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ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP


May 21, 2015


Kyle Funkhouser

Dan McDonnell


GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA

Clemson テや 7
Louisville テや 2


MODERATOR:テつ Joining us this afternoon or this evening are Head Coach Dan McDonnell and Kyle Funkhouser.テつ Coach, if you could start off with an opening statement.
HEAD COACH DAN McDONNELL:テつ Yeah, congratulate Clemson, obviously they played very well.テつ Got a great start on the mound and offensively they were very tough.テつ And defensively I just thought they played better than us in all three areas.テつ They've got a good club, very good offense, and we just, you know, fell behind early and it was an uphill battle from there and we let Zack settle in and made it very tough on us.
MODERATOR:テつ Questions for the student‑athlete?

Q.テつ Kyle, I'm sure this is an outing that you would like to forget, but could you just explain what was going on on the mound?
KYLE FUNKHOUSER:テつ Yeah, you know, another pretty bad start by me, I realize that.テつ Just didn't really make a lot of quality pitches early, and like Coach said, they're a good offense and they made me pay for it.

Q.テつ Kyle, you've had struggles I guess recently in the first inning.テつ Is there something different about your pregame routine or is it just kind of one of those things that comes around?
KYLE FUNKHOUSER:テつ I just think it's one of those things I need to kind of get over the hump with.テつ Felt good again in warmups today, even in the bullpen everything felt good, throwing a lot of strikes, hitting a lot of spots.テつ I don't know, just going out there, like you said, just seemed to get off to a slow start and obviously we need to change that.

Q.テつ You guys got some ground balls in the first inning you couldn't really convert defensively.テつ The defense came around as the game went along, but thoughts on how your defense was today and what you guys need to do to be better?
HEAD COACH DAN McDONNELL:テつ Yeah, postseason play, the guys hear me say it all the time, it's about throwing strikes, making plays and a timely hit, quality at‑bats.テつ Again, I give Clemson a lot of credit, I think they beat us in all three areas tonight.テつ There was a couple ground balls we didn't make plays, there was a couple fly balls we didn't make plays.テつ Offensively we had a chance early, we had a nice two‑out rally there in the second and we left second and third, we struck out.テつ Then in the third we had first and second, nobody out, with our 3, 4, 5 hole hitters up and I think we got a weak ground ball and two strikeouts.テつ So we did not play tournament baseball, or at least winning tournament baseball today.テつ But again, I give Clemson a lot of credit because we had our chance to get to their starter early and we didn't, and he settled in with a lead and he was able to pitch with a lot of confidence and they played with a lot of confidence.
MODERATOR:テつ Take questions for Coach.

Q.テつ Coach, what was it that you saw out of Erwin that he was able to do to kind of keep you guys off balance?
HEAD COACH DAN McDONNELL:テつ You know, left‑handed and you throw 90miles an hour, you've got a chance to pitch for a while.テつ He's a talented pitcher.テつ Like I said, you know, could have been a different game if we got a two‑out hit there in the second and just in the third, he did a good job, he kept us off balance.テつ Looked like we were trying to jerk the ball, pull the ball a little bit.テつ And we didn't do a good job of staying on the ball, we didn't do a good job of moving the ball.テつ I thought their at‑bat by Krieger where he hit it over Lucas' head was kind of the symbol of the day.テつ They did a great job of staying on the ball, moving the ball, going the other way with it.テつ We didn't do that.テつ We pulled off some bad strikeouts, what I call bad strikeouts in situations where we try to get our kids to stay on the ball and move it.テつ But again, you've always got to give credit to their guy because he's a talented pitcher, he's had a really good year, and unfortunately we just didn't get to him early when we had our chances.

Q.テつ Coach, Nick Solak and Ryan Summers are the only two guys in your lineup that had multi‑hits today.テつ Could you talk about their performance?
HEAD COACH DAN McDONNELL:テつ Nick, we feel Nick's one of the best hitters in the country, not just on our team.テつ I mean, he's a rock, quality at‑bats every game, can handle all pitchers, velocity, sidewinders, you name it.テつ Summers has had success against lefties.テつ Summers has had good at‑bats against lefties, so any time we get an opportunity to put him in the lineup.テつ And he faced Erwin earlier in the season, had good at‑bats.テつ But you know, today the story was lack of quality at‑bats on our part and too many strikeouts.テつ I'm looking at zero walks offensively and 11 strikeouts.テつ That's the formula for a bad offensive day.

Q.テつ And then following up with that, Summers came in, recruited as a catcher and you converted him to centerfield.テつ Can you talk about that a little bit as well?
HEAD COACH DAN McDONNELL:テつ Yeah, he was a unique centerfielder‑catcher.テつ You don't see a lot of those combinations.テつ He's just a great athlete.テつ With Will and Colby back there, he's kind of emerged more as an outfielder for us.テつ We like our depth in the outfield.テつ We rotate guys and we've moved Nick Solak out there, who's really an infielder.テつ But we can start one of three centerfielders and we rotate those guys around.テつ So Summers, you know, is one of our Northeast I call 'em tough hockey players, man.テつ Just plays hard, tough kid and he gave us a good spark today.

Q.テつ Coach, you picked your day off and now you're looking at about 40 hours without baseball and there's only one scenario in which you're not playing for a chance to move to the title game Saturday.テつ What's your and the team's approach?テつ Do you watch the games the next day and a half or do you kind of ignore it and just focus on some downtime?
HEAD COACH DAN McDONNELL:テつ No, we get a chance to practice.テつ I mean, everybody enjoys watching these games.テつ These games are fun.テつ We've got a lot of respect for all the teams here and you feel like they're all going to do damage in the postseason, so we'll try to get a good practice tomorrow.テつ I'm sure we'll watch the games and then get a scouting report for Florida State.テつ Like I told the guys in the outfield, it's pretty simple; in the postseason, when you lose twice, you're done.テつ Similar in bracket play, you know, if you lose two games in a bracket, you have no chance to advance, and then in the regionals, super regionals and so on.テつ So I'm anxious, this is a good test for us, see how we respond.テつ Last year we lost the second game in pool play and we were able to bounce back and we caught a break and we were able to play in the championship.テつ So hopefully we'll come out and play good Saturday.

Q.テつ You mentioned Clemson's confidence.テつ Was this a little bit different team than you saw earlier this month?
HEAD COACH DAN McDONNELL:テつ No, they were tough when we played them earlier.テつ They beat us the first game and we beat them the next two, but close games.テつ They've got a good club, they've got a couple really good starters, and offensively they've got nice balance, they've got a left‑right combination, they've got team speed.テつ I really tip my hat to them today because I thought they took a lot of quality at‑bats.テつ I thought they really competed against, you know, we say one of the top pitchers in the country, and especially with two strikes, they were able to compete and move the ball.テつ And if you put the ball in play, you've got a chance something good could happen and a lot of good things happened for them today.

Q.テつ Falling behind early, again, is that something you're going to try to work on moving forward and prevent that from happening and having to come back?
HEAD COACH DAN McDONNELL:テつ It's definitely not my first choice, I would rather be up three or four runs.テつ But the good news is we are able to come back.テつ And we had a chance.テつ Like I said, even giving up, what, three in the first and we had a chance, we scored one in the second, we could have scored three with a two‑out base hit.テつ And then they scored two, we're down 5‑1, and in the third we got first and second nobody out.テつ So we had our chance but we just fell behind too far and we let those guys settle in.テつ I promise you, we're trying to win the first inning, we're not purposely falling behind.テつ But again, at least we've been there before so if it happens in the postseason, you know, we shouldn't panic, we've just got to compete.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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