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Q&A with LSU Coach Paul Mainieri following an 8-4 victory over SLU

Southeastern Louisiana vs. LSU
NCAA Baton Rouge Regionals
May 30, 2014

LSU Head Coach Paul Maineri

Opening Statement
“I give a lot of credit to Southeastern. That’s a really good ball club. Their pitcher (Andro Cutura) was just outstanding. He was making tremendous pitches against our hitters in clutch situations, and he is a courageous kid. Ultimately, we came through with some huge hits. (Kade) Scivicque came through with a huge hit and ultimately Tyler (Moore) got the big RBI single to tie the ballgame. Things kind of unraveled for Southeastern there in the eighth inning with the errant throw by the catcher and the errant pickoff attempt. We took advantage of their errors with good base running. (Alex) Bregman and Sean (McMullen) came through when they made mistakes. Nate Fury also came through for us and allowed us to not use Joe (Broussard). All in all, it was a hard fought victory. I told our players after the game it reminded me of the 2009 game against Southern in the opening game of the regional. We ultimately were able to break the game open. That was a team that went on to win the national championship. We are happy with the victory and look forward to tomorrow night.”

On just trying to get the job done…
“We faced a really good ball club that is playing inspired baseball. Their pitcher was really tough and a tremendous challenge. I have a lot of confidence in our guys and know they will stay poised and composed. They have gone through a 30-game SEC schedule and they’ve navigated through some valleys. When you’ve had down days, you have to keep battling and believing in yourself.”

On learning from past NCAA games…
“We try to do everything to build our guy’s confidence. When you’re in this environment at LSU, there are such high expectations. You have to believe in yourself. As a team and individuals, you just can’t give up. It has been a tradition of our program to rally and do whatever it takes to win. We just had to grind this one out. At times, it wasn’t pretty, but we did what it took to win. I don’t think we played poorly; I give more credit to their pitcher. He really did a great job of limiting our guys, but we still had 14 hits on the day. It wasn’t a bad offensive day really.”

On Jared Poche'
“It’s easy to say he didn’t play well after giving up four runs on eight hits. I would argue that he threw a lot of strikes. He came out from the beginning and pounded the strike zone. He made two bad pitches that they hit over the fence. I have to give credit to Southeastern for making great swings on the ball. He pitched out of a jam in the seventh inning and a player with less courage would have folded. We just find ways to win. At the end of the day, the goal is to have more runs than the other team.”


On starting his first regional game…
“I felt good coming into the game. I didn’t have nerves or anything. I thought my fastball command, changeup command and curveball command was pretty good. I just made a few mistakes and those guys took advantage of that. You have to give credit to those hitters.”

On his pitching performance and the LSU bullpen…
“I think I struggled with my put-away pitches. I left some curve balls too hittable. I should have left them in the dirt. With the bullpen coming in like that, I can’t say enough about those guys. They have been doing that the entire year. They come in, throw a bunch of zeroes and get guys out anyway they can.”


On his approach to the plate against Southeastern…
“I tried working the count today. I got deep in some counts. I was just trying to make contact. I found holes and used my speed to my advantage. On the pick-off play, it was a play that got away. (Alex) Bregman did a good job of putting the ball in play off a tough pitcher and getting the run.”

On LSU taking the lead in eighth inning…
“Andro (Cutura) did a good job of keeping our hitters off balance. When we got runners on base, we needed to take advantage of that. Taking advantage of errors was a big thing in the game. In the bottom of the eighth, we got players in scoring position. We just needed to put the ball in play. We did that and scored some runs.”


On today’s victory over Southeastern Louisiana University…
“I think Andro (Cutura) pitched a great game today. He kept us off balance. We put together some good at-bats against him. We were able to get him out of the game and get into their bullpen. I think that was the key.”

On his two-run home run…
“It definitely gave us more breathing room. Once Jake (Fraley) stole that base, it was extra inspiration to just get the hit. It is tough getting runners in scoring position. I was lucky enough to hit a ball over the fence. I wasn’t trying to hit a homerun. I was just trying to score Jake.”

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