're very proud of Cody. He is our only true senior, we have a couple of redshirt juniors. Cody was devastated, wasn't drafted his junior year, his senior year, and he's had a great career, been to Omaha three times, most in the history of the school, played in the most playoff games. Now he's won a national championship, the first in school history. Just goes to show you that, you know, guys that sometimes stay in school get rewarded. Everybody wants to sign and sign and sign and, you know, I think it's a great story. A lot of stories up here. David Berg was a walk on. Nick had Tommy Johns his senior year. Eric was the all time hit leader in South Orange County. And then you had Cody, a four year player at UCLA. So we have roles, they embrace their roles and what can you say? They're the best team playin'."

On coach Mike Gillespie's influence on him
"I can't say enough about what Coach Gillespie has done for me and my family. He's the reason why I'm here. He hired me. I was working for Coach Powers at the University of Nevada and we had good teams and Mike hired me in 1997 and it changed my entire life, my family's life, my wife, Lisa, my kids, we all moved to Los Angeles; and, you know, I just can't thank Mike enough for what he did. We won a national championship in 1998, fifteen years ago. We were 49-17. I looked at the record yesterday, and I had a good feeling, we were going to end up with the same amount of wins, the same amount of losses. I knew the game wasn't going to be 21-14, thank God. But at the same time, I just owe my entire career to Coach Gillespie. He meant everything to me, as my family does. They sacrifice so much, Lisa and the kids. I just, you know, it's a family affair and we move forward."

UCLA right-handed pitcher Nick Vander Tuig

On how experience helped him in tonight's start
"Yeah, I think all the experience I have had throughout my three years in college have really helped me. I think how many wins this program has had and the opportunities we have had, I think that's really what has gotten me to where I am. Just trying to keep things simple and not trying to think this is a big game, every game is just like every other game, just have to be myself and make pitch and execute."

On when winning the national championship became a realistic goal for this team
"Before the season started I remember we went to weight lifting the very first day and we went to the national championship. We were in the weight room and he saw all the national championship and went to baseball and there was none and I remember Coach was saying, "We gotta get our name on that board." So I think we worked hard from day one. As far as a turning point, where we really believed, I don't know if you can say anything about that. We have worked hard all year, weight lifting, practice, conditioning, everything. We're a detailed team and I think that's why we're standing up here."

UCLA outfielder Eric Filia

On how UCLA executes so well
"Coach said it, practice, we have been trying to do it all year, executing and stuff like that. Really it's preparation, and I mean, 1 through 9 we could all execute. And like Coach said we just practiced it from day one until today. In batting cages and BP, I mean, it's just really details, a lot of details that we pay attention to. When we don't get that 5 out of 7 in the first round by executing, we do it again. It's just the details that matter at the end. It showed tonight."

On when winning the national championship became a realistic goal for this team
"Our core of captains told the young guys and everybody that we had a chance of succeeding this whole year. They led by example in the weight room and at practice and we really just, the whole team paid attention to details. By cleaning the bus, I mean, those little things matter, absolutely. Preparation really just played a huge role in this and when it became a reality was today. I mean, after we got the third out. But we just tried to keep getting better and better each and every day and we took today as just trying to win pitches since the first pitch of the game."

UCLA right-handed pitcher David Berg

On his single-season saves record
"Our goal this season was to win the national championship, wasn't for me to go out and set a record for saves. Just pretty special, I think it was a key role in winning this deal and the guy I took it from is Jack Krawczyk. I wouldn't be here without great pitching that goes in front of me, the starting pitchers, the guys who set me up. They keep the game close and the defense behind me, that keeps the runs under control. We play a lot of tight games. We aren't explosive offensively but we win a lot of games because we do execute. It's in my name but it's a team deal because I wouldn't be here without the guys to my left."

On when winning the national championship became a realistic goal for this team
"You know, I think that if you ask any of these guys they would remember this meeting I'm talking about, when we all sat in the locker room and looked at each other at one point in April, the Oregon State series, maybe, I don't remember the exact game, but it was in April and we had gone through a little bit of a rough patch. The bats weren't goin' and it felt like, hey, we're not achieving what we could, and we weren't sure we were putting our all into everything we did. So we sat in that meeting and looked each other in the eyes and made that commitment to each other that, hey, we have a chance to do something special here. You look around the room, there is tons of talent, hard working guys, intelligent guys who know how to get it done, and our captains just got us together and told us if we didn't turn it around now we could let a great opportunity get away. So after that meeting, you could really just see kind of a spark where every single detail we really put 100% into everything we did. We played attention to the smallest of things. Eric said cleaning the bus and y'all laughed but we take that as seriously as anything else we did. When you don't pick each other up and make sure you are covering every detail, that's when you can get by the. That's what made our team great. We cover the details. I think it was that meeting that was the turning point. Even though it wasn't actually when we believed they were good enough to do it. We knew we were good enough to do it the whole time, but it was at that point when we turned it around and that's what got us here today."

UCLA infielder Cody Regis

On when winning the national championship became a realistic goal for this team
"We believed we were the best team in the country from the get go, the fall practices, 6 a.m. weights, conditioning after practice. We had that mind set we weren't going to stop until July 1st. That's what Coach always said, "Season ends July 1st when the tournament is over." And I think we are here because we believed throughout the process of thing."


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