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May 24, 2017

Mik Aoki

Louisville, Kentucky

Florida State - 5, Notre Dame - 3

MIK AOKI: Difficult one, but I'm proud of the way our kids competed.

Q. Can you just talk about the rain delays, delayed first pitch and you got the delay in the game, just how you managed that going through.
MIK AOKI: You know, I think we're a little bit used to that sort of thing, right. Hats off to the grounds crew. I thought the field was playable, in spite of the rain. I never felt as though that was a factor in the outcome of the game. I thought the field played well; that both teams played great, and given those conditions.

Obviously we would like to play without any of those delays and I'm sure that the ACC Committee would also like that.

Q. Were you comfortable with your baserunning?
MIK AOKI: I think the one, to me, that was difficult was when Shepski was on second base. You know, Johnson hits that ball that I felt like maybe we could have gotten a little better read on that. That's a difficult one. Kind of gets it off the end of the bat.

It probably, what, three or four feet above Henderson's out stretched glove. You certainly don't want to get yourself -- run yourself into a double play there with Vierling coming up, and Vierling has been throughout the course of the year, our best player.

You know, it is what it is. They make -- was it Wells in right, at that point, maybe in right field. Makes a great throw. But I think that absolutely we should have been running on that play. So I don't really have a gripe with it one way or another.

Q. Did you kind of get the sense that with the opportunities you had, that was your chance to put this game away.
MIK AOKI: Not really. Because I felt like we sustained offense throughout the course of the whole game, you know. I felt pretty comfortable with where we were. I thought Gunny (ph) was executing pitches at a really high rate. He made a good pitch and Lueck made a really good swing. I don't think that was something that was down the middle. We called for the fastball in, and Lueck put a good swing on it and I thought Gunny (ph) executed the pitch that we wanted to. It's kind of the unfair nature of baseball, I think.

Q. How do you and your team approach the game tomorrow against Louisville? What do you rally your team around to play that game?
MIK AOKI: It's going to be the last time that we're together, right, as the 2017 edition of the Notre Dame baseball team. I think we'll probably send Mike Hearne to the mound, as long as he tells me that he's okay. He has been, you know, been such a stalwart for us for five years, one of the years he wasn't there due to injury.

But I mean, I think we just play for our pride. We play for our seniors. We play to represent our program. I think that any time that you have the opportunity to go out and play this game, a game that we love, you go out there and regardless of what the circumstances are, you go out there and you play it as hard as you can, as well as you can, and you know, and see where the chips are to fall.

Q. Facing Brendan McKay, what did you see from him?
MIK AOKI: I mean, just a terrific player for the last three years at Louisville. On the mound, at the plate, everything. And I mean, he's a kid that, you know, we've faced three different times and he has had his share of success against us three different times.

So maybe we can change that around a little bit. But yeah, really impressive, impressive athlete and deserves every accolade that he's gotten. You know, hopefully he has -- he finishes his career out well; I'm sure that he will.

Q. How would you assess Nick's performance in a game like this?
MIK AOKI: I thought he was great. Two home runs, the base hit into right center field. Then, you know, the genius me is asking him to sacrifice bunt in whatever inning that was.

I thought he's been terrific for us all year. He was today. I think our whole team was terrific. You know, I asked them at the very beginning to just make sure that we competed at as high a level as we could possibly do it, and in spite of what the outcome was, I thought we did that. I thought that was one of our better games that we've played throughout the course of the year. So it is sort of what it is.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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