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May 22, 2015

Tyler Krieger

Jack Leggett

Kris Okey


North Carolina – 6
Clemson - 3

HEAD COACH JACK LEGGETT:  A tough ballgame.  Just a good ballclub.  They took advantage of the opportunities we gave them a little bit in the third and fourth inning.  And they made their hits count.
We had some good offensive opportunities and we just pieced them together at the right time, kind of like what happened to us on Wednesday night.  They played well.  They played a little better than we did.  A little shaky defensively and just gave them a little bit too many opportunities and a good team will take advantage of it.  But guys battled out there.  We got ourselves back in a situation where we had some opportunities to win the ballgame at the end. 

Q.  A tough loss for you.  How do you feel about the state of things after this week and where you guys are as a team? 
TYLER KRIEGER:  You know, I believe in this ballclub.  I believe in my teammates and I believe in my coaches.  And I believe we can play with anybody in the country.  It's kind of out of our hands at this point what happens and we'll be watching Monday.  But I believe what we have as a team and a program.  And I look forward to hopefully having an opportunity. 
KRIS OKEY:  What he said.  We will watch Monday.  But I trust everything we have, coaches, players and teammates have played hard.  It's out of our control, like he said.  We're going to wait and find out on Monday. 

Q.  What did you guys think were the big issues in today's ballgame?  I know there were a lot of missed keys in the field. 
KRIS OKEY:  We made some mistakes that we shouldn't have, but we put ourselves back in the situation where we made up for them.  Definitely UNC played a fantastic game.  We put ourselves in situations that we couldn't cap lies on and they took care of that your opportunities, too. 
TYLER KRIEGER:  All three faces of the game could have been tighter.  We didn't play as good enough defense as we could.  And we didn't push the ball as well as we could have.  But we've got to learn from it and hopefully have the opportunity to build on it, and keep moving forward. 

Q.  Wednesday you played early, yesterday you had clouds.  So you didn't see the late afternoon sun until today.  How difficult was that sun out there today? 
TYLER KRIEGER:  Beautiful ballpark.  Great infield, great grass.  The sun obviously was tough, but it's part of the game.  Both teams had it.  And we just got to find a way to deal with that.  But overall thanks for being a good host.

Q.  Tyler, what will you guys do the next few days, and what will your mindset be, kind of stay relaxed or how do you handle the weight until Monday? 
TYLER KRIEGER:  You drive home and get better every single day.  You assume an opportunity.  I don't think you sit there and think that you're never going to get an opportunity.  I always think optimistically good things are going to happen to good people.  I believe we have a lot of good people in this program.  I'll be waiting until Monday, but find ways to keep getting better, so I have an opportunity to keep playing.

Q.  Both of you guys, and obviously it was an up and down season, but you played well down the stretch.  Put yourself in a position that maybe be in the Regional.  What do you think was the biggest thing down the stretch? 
TYLER KRIEGER:  You know, I think honestly it's just baseball.  Sometimes even though we were playing good, we just didn't have things go our way.  It's having patience, letting the game find you, letting success find you and not pressing.  I think down the stretch we came together as a team and just kind of let success find us.  Played a little looser.  Better instincts.  I like the way we're playing.  I think if we get another opportunity it would be a fun time. 
KRIS OKEY:  Everything he said I agree with.  We played hard no matter what the circumstances were.  We trusted each other, and trusted what we were doing.  We kept doing what we know we can do.  And it came along.  It came a long way for us.  We've been playing really well.  And like he said, I think if we get another opportunity we're going to shine.

Q.  What does it say about your team the way that you guys tried to come back in the middle part of the ballgame?  Tyler, I think you had an RBI, can you talk about that? 
TYLER KRIEGER:  In the game of baseball you're never out of the game.  So you just have to keep looking for opportunities, keep plugging away.  And hopefully take some shots when you get them.  Obviously we didn't convert today as well as we could have, and that's kind of the name of the game.  Yesterday we did and today we didn't.  That's just part of the game.  We have to learn from it and move on and hopefully get some more opportunities. 

Q.  You mentioned yesterday you feel like you guys deserve to be in a Regional.  Any more thoughts on that after today's performance, I assume it's pretty much the same answer?
HEAD COACH JACK LEGGETT:  It's the same answer.  I think we're deserving and we're a good enough team.  Body of work, we had some rough edges early, mid week.  But on the weekends we've got some starting pitching, we've got some good baseball players.  And we've got some guys that feel like we get in the Regional and get in an opportunity, I think we could be a tough team to play. 
But I think we've done some good things against some top ten teams.  We've played formidable on the road against teams that are top ten.  We played 4 & 0 on the road against teams that are top ten.  Our strength of schedule has been extremely tough this year.  And we play in an extremely tough conference.  This tournament we play is, the eight teams that are in here, all exceptional teams and all good players and deserve go to keep on playing in a 64 team tournament, my opinion.
But I really think that we've got a good opportunity to play, and hopefully that will happen to us on Monday.  We'll be playing ‑‑ like Tyler said we'll be playing and preparing for an opportunity next weekend.  And hopefully that comes in our way. 

Q.  Do you think what went on in the third kind of rattled Jake going into the fourth?
HEAD COACH JACK LEGGETT:  Yeah, Jake was having a little bit of trouble, obviously just working behind in the count.  And we dodged a few bullets.  And we weren't able to dodge them ‑‑ we gave them a couple of opportunities, more than what the three outs would normally call for in a third inning.  And got into a tough count with Skye Bolt and he did exactly what a good player should do with three two fastball that was in the wrong spot.  But leading up to that we were in a pretty good place. 
Their kid did a really good job.  Their freshman pitcher is a good pitcher.  The last time we saw him, I think these guys would agree, he didn't have as good a breaking ball as he had today, he had a much better slider today.  He's developed over the course of the season from throwing extremely hard early, still throwing hard but with a better breaking ball.  He was tough.  He's got some good poise for a freshmen.  So we had a little trouble solving that.  We were hoping that we could some relief pitching a little bit.
So I think that the third and fourth inning were the rough spots without question.  And we did have some opportunities and I a big hit here and there might have changed the game little bit.  But like Tyler said yesterday we got them and the day before we didn't get them.  And the weekend before we were getting them all the time.  So baseball is a tough game that way.  And there's a lot of good pitching in their conference, they made some big pitches when they had to make them, give them credit.  And they got a big hit or two when they had to.  I think in all the games we played we outhit our opponents, it's just a matter of getting them at the right time and getting the right men on base, and so forth.  It happened to us on Wednesday, and it happened today.  And we did it yesterday. 

Q.  You mentioned the freshmen boys from Bukauskas, but also you got some pretty solid innings from Barnes there today?
HEAD COACH JACK LEGGETT:  Yes, it was good. 

Q.  The back of your rotation mix is sort of up in the air I would say.  Would you agree with that and sort of next week, if you guys were to make a Regional, how do you kind of plan for things and based off of what you saw this week? 
HEAD COACH JACK LEGGETT:  Well, our first two guys obviously were really good, Crownover and Zack Erwin, and Jake Long has been pitching well.  He battles for us all the time.  He's a competitor.  He was working a little bit behind the counted today and getting away with it a little bit, and didn't quite get away with it enough.  He always battles for us.
Charlie pitched really well for us.  He came in and cooled things down for a while during the middle innings, which was great for us. 
And Pat Krall doing what he did today in the inning he pitched, he's been doing that all season long for us, he's been really valuable to us.  Just had a little trouble third and fourth inning.

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