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May 25, 2016

Tom Walter

Stuart Fairchild

Durham, North Carolina

Louisville - 9, Wake Forest - 5

TOM WALTER: Need to come in and make better pitches in those situations. We thought we'd score off their bullpen eventually, their starter obviously is very good. You know, I would have liked to have seen us compete a little more offensively. I was disappointed in 17 strikeouts in a game. I know their pitching staff is good, but we've got to do a better job of competing with two strikes and forcing them to play a little more defense than that. Certainly disappointed in our competitive at-bats with two strikes, but if you had told me before the game we were going to score five runs I'd take that against that pitching staff, and if our bullpen throws the ball a little better, probably would have come down to the last inning or two.

Q. Stuart, Coach mentioned you guys wanted to get to their bullpen. Did you feel disappointment in the middle innings when McClure kind of settled in and I think at one point he had like 11 in a row retired?
STUART FAIRCHILD: Yeah, we got off to a good start off of him in the first inning scoring a couple, but he really got into a groove after that. So, really, we just needed to put some more competitive at-bats together, just get his pitch count up a little bit more early so we could've gotten him out of the game sooner. If we could have gotten to the bullpen before we did, who knows what would have happened?

Q. What made him effective tonight, Stuart?
STUART FAIRCHILD: When he settled in, he just started hitting his spots. He was going in and out with his fastball and his breaking ball was to both sides of the plate, as well, for strikes. And he was getting pitches a little bit off the plate I would say. That helped him. But he really was hitting his spots.

Q. Stuart, can you describe the catch, how you were able to pull that one off, and were you a little frustrated you didn't get the one before?
STUART FAIRCHILD: Yeah, the one before I was close to getting, and that kind of fired me up. I wasn't going to let another one get over my head like that. So when I saw that one hit pretty good in the air straight back, I just took off sprinting as fast as I could, and I looked up and I knew I had timed it right, and just scaled the wall and put my glove up there, and what do you know, it went in there.

Q. Tom, what did you see by Breazeale there in the eighth inning, 8-4? What did you see there?
TOM WALTER: Yeah, it was a slowly hit ball, and obviously if I had to do it over again, I probably would have held him, but I thought he was far enough along. I felt like maybe Benny got caught watching the play a little too much. Upon reflection, he was watching the ball get past the shortstop as opposed to putting his head down and running in that situation. If I had to do it over again, obviously I would have stop signed him, but the situation there where we're trying to put another run on the board, get within two runs to where one baserunner, we have the tying run up. I mean, the difference between 3-2 against their closer is a really big difference. So just trying to get another run there. With two outs for me, almost never -- if we would've had Nate or Stewie or Will Craig coming up, I probably would've made a different decision. But with Jonathan Pryor up, not that we don't think that Jonathan is going to have great at-bats, but with Jonathan coming up, we took a chance there with two outs.

Q. What are you looking for as far as pitching Friday and Saturday? Are you planning on going with Connor Johnstone and Loepprich?
TOM WALTER: We are, Connor Johnstone will start on Friday. Loeppy wanted to get some work today. He asked for some work in the game today just because those sinkerball guys like consistent work. They don't like to take too long off. Their ball tends to flatten and elevate, so Loeppy asked for an inning today which obviously we got him. But yeah, Johnstone will start against UVA on Friday and Drew Loepprich on Saturday against Clemson.

Q. You've probably had your fill of seeing Louisville's pitchers over the last week here. If you had to give a scouting report for the other teams in the tournament for NCAA teams who face them, what would you tell them?
STUART FAIRCHILD: Well, they're good. There's no doubt about that. They work off the fastballs and they're all really good at locating in and out, and once they establish that, they go to their off-speed stuff. A lot of them have good curveballs and sliders that they also locate. Once they establish the fastball you know that's what you're going to get, the sliders and the curveballs.

Q. Coach, your team is own for being an offensive machine, and a lot of runs, but defensively what do you think Stuart brings to the table? It seems like he's made some very good plays in the center of the season. Is today kind of indicative of what he brings to the table?
TOM WALTER: Yeah, without question. Stewie is one of those five-tool players. He had a big double play in a series earlier in the year where he made a great throw. Obviously, he covers a lot of ground at both gaps. He's a 6'4" runner, hits in our 3 hole, so Stewie does it all. I mean, it's just really great penciling him in. You're only as good as you are up the middle and obviously starting with Stuart in center field, you feel good about your defense every day.

Q. Where would Louisville rank from what you've seen in ACC teams since you've been in the conference?
TOM WALTER: Yeah, they're as good as anybody I've seen. I mean, I thought UVA, the year before they won the national championship, along with Louisville this year are the two best clubs that I've seen in my seven years in the ACC. Those two clubs are as good as they get. You know, talent 1 through 9 they put pressure on you. They can play the small ball. Obviously we saw today they could hit the ball out of the ballpark. They really pitch. They've got different looks out of the bullpen. They're obviously really, really good.

You know, them and UVA, like I said, the year they were runner up to Vanderbilt I thought have been the two best times that I've seen in the ACC in my time here.

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