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ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP


May 20, 2015


Connor Jones

Brian O'Connor

Kenny Towns


GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA

Miami テや 9
Virginia テや 5


HEAD COACH BRIAN O'CONNOR:テつ Certainly the end of that ballgame was difficult and frustrating.テつ You know, I was proud of our guys how we hung in there through most of the game and figured out a way to get three runs certainly on Kenny's 's three‑run home run in the sixth inning.テつ I thought Connor Jones did just a terrific job.テつ Again, he continues to pitch very, very well for us.テつ Miami's got a terrific offensive ball club.テつ They've got‑‑ their middle of the order's got a lot of home runs, a lot of RBIs.テつ Certainly they have some guys with speed and we were hoping that we could put them away but we just couldn't do it.テつ And credit them.テつ They battled.テつ We had one out, nobody on in the eighth inning and they found a way to get seven runs.テつ They certainly have a very, very good, talented offensive ball club.テつ We'll have to regroup.テつ Tomorrow we have an off day.テつ We'll practice and then we'll be back at it on Friday.

Q.テつ Connor, talk a little bit about mentioning or Coach mentioned again through that offense, they came in here red hot.テつ What things were (inaudible.)テつ I'm sure you felt confident with two men on as you left the mound there.テつ What's running through your head?
CONNOR JONES:テつ (Inaudible)テつ Obviously they've shown that over the past couple weekends.テつ But I felt like I made the pitches that were called, felt like we kept them off balance pretty well, and just let the defense play well behind us.テつ I tried to give them the ball as much as possible and I felt like we did a good job of that today.

Q.テつ Kenny, offensively for you guys, first tell us what happened on the home run, what did you get, what did you hit?テつ
KENNY TOWNS:テつ I got a fastball up in the zone.

Q.テつ This offense has been on a roll.テつ Did you feel like after your hit and Joe's two‑run double that it was another good day, or was this a little bit harder to kind of scrap out some at‑bats?テつ
KENNY TOWNS:テつ I mean, early in the game we weren't getting as many good swings as we would like to, but I think later in the game, that sixth inning I think Danny had a really good approach and got a couple hits and got us going.テつ So we kind of stuck to our approach and we were able to get some runs on the board.テつ Obviously it's kind of tough to take that loss, but I think we did some good things offensively against a good team who's been playing well.

Q.テつ Connor, going into the eighth inning you guys got two more runs to add to your lead.テつ What was your thought process going into that eighth inning?
CONNOR JONES:テつ Yeah, those two runs were huge for us.テつ The more insurance runs you can get just makes it that much better for us.テつ Really, I was just trying to get back in the dugout as fast as possible, you know.テつ Throw strikes, put it in play, get us back in the dugout and let us go to work again.テつ That was the whole approach.

Q.テつ Connor, another quality start.テつ Is it just a matter of you just really have a lot of momentum right now?テつ All these quality starts have come since Nathan's injury and you've really stepped up (audio interruption) the timing of it all or is it just a matter of you're just pitching well?
CONNOR JONES:テつ No, I think certainly I felt like I was getting better every start despite what the box score said, but I knew I had to step up.テつ And you never want Nathan to be injured, but that was kind of a smack in the face, you know, it's really time to take it to the next level.テつ I think the team's been playing well behind us and we've built a lot of momentum together.

Q.テつ Do you feel like this is kind of a missed opportunity to open up pool play with what would have been a pretty big win?テつ
KENNY TOWNS:テつ Obviously you want to get that win especially against Miami, one of the tougher teams in the pool.テつ If we get that win we put ourselves in a good chance to kind of move on.テつ Obviously we're going to take that loss hard, but we've got to go out there and we've still got two games left and we've got to take those as seriously as we did the one today and give ourselves a chance to at least make it to the next round.テつ
CONNOR JONES:テつ Yeah, I was really proud of how we battled today as a team.テつ I thought we really grinded our way through it.テつ I think we did a lot of really good things today offensively and defensively, and I know we have an off day tomorrow.テつ We're not going to hang our heads about it and we're going to come back out and be ready to compete on Friday.

Q.テつ I'm told we won't see you tomorrow in the off day, so Notre Dame, the next matchup, can you size up that opponent?テつ Obviously you're familiar with them from the regular season.テつ
KENNY TOWNS:テつ Yeah, we had a good series against them earlier in the season.テつ Not sure like who we're facing or who's starting against them, but I'm sure we'll get that figured out tomorrow and we'll kind of go from there and figure it out.テつ I think we're playing well.テつ Regardless of the loss today, we're playing well so I think we can still use that momentum and go out there and give Notre Dame a good bite.テつ
CONNOR JONES:テつ I think we're certainly playing well.テつ They're definitely not a team to be taken lightly, looking at the recent series they've had with Florida State and North Carolina.テつ So I think we're going to go out there and compete and play the good kind of baseball we've been playing lately.

Q.テつ Connor, compare your outing today, one of your best outings.テつ (inaudible) against that lineup just is phenomenal.テつ How did that compare with your best stuff this year?テつテつ
CONNOR JONES:テつ I don't know. テつTo be honest, I didn't even know that was the case until you just said it.テつ It felt like I was‑‑ you know, when things are going like that you don't even notice they're happening, but it felt pretty consistent with how I've been throwing lately so I was pretty pleased in that aspect.

Q.テつ Brian, when you walked out of the dugout to take Conner out, had you made your mind up?テつ Did you think about asking him how he felt or had you already made your mind up?テつテつ
HEAD COACH BRIAN O'CONNOR:テつ No, I already made in a decision that we were going to go to the bullpen there.テつ The plan was to go to Kevin Doherty no matter what for one batter no matter what the result was, and then go to Alec Bettinger.テつ Connor had done his job and pitched a fantastic ballgame.

Q.テつ Obviously, Coach, that eighth inning was tough.テつ What was your thought process as the inning developed?
HEAD COACH BRIAN O'CONNOR:テつ Well, I don't know.テつ Just hoping maybe that they would hit it at somebody, maybe we would roll a double play.テつ You know, the guys that we put in the game (audio interruption.)テつ So I had a lot of confidence in them, and when you're playing a really good offensive ball club like Miami is or anybody else, you know, you've got to make your pitches.テつ And if you don't make your pitches, they're going to make you pay, and certainly Miami did.

Q.テつ Coach, you guys have had to go with a backs‑against‑the‑wall mentality a lot recently.テつ How do you use that moving forward in pool play?
HEAD COACH BRIAN O'CONNOR:テつ Well, you just don't know what your opportunity is.テつ This doesn't eliminate us from the championship game yet, I don't think so.テつ I don't know the rules well enough, quite frankly.テつ So we'll just‑‑ we're in a situation that we have to win on Friday to give ourselves a chance and we'll come out here with the same kind of mentality and give ourselves the best chance to win.

Q.テつ Brian, these last 10 games, I mean, you're two innings away from having a 10‑game‑winning streak right now, so I guess confidence is still probably pretty high.テつ But also do you look at those two innings that both came after the seventh, obviously Duke in the ninth and then today in the eighth, just an effective moving Josh in the bullpen, some guys are growing up there a little bit learning on the run.
HEAD COACH BRIAN O'CONNOR:テつ I mean, certainly we've had Josh as our closer most of the year for a reason, because we thought that he was going to be really good for us in that role, and I believe he has 14 or 15 saves and he is really good in that role.テつ But given our situation that we put ourselves in throughout the whole year, we had to play a ballgame yesterday and I didn't want to pitch Connor Jones yesterday; not that I didn't have confidence in him, I just didn't want to pitch him on four days rest, I just didn't think it was the right thing to do by him.テつ So it forced our hand to do what we did.テつ Alec Bettinger's done a terrific job for us this year, he really has.テつ Kevin Doherty pitched three shutouts innings at North Carolina to finish up Game 3 there, so we're fine.テつ It's two ball games in the last 10.テつ I look at the eight that we won that we played pretty darn well and finished off whoever we played.

Q.テつ When you look at Notre Dame, the success you had against them in the regular season (audio interruption.)
HEAD COACH BRIAN O'CONNOR:テつ I'm sure they're a different ball club than they were that weekend and I think so are we.テつ Both ball clubs have probably grown up a little bit.テつ They've earned the right to have the position that they do in this league.テつ They had a really terrific regular season.テつ So we'll come out and be ready to play, and hopefully we can have the same enthusiasm and I believe that we will.テつテつ

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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