Quotes from Game 3 of TCU-Houston


TCU Starting Pitcher Steven Maxwell:

On his performance: “I was able to stay warm in the dugout between innings, so that wasn’t a big issue. I struggled locating my fastball early in the game but luckily I had my breaking pitch and my changeup working for me today, so it paid off.”

On whether TCU’s team has turned a corner: “I think we’re all confident out there now. We’re coming together, getting over adversity. We finding the team that we are and we’re putting it all together.”

On the defense: “It means everything in the world. We have the best outfield in the country. I always tell them that I’ll give them a chance and they love it when they get it. They always pick me up, so it always means a lot to have them back me up.”

“I can make any pitch that I want now, and if I make a mistake, I know they’ll be there to pick me up.”

On center fielder Aaron Schultz: “I expect him to make those awesome plays. He’s one of the best players I’ve played with and he gets business done day in, day out. I have a lot of faith in that guy.”
TCU Outfielder Brance Rivera:

On his hitting streak: “I try not to think about it. (Laughter) It did cross my mind in my last at-bat, but it just made me want it that much more. Just wanted to get up there and make a good swing”

On the TCU offense: “The last few games we’ve been playing true TCU baseball. We’re hitting great and our pitching is doing great. We’re just playing the type of baseball we’re capable of now.”

On his catch to end the 5th inning: “I just didn’t want a run to score. As outfielders, our job is to stop things from happening. Had that ball gotten through, Houston scores two runs. I had a beat on the ball, I knew I could catch it and I even got to use a cool slide. (Laughter)”

On teammate Aaron Schultz: “I can never outplay that guy. He’s amazing. He’ll catch anything, anywhere. One of the best outfielders I’ve seen.”

Coach Jim Schlossnagle:

On the win: “Today’s win makes me feel a lot more comfortable. Considering how we lost on Friday and the comeback on Saturday, today was the most complete game for us. I would like us to be more offensive in the middle innings, but they did a good job of keeping us on our front foot and getting us to hit the ball in the air. I thought Steven (Maxwell) was as good as he has been all year at times, Stefan (Crichton) and Andrew Mitchell pitched well.”

On Aaron Schultz: “He’s been amazing. He has been a tremendous program player for us. He was highly recruited, but in his first game freshman year against Cal-State Fullerton we had him hitting fifth in the lineup only because we were afraid to bat him third. We literally thought that highly of him. He came in as an infielder, but we were wondering if he might be able to play some left field. We stuck him in left that first game freshman year, and to see him transform into a great player and a great center fielder is nothing short of amazing.”

“It isn’t his natural position; he isn’t the fastest guy out here. You guys might beat him in a foot race. But he has great instincts, takes great routes. It is just something about being a baseball player that allows him to be successful.”

On the recent surge of power hitting: “It’s because the wind isn’t blowing in. Coats has been hammering balls all season, but he has nothing to show of it until the wind died. I’m glad to see him hit it out of our park because he starts to wonder if this park can be friendly to him.”

“I think we’ve swung the bat excellently all year, but just haven’t had the best breaks.”

On whether catcher Josh Elander is injured: “Yes, he had a shot, but he had some sort of irritation in his back. Got MRIs, x-rays, there’s nothing seriously wrong though. He could have played this whole weekend, but he would have been in pain.”

On whether he would desire to play Houston again: “No. Zero chance. We’re up 7-0 today in the second, it’s starting to rain, it’s a reason to not want to play. Friday was a great example and today was a great example. We could have stolen bases and embarrassed them, but I didn’t want to.”

“There’s no real value in playing against close friends like Houston. We’ll probably see them in a regional or tournament, but won’t do it again in an intentional series anytime soon.”

TCU Center Fielder Aaron Schultz:

On his grand slam: “I wanted to at least get a sacrifice fly. With less than two outs and bases loaded, I was just trying to not hit the ball on the ground. I got down two strikes and just started to battle him, but he left a change-up high, I put a good swing on it, and thank God it went over the fence. It felt good.”

On his diving catch in center to end the 4th: “When that ball was hit, I was just trying to get a good read on it. I thought I had it good, but it kept going. Luckily, I dove and I caught it.”

On teammates Jason Coats and Brance Rivera: “They’re both great athletes and they’re probably faster than I am. Brance making his big catch was a real game-changer in preventing runs.”

“Jason is our best hitter by far. The numbers don’t show it yet, but he is our best hitter. He finally crushed one and we were all thrilled he did it. He’s definitely turning it around.”

On the team vibe: “It will probably take a few more wins before we really find the vibe, but we’re feeling good.”