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

On3 imageby:Matthew Brune06/01/24

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

Head coach Jay Johnson met with the media after the loss and here’s 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 is in front of us. I’ve done it in a regional and done 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 in Hoover, but it’s the format. We knew that going in. Thats why we threw Gage yesterday and Luke today, so that we didn’t have to do that. It’s my first time in four years I haven’t been sitting on 2-0, but the best wins I’ve had in my career, including Omaha last year, came in elimination games. I have full confidence in our team we will execute. Our goal isn’t just to get out of here now. Our goal is to have the best day we’ve had as a team tomorrow.”

LSU
Jay Johnson LSU

On using the bull pen 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 that pitched yesterday. For having three games, outside of having [Jump and Holman] available, we’re in about as good of a spot as we could be coming out of two games.”

On the offense’s struggles…

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

What’s the approach for tomorrow?

“You start with tomorrow at noon, we’re playing a great team. This is a great regional. Long Island, hats off to them with how they played last night. The other three teams are really good teams. There’s no carpet ride to the supers anymore. Home or on the road, doesn’t matter. There’s three great teams left and it just starts with a great start on the mound and a great approach at the plate and then you get to the second one tomorrow night and you do it again.”

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

“We’re always learning, but if you have expensive experience at this time of the 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 rolling out three freshmen out in a road regional against the no. 4 teams in the country, but a big reason why we’re here is because of those guys helping lead that surge last in the season. I have no problem with how we competed in the game. You win these regionals when your best players play great and somebody is going to pay that guy a lot of money and he got a couple good swings off tonight.”

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