Listen to Audio (9:56)
"Well, I don't even know where to start. Just an incredible game. We feel very, very fortunate to have won. It was a gutsy performance by both teams. A really clutch swing of the bat by Brian [Holberton]. I feel fortunate to have been a part of that one. That was fun and exhausting and exhilarating and all of those all wrapped up into one."
This game didn't have any bearing on how the tournament will eventually play out, but what does it mean to have been a part of this experience and to win in this kind of fashion?
"It's what makes this fun. You just never know what these kids have. There's no such thing as meaningless games. I get it. I get it with this format. I hear it all of the time, but it's hogwash. It's not true. It's just not. It is in formality only, but when the game starts, there's too much competitiveness between these two schools and teams, and tonight proved that."
Can you talk about the game against N.C. State and the excitement that awaits?
"It should be fun. I hear there's a big crowd expected. It should be exciting. I know our players are looking forward to it and I'm sure they will be, too. Obviously, we have a lot on the line to get to the championship game, so that will be another great fun game to be a part of."
Does winning a game like you did tonight give you some momentum heading into the N.C. State game?
"Right now we're all exhausted, so maybe we'll have to fill our tanks tomorrow. This was our 50th win and I kept hearing that as guys were coming across shaking hands. I hadn't really given that a whole lot of thought, but that's kind of a neat way to get it. But yeah, this team has done some amazing things all of the way through the season. I didn't think we played particularly well up until basically innings 9-14. There were some really, really good things. This was Reilly Hovis's coming out party tonight. It's amazing - and Zach Daly.
"So we played 58 games and now we might get some things that we didn't know about for the regionals coming up or maybe tomorrow or Sunday if we're that fortunate. So there's all kinds of things as you go through this game that you can say, 'Wow.' Reilly was sensational. He was sensational and he hadn't been in that environment before... Momentum's still just pitch to pitch. As soon as [Carlos] Rodon gets out and throws the first pitch about 94-95 in the twilight and our guys can't see it, the momentum will go back and forth. It will be just a great experience and great environment, though."
How is the bullpen heading into tomorrow?
"Well, we didn't use Trent Thornton, so there were some thoughts about that, in terms of the game. So we went into the game saying we're not going to use him. And we didn't use Chris Munnelly. And we didn't throw Chris McCue as many pitches as we may have, so from a pitching standpoint, I think we're in pretty good shape and it scripted out sort of like we wanted considering it went five extra innings."
With the changing of the format next year, is it a relief to know that games like this that don't matter won't be an issue?
"I don't know that the format has been totally set for next year. I know there's been a lot of discussion about that. I personally like this format because you get all three of your starters a start, you get a day off. I think most of the coaches in our league like this format. If anybody watched this game tonight and stayed here for five hours, I don't think anybody really thought once the game started that this game really doesn't matter. From my standpoint, it wouldn't have mattered. It was just a great game to be a part of."