Postgame Quotes from Creighton and UCLA
UCLA Head Coach John Savage
"First of all, I'd like to congratulate Creighton. I watched them all week, watched them Thursday in practice. I'm talking about a completely first-class operation – guys doing things right before the game, in between innings, on pitches, never giving up. To be where they were and where they ended is a credit to how they go about it. This is the first time I've personally played them and UCLA has played them in a long time, and I just can't say enough about Creighton. First class. I've seen a lot of programs and how they go about things, from stretching to batting practice to infield and outfield to game, and I'm not just making this up. This is genuine. This is a first-class coaching staff. To be where they were and to run through the Missouri Valley to win the tournament and to play for a regional championship tells you that they never ever gave up on each other, and I'm just so impressed. I was going to say that win or lose. They made a huge impression on our program and really made our program better this weekend."
"They came out and threw a punch, which I knew they would, and scored two in the first, and then we got two outs and nobody on, and I think our biggest at-bat was a (Cody) Keefer walk and then (Jeff) Gelalich's home run, and all of a sudden it's 2-2, to where it could have gone the other way. Zack (Weiss) was definitely on ropes. He wobbled and he hung in there and pitched out of some problems, and after the fifth inning, he turned the ball over to one of our strengths, which is our bullpen, and I'm very proud of our players. This is a very difficult road with our schedule, and our Pac-12 Conference; to be where we are today, I just can't say enough about how proud I am of our players and our program. We finished the regional tonight the way we wanted, and I'm just proud for our players and happy for them."
(on finishing play by Sunday) "It's a big deal. Pitching-wise, we still had (Grant) Watson there for Monday. But the draft is tomorrow, and that's a big day. Certainly, it's always a distraction. It's something that you have to separate from your team. It's a very difficult time for our players; finals are coming up a week from Monday, you've got the draft, we're trying to win games, and there are a lot of things they need to juggle. I'm proud we it done today."
(on Gelalich improving his draft stock tonight) "I would think so. When you put two balls out of the ballpark today as fast as he did, it's pretty impressive, one against a left-hander. He's had a terrific year, he's had a borderline MVP of the conference (year). He was one of players up for it; he didn't get it, but he's really been our leader in the middle of the lineup all season long. He's worked his tail off, and he's done it the right way. I'm very proud of Jeff."
(on the team reminding him of 2010): "A little bit. We don't have the (Trevor) Bauer/(Gerrit) Cole factor. But I really think that offensively and defensively, this team is just as good as that team. These are basically the same players but two years older. We were disappointed last year in the way we ended in the regional final here, but they've grown up, they've played a lot of postseason baseball. Our young pitching, they've brought them along with them, and they've done a nice job. There certainly are some comparisons, but we're certainly finding a different way of doing it, and that's ok. Any way you can get it done, you find a way, and that's how we've gone about it all season."
UCLA RF Jeff Gelalich
(on his first home run) "I went up there not trying to do too much. My plan was to go up there, see a pitch and put a good swing on it. I got lucky that I got enough of the ball and hit it in the right spot, and it went out."
(on the difference in his power this year) "I worked out a lot this offseason, really worked on getting stronger, faster. I think just hard work in the offseason trying to get better every day is paying off now."
(on the pitching tonight) "I think Zack's a great pitcher. He struggled a little bit early, but as a team we have all the confidence in the world in him. We knew he'd settle down eventually, and he did. We know we can get a quality start from him, and we look at our pitching staff and we think we have one of the best pitching staffs in the country. If they can keep us in games, we know that our offense is good. If we work together as a team then you kind of feed off one another."
(on hitting two home runs in a Regional Championship) "It's a great feeling. I wasn't really thinking about it during the game. Just trying to focus on the task that was at hand. Hopefully we can carry this momentum into next weekend. We're just looking to get better every day and we're looking forward to Friday of next week."
(on if this is UCLA's best baseball) "We come out and try to get better every day. That's been a theme in our clubhouse with our coaches. We're always trying to work on something to get better. Hopefully we can keep improving and keep this thing rolling."
UCLA 2B Trevor Brown
(on starting pitching stealing headlines the first two games) "We weren't really thinking about that. All the credit does go to those pitchers, they pitched awesome. We were just looking for Zack to come out and give us a good start, and we would just take care of our end, and he would take care of his, and I think we both did a pretty good job tonight and were able to get a win."
(on if this is UCLA's best baseball) "I think we are playing pretty good baseball. This is the time of the year that we want to be playing our best baseball. I think as a team we're playing pretty well. Obviously we pitched pretty good this weekend, and we swung the bats good and ended on a pretty good note. I think we want to just carry the momentum into next week and hopefully keep playing well."
Creighton Head Coach Ed Servais
“I want to start out by congratulating UCLA for winning the regional. We knew going into tonight's game that we needed to play an almost perfect game to have an opportunity. We let a couple of situations get away from us early, a bases loaded situation, a couple of runners to follow an inning. We needed to get 4-5 runs in the first couple innings. That being said, I was impressed with our team. We responded early in that game. We just didn't have enough pitching to hang with them. Then the game got away from us in that middle part. Once again congratulations to UCLA.”
(on UCLA's balance): "Don't forget how well they play defensively. That’ll be a key for them next week. You've got to have some power arms. They know how to pitch. They pitch differently than a lot of collegiate pitchers do. They pitch up in the zone and inside a lot and you don’t see that a whole lot. We knew that coming in but they executed a lot of those pitches. Then we saw a much more offensive team tonight than we saw Friday. Ty Blach had a little bit to do with that obviously but I like their athleticism. They’re well balanced. They’ve got left-handed hitters, right-handed hitters, they have some bullpen guys that can shorten the game for them a little bit. If the games are held here, they have a great chance to advance. I was very impressed at how they went about their business.”
(on the character of his team): "The last couple of weeks, they got it. They can't be disappointed with what happened today. As they look back at how they completed their season, they're going to realize that they got it. There's much more to the game than the scoreboard. They came together as a group. They made that decision and they accomplished what very few people thought they’d ever have an opportunity to accomplish. To win the conference tournament the way they did, to come in here and play toe to toe with some teams with much more impressive records than we had, says a lot about these guys. Even how they finished the game. They went down fighting and got two runs off of a power arm. That guy’s a good pitcher and our guys battled to the very end. It took us a little longer to get there, but I'm very happy they figured it out. They got it. Not every team gets it.”
(on the season as a whole): "As you look back when you start your season, you ask 'what are your goals?' Is your goal to get to postseason baseball? If it is to get to postseason baseball, then we've reached one of our goals. Our next goal for Creighton baseball is to find a way to win a regional. Now the next step is can we figure out a way to win a regional to get to a Super Regional. When I meet with the players in fall ball, one of our goals is always to get to the Regionals. So I guess if you look at it from that standpoint, it was a success. I'm just glad that the players got it. If we wouldn’t have got it, then I would’ve said it was a major failure. But they figured it out. And because of that, I think it was a success."
Creighton C Anthony Bemboom
(on letting opportunities slip away): “It's tough when you've got guys scoring position, less than two outs, you’ve got to get runners in. That's how you beat teams like this. Just didn't get it done tonight.”
(on UCLA momentum): “I think the momentum definitely shifted in their favor a little bit after their bomb in the first inning. I know our pitchers every time we score, they’re going out with the idea of throwing up zeroes. That gives us the best chance of keeping momentum on our side. They took advantage of some pitches; kudos to them.”
(on what they’ve accomplished this year): “We've been through a lot this year as a whole. There's been a lot of lows and to overcome what we did last week and in this regional I thought we played a couple of really good games. It says a lot about the character of our team and the guys on our team that we played hard.”
“I'm just trying to give my team the best chance to win. Honestly I would’ve taken an 0-5 day for a win.”
Creighton DH Scott Thornburg
(on letting opportunities slip away): “Just didn’t take advantage of those opportunities. That was big in the first of half of that ballgame, especially to get a lead, and we just couldn’t hold them off.”
(on what they’ve accomplished the last couple of weeks): “It was special. We came together as a group. Something I'll never forget as a senior.”