Jay Johnson’s thoughts after LSU’s loss to North Carolina

Jay Johnson’s thoughts after LSU’s loss to North Carolina

LSU had a two-run seventh inning to pull within one run Saturday night in Chapel Hill against No. 4 North Carolina, but the Tar Heels quickly regained control and cruised to a 6-2 victory over the Tigers, securing a spot in the regional championship on Sunday night. LSU, however, will have to face Wofford on Sunday at 11 a.m. CT, then with a win will advance and have to beat North Carolina twice.

Head coach Jay Johnson met with the media after the loss and here is everything he had to say.

On facing the challenge of winning three games in two days…

“We worked too hard to get here to let a little disappointment get in the way of what lies ahead. I did it at a regional and I did it in Omaha twice, so I feel good about what we have available, I really do.”

“This is a little more than what we did at Hoover, but it’s the format. We knew it from the beginning. That’s why we released Gage yesterday and Luke today, so we didn’t have to do that. It’s the first time in four years that I haven’t gone 2-0, but the best wins I’ve had in my career, including Omaha last year, came in knockout games. I have full confidence that our team will execute. Our goal is not just to get out of here now. Our goal is to have tomorrow the best day we have ever had as a team.”

Jay Johnson LSU

On using the bullpen and pitching moving forward…

“Well, we were trying to win the game for sure. We’ve come back a lot lately, but when you’re down, it’s not your best move to bring in Herring or Guidry who released yesterday. To have three games, other than having (Jump and Holman) available, we’re in as good a position as we could be if we came off two games.”

About the offensive struggles…

“Braswell smoked one. Travinski hit a good pitch, but it’s hard to do much with it. We had a really good plan, we were committed to the plan, they just didn’t give us much to do and when we did, we dealt someone a hard blow.”

What is the focus for tomorrow?

“You start tomorrow at noon, we will play against a great team. This is a great regional. Long Island, I take my hat off to them for how they played last night. The other three teams are really good teams. There is no longer a carpet ride to the supermarkets. At home or on the go, it doesn’t matter. There are three great teams left and it all starts with a great start on the mound and a great focus at the plate and then you get to second tomorrow night and do it again.”

On the challenge of having inexperience on the roster in these games…

“We’re always learning, but if you have an expensive experience this time of year, it’s really expensive. That’s part of the game and what we do developing players. We had some of that tonight, and I wouldn’t have guessed we’d be deploying three freshmen on a regional road against the no. There are 4 teams in the country, but a big reason we’re here is because those guys helped lead that surge last time in the season. I have no problem with how we compete in the game. You win these regionals when your best players play really well and someone is going to pay that guy a lot of money and he got a couple of good swings tonight.”