"This is something those guys will never forget," Arrieta said of the TCU players.
He had the same feeling in 2006, when TCU lost in the regional tournament. TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle called a few of his players, including Arrieta and Matt Carpenter, now with the Cardinals, out to left field after that defeat and had them write the date of the loss in their hats. Arrieta still has that cap at home.
"It's something we thought about throughout the winter and the offseason," Arrieta said. "We wanted to be better. We didn't want to have that feeling again. We did end up having that same feeling again [in 2007], but the mindset was important. It was a motivating factor for when you're preparing for the next season. Whether you win the whole thing or not, there's so many teams doing the same thing you're trying to do, and realistically, you're never OK with defeat.
"You have to come to the realization that somebody has to go home. That's the tough thing about it -- there's so many teams that could be in the finals. It's who's going to play the cleanest game that day. Coastal was that team [on Saturday]."
Back to that piece of paper on Sunday. Teammate Tommy La Stella was the likely culprit. He went to Coastal Carolina, and he had made a small wager with Arrieta regarding the CWS. Arrieta now must get a tattoo that says "CCU," and he says he will, but it won't be too obvious. He's going to get a black-light tattoo.
"I'll wear it proudly," Arrieta said. "We lost fair and square."