June 13, 2005
TULANE UNIVERSITY HEAD COACH Rick Jones
"What a great ball game. One of the most intense games I've ever been a part of. Certainly one of the greatest wins I've been a part of. It was a game with good pitching and defense early and timely hits on both clubs' part late. We had to play great baseball to beat an outstanding Rice team today. J.R. Crowel gave us six solid innings, which is exactly what we hoped for. Daniel (Latham), after having a tough eighth inning - even though he pitched well enough to get out of it - came back in the ninth and was outstanding. The same cast of guys who have been doing it all year for us, did it again today. It would have been a shame if this club had not had a chance to compete in the College World Series. Regardless of what happens out there, to be preseason ranked where we were - which was a first time for us here - to go through the season playing the toughest schedule we've ever played and go 55-10. Beat an outstanding Alabama team twice... beat an outstanding Rice team twice. That shows it has been a great year. And these kids have handled it well."
On Rice pitcher Eddie Degerman:
"Just look how good he is. That breaking ball is lethal. We watched tape on him - as much as we could possibly watch. Still, staying off that breaking ball is hard to do, because it is just so good. Our strategy was to try to sit on his fastball, but he just didn't throw it."
On Degerman's final at-bats:
"We just put some great swings on it. Bogusevic - he had been struggling - and with two strikes he made an adjustment and cut his swing and fortunately the ball had eyes. In the first four innings of Saturday's game, they had four or five hits the same way. Those things even up usually."
On the series:
"I thought the first four innings on Saturday were about as bad as we've played all year, and Rice is too good of a club to do that against. Yesterday (Sunday) was a complete game for us. We played well defensively and Micah Owings threw us on his back and we were able to get to their bullpen late. Today, I thought J.R. Crowel pitched really well and got us into the sixth inning. He did what we wanted him to do - keep us in the ball game through six innings."
On today's game:
"We've played a lot of close games this year. This club early in the year was opportunistic offensively. We are much better offensively now than we were in the first two and a half months of the season. We were a team that pitched and played D, so we were in a lot of close games like this."
"Rice is certainly one of the best clubs in the country. I think they are going to be a threat in Conference USA next year."
On feelings after the final out:
"Euphoric. When you know you are going to Omaha... There is a relief involved. If this club didn't get to Omaha, it would be a disappointment.
TULANE RIGHT FIELDER Brian Bogusevic
On his single up the middle in the seventh:
"We had runners on second and third. He (Degerman) threw a great pitch and I was just trying to put it in play. I was just trying to battle at the plate since he had been pitching well all day. I was hoping it would find a hole."
TULANE FIRST BASEMAN Micah Owings
On Rice pitcher Eddie Degerman:
"I didn't really have much success with him today. He is a heck of a pitcher and we have to tip our hats to him. I was glad to see him pulled and to see someone else on the mound. I knew we had a shot if they took him out."
TULANE RELIEF PITCHER Daniel Latham
On Rice moving into C-USA:
"I think it is the start of a great rivalry. All three games were competitive and close games. They will be a big help to our conference. I think it will be a great series every year."
TULANE DH Scott Madden
On going to Omaha:
"Some of the guys said it hasn't set in yet. I told them it wouldn't really until they walked in to the stadium (Rosenblatt). I hope I won't be the only Tulane player to go to two College World Series."
RICE HEAD COACH WAYNE GRAHAM
"As sort of a lifetime baseball man, I'm kind of proud of both teams. Both teams competed very, very hard. I'm proud of my team for staying in there and doing a great job. One good thing is that Eddie Degerman didn't get a loss, because he pitched too darn good to get a loss. He beat Bogusevic on the ball that rolled up the middle, but it just found eyes. To Bogusevic's credit he fought hard and made contact to give himself a chance to succeed, but that is one of those that had eyes and that's the way it goes. I'm not sure we would have won anyway, because we didn't get the relief pitching we hoped for later. I thought Degerman pitched great and our team competed well."
(On Bogusevic's key eighth inning hit)
"Eddie [Degerman] wanted to pitch to Bogusevic because he pretty much dominated him for the day. The right move there sometimes is to walk the guy, but you don't want to put your pitcher in the situation where [another] base on balls will kill you. He thought he could beat Bogusevic and he did, he stayed off the fat of the bat, got him off the end of the bat, but the ball found the middle of the field. It's a credit to both guys - Eddie for a great pitch and Bogusevic for competing."
(On Tulane's team)
"We came up against a ball club that I think has the qualifications to win a national championship. They are very strong up the middle, the shortstop is real quality, the second baseman is a pretty good fielder, the catcher is a good player; and I think they're as good a hitting team as we have faced over the years. And they have two super-quality starters."
(On joining Tulane in Conference USA next year)
"The new conference will be more competitive and you won't have to win it to get in the regional. It was a pressure for us every year to think that we actually had to win the conference to be in the playoffs. I didn't like that. With Conference USA, I would predict there should be three to four (NCAA bids) every year."
RICE STARTING PITCHER EDDIE DEGERMAN
"I came in and struggled a little bit in the early innings. I started to feel good in the middle of the game and I felt really good later in the game. I was throwing a lot of curveballs."
RICE STARTING DESIGNATED HITTER DANNY LEHMANN
(On Being a Young Team with CWS Hopes)
"We wanted to win this year. We kept our morale up the whole year. You're always going to be disappointed if you don't reach your goals."
(On Coming Back After Being Down in The Top of the Inning)
"We've been in situations like that all year. We came back later in the inning and at that point everyone thought it was possible that we were going to win."