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May 28, 2016

Tom Walter

Drew Loepprich

Will Craig

Durham, North Carolina

Clemson - 5, Wake Forest - 4

TOM WALTER: Obviously a great ballgame. I thought we played really well. I was pleased with our effort for nine innings. Got a great start out of Drew. Gave us all he could. Probably could have extended him maybe one more inning. He was at right about a hundred pitches, and Triller had had good swings at him early in the game, so I just felt like going with a different match up there. Obviously didn't pan out. Donnie sellers left a couple balls up, fell behind in some counts, and obviously Clemson capitalized.

A couple situational at-bats we didn't execute, I thought obviously came up big. I felt like we could have been up maybe 6-1, at second and third, nobody out, only scored one. Bases loaded, one out, didn't score. Two big situations, and you're not always going to come through in those situations, but in tight games against good clubs, you've got to execute there.

I thought Parker Dunshee threw the ball great. I was really proud of the way he battled for us, too, today and certainly gave us a chance to win. It's unfortunate that the winning run came the way it did but again, that's baseball.

You know, that game should have ended with Will Craig at the plate one way or the other, the way I felt. I don't know if he was out or safe at first. I thought he was safe. Joey thought he was safe. Stuy thought he was safe. Certainly bang-bang, just one of those calls that could go either way. Just would have liked to see that game end with Will Craig at the plate one way or the other. Would have been a fitting end to a great ballgame with two great ballclubs.

So we wish Clemson all the best tomorrow, whomever they play, and obviously headed to the post-season.

Q. What was your mind-set coming in today and how long did you think you had in you, having pitched -- what your situation was today.
DREW LOEPPRICH: I knew I had my outing against Louisville, threw one inning. I was really going to get a bullpen that night but I had to come into the game and get some work in. I felt good coming in today and just knew I had to work down against these guys. Clemson is a very good-hitting club. I just knew I could frustrate them, stay low in the zone, not give them too many good pitches and just worked from there.

Q. Could you talk about the need to pick yourself back up, get ready for the NCAA Tournament; handicap your guys's chances and do you feel very, very confident that you actually are in?
WILL CRAIG: Yeah, I feel like we've done everything we need to do to get in, especially this past week, everybody was kind of like second-guessing us whether we're in or not.

With the win Tuesday and the win yesterday and then obviously a tough game today, I feel like we just pretty much solidified ourselves for a spot next week.

Obviously it's tough to end the way it did today but just got to pick ourselves back up. We're playing great ball and I couldn't ask for much more, pitching staff is doing well. We had one bad inning today and other than that one inning, we pretty much, I feel like we played better than that team for the other eight innings. Just one of those things, we've got to get back out there and go back to practicing and keep doing what we're doing.

Q. Your play at the plate the last two days, you're comfortable; do you think you're in a groove for the next round?
WILL CRAIG: I sure hope so. I do feel a lot better at the plate. I felt really good the past several weeks, pretty much since day one of the season. I felt really good all year. I just wasn't making solid contact with the ball but finally I think figured out what I need to do to get myself back in good position to swing.

Overall, I feel pretty good at the plate and hopefully can carry over to the next several weeks.

Q. Just being a veteran on this team and being on this team for a couple years, how much would it mean to you just to hear your name called on selection Monday?
WILL CRAIG: It's definitely something I've always wanted. It's one of the reasons I came here was to be able to fight for a regional berth and for a chance to play in Omaha.

That's all we want's a chance. Give us a chance, we're going to make the most of it, especially this year's team. Last year's team didn't make the post-season like we wish we would have but this year's team is completely different.

It's a bunch of guys that I don't want my season to end early with, so I want to take it as far as I can. And for us, giving a chance, wherever we're going to go, it's going to be -- whoever we have to play, it's going to be rough for them; I can go ahead and tell you that.

Q. I thought Dunshee's performance was really incredible. Was that a tough call bringing him in in that situation; that's his first relief appearance in the season, isn't it?
TOM WALTER: He wanted the ball. He really wanted the ball. He didn't want to go that long between outings. He didn't want to go Tuesday to Friday or Saturday, depending on how we pitch a regional, if we are lucky enough to get called, it's something where he didn't feel comfortable sitting that long without pitching in competition, and that's just his nature. He wanted the ball in that situation.

So we certainly wanted to go to him with the game on the line. We were hoping to turn -- basically, we had it drawn up that he would throw the eighth and ninth. We had to go to him an inning earlier than we wanted to because the game got tied, but our plan was to go eight and nine with him.

But you know, just unfortunately it just didn't -- we didn't score quite enough runs and had the one inning where, again that, four-pitch walk, I think that was the one that really, against Greene, in that situation, we can't walk him in that situation. We've got to make him beat us with the bat there.

Q. Talk about Drew's performance today. Yesterday you used everybody in the bullpen against Virginia. Were you hoping you could go to six or seven?
TOM WALTER: Yeah, he's done that most all year. I can count, you know, maybe one or two outings where Loeppy didn't give us six strong innings. He's been a workhorse for us all year. He's been a guy we can count on to get big outs and give us a chance to win. I don't think, there might have been one outing all year where we fell like Loepp didn't give us a great chance to win. But the other 13, 14 outings, we've loved having him on the mound. So I had no doubts he would go out there and throw like he did today.

Q. Is there anything that you think could prevent you guys from hearing your name called on Monday?
TOM WALTER: Well, sure, there's lots of things. Upsets can happen in conference tournaments and those bids, they always get tight right at the end. There's a lot of teams in this league that deserve to go.

Hopefully we're fortunate and we've given the committee enough reason to put us in. I think we're playing our best baseball right now. We're certainly healthy right now, which is a big part of it. We had that stretch where Will was out and we dropped five out of six games in that stretch where Will couldn't swing the bat and dropped a couple games when he couldn't pitch; wasn't available to pitch in that Duke series or the front end that have Notre Dame series, so certainly affected us there, too.

Anyway, I feel like our club is a regional-calibre club and we certainly hope we get the opportunity.

Q. Was the idea the whole time to go with Donnie in the seventh, and then if you were going to go Parker Dunshee on the eighth and ninth, who the heck would have been left for tomorrow?
TOM WALTER: We would have started Supple tomorrow. He's been throwing the ball really well in his bullpens and I really believe he would have given us a good outing. We would have had John McCarren tomorrow that we could have extended coming off of Wednesday. Griffin Roberts, Ryan Morse, Chris Farish, Garrett Kelly, Parker Johnson, we would have pieced it together, even Aaron Fossas is a guy who is used to pitching in big situations and getting big outs.

We certainly had guys that, again, I don't think we would have started anybody that would have gone out there ask thrown seven innings, but I think we certainly would have had nine innings worth of baseball. Now if it had been a 15-inning game, we might have had to call uncle on that one, but certainly we would have had enough for nine innings.

Q. Can you carry momentum out of an ACC Tournament, going 2-2?
TOM WALTER: Yeah, absolutely. We felt like the one inning against Louisville, the one inning against Clemson, we played 36 innings here and we stood toe-to-toe and/or outplayed our competition for 34 of the 36 innings.

So we feel really good about our club right now. We have got guys that are swinging the bat right now really well. We are playing good defensively right now, and we have got our pitching staff going.

We need to get C.J. C.J. needs to have a good session this week and get ready for a start next weekend but the way Loeppy and Dunsh are throwing, and Will and Donnie and Garrett and John McCarren, we feel really good about where our club is right now.

The key is get your team playing their best baseball at the end of the year and I think we've done that.

Q. One thing about the wild pitch. Was there any question in your mind that it hit anything, glove, bat, batter?
TOM WALTER: At the time, I didn't think so. Somebody mentioned that to me after the fact. I have no idea. I didn't think so, live, when that happened. I didn't hear anything. Usually when it's a foul ball, you can hear it. You hear it first, and there wasn't anything that sounded funny on that.

Again, it's certainly an unfortunate way to lose the game, but I didn't -- live, I didn't think it was a foul ball.

Q. How is Ben? Did he get a broken nose or just get scuffed up? And also, how concerned are you about Donnie Sellers' performance right now?
TOM WALTER: Ben is I think going to be okay. Got a cut on the nose. The glare shield, basically, cut his nose and I think that was the most of it. I don't think it's a concussion situation. It certainly hurt and it was bleeding. It was one of those areas that kind of bleeds and continues to bleed but he toughed it out and found a way to get a sac bunt down after that and continued to catch well.

Donnie Sellers, I'm not concerned. He's gone out and done that before and come back the next time and thrown the ball really well. He's a competitor; he's an athlete; he'll make the adjustment. Who knows, maybe we over-used him a little bit this week.

But he's a guy that wanted the ball and he felt fresh and he's a guy that on back-to-back days has often thrown better the second day. He just struggled with command today. He fell behind a couple, fell behind Pinder and walked Greene in situations where you can't do that.

Q. How did you see the play at the plate?
TOM WALTER: Oh, I thought he was save. Again, it's a bang-banger, but I had it safe. I thought he got his hand there. I had no complaints there.

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