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“Obviously, it’s a good complete win for us. We played well in all phases of the game and great outing from Kent (Emanuel). The first inning was really important for us. Brian Holberton with a two out hit to get the lead from one to three. I thought that was really important and the double play there when Kent got himself in a little trouble I thought was huge. I think the game could have really changed on two plays if we don’t get a hit there with two outs then it’s only one to nothing and they don’t hit into a double play then they get back into the game I think the rest of the game changes a little bit. But good start to the tournament for us. Our kids were ready.”
Were you and your team able to gain a bit of confidence and mojo back after such a commanding win today?
“I wanted to play well and I thought we played well. Our kids were ready. I challenged them before the game just because it’s been previous obvious the teams that have played here so far in this tournament and have won have looked like they’ve been really ready to play and locked in. We had some guys have some individual spectacular games. I have two of them sitting right here and just a good overall complete win. We got contributions from everybody.”
On the defensive showing by his team:
“We really played well defensively and showed our athleticism. I’ve said all along, Kent’s probably the best fielding pitcher I’ve ever coached and he’s shown that several times this year. That was a big play. Michael’s really played well for us at short. The 3-6-1 double play we worked on that I don’t know how many times the other day. We hit a lot of those and that’s probably the first one we’ve gotten all year but we practiced them about 10 to 15 times the other day so it was cool that it happened. Made Cody make that throw a lot and then we get it in the game."
On Brian Holberton’s confidence building:
“You’ll probably have to ask him but it looked like it a little bit. Confidence is such a big thing in this game. I think it did carry over and we slashed one time with him just to put him in aggressive swing mode and he found the ball. That’s good. We need him back doing some good things for us. Just confidence.”
How much does this win help get rid of the bad feelings towards the way the team finished out the regular season?
“We just wanted to come out here and enjoy the ACC Tournament and get back on the right track. We had a good win against Florida State but obviously we wanted to get a good footing in the ACC Tournament and thankfully we did today. Hopefully we’ll keep it rolling.”
What was the key to the team having such success offensively against Miami’s LHP Andrew Suarez after struggling a bit with left-handed pitching this season?
“Just the right approach. If you have the right approach and have trust in Coach Jackson and what he tells you to do then you’ll have a good day. As long as we have the right approach. If we fade away from that then might have a bad game against a left hander but we definitely had the right approach today.”
Did you know when you stepped to the plate in the eighth inning that you had a chance for a walk-off?
“Oh, I knew. I was well aware.”
On the defensive effort against Miami:
“If I don’t catch those balls, then [Michael] Russell gets mad at me. The main thing is keeping Russell happy. I’ve played first base for a long time and I take pride over there. Every out counts so you don’t want to let any opportunities pass by. Split or not, I just want to get the out.”
Did that defensive play you made on the double play get you going in this game?
“I don’t know. They were in total swing mode the whole day. Even if I made bad pitches it seemed like they would swing and get themselves out. As the game went on, I basically just had to keep it on the edges. They were going to pop up or ground out so that’s probably the difference in the game. Just keeping it from being up and over the plate.”
Did getting the shut out after coming off of back-to-back losses give you any kind of relief or is it just another game?
“It doesn’t matter what’s going to happen. I’m going to be the same every day.”
Did you change your strategy against the Hurricanes knowing that they were swinging at a lot of pitches?
“Well I threw probably more fastballs today than I have any game this season. I probably threw eighty-five percent fastballs. It just seemed that as long as I was keeping it on the edges they were flying out or grounding out. I don’t think I struck out a single batter today. They were just in swing mode the whole time.”
You’ve struggled with keeping the ball down in the zone. How do you feel you did today?
“Not too good. Still have got a lot to improve on and I will. We played great defense today and they picked me up for sure. Ten runs isn’t bad either I guess.”
Is it weird to look at your line and see that you gave up four hits, two walks yet had not strikeouts?
“Yeah that is kind of weird. I don’t how many times I’ve walked more dudes than I struck out. That might be the first time I’ve ever done that. Hopefully next weekend it won’t be the case but we’ll see.”