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May 22, 2017

Danny Hall

Louisville, Kentucky

DANNY HALL: We're excited to be in the tournament, and certainly look forward to playing Miami in our first game and just look forward to being in Louisville and playing.

Q. I'm curious from your standpoint playing a Miami team that obviously is coming into this week with a lot on the line in terms of the NCAA Tournament. How much of a factor do you think that would be on a team that needs to do well this week in order to make sure that they, or at least be in the conversation to get into the NCAA Tournament next week?
DANNY HALL: Oh, I'm sure it's a factor. I'm sure, not that they needed any motivation, but certainly they have it, trying to keep that streak alive. We're probably not a lot different than them. We know the only way we're going to get in the NCAA Tournament is to win the ACC Tournament. So even though they're closer to being in the field than we are, we probably both have the same motivation just to go there and play well.

Q. There's been a lot of talk about the format than getting 12 teams into this, and we've heard a couple coaches already talk about it. They win a certain game and they might treat the second game differently being a higher seed. You've been in this league a long time. Is this a good idea? Is this format in its first year the best option for this league at this time?
DANNY HALL: Well, I think that's a great question. When we voted on it, I think we were looking at our league is so competitive, and everybody pretty much beats up on everybody; that the more teams that we got in, the better chance, maybe, that that eight, nine or ten team would have on getting an NCAA bid. So I think that was the strategy looking at it.

Are there (indiscernible) and things like you just mentioned that are going to happen? Absolutely. Is that the best thing? I'm not quite qualified to answer that question. But I just heard Coach Martin say the scenario that, if they lose their first game, then Louisville pretty much knows that they're going to advance if Louisville wins their first game. I think that's what he said.

In our situation, we know we have to be 2-0 or we're not advancing. So our goal is pretty clear cut. Some of the other teams, you know, there is probably a lot of strategizing going on in those pitching rotations.

Q. You talked about needing to win this thing. Where do you feel like you are as a team going into the tournament?
DANNY HALL: Well, I can tell you that we're going to leave -- so not to bore you with numbers, but you're allowed to have 27 guys on your roster and 27 guys on some form of 11.7 scholarships, and we are going to leave nine scholarship players here in Atlanta for injury, and eight of the nine are out for the year. So we're definitely not rolling in there with a stocked talent pool. But to our guys' credit, we've been battling this thing the whole year, and I think they've battled just about as hard as they can battle to get us there. I think we've proven that we can play with the best teams, and we've also proven that we can lose to just about anybody.

So our goal is just to go there, play our best baseball, and see what happens.

Q. Is this as banged up as you've ever been at tournament time?
DANNY HALL: I've never seen anything like it, quite honestly, to where you have so many guys out. In 2006, when we went to the College World Series, we had a guy, Wes Hodges, that was kind of banged up with the leg, Jeff Kindel had a torn ligament in his knee and played, and Mike Trapani was banged up. So we had three starters that were banged up, but they all played in the World Series.

So we've never been this decimated by injury. It's so bad that we put a guy at first base on Sunday against Virginia that hadn't played an inning at first base the whole year. But that's kind of where we're at; we're thin on the mound and very thin position player-wise with just the injuries we've had.

Q. As far as pitching, I guess Curry in Game 1, and then from that point, what are you going to do?
DANNY HALL: Actually, no. Our strategizing kind of took place when we beat Virginia on Thursday, that put us in the tournament for sure. So we did not pitch Jake Lee this past weekend. So Jake Lee is going to pitch the first game. Then Curry will pitch Game 2 against Wake.

Q. You guys have pretty much been playing at a postseason level with very little margin of error over the last couple of series. Is there any advantage to that, as far as going into this tournament, especially with the youth you have? You guys are pretty much already battle tested.
DANNY HALL: Oh, I think we understand that we have to -- I wouldn't say play perfect, but we have to play pretty crisp every time we go out there to have a chance. So from that standpoint, I think we've been doing that really by midpoint of the ACC season on, so from that standpoint I do think the mental edge of it, we've kind of been in that mental frame of mind for quite a while.

Q. Also, it's a very different Miami team, I'm sure, than the team you saw when you opened the ACC. I'm sure you guys are different as well. What can you take from that first series or how much can you take from that first series?
DANNY HALL: Well, I can tell you, we played very poorly. I can tell you that. But to Miami's credit, they're about .500 in our league. And anytime you finish above .500 in our league, that's definitely a feather in your cap because there are so many good teams in our league.

So I think they're definitely battle tested just like we are, because you play so many good teams throughout the year. They, much like us, they're a mid-week game, so not easy either. So they've been in a lot of battles just like we have, and they have the same goal we have. They'd like to win that ACC Tournament just to make sure they get in the NCAA Tournament.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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