2015 Men's College World Series

Monday, June 15

Vanderbilt 4 - CS-Fullerton 3



THE MODERATOR: Representing Vanderbilt, head coach Tim Corbin, first baseman Zander Wiel and left fielder Jeren Kendall.

COACH CORBIN: I think it was a tale of two different games. I felt last night was frustrating for the Vanderbilt side, obviously, because of how Eshleman pitched and their ability to score some runs on some walks and some big hits from their vantage point. Certainly coming into today was a re-set situation for us and we kind of set it up that way. We knew that it was going to be a different scenario on the mound. We knew it was going to be a different attack and the kids responded very well. We responded well on the mound to keep the game at bay and just keep the margin where it was, but outside of what Jeren did at the end, I just thought the biggest play was Zander's first hit. I just think the ability to come back the very next day, knowing it was a 3-2 count, knowing he was going to get one pitch and just be centered enough emotionally and mentally to put a good swing on the ball, to me, was a huge, huge moment. And then in between that hit and 7th and 8th inning looked like we were down a little bit offensively, and matched a lot of big hits at the end. Zander's hit again, almost in the same exact spot. Bryan Reynolds with a big two-strike at-bat, I thought he contained himself well. And the young guy to my right, just centering the ball, that's a huge moment. You know how difficult that is off of a very good pitcher. I thought it was a good pitch by him but it was a good swing, too. So just a big moment for him and our club.

Q. Jeren, Coach Vanderhook said this is kind of the matchup they wanted, left on left and maybe you've had some struggles this year against lefties, what was your approach there and were you expecting that kind of breaking ball down on you?
JEREN KENDALL: No, I wasn't, but I saw, I got some pretty good looks my first at-bat, even though my first at-bat didn't end very well, but I saw some good looks on some balls and got my reads and came up next at-bat with a clear mind and just play the game.

Q. Tim, kind of a follow-up to that, Coach Vanderhook said all the numbers dictate that's a really good matchup for them. What is it outside of numbers and probability that maybe has the guy that performs well in that when the odds are against him on Jeren's home run?
COACH CORBIN: I just think built-in confidence and experiences. You've got to remember, we faced Duchene and Tyler Jay last week, so we saw some very good lefties. And that was the homework leading into this particular test at least for this guy. I mean, you've got a guy who throws the ball very well in Duchene, mixing up pitches, and then you've got Jay with a hard, hard breaking pitch and a 95-mile-an-hour fastball. So, yes, I understand the numbers, but at the same time this kid's learning on the run. I mean, he's a freshman. He's seeing good pitchers. And if you looked at his numbers from the midway point to now, they're a whole lot better. So he just reacted well. You have to give Jeren a lot of credit there.

Q. Zander, what's your mindset going from last night into today knowing you only have one pitch really going into the first at-bat?
ZANDER WIEL: I just knew I had to be on go. I knew I had to be on go. I knew I was going to get one pitch. I was just trying to have a team at-bat because we had Red on third and there was two outs. And since we had the delay, I wanted to get the day started off right. And I knew he was probably going to come with something to hit. And he did. I was just trying to put a good swing on it.

Q. Zander and Jeren, getting a chance to see Peitzmeier, the Fullerton closer, for a couple of innings from the dugout, did it benefit your at-bats in the ninth?
ZANDER WIEL: I think seeing any pitcher, you've got to take those mental reps whenever you're in the dugout, whether you're up there hitting or not. You've got to be taking mental notes on what he's attacking with, what kind of stuff he's got, what his delivery is, get some timing. But, yeah, certainly I think that helped. And Jeren got an at-bat against him previously. So I'm sure that helped him.

JEREN KENDALL: Yeah, obviously just seeing him from the dugout, just getting his windup looks or stretch looks, that's always nice. And then obviously asking previous batters, other teammates what they're looking at and seeing.

Q. Zander, how many different ways did you play that at-bat over in your head? Were you thinking fastball the entire way?
ZANDER WIEL: Well, with two strikes, we have the hitting approach of a fastball away, because working out to in, you don't want to be out in front of something with two strikes. It can come with a breaker. You want to be ready for everything. So whenever there's two strikes, I'm ready for a fastball and adjusting to anything else. And I wasn't really -- I tried not to run that at-bat over in my head a bunch prior to really -- I just wanted to column in with a clear head and compete.

Q. Sleeping-wise, you didn't think at all about it, you just let it go until you got to the ballpark?
ZANDER WIEL: Absolutely.

Q. Tim, did you anticipate what you got from John and Kyle today and maybe flash back to the role your bullpen played here last year in getting to where you guys did?
COACH CORBIN: I did. John has pitched very well his last four outings. He's thrown a lot of strikes. I thought he attacked the zone well. It's a little bit different when you're out there for the first time. John, I think his experience last year against Virginia helped him going into today. Yet it's a new year. For him to get out on the mound and throw strikes right away was impressive. You could say the same thing about Kyle Wright, runner on second base, he's got to keep them there, did a heck of a job stranding him. But a young freshman getting in there, throwing strike one, is certainly a mature moment for him.

Q. Jeren, when you come in as a freshman, first College World Series, a lot of players envision what would be the most moment they could have. A walk-off home run would be obviously the top of the list. Did you envision or dream this that something like this could happen in your first game?
JEREN KENDALL: Yeah, I dream a lot. So I dream a lot about big moments. But obviously just hearing the guys talk about their experiences last year kind of made me a little more comfortable, obviously coming in here as a freshman not knowing what it's like. So, yeah, I felt pretty comfortable today.

Q. Coach, who do you plan to throw against TCU tomorrow? And also they're a team you lost to earlier in March, the Dodger Classic. What has changed between these two teams and can you talk a little bit about what kind of team TCU is?
COACH CORBIN: To answer your first question I'm not sure yet. I'll have to get back to the hotel and talk about it a little bit. Yeah, I realize we played them first game. But there's a lot that's happened between then and now and a lot of it is that game probably doesn't have much significance anymore. What type of team do they have, very good team, obviously. They pitch very well. Older kids, older, experienced kids who have been here before a little bit like us, I think we're a little bit younger. But they know how to handle themselves and obviously by what they did yesterday to a very good team is a little bit eye opening. So when we get back to the hotel and give these guys some rest we'll start to think about them a little bit more. But like a lot of things in life we want to enjoy what's going on right now.
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