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Everything Florida State HC Link Jarrett, Players Said About Loss Against Tennessee

Photo via Florida State Athletics

Tennessee baseball handed Florida State a devastating loss in its College World Series opener on Friday night, scoring four runs in the ninth inning to walk off the Seminoles 12-11.

Following the game, Florida State head coach Link Jarrett and players Marco Dinges and Jaime Ferrer met with the media. Here’s everything they said.

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Link Jarrett

“Heck of a game. Heck of a college game. I think I told you guys, I don’t know that the college sport can be played at a higher level than what we’re watching it occur right now, with the age of the guys, some of the transfer capabilities, the draft has shrunk. I think that was on display today all day and tonight.

And the game was not played cleanly. We gave them opportunities throughout the course of the game. This wasn’t just the end of the game. They had chances. We were not as clean as we needed to be. They would probably tell you the same thing.

I thought our response to some early-game dysfunction was really good, to put six on the board. We saw every type of arm you could see. Clearly these at-bats, Ferrer, multiple good at-bats. Marco good all night. I thought Jaime was navigating things. It wasn’t easy. His command wasn’t great.

He got to his change-up the middle part of the game which helped. We did not pitch with two strikes well enough. We had chances to finish some hitters off, and the resulting contact was better than you would hope for in those counts.

You guys saw the game. I need to watch every pitch of this game again. There’s factors in this that affect the outcome of the game. And I can’t tell from 90 feet away on the side what was going on with some of the things that occurred. I need to watch the game.

You guys watched it. Every pitch matters in these games, and you saw the result of those. Every pitch. We did not play well enough to separate. It was ugly early. We had chances to record outs, we didn’t. It wasn’t crisp enough on the mound all the time. I thought Whittaker pitched great. I thought Jaime battled. But they delivered the result. And it’s tough. That’s a tough walk-off and walk in that locker room, tough. These guys have responded all year and they’ll respond. I’m proud that you got to see flashes of what this team can do and is about. But ultimately that pendulum swung the other way in a hurry in the ninth inning.”

On the faith he has in pitcher Carson Dorsey entering the Virginia game

“When we started this, you have Leiter, Arnold, Whittaker. We thought Dorsey was a good weapon out of the bullpen with some of the other guys we had.

Clearly we had to shift gears, and eventually he worked his way into that rotation. And he had some really good starts against some tough, tough teams on the road, I think Wake and Duke on the road.

So he seemed to thrive in that situation, like starting. I know it hasn’t been flawless, but he’s had some good wins against tough teams. And he has four pitches in play. Now finding those right out of the gate sometimes is the quest we have with him.

But when it starts to sync up, he’s got a lot of weapons in play and handles the run game well. Tough kid. So it’s nice when he’s starting.

And he’s had starts that aren’t good. He’s had relief appearances that weren’t good. But he’s had really nice starts and some really dominant relief appearances.

It’s just growth in learning, and he was a junior college pitcher. This is a lot different. You have to manage nine to 10, 11, 12 really good hitters that are going to come at you. He’s grown and he’s done well. Had some really good starts. If there’s ever time for one, man, we need it.”

On if he was thinking about the possibility of Tennessee turning the lineup over

“There’s no doubt. There’s no doubt. We were where we were. And Moore, I guess when you’ve hit for the cycle — was that in the sixth inning he had hit for the cycle? You know what you’re dealing with.

To try to decide how to manage that at-bat in that situation, it’s difficult. I don’t know if there is an answer to that. We had an older guy on the mound that we trusted that’s delivered for us this year.

Clearly, just a tough night to face him. He was on everything. He’s a talented player. And unfortunately, like, we just could not answer and get out of some of the things.

I think the walk — we walked Peebles — that was not a nice moment in that inning, but just allows things when you’re in that part of the lineup where you need to gather outs and every pitch matters, every swing. It all adds up.

And, again, there’s moments in this game where you reflect on the ninth inning and it’s tough. And there’s 27 players in there that are hurting. We need to learn some of the things that happened early. Maybe it shouldn’t have ever gotten to that. But it did and we have to live with these things.”

On if they have more confidence having hit well against Virginia in the ACC Tournament

“I’m sure it does. I’m sure it does. They’re experienced tough guys in that lineup. It’s a nice balance. So when we’re locked in and things seem to be flowing like they were tonight, they can be tough.

So we had a lot thrown at us, and I thought that the overall approach to what was going on was appropriate for this. And you saw what our guys are capable of doing.

And there were at-bats where you could do more. It’s not a flawless game by any stretch. In any phase, rarely is it flawless. But you start to dig back in at-bats. If we had a better at-bat here or there, do we separate and really blow this thing open. And there were times where you felt like you were on the verge of doing it.

But I can’t recall the order of the pitching that you gave me from Virginia. I have a lot to unpack right now before I can get at that one.”

On the six-spot Florida State’s offense put up in the third inning

“This is one of the better offensive teams in the country, correct? And you saw that a little bit today. You saw some of the tough ABs. And we walked — what did we walk? We walked nine times. And punched out 12. But there were some critical walks in there.

I thought the base running, we stole some bases. And they don’t have many chinks in the armor, but if you have an chink in the run game to use it and try to grab momentum and put yourself in a better scoring position, stay out of a double play. We did that.

So the offense was fine and I think it’s been okay all year. Again, it’s not flawless. And there’s moments where we don’t execute approaches and are a little bit reckless. But overall it’s one of the better offenses in the country.

You saw two of the elite offenses — power, on-base capabilities, use of the field, two-strike hitting, management of the count where you can walk some.”

On the bullpen possibilities for Virginia game

“Well, you get the day to recover. So when you look at it, Whittaker pitched his tail off. That was about the high after the injury, I don’t know that he’s gotten that much further with the pitch count.

Oxford will be fine. Hults will be fine. Joe Charles, Abraham, Whittaker is probably down — Noah Short. We have options. Clearly it makes things easier and diminishes the workload if Dorsey can get us into this. And Virginia is tough. I know we had a good day but they’re tricky. They’re tough offensively.”

Marco Dinges

On bouncing back from such a tough loss

“Most definitely. As hitters we’ve got to keep the same approach. We had good ABs throughout the game, the whole lineup. Just have to come back on Sunday and ready to go — same ABs, same approaches. And take the win, though.”

On the keys to responding well during the regular season

“Just staying with the same approach. You’ve just got to take every AB seriously. With leaders like Cam and Tibbs, they teach you throughout the course that every AB matters, especially Coach Jarrett preaches it every game. You gotta take every AB for granted and go out there and compete.”

Jaime Ferrer

On a high scoring game in a pitcher’s park

“At the end of the day you still have to play the same game. Go up there with the same approach. The ball is going to do what it does. You can’t control what it does. You have to go up there and hunt a pitch. And if you get it, you can’t miss it. I think we did it well tonight. I thought we did a pretty good job on that.”

On the keys to responding well during the regular season

“The determination that we know we’re never out of a ball game. You have to get all 27 outs and you gotta fight until the last pitch of the game. So kind of staying with that, knowing that, that our offense keeps us in every single ball game is a good feeling.

And it’s the leadership that we have and the grit and the love we have for each other; we can’t give up on each other. We gotta keep pushing. At the end it’s a team ball game. You have to play for the guy next to you. That’s how you win ball games and stack good at-bats together.”

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