Players React To First Ever Baseball Big 12 Title

How does it feel to be a part of the first Big 12 championship team at Oklahoma State University? <BR><BR> Rod Allen: It is a great feeling. To know that nobody really believed in us and to come and win, it made it very special. Nobody really gave us a chance. We made a comeback and that really made it special since we were falling behind.<BR> Mario Matulich: It's been a great experience and I feel honored to have been able to share this experience with this group of people.

How far did you think the team would be able to go?
R.A.: I knew we had a chance. It was a matter of us playing solid baseball and play hard. And that is exactly what we did.
Keanon Simon: I knew we had a good chance to win it, and that is what we did
M.M.: I was pretty sure we would've been able to go as far as we did. It was a matter of keeping our game to the highest level possible. We needed to maintain that level to carry us into the postseason.

Which team was the toughest one to play against?
R.A.: Apparently Texas was thought to be the toughest team since they were ranked first. They are a really good team. They have good pitchers and we just wanted to go out and play our game. Also Missouri was a tough team to play since they beat us during the regular season. I think it says a lot about our character to be able to beat them in the championship game.
K.S.: Each game was tough. There wasn't one game or one team in particular. We had to give it our all during each game.
M.M.: Every team had something special in their own way. With Missouri, it was especially tough since they swept us in the regular season and we were tired by that last game.

Do you think you were considered underdogs going into the tournament?
K.S.: In a way we were but at the same time we weren't. People perceived us as underdogs but we knew what we had to do and were confident we could go all the way.
M.M: Absolutely. A lot of people didn't think we had a chance but we have a lot of experience and talent. The guys know the game and even though we were underestimated all season, we didn't let that get to us.

Was there a time during the game when you got nervous?
K.S.: I wasn't too nervous during the game. My adrenaline was flowing and I was excited. But during the 13th inning when we were one out and I had to drive it in, that was when I was a little edgy.
M.M.: It was a relaxed atmosphere. We took the same approach as any other game. Towards the end of the game Missouri broke down and we just took advantage of that.

What type of emotions did you feel when the game was over?
R.A.: It was a sense of relief. It was so hot and everybody was emotionally and physically drained. At the same time I was very happy because we had to dig deep inside of us to be able to come back and win it.
M.M.: I felt unbelievable joy. This win was huge for us, especially since we went through a low point during the season when we were swept by Missouri. Knowing that we won in one of the toughest conferences in the nation, it's pretty great.

How does it feel to know you were able to make an impact on the team's success this season?
R.A.: I am very happy about the whole season. I'm thankful for the opportunity to play and be a part of this team. I feel pretty good about myself.
M.M.: I was not supposed to play because of an injury and to know I was able to play and make an impact, it feels great. I know I gave everything I had and it feels good. I'm really close to the guys on the team. They're not only teammates but also really good friends. It's been a great season and the team success can only make me happy.

If you had to choose a MVP player, who will it be and why?
R.A.: I would have to give it to Spencer Grogan. He has thrown a lot of innings for us and he's been a great leader for the team. I know he didn't feel like himself at times and was not comfortable with the situation but he stuck it out and did a great job for us. He has a lot of heart and has done a good job.
K.S.: I would have to say Josh Fields. He had big hits in the tournament and he did a great job. Basically, he went out there and did what he had to do.
M.M.: Everyone played a great part in the team's success. It's hard to choose just one person but if I had to pick one, it would have to be Jason Jaramillo. He has played behind the plate almost every game and has contributed to the team more than anyone else. His position is very physically demanding and he has done a great job for the team, and at the same time has been a great leader.

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