POSTGAME: MSU on CWS run

OMAHA, Neb.-- UCLA secured its first NCAA baseball title Tuesday night, defeating Mississippi State, 8-0, in Game 2 of the College World Series finals. The Bulldogs weigh in on not only the series run, but the turnaround of the program, and its future…


COACH COHEN: First of all, I thought UCLA played a great ballgame, and we didn't. Really proud of our kids, you know. I think we -- what we did was knocked on the door and UCLA has knocked on the door before, several times, and they knocked down the door and we didn't do that.

But really proud of our players; they worked incredibly hard to get here. Many of these guys came to Mississippi State under pretty adverse conditions in a program that was the not in great condition.

Five years ago we inherited a club that won 23 ballgames. They climbed all the way to the top and we didn't finish the deal and that's disappointing, but certainly I'm proud of our players. I could breakdown the ballgame, but it probably doesn't matter. We're incredibly disappointed in today and yesterday, but obviously not in our body of work for the year.

Q. Hunter, you were one of three players that hit a home run in the College World Series. What does it feel like to crush the ball in the 8th inning and watch that thing die at the track?

Hunter Renfroe: It's pretty disappointing; you seen Wes hit the same thing earlier in the inning. Just to see something like that happen is heartbreaking. To get a home run in this ballpark, runs are at a premium and other than that, you know, hitting balls hard anywhere, in the ballpark, we hit balls all day, just hard, hard, hard, right at people. We couldn't help that; that's just the way the game went.

Q. Adam, can you give me your thoughts on the UCLA pitching these two days? Really seemed to have y'all hitting the pitches they wanted you to.

Adam Frazier: They did a good job changing speeds and getting them up and down in the zone and we weren't disciplined at the plate. Hats off to them for gettin' the job done and winning two games for a National Championship.

Q. Adam, I think it was the 8th inning or 7th, you struck out and kinda walked back out to the dugout slowly, first strikeout of the postseason. What's going through your mind?

ADAM FRAZIER: A lot of frustration, not getting that run in from third, a knowing how big that run was at the time, really all I had to do was get the ball on the ground and beat it out to first and we score a run there. A lot of frustration, mainly.

Q. Kendall, I saw you after the game walking back and forth in front of the dugout the only player away from the dugout, what's going through your mind?

Kendall Graveman: First off, I would like to thank the Lord for getting this team here and it was his will and I would like to thank everybody for what they have done for the program, Coach Cohen, everybody involved. I would like to thank Omaha for being supportive of us and welcoming us and, I guess, open arms to this team.

What was going through my mind? It's been a great run, like Coach said, disappointed with the outcome but we done something this week that no Mississippi State team has ever done.

I think that's the biggest thing that was really going through my mind is kind of -- it kind of set in that this is over.

Q. Hunter, your thoughts on your career here? I know soon you have to turn your attention to pro ball, but what will you take away from your three years here?

HUNTER RENFROE: You cannot ask for anything better than what we have had here at Mississippi State. The fans here, you seen the turnout every game that we had here; and it's just amazing the people in Mississippi and we're truly blessed for the support we have had and in my career here I couldn't ask for a better junior year and a better team to do it.

The team that we have been a part of is probably the closest team I've ever been a part of. And to the coaches, they have been supportive; they have been helping. I couldn't ask for anybody better than Coach Cohen and all the other coaches, and I'm sure these guys are saying the same thing.

Q. Hunter, Adam, talk about the run you made? You've made it further than any other MSU team made it. Did you put the stamp on the program that you guys wanted to at the start of the year?

ADAM FRAZIER: I guess we had a little bit of a stamp but we didn't finish the way we wanted to or expected to, so I guess not completely. Made the run we were expecting we were going to make and pretty disappointed about the end of it but really came together in the fall, carried it all the way through.

Proud to say that everyone on the team I call my brother, and it's definitely one of the closest teams or the closest teams I've ever been a part of and couldn't -- only way it could have been better is to win this thing. Never been part of a game where the other team is dog piling on the field and it sucks pretty bad.

But I would like to thank our fans for their support. Feel bad for letting them down and disappointed in ourselves for letting that happen, but they couldn't have supported us any better.

I appreciate everything they have done for us, and the coaches have done for us, Mr. Strickland, and everybody else associated with this program, it's been a ride.

HUNTER RENFROE: Absolutely, like Frazier said, we were disappointed with the end of it, but hats off to UCLA. To beat us like they did today, to do what they do to our pitching staff, we have one of the best pitching staffs in the nation and they have been outstanding throughout the year. And us pinch hitters, me, Frazier, and the rest of us, we didn't find gaps, we didn't get run support like we should have and help the pitchers out. Yes, it's disappointing but to look back at what we have done, it's great.

Q. Kendall, the same question that Matt said. One of your goals was to get to Omaha in the finals. What's going to stand out about this season?

KENDALL GRAVEMAN: It's something I will never forget. One reason for not winning but another reason, for getting here. I will never forget that. I think as far as Mississippi State goes, they will be back. Coach Cohen is doing the right things. This coaching staff has the team going in the right direction. There will be new faces next year but I have complete trust in Coach Cohen getting them where they need to be again and just like UCLA was here a couple of years ago I got a feeling this team will be back sometime in the future.

Q. John, I know when you were hired five years ago you said one of the big goals was Omaha but it would not be enough. Can you put in words what it means just to get this far?

COACH COHEN: Not to correct you, Brad, but I said at our press conference we're going to win a national championship, which my wife flinched on several times; she doesn't like it when I talk about that. That's why we do it, to win the whole thing.

And, you know, I really appreciate the comments about taking this team -- this team going further than any other has but what they have done is laid some foundation for some future teams, because we're going to come back here and we're going to win this thing. That's what we're here to do, that's why I came to Mississippi State, and we're going to keep knockin' that door down!

Q. John, you said it would take about six months to go over what has happened in this run, but when you evaluate the last series and you clearly didn't play as well as you wanted. How long is that going to eat at you before next season starts?

COACH COHEN: It bothers me we didn't play well the last two days, but I think we played 15 postseason games and I feel like we didn't play well in two of 'em.

You know, that is disappointing. But I will always have a special spot in my heart for this group of kids, because everything they were doing was new to them. With the younger guys in our program, they have the track, the foundation laid for them by these guys and we'll always be appreciative of that. I really -- it's hard to explain what these kids have done for this program. I'll give you one quick example that number in this room knows about.

We had every single kid, every one of our players before the season believe it or not do a presentation, 3 to 5-minute presentation. Anything they wanted about our team. Anything about our goals, anything they wanted -- anything! Adam Frazier, did a PowerPoint, curveball it? A PowerPoint, shocking, isn't it? But he did a PowerPoint about this stadium. He had slides, pictures of this stadium and he said, "When we get there, I don't want it to be new to us. We will have already seen the dugouts. We will have already seen the locker rooms. We will have already seen the playing surface, the stands."

How can you not be moved by that? Everything he did in that PowerPoint and all the things our kids did in the PowerPoint presentations really came to fruition. It's pretty remarkable when you get 18-22 years old, 35 of them and everything they talk about within an eyelash is comin' true. This group is special and they have helped the future of our program.

(Courtesy of the NCAA)

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