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May 25, 2016

Dan McDonnell

Will Smith

Kade McClure

Durham, North Carolina

Louisville - 9, Wake Forest - 5

DAN MCDONNELL: Really pleased with our team and our effort. It's a good win against a really good team with obviously a great offense. You know, other than Kade was a little bit up in the first, but he was throwing strikes, and we had that little blip in the eighth where we gave up the three free bases, we played a complete game tonight. You know, as you saw, the bats were hot, a lot of good swings, and put together a good outing.

Q. Kade, what was the difference for you from the first inning versus the rest of the game? Seemed like after that point they couldn't really touch you?
KADE McCLURE: Yeah, like Coach Mac said, I was leaving pitches up early in the game and I just needed to make an adjustment, so after I got the first out I told myself I needed to get down in the zone, so that was kind of my approach after that.

Q. (No microphone) talk about how you were feeling.
KADE McCLURE: I mean, there should have been a couple more, but got great defense behind me and they've been making those plays all season. I didn't doubt for one second when we were down 2-0. We've had tremendous run support so it just makes it a lot easier playing like that.

Q. Will, the two home runs tonight almost in the same exact spot, you've had a big year. How are you feeling at the plate right now and what can you point to for your offensive growth this year?
WILL SMITH: Yeah, I'm kind of seeing the ball well and a lot of guys are swinging it well all year, all the hard work we've put in in the offseason, and we're playing well.

Q. Will, what did you think about Kade's stuff? Seemed like the feel for the breaking ball in particular really came on as the game progressed. Did you feel like that?
WILL SMITH: Absolutely. The first inning was kind of rocky start but just tried to keep my stuff down and was basically unhittable.

Q. Coach, you've always talked very highly of Will, and obviously he's at a very big year this year with the bat. What have you seen out of him and his growth and what it's taken to get to this point with him?
DAN MCDONNELL: Just I'm sure like the bulk of our lineup, the experience we have, the maturity, the confidence, as Will said, they work extremely hard. I've seen this for three years now. He maybe hasn't put it all together in the springs, but I've seen him in the falls and the Spring Trainings and the weekend scrimmages where you go, man, this guy is a superstar. I'm happy that the rest of college baseball gets to see what he's doing because I've been -- as you said, I've been praising it for three years, and with you guys, with USA baseball, you know, we made some early Buster Posey comparisons early in his career because he was just so athletic, and you saw the arm strength he had back there. It's just good that the bat has been consistent this year, and I'm happy for him. It's really -- for me it's a joy to watch Will in this lineup, this older group of players that they've all gotten better. They've worked extremely hard, and they've gotten better, and that's fun. As coaches, like parents, we push these kids to get better, and they're not just doing it individually, I mean, they're doing it as a group. So it's been fun to watch from the dugout.

Q. How important, Kade, was it for you to get settled down and get into a groove to have a good outing like you did tonight?
KADE McCLURE: Just makes it easier for the rest of the game getting ahead in counts early. I fell behind a couple times but just tried to pound the zone and let the defense make plays.

Q. Coach, you've had the luxury, I suppose, of having a dominant mid-week guy in the past, but how important do you think that is, and has Kade been for building the kind of résumé that you guys have right now?
DAN MCDONNELL: It's just the combination of, you know, Kade's arguably one of the best mid-week starters we've ever had pitching with one of the best weekend staffs we've ever had. In the past most clubs when they have a really talented mid-week starter he gets bumped to the weekend because somebody has a hiccup. We've just had, I say an unusual, just a really talented weekend staff where there's really no hiccups. Funk had some challenges early in the year but never thought of taking him off the weekend, just felt like switching up the rotation a little bit. It's a nice luxury. I didn't realize it until our last midweek game last week, we went undefeated, and it blows my mind because midweek baseball is really difficult. I mean, you're on a bus, you're getting off, you're playing, you're rushing from class. Some guys are missing BP. Some guys just don't show up on midweek games. I mean, it's just -- to be that consistent, it just says a lot about our club, not only how well they played in ACC play but the luxury of having a guy that gives us a quality start, every time-out, and basically we did today what we've been doing all year. There was no panic. We talk about that a lot. No judgment, just, hey, tip your hat. That is a good offense. And for them to score their runs, at least they earned it. They had to put together a couple doubles and some quality hits, some two-strike hits, so they earned those two runs. But Kade settled down and gave the offense a chance to get it going without feeling all that pressure. It was good that he kept it at two, and we scored one right there to make it a 2-1 game, and then we put together, like we do often, we put together a two-out rally there in the fourth with Tiberi's two-run homer.

Q. How difficult is it to beat a team like Wake Forest four times straight in week?
DAN MCDONNELL: I mean, it's not easy to beat anybody four straight. I just think our kids had a lot of respect for them, and we knew how talented that offense was. Several of our guys played with their guys in the Cape. They like us have a lot of returners back in their lineup, so I mean, there was no secret as to how good that offense was. I just think just a lot of respect for them knowing that you can't get too comfortable because at any point those guys can put together a rally. Even when they put the 3 spot in the eighth, of course Will -- we thought Nick had one, too, but they just come up with quality at-bats to extend the lead.

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