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May 24, 2016

Mike Gambino

Joe Cronin

Durham, North Carolina

MIKE GAMBINO: Got a really good chance to see what that lineup is capable of. Those guys, that's a scary lineup they put out there and we knew that after three games with them last weekend. We did our best last weekend to kind of keep the ball in the yard, and today we made a couple mistakes.

There weren't a ton of mistakes me made early on, and every time we did, I felt like they hit it hard. But Jesse did a good job for us and Michael did a good job for us. And we had three chances. You know, they got the hits and their chances, we didn't. I think that's a good start.

Q. What was their pitcher, Brandon Gold, doing against you to be effective?
JOE CRONIN: I thought he did a really good job of just mixing his pitches and throwing everything for strikes. He didn't give us a lot. I don't know how many guys he walked but it seemed like he gave us a lot of free passes.

He mixes his stuff up well, hit his spots. He made pitches when he had to. He made pitches with guys on that we just didn't get the hit, and that was a credit to him for making a good pitch multiple times throughout the game.

Q. Given the way you guys ended the season, do you feel like you've done enough to keep playing, and what will the next few days be like for you guys?
JOE CRONIN: Yeah, I think we have. I think our resumé is good enough, as far as I'm concerned, and I hope everyone else sees that. Obviously in the next couple days, we're going to be watching other games and just getting back home and getting refreshed and getting back to work to prepare ourselves for Monday and then hopefully we get a spot.

But yeah, I do think we have had a good enough year and I think we've got a good enough resumé that I think we deserve a spot. So we'll see.

Q. As a veteran on this team what does it mean to you to have the success that you guys have had this year; to be in the conversation now for the NCAA Tournament and to come here in Durham and experience this tournament, as well?
JOE CRONIN: Yeah, it's been a great ride. I think Coach has talked about all year, my senior class, we struggled a lot early in our career, but we've been building and Coach has been building us up to this point.

To get here feels great. Obviously didn't end the way we wanted it to. We wanted to get three more games. But when you take a step back, yeah, it was good for us as a program, and hopefully the program can continue to build forward. So it does feel good as a senior, and for our class, to get here, because it's what we've wanted to do all four years.

But right now, we just want to keep playing. We don't want it to be over and I don't want it to be over. Right now, it's not great, but hopefully come Monday, we'll get what we really wanted, which was a regional. The tournament's great, but we want to keep playing. We want to play for Omaha.

Q. The way you guys had to fight to get here, sweeping a doubleheader the last day just to get here against that same team, what have you learned kind of about the makeup of this team, and the toughness and resilience and how confident are you that this thing is going to keep going?
MIKE GAMBINO: Yeah, I guess the silver lining today is that three spot in the nine that Georgia Tech put up didn't come last weekend, right.

But I love this ballclub. I love the makeup of this ballclub. We sort of talked about it going into last weekend, having to win two baseball games on a Saturday against one of the best teams in the country to get in the tournament, like we wouldn't want it any other way.

These boys have gotten so much stuff thrown at them throughout the season, throughout the year, throughout their careers. And nothing fazes them. They just keep their heads down and keep playing hard.

This team, we talk about being a family and we talk about a brotherhood. You spend five minutes around these boys and you see that that's the case. That's a huge reason why they can handle that stuff. They had a blast with it. They played those two games, we had a whole season riding on two games and they played with reckless abandon. They almost played like they didn't care, which was fun to watch.

To me, you put that in with the rest of that resumé that we've put up, I think that makes us a really solid team going into the post-season and a team that's got a resumé that can go up against just about anybody.

You look at the teams, we had six series wins out of nine, because we only played Florida State once because of weather. Anybody else in the SEC and ACC that have won six of their conference series, they are going to host.

I know that we are not a team that we're talking about hosting, but to me if everybody else that's in the same category that we are is hosting regionals, that's got to put us in, doesn't it.

Q. You guys had nine hits today, seven against Gold. What did you see him do in those tough situations that kept you guys from getting across, and what did you see in your hitters in those spots?
MIKE GAMBINO: You know what I want to say, the kid we were facing, he was awesome, but any time he got in any trouble he was awesome. Complete poise, executing his pitches. Any mistake they made during that game was not -- there was nobody in scoring position. It was unbelievable.

You look at, we just got blanked. But Brandon Gold has got a .22 in the ACC, and Matt Gorst I don't even think that can be real, he's got a .43. That's insane. Yeah we didn't get a run but two premium, premium ACC arms. If you can put a 22 and a .43 in the best baseball conference in the country, it's pretty hard to score runs against those boys.

I thought Gold was unbelievable today. Obviously we faced him Thursday, and we got to him early and he did the same thing. We got to him early, it was like just about -- we just had that chance to get him out of the game; twice he made big pitches in big spots and all of the sudden he settled in, we couldn't get something going again.

If you're Georgia Tech, you've got to feel pretty confident going into a regional with him throwing Game 1.

Q. You came into this year with some expectations, a lot of guys coming back, some good pitching on the mound. How does this team now compare to the team that you kind of thought you were getting coming into the year?
MIKE GAMBINO: That's a good question. We've talked about it for a couple years here as we were building -- we were going to build around pitching and defense, and that's kind of what you see this year.

We all believed, we thought we were a team that we would go to the regional last year. Within a two-week stretch, we lose a first round bat and our Friday night starter, and that was too much to recover from. We sort of thought we were a team that was good enough to play in the post-season last year until those injuries happens.

So to see this team do this this year, I'm not surprised. And honestly, if you go back five years when we started recruiting these boys, that's what we talked about. We start with character and makeup in this program. I believe character wins, right, so recruit high-character kids and help develop that character while they are here. And when you fill a clubhouse with that, that's why you have what I believe is a special group of young men in there.

One quick thing. We had a really good screw of parents and fans out there, and a lot came out wearing the Freight Train stuff. Felt like Pete was here today. I want to thank all of them for coming out. That was really cool.

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