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May 22, 2015

Brian O'Connor

Brandon Waddell


Notre Dame テや 8
Virginia - 2

HEAD COACH BRIAN O'CONNOR:テつ Credit to Notre Dame.テつ Certainly Brandon Waddell has pitched better the last few weeks than he did today.テつ But all the credit goes to Notre Dame, because they certainly capitalized on our mistakes.テつ Whether it was walks or not handling the baseball defensively.テつ They did a good job of capitalizing on a few of those opportunities.
So I certainly ‑‑ we've played much better baseball the last three weeks than we did today.テつ But that doesn't take anything away from certainly what Notre Dame did.テつ And their starting pitcher, I can see why he's 9 & 0 now.テつ And has got the numbers he does.テつ He's very, very quick to the plate.テつ He's difficult to get timing and rhythm off of to hit.テつ He uses that as his extent.テつ And he's a very, very difficult guy to square a lot of balls up on.テつ You look at him statistically and you'd say he doesn't have a lot of strikeouts.テつ How does he do it?テつ Well, he does it by working very, very fast, filling the strike zone and changing speeds.テつ The kid pitched another terrific ballgame against us.テつ

Q.テつ Coach touched on it, but what made their starting pitcher so difficult to kind of go against offensively?テつ
BRANDON WADDELL:テつ Yeah, he stayed down in the zone.テつ He mixed his pitches very well.テつ And he attacked with strikes.テつ Like coach said he was quick to the plate.テつ That might have had a little effect on us being on time.テつ But we got to correct that ourselves.テつ And we got to attack.テつ Like I said, he was down in the zone and he did a really good job for them.テつ

Q.テつ You got out of the first inning giving up only one run.テつ But I'm sure that wasn't the start you'd wanted.テつ Was there any carry over from that first inning for you?
BRANDON WADDELL:テつ I wouldn't say there was any carry over.テつ As a pitcher it's something you learn, to move on and not carry anything over from inning to inning.
The thing with the first inning, the start of your job really sets the tone for the ballgame, sets the tone for your team.テつ That's something I failed to do.テつ Three walks in the first inning, especially, you can't expect results from that.
I have to do a better job of controlling the offense.

Q.テつ You mentioned the two walks in the first inning, why did you have so much trouble with your control and command early on in the ballgame?テつ
BRANDON WADDELL:テつ You know, I think I might have been maybe trying to be a little bit too fine, instead of just going out and attacking guys.テつ I'm not going to say that ‑‑ I felt like I was making for the most part quality pitches, I didn't make pitches when I needed to.

Q.テつ For both the players, you guys ended the regular season with a lot of momentum in the pool play.テつ What do you feel like the mindset and is the mood of the team is as you get ready for NCAA's?
BRANDON WADDELL:テつ I don't think the tone changed.テつ We've been playing really good ball the last couple of weeks.テつ Because we've had two rough games, it doesn't characterize our team.テつ We're looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow and proving what we are as a team and who we are, and we're going to show how we respond.テつ And I think that will prove the character I of our team.テつ
BRANDON WADDELL:テつ Exactly what he said.テつ Our confidence hasn't wavered at all.テつ We still have complete confidence in all our guys.テつ We know what you're capable of and know our expectations.テつ Nothing has really changed.

Q.テつ How frustrating was it to get that strikeout in I guess it was the third inning, and you're basically out of the inning, and then it extends there?テつ
BRANDON WADDELL:テつ It's something you can't get frustrated about, to be honest.テつ It's part of the game.テつ He came right out after it happened and I'm like, look, I've got you, we'll pick each other up.テつ I think it's what defines a team.テつ How you pick each other up, pick guys up.テつ You're not going to get it done every time you want to.テつ I think that's what makes good quality teams, good teams, you pick each other up.テつ So I think it's something that you can look at and get frustrated by it but the results aren't going to change.テつ So it's something that you've got to keep going through and keep making pitches.

Q.テつ For both pitchers, both players, just the way you guys got on the winning streak coming down here and kind of reversed things.テつ I guess you were kind of up in the air toward the end of the regular season when you lost to Duke, when they had that six run come back.テつ Just the way you've finished up to this point, what does that mean to you guys?テつ
BRANDON WADDELL:テつ It was big for us to finish the year, the regular season like that.テつ Brought a lot of confidence and momentum into the postseason.テつ That's been the biggest thing for us, just to keep it going.テつ Kind of like he said earlier, we've got another chance to come out tomorrow and show how we respond and show what we're made of.テつ

Q.テつ Coach, quite a bit of a strange play the ninth inning, third baseman on a high throw and Robbie tried to touch it and tried to tag, what was the discussion with them?テつ What did the umpire explain to you?
HEAD COACH BRIAN O'CONNOR:テつ I didn't really ask for an explanation.テつ I just asked if he had a good look at it.テつ By the rules he's not allowed to get help on that particular play.テつ So I just asked him if he for sure had a good look at.テつ And he had thought that his foot was down on the bag before the tag was applied.テつ It's part of the game.テつ Barry Chambers is one of the best umpires in this country.テつ So it's a bang, bang play.テつ But I have a responsibility to go out and ask the right questions.テつ

Q.テつ If Miami had won tonight you might have been in the same situation, but now you're out of contention for the championship.テつ What is the importance of tomorrow night's game then for you?
HEAD COACH BRIAN O'CONNOR:テつ Well, I think it's really important from this standpoint, that we have an opportunity, like Matt said, to go out there and respond.テつ And the way that we played the game today is not Virginia baseball.テつ And we have an opportunity tomorrow to come out and show what we're made of.テつ And that we may not win the game, but we have a chance to come out and play the game the right way.テつ And we look forward to that opportunity tomorrow night.テつ

Q.テつ I believe it was the seventh inning or maybe in the ninth inning, you switched Matt and Robbie.テつ What went into that decision?
HEAD COACH BRIAN O'CONNOR:テつ Well, Robbie Coleman has caught every inning for us since Georgia Tech when Matt got hurt.テつ And literally every in being since then, and that's been about, I don't know, what, maybe six weeks or so.テつ And he's worn down little bit.テつ And so I just felt like at that point it was time to make a switch.テつ And nothing more than that.テつ

Q.テつ (No microphone)
HEAD COACH BRIAN O'CONNOR:テつ You know, we will start one of two left‑handed pitchers, Adam Haseley or David Rosenberger.テつ Coach and I will discuss that this afternoon.テつ Adam Haseley started Game 3 at North Carolina, just went a couple of innings, so he's fresh and ready to go.テつ Both of those guys are, and neither one of them has pitched thus far.テつ It will be one of those two left‑hand pitchers.

Q.テつ Brandon's pitch count got high pretty early, are what were your thoughts about how far to go with him?
HEAD COACH BRIAN O'CONNOR:テつ The last batter we faced, we were looking at that he was going to need to go with the game tomorrow, that we know he needed to play, and also, too, not knowing whether we'd still an opportunity to play in the championship game on Sunday, he was going to go in the 120 pitch range.テつ So we weren't going to go any farther.テつ I think he threw a few pitches over that.テつ We have a ton of confidence in him.テつ He's pitched deep into his starts the last four starts.テつ He's pitched really deep into the ballgame.テつ And he's certainly done a tremendous job for us in his career, special we have a lot of confidence in him no matter what the situation is.

Q.テつ Just to follow up on the pitching, are you thinking of using Josh in the rotation next week in the regional?テつ
HEAD COACH BRIAN O'CONNOR:テつ I am not, no.テつ If we're in that position, Josh Storz will go back to the bullpen.テつ I spoke about it a little bit last night, given the situation that we were in, having to play that play in game, it was really the only move that I felt that we had to make.テつ And so he'll go back in the bullpen for us next weekend.テつ

Q.テつ Sort of touching base on what you said after that Duke loss that these guys would show what they're made of.テつ How did you like the way they responded and how do you feel about the team heading into NCAA tournament?
HEAD COACH BRIAN O'CONNOR:テつ I love the way that we responded two weeks ago against Duke, after that difficult loss.テつ The players would say the same thing that I'm going to say, none of us are happy with the way that we played today.テつ That's not taking anything away from Notre Dame.テつ But not throwing strikes and not handling the baseball is not our game.テつ And so that's why I'm excited for an opportunity tomorrow night for us to come out and play a good, clean baseball game.
You know, what, I've had a couple of people ask me on the side and I think it's best to address it right here regarding Nathan Kirby's status.テつ I don't want to mince words or anything like that.テつ He has been throwing.テつ He does feel good at this point.テつ People have asked me whether or not if we play next weekend, whether or not he would be an option.テつ As of right now he would be.テつ But I don't know how the next five or six days go.テつ But he feels good and he's throwing.テつ And we'll evaluate it as we move forward.テつ But he looks very good in his throwing program.テつ

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