2015 Men's College World Series

Saturday, June 20

Virginia 5 - Florida 4

Florida


An Interview With:
COACH KEVIN O'SULLIVAN
PETER ALONSO
HARRISON BADER

THE MODERATOR: Representing Florida, head coach Kevin O'Sullivan, Harrison Bader and Peter Alonso. Coach, an opening statement.

COACH O'SULLIVAN: Well, first of all, congratulations to Virginia. They played well tonight. And you get to this part of the season and the little mistakes can come back to help you or haunt you. So I'm really proud of our guys. We had a tremendous year. There's a lot to be proud of. It's just heart. When you get to this part of the season, the end of the season, it's just so abrupt. It's just like a runaway train that -- it's over, it's over like that. I mean, I've got Harrison to my right here, it seems like just yesterday he was a freshman. It goes by too quick. There's a lot of things we'll pull away from this year. But there's a lot of positive things. There's only going to be one team standing at the end of the year that's going to be the champion. And I'm not going to lie to you, you know, I felt like if we had a chance to play in the championship round I liked our chances. But obviously we won't be getting that opportunity. But it's just we've got a great bunch of guys. They worked extremely hard. I don't even know how many games we won, but we played a difficult schedule. We seemed to answer the bell every time we needed to when our backs were against the wall. Tonight just didn't work out for us. But I'm awfully proud of them. I'm happy for Virginia. They played very well today. And it should be a heck of a series between them and Vanderbilt.

THE MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. Coach, how much does this game ultimately come down to Virginia's ability to manufacture runs and maybe your guys' inability in some situations with some runners on base?
COACH O'SULLIVAN: Well, I think you look back, we had first and second, nobody out, we weren't able to get a bunt down. At first and third, with one out, we didn't get the run in. Those things come back to hurt you. And then obviously out of the pen we went 3-1 to their 3 hole hitter, he got a base hit. We fell behind there. Then we went 3-0 to Towns. We just didn't throw strikes out of the pen. Later in the game the deciding run was -- runner at first and Haseley was trying to bunt and we ended up walking him. But those mistakes come back to hurt you especially in a one-run game like this. So we just didn't play the cleanest game, to be honest with you.

Q. Coach, the hit-by-pitch that wasn't in the second inning, that seemed like a critical play. Obviously he ends up hitting in a double play, so it's first and second, nobody out versus two outs, nobody on. Did you get an explanation, did he actually get out of the way or what did the umpire tell you?
COACH O'SULLIVAN: I have to be careful what I say. The rule states you have to make an attempt to get out of the way. But that's all I can say.

Q. Coach, you mentioned size and talent kind of hurt you in the middle today. First of all, how difficult is it right now to contend with those two guys in the lineup. And then in the seventh inning, you kind of had to pick your poison there -- you walked Thaiss, pitched to Towns. Could you take us through the thought process there?
COACH O'SULLIVAN: Thaiss put two good swings on the ball. Obviously we were so close to getting out of the first inning, had two strikes, two outs, nobody on, and we hang a pitch in the middle of the plate and he runs into one. Those two guys are swinging the bat good. I think falling behind in the count, that's what hurt us, you know, the 3-1 count and the 2-0 count. That's what got us. If we pitch ahead in the count, we keep the count on our side, you know baseball is a funny game. You fall behind in the count, you get a hitter's count, they tend to do damage, and that's what they did.

Q. Peter, Sborz pitched pretty well out of the bullpen. What did he do from your perspective to keep you guys from getting into a groove there late in the game?
PETER ALONSO: He had a good fastball. But his main pitch was a slider. I mean, had a pretty sharp break. I mean, he seemed to throw it pretty well.

Q. Harrison, obviously could be your last game playing for the Florida Gators. What was it like being coached by Kevin O'Sullivan and playing with some of the guys on the team?
HARRISON BADER: No crying in baseball. I just -- I just want to go on record and say there's just so much that kids have poured into this program outside of what you see on the field. And it's just been an absolute honor to play under Sully and Brad and Craig and all the assistant coaches I had. I don't want to leave anyone out. Like Sully said, it's like yesterday, I was a freshman. It flies by. But I've enjoyed every second of it. I can't be more thankful for everyone just sticking with me, because there were some tough, tough things along the way. So everyone just poured everything into my development as a player and as an individual. I just am terribly grateful. I'm just going to just take everything that I've learned here on to the next level.

Q. Peter, as a guy that's going to be coming back next season, how much does this kind of fuel you for next year and how much do you think this experience can help you?
PETER ALONSO: It's going to suck to see all the older guys go. I mean, I love every one of my teammates. I mean, I just need to keep this feeling for next year so we can remember how it feels to lose at this time of the season. So use it as motivation to keep us winning, get that extra push at the end of the year, and hopefully come up with a national championship. It just stinks to lose.

Q. Harrison, obviously the other night Waddell was great against you, but you got two in tonight. What was the difference between tonight and Monday against him?
HARRISON BADER: It gives you some comfort when you face a guy you're familiar with. So I think we did a good job of just choosing one side of the plate, because Harrison mixes well and goes in and out pretty well. So just the approach was to choose one side of the plate. If you're going to look away, just get on top of the plate, vice versa, if you're looking in. I thought we did a good job of that early in the game.

Q. Coach, I have to ask, on the double steal I guess you guys had the lead at the time. Your thoughts in trying to put pressure on the defense there or what went into the mindset on that play?
COACH O'SULLIVAN: Just trying to be aggressive. Actually it was a hit and run and we missed the sign. So it was unfortunate. That was tough -- some of the things, we missed a couple of the signs in the first three innings. And we just didn't play our cleanest game today, unfortunately, like I said. But those things happen. We've been playing really good baseball for an awfully long time. So I want this to be a representation of what we've been able to do. There's a lot of disappointed players in that locker room right now. But there are some things we can improve on moving forward and these guys are resilient. We've got a great club coming back. I'm obviously really proud of the juniors and seniors. They'll be moving on. But we've got awfully good bunch coming back, and we've got some newcomers that are coming in they'll help us right away, and we're looking forward to hopefully getting back here next year.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
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