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May 20, 2015

Garrett Kennedy

Jim Morris

David Thompson


Miami – 9
Virginia – 5

HEAD COACH JIM MORRIS:  Well, first of all, it's a great game.  Virginia has a really good club and they've been very, very tough on us.  They've been one of the best clubs in the ACC for a while.  They've done a great job of coaching, getting players.  So for us to come back today like that win was a huge effort by our guys after we surrendered a lead there in the sixth inning.  There was a great effort to come back and put that 8 spot up or 7 spot up.  A lot of guys contributed to that.  Of course both these guys, a home run and David with the game‑winning hit, Chris Barr with the big hit to get there, or Heyward, who hadn't had a hit since the second inning and he got our first hit to get all that going.  So it was a big effort by a lot of guys.  Our bullpen did a good job of coming in and stopping them.  So again, it was a team effort for us and that's what's enabled us to win 13 games in a row, playing well.

Q.  For both the players, how much fun is it to be part of an inning like that eighth inning where it seemed like you guys could do no wrong?
DAVID THOMPSON:  It doesn't get any better than that.  Coach Morris brought us together right before the inning started and told us, you know, we can score some runs here, we've just got to stay confident, stay positive and have some fun.  That's what we did.  Jacob did a great job getting the inning started and we just kept pouring it on from there.
GARRETT KENNEDY:  I agree with him.  The hitting is contagious, just like he said.  Jacob getting it going and Chris Barr hitting the ball in the gap.  We're kind of up there, putting good swings on balls and we're able to score a few runs.

Q.  Does Coach always kind of give you those little pep talks between innings or was that unusual?
DAVID THOMPSON:  No, it's not like an every game thing, but when he thinks we need one, we always get one.
HEAD COACH JIM MORRIS:  Wish it worked every time.

Q.  For both of you, is this just sometimes when you're hot you're hot?  You guys now I think have won 13 in a row.  Is this maybe just a product of that, just, you know, you guys would eventually get it going and crack that thing?
GARRETT KENNEDY:  I just think we have confidence in ourselves.  You know, we never think that the game's over.  No matter if we're in the bottom of the ninth, two outs, we're going to go up there and battle, we're going to put good swings on pitches and that's what we're going to do.

Q.  David, it looked like at your at‑bat on the home run he had you out front a couple times.  Can you go through that at‑bat a little bit and also comment when they took Jones out, what were you guys thinking offensively to get into their bullpen?
DAVID THOMPSON:  Well, on that at‑bat I had two strikes on me, just trying to put the ball in play.  I was still out in front of that ball I hit, I just kept my hands back and stuck my butt out and poked it over the shortstop's head.  Connor, he's a great pitcher, just kept us off balance all game, throwing everything for strikes.  He's been real tough on us twice this year, so we were all very excited when he came out of the game.

Q.  What was kind of he doing so well that kept you guys off balance for the first seven innings?
GARRETT KENNEDY:  Well, he's getting ahead, he's going to come right after you.  Like he said, keeping us off balance, throwing his slider, throwing his fastball, he was mixing a few curveballs in and out, up and down.  He was just pitching well.  Like when you have a good guy like that they're going to be able to stay around the zone all game.

Q.  You guys have played enough baseball in your lives, I mean to win 13 in a row is hard to do at any level.  Did you think at any point today it's just not our day?
DAVID THOMPSON:  If I said I didn't, I'd be lying, so yeah, I think everyone had a little thought about that.  But at the same time we knew that we have what it takes to come back and we've come back a lot this year and it was just a great comeback win for us.
GARRETT KENNEDY:  I agree with him.  Like we went out there and we're going to give it our best effort every time, you know.  He's a good pitcher and he went out there, but I think we stayed out there and battled.

Q.  On the three‑run home run that really put an exclamation point to that seven‑run inning, what was the pitch that you got and what was your thought process through that at‑bat?
GARRETT KENNEDY:  He threw a fast ball up in the zone the pitch before and I swung through it.  So I just kind of thought that he may come back with it and I wasn't going to let it beat me that second time.  So he threw the fast ball again just a little up in the zone.

Q.  Jim, the amount of runs you've scored but was today was just a gut check kind of game for you guys?
HEAD COACH JIM MORRIS:  I expected this game to be a 2‑1, 3‑2 game.  This guy Connor's got great stuff.  He gets ahead but he's got great stuff even when he misses with pitches.  His stuff's really, really good; it's as good as anybody in the league.  And outside fastball, a good hard‑breaking ball and we just got a bunch of runs there at the end.  But other than that, it was probably neither one of us should have scored a couple runs that we scored because both of us made a couple errors, let a couple runs in because both pitchers pitched very well and he's got good stuff.  So we were fortunate to get hot there in the eighth inning to score all those runs and put some hits back to back.

Q.  Over your distinguished career you've run into these days where your guys boot the ball around a little bit like Virginia did.  What do you do in a situation like that because you don't want to talk about it, but I mean, I think every run you guys got started with, you know, a bad throw or an error, something like that.  You know the price you pay for that.  What do you tell your guys when that happened?
HEAD COACH JIM MORRIS:  I mean, we did the same thing.  We gave them opportunity there, made an error in the inning where they scored their three runs, so same thing happens.  You've just try to get the guys to stay confident, keep working on them, make sure they work hard in practice and try to overcome that.  As an infielder and a former shortstop, I made one or two errors in my day, so I can relate to that.  And the fact is, you've got to work through it as a player and the only thing you can do is talk to them about working through it and being positive and forget about yesterday.  I think that applies to either team really, or any player I've had.  I've coached a long, long time, but a big part of this game's a mental part of the game whether it's hitting or catching a ground ball, so it's a definite mental part of this game just to win.

Q.  Going back to your apparently magical pep talk, did you see something in Connor wearing down or did you just give that because you needed some runs at that point?
HEAD COACH JIM MORRIS:  After he hit that three‑run homer, the pitch went dead like we couldn't score runs dead.  We've been averaging nine runs or something like that over the last month and I just reminded them of that in that situation.  Hey, we've scored a lot of runs, we're not beaten yet, we're down one run, and they get two more so now we're down three and I'm thinking can we get four.  The real deal is we've been putting up runs and we've been doing it as a team.  It hasn't been one guy.  Both these guys have had great years.  A lot of guys have put it up (inaudible.)

Q.  Jim, I want to ask you when David did come up, he's been so hot recently, were you kind of licking your chops going this is the guy I want up at the plate at this moment?
HEAD COACH JIM MORRIS:  Well, in all honesty, he's had a great year and I think he should have been the Player of the Year of the conference.  I don't know whether I should say that or not, because he's had a great year.  I told him that one‑on‑one and I believe that.  The guy leads the nation in RBIs.  Hey, you want him to play, no question about that.  So it was great to see him up there in that situation and he got the big hit for us like he's been doing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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