Friday Ray Tanner and the three other coaches' whose teams play on Sunday addressed the media in the College World Series Pre-Series Press Conference. Look inside for all of Tanner's quotes from the press conference.
Ray Tanner's Comments from College World Series Pre-Series Press Conference
Tanner's Opening Thoughts:
Of all the great things that happened with the NCAA and BCS Bowls and Final Fours, it's hard for me to imagine that there's a greater championship than the College World Series in Omaha. The city of Omaha and the NCAA, it's just such a wonderful event. Not having been a part of the other things that I mentioned, this is so special. It's more than just a championship. It's about the atmosphere. It's about the environment.
There's going to be a champion crowned here, but we all feel great about who we are and our players and coaches. We're excited. And on behalf of our players at the University of South Carolina to be a part of this, it's one of those deals that you're excited but you're just very grateful. You pinch yourself for being a part of such a storybook that will close the chapter at Rosenblatt, and it's really just great to be here.
Tanner on the personality of his team:
Our team never has been a great team throughout the entire season. We've never been a bad team either. I think we've been kind of steady. We've stayed the course. We don't have a lot of high draft picks. We're not the big and sexy team. I think it's a team that really has confidence.
They're not arrogant. They just believe in themselves. They think we'll find a way. We certainly respect our opponents. We try to do great scouting reports as a coaching staff. I'm not sure they listened to that a lot. They really try not to get immersed in things they can't control.
They try to play who they are. We've been kind of labeled this year as a pitching and defense team. Although, we got here with a three-run homer. So it's been an interesting group. They have a lot of fun. They don't get too upset even when I do. It doesn't seem to bother them a whole lot.
That's good. I always talk about perspective and respecting your opponents and trying not to play against the game and stay level. And they've done a good job of that.
We trailed in all three of our regional games. We were able to come back. We had a rain delay in our first regional game, which was excruciating for me. We were down 5 to 1 during the rain delay, and I think they turned the lights out in the locker room. I found out later that they had a little seance in there. They were having fun. I wasn't having a lot, but they were having a good time trying to figure out how to score runs.
So it's been a great group to be around. I'm not sure we're as talented as any of the teams up here, but I don't know that our guys will let that bother them. They'll just play like they can and hope we find a way.
Tanner on Marzilli, Walker and Price stepping up in the postseason:
Well, they're talented players. Sometimes it takes a while to get into that comfort zone. We were at the end of the year, so they'd been in there. They played some. They sat on the bench some as well. But I go back to the veteran players. I think that's where it starts and ends.
Those guys get them comfortable. They get them familiar with what we go through and eventually they start to relax and perform a little bit. And they came up big at the right time for us. But I go back to crediting the older players with helping those guys get in that position.
As you know, you guys have been in our region, I believe in genes. I've recruited some student-athletes whose fathers played in college and got a chance to play professional baseball. Maybe not to Seitzer and Buechele's status, but I believe in that and I think that's a big advantage. I've watched those guys a little bit. I was a big fan of the fathers. I watched them play at Texas and Kansas City, and I think that there is an advantage there. And we used the word perspective earlier. Those guys have been around the game a lot. And I think it helps them a great deal.
When things maybe do not go as well as they want it to, when they're trying to perform, I think that is a big advantage. I know it's helped some of my players going through that. We're looking forward to playing against those guys, and I know they're great players and we hope to do well against them.