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What Texas A&M's Jim Schlossnagle said after losing to No. 1 Tennessee in national championship

IMG_3593by:Grant Ramey06/24/24


Everything Jim Schlossnagle said after No. 3 Texas A&M faced No. 1 Tennessee in the decisive Game 3 of the College World Series Final Monday night at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha:

Opening Statement

JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: First of all, congratulations to the University of Tennessee. What an awesome, awesome team. Great series. 60 wins, wow. Congratulations to Danny White, Tony and his staff, Josh, one of my players, excited for him.

Great series. Same number of hits. Same number of errors. Probably the difference in the ball game was timely hits and some of their hits were homers and ours weren’t. But we got the tying run to the plate in the ninth, which I knew we would regardless of the score. It’s a tough to swallow. Even when you make it this far. Everybody wants to win their last game.

Couldn’t be more proud of our team. Honored to be at Texas A&M and honored to be part of the 12th Man. Special, special experience every year.

Q.  Hayden, down five runs late in the game. What was it like in the dugout? What was the belief like in the team that when you tried to go on that route?

HAYDEN SCHOTT: I mean, we just played in the last game of the frickin 2024 season. The belief was there. The belief of course was there. Our team loves each other, man. Yeah, belief was at an all-time high.

Q.  When you look back on the season, what do you think about just what you guys were able to accomplish?

HAYDEN SCHOTT: It’s a tough one to answer, right now, if I’m being honest. I’m obviously sad, a little pissed, but at the same time walking through that dugout I’m so damn grateful. Grateful for Coach Schloss, grateful to everyone for bringing me here, grateful for those guys in the dugout and the clubhouse. They made it the best year of my life.

As far as the whole year, we just lost the last game, so I’m not exactly thinking of the whole year but I’m thinking of those guys. I’m sure I’ll get back to baseball in a little bit. But I’m just grateful for those guys, man and the 12th Man.

Q.  Thinking about those guys, what are some of the initial memories, thoughts, just about the team, the guys that you were able to come together with and those guys?

HAYDEN SCHOTT: I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know anything specific right now. It’s just a general — when — I don’t know. I don’t know how to explain the love that I have for — I’m sure it’s biased because probably every team feels the same way. But the love I have for those guys is undoubtable.

And the love for the 12th Man, how they stuck with us through ups and downs, just what they mean to me and everyone else on that team, it’s just special. It’s just tough to really appreciate it right now. But I’m doing my damned best.

Q.  You guys have been so good at drawing walks and making guys work all year. Only two walks for that pitching staff today. What challenges does it present for you guys? And how do you all try to battle through when they’re not giving you all that opportunity?

HAYDEN SCHOTT: Do exactly that — battle. I’m not going to sit here and say that we didn’t have good at-bats. I mean, there’s no panic, man. Down 6-1, whatever it is, we have full belief in whoever is up.

And if you strike out, all right, I’m high-fiving Teddy to go pick me up. I don’t know how to answer your question. But what I do know is the belief never faded, not until that last strike.

Q.  What was Sechrist doing to keep you guys down offensively, at least through the early innings? And what was it like in the dugout when you weren’t able to cash in on those early opportunities offensively?

HAYDEN SCHOTT: Pitching is good. They have a good ballclub, no doubt about it. But we do too, and I think that’s when good baseball is played. That’s why tonight was so exciting. That’s why the whole series and whole time out here was exciting because it’s good baseball against good baseball. He was doing good. Like I said, there’s no fade in belief. Just didn’t come out the way we wanted.

Q.  Seems like Hayden maybe had a tough time on the season as a whole, but I’m curious is there something that you kind of hoped to remember about this team moving forward other than maybe just the results and how far you got?

JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: Again, you’re asking some of the questions — I understand your question. It’s just tough to think big picture when literally 20 minutes ago, 30 minutes ago we were battling.

But it’s been a special team. There’s never been an A&M team play this far. We know the 1989 team wasn’t one of the best teams ever in the history in college baseball, especially one not to make the NCAA Tournament, or the College World Series, excuse me.

But this is an incredible team. And it’s not just because of its record, but because of their character, how fun they are to be around. I think the interaction between our team and the 12th Man was just unique.

We had great crowds all year. Tuesday night, nonconference games to weekend SEC games. It was awesome. 12th Man was well represented here.

This is my eighth trip to the College World Series. 2001 at Tulane, we played and Nebraska was in it. That felt like a road game. But tonight felt like a bowl game, where the stadium was literally split. So I think that’s really great for our sport because a lot of times the College World Series is a neutral crowd.

I know I’m getting off tangent a bit but I think it’s awesome for our sport that we now have — I think maybe because of the structure, because of the way we set it up with the championship series is on I a weekend now, the championship can be like a football game. I thought it was great.

Our fans were locked in, but I just think the entire experience, everything, from the road trips, you know, if I was to go ask these guys who won the national title in 2004, they wouldn’t know it was Fresno State.

So I’m not discounting Tennessee’s championship, but at the end of the day, in 20 years, these guys will remember their relationships and experiences way more than they will winning and losing this game.

Q.  Tony worked for you for four years at TCU. I know it’s a small consolation to lose this game but to see him across what does it mean for you?

JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: It’s sour for a minute because I want to win. I’m selfish. We want to win.

But, yeah, Tony he’s worked hard. The thing I love about Tony is, kind of like me, I’m not quite sure he was a frontline player. And so he’s always been groomed to be a coach because of his father. And it’s a lifestyle for him like it is for me, not an occupation. And he puts everything into his program.

And I know Frank Anderson it’s a lot for Frank he’s been around a long time and had a lot of success. I think this his first championship — Kendall? Frank? Oh, he had one with Texas. But he’s just deserving. And I have former player there who I love and was at his wedding. He was on a College World Series team me in 2010 and a Super Regional team in ’12. Excited for Josh.

And congratulations to their team. They earned it — 60-13. They proved themselves to be the best team.

Q.  I know you said obviously hard to kind of think maybe big picture right now but when you think — what’s going to stick out to you when you think about the hurdles this team had to overcome in the postseason and how they maybe even elevated their game, kind of losing Braden and Shane and all the other things that you all had to go through?

JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: Everybody could say if, if, and this — if we would have done this or if we would have done that. Tennessee was without AJ Russell who is a great pitcher. But they still won a national title.

I think everybody has to fight through something. It’s unfortunate, but it’s just another example of that I can use as a coach and players can remember that your time can come and it can change in an instant. It changed in an instant for Braden. It changed in an instant for Shane.

I thought Lamkin did a nice job and Stewart. Those guys gave us a lot of great outings this week. It was a full team effort the whole season.

Q.  Three years, two College World Series and a final. I know you came in here ready for success right away, but can you believe that y’all are reaching this point this quickly at your tenure at A&M?

JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: Yeah, I can believe that because I think A&M is an awesome place. It has been great. I think Coach Childress had awesome teams.

And the difference between winning — this is tournament baseball. I’m not taking — again, not taking anything away from Tennessee, but Florida State maybe gets one more out in the first game, who knows, it could be a completely different deal. Same thing for us.

So but, yeah, I think Texas A&M is a place that should be competing in the SEC. Should be competing to host Regionals. And everybody thinks that Omaha is a right. It’s not. You have to earn your way there and have you to play well in the NCAA Tournament.

The thing that we have going for us is we have the most incredible fan base. The 12th Man just makes it so hard to win there. And so if you can just get in the Regional and find a way to host one, it’s really hard to go to Olsen Field and win as a road team. I’ve been part of that.

So, yes, to answer your question, I definitely thought it could happen. But it took a lot of hard work, and we still have a lot of work to go. We have guys coming on visits this week and gotta hold some kids in the draft. Gotta put together another good team. We’re losing a lot of good players.

Q.  With respect to the difficult outcome tonight but with the rumors circulating today about a specific job opening, what do you have to say about your future in Aggieland?

JIM SCHLOSSNAGLE: I think it’s pretty selfish of you you to ask me that question, to be honest with you. But I left my family to be the coach at Texas A&M. I took the job at Texas A&M to never take another job again. And that hasn’t changed in my mind.

That’s unfair to talk about something like that. That would be like you asking Montgomery if he’s going to sign in the draft. But I understand you’ve got to ask the question. But I gave up a big part of my life to come take this job. And I poured every ounce of my soul in this job and I gave this job every ounce I could possibly give it. Write that.

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