Tough way to end it for the Huskers, who battled through the Big Ten tournament loser’s bracket to earn a shot at the championship Sunday.
But Indiana pulled out a 4-3 win with a walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Some of Nebraska’s comments afterward are below…
On the future of the program: “I’m not turning the page yet. This one stings a little bit. I’m a baseball guy. Tomorrow’s a new day, and it’s exciting, and you move on. But right now, this stinks. So I’m going to let it play its course here. I feel really bad for our guys. I don’t believe in the black participation award ribbon and that’s what we got (Sunday). That’s a tough one to handle.”
On this tournament run laying a foundation for Nebraska: “In my opinion, Indiana is a legitimate College World Series contender. We have played some teams that are going to be in the College World Series and they are right there with them, in every part of the game. Our guys stood toe-to-toe with them. We were a little thin all over the place. They didn’t back down at all. That is definitely something we’re going to hang our hat on.”
What did you tell the team after Saturday’s win? His response: “There wasn’t much to say, other than, Get some fluids in you. At this point, they knew exactly what was in front of them. I just reminded them this morning of how important it’s going to be to execute in those situations, see them doing those things, visualize having success in those situations. For the most part, I thought we were, for a college baseball game, not too bad.”
On Indiana starter Will Coursen-Carr: “He had some good stuff today. He located all his pitches throughout pretty much the whole game. We tried to stay with our approach the whole game. We hit some balls hard, right at them. We stuck to our approach. A few fell. We tied it up there at the end.”
On the seniors’ impact on this program: “I wish things could have went better, wish we could have made a Regional. But I think that we set the foundation for this program to turn things around. … That’s what we were striving for all year. Obviously we came up a little bit short. I think that we definitely had the mind-set and put in some good things that the younger kids can follow in the future.”
On the approach against a talented IU lineup: “Establishing fastball in. Don’t let them extend. I missed my spot on (Sam) Travis when he hit that double off the wall. … Just mixing speeds, in and out. Just getting hitters out, getting ahead.”
On pitching for a championship: “To have a chance to take the ball for a Big Ten title was special for me. I couldn’t have asked for better teammates to do this with. We’ll be back.”
What’s the key pitching on three days rest? His response: “Different mind-set. More mental preparation. You’ve kind of got to block the pain out, if you’re sore, tired. Just think that you had a full weeks rest. Just mentally be more prepared.”
On Nebraska’s senior class: “They’re leaders. They’ve been through some hard times in this program. For them to stick it out and to lead this team to where we are today — we wanted for them to go out on a high note. But they’ve set the foundation. They’ve set the bar high. I couldn’t be more happier that I could look up to them, any one of those seniors. Ask them questions. Pick their brain. It was fun. I was glad to be a part of this team.”
On refocusing after Saturday night’s win: “We were still excited but we knew we had a game at 12. So we had to get back, get rest, get a little drink and some food in us. Just get ready for (Sunday). I think we came out good, it just didn’t go our way.”