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May 27, 2016

Brian O'Connor

Alec Bettinger

Adam Haseley

Durham, North Carolina

Wake Forest - 10, Virginia - 9

BRIAN O'CONNOR: Certainly, a hard-fought game. A lot of emotion back and forth. Certainly Wake Forest did a little bit more than we did. I'm not sure how many home runs they hit but it was quite a few, and to their credit. That's the kind of team they are, and they certainly thrived on that today and did a nice job.

I thought our guys showed a lot of fight and hung in there and had a chance throughout the game and just didn't quite do it enough. In those middle innings where they scored seven runs, I think the eighth run in the sixth, we just couldn't stop them, and they did a nice job of capitalizing on some opportunities.

A few of those home runs were with two strikes and we just couldn't put them away, and tip your cap to them, they did a terrific job.

Q. Right before the at-bat with Rodriguez, you came to check on Alec; and what kind of a game changer was that home run there?
BRIAN O'CONNOR: I just, not very often does he throw four straight balls, and I know he had a long inning the inning before. I just wanted to make sure that there wasn't something wrong with him; and there was not and that's why I stayed with him. I think he was just fatigued. It was a hot day, and he was battling out there.

Q. I know this pool play is something you're familiar with now, but knowing you were eliminated from title game contention, did that take any juice away going into the game or with the national seed out there, did that not matter?
ALEC BETTINGER: I don't think we ever think about that kind of stuff. I mean, obviously it was apparent we were out but you can't go out there thinking about that. We were just going out there to win.

ADAM HASELEY: I think today and tomorrow, we have two chances to prepare for next weekend, even though might have been knocked out, but there are two games that we can get better at the thing we need to work on things preparing for regionals.

Q. Looked like you were doing pretty well early in your stint. What came apart there for you?
ALEC BETTINGER: I just had a couple rough batters and just a long inning, and then out there in the fourth, like Coach said, he came out and checked on me. I was just a little fatigued I think and I was just not able to make pitches I needed to.

Q. Had you been in the ballpark before this weekend and when you walked in as a pitcher, did you think hitter's park?
ALEC BETTINGER: I don't really think about those things. You can't. It's obvious that left field is short but I'm not thinking about that out there. I'm just trying to throw strikes.

Q. For either of you, you gave up the 5-1 lead but you might have comeback in the ninth inning. Just talk about how you can use that carrying over into tomorrow night's game against Louisville?
ALEC BETTINGER: We showed a lot of fight there at the end. We just couldn't do enough. I think it shows how this team never counts itself out, and I think that will be some good momentum for tomorrow night?

Q. Along that line for the mind-set, based on how things went last year, where you came here and went winless in pool play, and obviously found some success in the College World Series; there a sense of calm amongst your players because you guys have performed -- under-performed here and gone out and won a national title?
ADAM HASELEY: I don't know if it's -- looking back from last year, we played good ball the last two days. Some things just didn't go our way. Some guys had some good hits against us.

I think that we're just playing good ball; if a few things go a different way, it might be a different outcome.

ALEC BETTINGER: You can't rest on last year's accomplishments for sure. That doesn't happen every year. You need to go out there and win.

I just don't think we're resting on last year at all. We're a different team. We have to take a different mentality into regionals. But I don't think we're resting on last year at all.

Q. Obviously a lot of power in that Wake Forest lineup. How does that lineup compare to other lineups you've faced this year, and how do you approach a team like that?
ALEC BETTINGER: They are kind of like a Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech had a similar game against me where they hit three home runs. You just have got to get ahead, and when you don't, things like today can happen; and they are able to sit on pitches, and they have the power to hit the ball out of the ballpark.

Q. Obviously you guys dropped two of three to Louisville earlier in the year. As you get ready to face them again, is that a little bit extra motivation on top of just getting another about win under your belt?
ADAM HASELEY: I think as the season goes on, both teams learn and evolve their own separate ways. I personally think that was a long time ago. I don't think that has much to do with tomorrow night.

ALEC BETTINGER: Yeah, we've come a long way since then. They haven't faced Adam yet, so that will be something different for them.

Like Adam said, teams learn things over the course of the season, so it will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow night.

Q. Talk about playing against Will Craig, what type of hitter is he and how did you get him to get some outs, or is he just one difficult hitter?
ALEC BETTINGER: Yeah, he doesn't have very many holes, so when you have the opportunity to get him out, you'd better take advantage. It's tough; any hitter like that, when you know he has that much power, just have to get ahead of him and throw a lot of strikes.

Q. You had been trying to get Daniel Lynch some work and for various reasons, it hasn't worked out. Did you come into today with the intent of using him if the possibility arose? What did it mean for him just to get out and face four batters like that?
BRIAN O'CONNOR: I think it was important for Daniel Lynch to get out there and pitch, and I thought he pitched really, really well. That was good to see. Certainly we are going to need him moving forward at some point.

It wasn't for sure that he was going to pitch in this ballgame. We were going to try to get him in one of the games this weekend, and you know, so the situation dictated it. And I thought the kid threw the ball really, really well and a real bright spot for us moving into next weekend; that we have confidence in him.

Q. I know you follow sort of the national scene. Do you think that you guys have to win tomorrow night to be a super regional, to be a national seed, or hard to tell at this point?
BRIAN O'CONNOR: I don't know. Honestly, I mean, I've never seen talked to these guys about that stuff. I mean, we don't talk about it. I don't look at it really very much. Certainly you read an article here and there. You know, everybody makes their predictions. Nobody predicted that we would go to California last year.

So you just don't know. All that we can do is try to get better as a team. That's what we need to do. That's what our focus needs to be tomorrow night. These last two ballgames, we've lost one-run games to two really, really good, deserving opponents that are both playing good baseball.

We're not doing the things in these two games that we've been doing for five weeks. It's pretty simple, and it's very small things. Those are the things that we have to focus on getting back to doing tomorrow night because those are the things that will allow us to win next weekend.

Q. Do you have any thoughts to the fact that before you play your second game here, you've already been eliminated?
BRIAN O'CONNOR: It's still baseball. I mean, you look at the fight that both of these teams had. Look at how our team never quit and we just lost a one-run game there right at the end. I think that shows that the so-called meaningless game, it exists. You're still playing for a lot and you're still trying to try to get better for next weekend.

You know, would I love to see the tournament expanded to 12 teams at some point in our time? I would. I think our league is deserving of that. As far as the format, it is what it is. I mean, when you're not playing those so-called meaningless games, it's great, okay.

I don't know, I suppose it's something for you all to write about, you know, and all due respect, they are just baseball games for us that we're trying to get better and build our momentum into next weekend.

Q. I think the only day that you have given Danny Pinero off all year was April 10 in the Boston College series, and since then he's raised his average like 33 points and been hitting extra-base hits and obviously he's had a big weekend here. Can you talk about what he's done here in the last five, six weeks of the season?
BRIAN O'CONNOR: Well, it doesn't surprise me, because it seems like down the stretch run every year, Danny Pinero is at his best, he really is, and he is playing fantastic. Has played fantastic in these two ballgames, and has been over the last four or five weeks. He's showing the calibre of player that he is, and it makes a huge difference for us.

Look where the guy is hitting between. He's hitting between this guy (Adam Haseley) and Pavin Smith, and Thaiss in front of him. So Danny is swinging a great bat. He's playing great defense. I think the guy is one heck of a player.

You step back and think what that kid's done in his career. He's played shortstop for us basically every game for three years on three pretty special teams.

So I love him, and whenever his time is done here, we're going to certainly miss him.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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