On Friday, the 2018 College World Series opening ceremonies took place. Part of that included the coaches of each team taking part in a presser with the other coaches in their bracket.
Oregon State head coach Pat Casey answered several questions from members of the media about his team, being back in Omaha, and his approach to the upcoming games.
For the full transcript, click here.
The words in bold are from the presser’s moderator or the members of the media in attendance.
“Congratulations [to the other coaches]. I know how difficult it is to get here, not only coaches up here now but those on the other side of the bracket. I’m honored to represent Oregon State University. I’m thankful for the players who continue to give me a vacation here in Omaha. They’re the ones who actually play the game and make this thing work. And I give them all the credit. And it’s what the city of Omaha, what the committee and all those around this championship event do is phenomenal. And there’s never a year I’ve been here where I haven’t thought that. So I appreciate it. Thank you from all of us.
Pat, you have a core group of veterans that have been very successful. Has there been something about this group that set them apart and allowed them to have that kind of success?
“Obviously being veterans, that’s one of the keys some of these kids have obviously been here some three years, some four. Talked about it today, seven kids graduating and we’re going to have to put a little ceremony on them, because we were in finals week last week. I think we have a lot of kids that have returned. Good on-the-field leadership. Certainly talented young men when they came. But a lot of guys that like to do it the way we like to do it.”
Pat, just thinking forward to Sunday, kind of featurery, but you’ve got Joe here, John here, Brett back in ‘09. To have your boys here and a father-and-son type of sport and that big day to celebrate father’s day with them what does that mean to you simply?
“First of all, that’s the greatest question I’ve ever been asked. Thank you. You are my champion. I got to spend Father’s Day here with my dad a couple of times. And he’s not here this weekend. But being a coach I think everybody would tell you that there’s times you don’t get to experience some things with your children that you wished you had. When I first started coaching, I missed a lot of time with those guys. And I’m absolutely blessed. I can’t think thank the Lord enough for gifting me with a wife and children. And I don’t know if I could tell you how much it means to me. So I’ll just leave it at that. But thank you for the question.”
Talk about your outfield, what you like about it, the strengths as far as how they help contribute defensively to help you win ballgames?
“We’re going to play the three guys we play all the time. I guess we rotate a little bit out in left. But it is what it is. And the wind doesn’t blow quite as much as it does in Corvallis like it’s apparently going to blow tomorrow. So we’ll see.”
Because of your experience in this event in particular, can you share any memories or enduring moments that you have of [late former Texas coach] Augie Garrido?
“Yeah, my first trip to the College World Series was ‘05 and Texas won it. I actually sat right next to Augie in this format. And he said to the people in Texas believe the season starts in Omaha. I laughed at it because it’s my first trip there. I was fortunate. I was a player in a Regional that Augie was a coach. I did ESPN’s Fog Augie (phonetic) that year and I’m walking into the hotel, and there’s a guy sitting outside on the bench in street clothes, and it’s Augie. I said, ‘Augie, what the heck are you doing here?’ He said, ‘Wishing what you were doing.’ But he said, ‘I’m here to speak to a Little League team’. I said, ‘Wow. I got to see Augie last year in the College World Series.’ So obviously his record and what he stands for speaks for itself.”
In talking with the players after they said that they basically set the goal to get to Omaha right after they fell to LSU last year, can you talk about the road to Omaha and maybe if they did anything different this year? Because you were saying it’s all on the players; they’re the ones who got here. So could you tell us how they did it?
“Well, I think everybody starts working out early in September and they have goals and I think Omaha is written on almost every college baseball batting cage in America and everybody’s dream and it should be. There isn’t anybody that doesn’t belong that get here, that’s the first thing, because they’ve earned their way here.
So the guys felt they would need to work hard like they have, they need to be committed to one another like they were. Everything needs to go your way, balanced your way. You need to get the breaks and things need to happen. But I think a commitment to one another to get back, and I think our guys felt we maybe could have played better at the end of the tournament last year that we didn’t, and kind of odd that we got LSU at our region. So that helped them spark a little bit. I think a commitment to what each guy wanted, and that was the same goal, and that was to get back here.”