COLLEGE STATION, TX -- “Probably much like the other three teams, we’re excited to be here. This is the first time I’ve been in here in a long time. What a facility here. It’s a great venue for a regional. We’re excited to turn the page and get to the postseason. We’re anxious to get going.” HEAD COACH MIKE BIANCO
On playing TCU and a coach you know so well…
“Jim’s done such a great job there. I think every year he’s been there they’ve been to the postseason. When you draw up the opponent, that’s one of things that sticks out—you’re playing a team two years removed from the College World Series. It’s a team that’s used to going to the postseason with quite a bit of experience and guys that are used to winning. If you play a TCU team you know they will play hard and will play the game right. It’s a big challenge for us right off the bat.”
On the job Wahl has done after converting into a starter…
“I think he’s done a great job. His biggest improvement over the course of year was when in beginning of the year he pitched well, but there were innings in between good innings where I thought he ran out of gas. He’s been able to control his emotions a little bit better than he did at the beginning of the year.”
On him beating TCU in game one…
“He won the game, and I thought we had a good day offensively against a very good pitcher, but I think Bobby went out that Friday night and tried to pitch like it was the ninth inning six times in a row. He overthrew and missed up with his fastball a lot. He was behind in the count a lot. With that, his velocity wasn’t what it normally is. I don’t know if that was I guess a really good comparison of who he is. He wasn’t real good that day. But I think as we mentioned, he’s been able to control those emotions and just make pitches. I think it’s important for him not to go always for the strikeout, just to make pitches and get outs.”
On what he remembers of the 1989 regional (at Olsen Field)…
“It was a great moment for me personally, my senior year, to be part of the LSU team who came here in ’89 and played one of the best college baseball teams ever. At the time we played them in the regional final, (Chuck) Knoblauch was at shortstop, (John) Byington was at third, and they’d beaten their other opponents in the regional alone something like 66 to 3. We were able to beat them two games on the final day. I remember it because I was a senior and it was one of my last games, and I got to Omaha. Those are fond memories. The place looks totally different than at that time. That was a long time ago.”
SOPHOMORE P BOBBY WAHL
Is it an advantage or a disadvantage that you’ve already seen TCU?
“A lot has been made of that. That was the first game of the season when we played them. We’re completely different teams on both sides. We both have a whole season behind us. Everyone is anxious to play tomorrow and is ready to go.”
How different are you now than you were at the start of the year?
“In the first game I didn’t feel I had my best stuff. I think I was ready but I kept telling myself maybe I’m not ready to do this. After realizing it’s just baseball, and it always has been, and I just had to go out there and compete and give my team a chance to win. That’s been the biggest change in me. I feel like I’m a completely different pitcher than I was on opening day.”
JUNIOR INF ALEX YARBROUGH
How important is it in this fresh start to go out and play well from the start?
“It’s really big. It’s going to be tough against a pitcher who has put up the season the guy we’re facing has. The stats I saw had him leading the nation in WHIP and he was the player of the year in his conference. Obviously it’s a great challenge but we can’t wait to get a fresh start. We can’t wait to have guys step up and hopefully put up multiple crooked numbers in the games.”
How difficult is it for road teams to win in a regional? Is it a disadvantage?
“We went to Virginia my freshman year, they had a great squad that year and it was tough. The only real disadvantage was that you’re out of your comfort zone. It’s a fun challenge to come here to a place with such great facilities like A&M. I don’t think there’s too much disadvantage, other than you have a few more people rooting against you than for you.”