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May 27, 2017

Max Miller

Chris Pollard

Louisville, Kentucky

Florida State - 5, Duke - 1

CHRIS POLLARD: You know, I don't think we played that poorly today. I thought Florida State did a good job of being on time with fastballs in positive counts through the first couple of innings. I was really pleased with the way our bullpen stepped up and kept the game within striking distance. Really good effort by Lewallyn and Blum and Chris McGrath to hold the ballgame right where it was and give us a chance.

But the story of the ballgame today, we ran into a buzzsaw. Cole Sands was as good as anybody we have seen this year. Stuff was really electric. I thought his fastball played up, and we just couldn't generate enough offense to kind of claw our way back into the ballgame. We had been doing a good job of that, and credit Florida State. They just can't give us any freebies, and we couldn't string enough together against Cole.

Q. Just talk about the run here. I know it didn't end the way you guys wanted it to, but talk about what this week has been like.
MAX MILLER: We knew after the Carolina series that we were going to be playing good ball coming in here, regardless of what happened.

So when we got the draw, it was two teams that we played before. We played Clemson last year. Played pretty well. And so you know, we knew we had a chance, and like coming into today, we felt as good as anybody, as anybody in the tournament. We knew we had as good of a chance as anyone in the tournament.

You know, just kind of came down to Sands getting ahead in counts and putting guys away, and you know, getting the leadoff guy in basically every inning, except for maybe that last one. And that kind of takes it out of you a little bit. But you know, I was really happy with how we played, even today. There was no quit, and that's just baseball.

Q. Even in that last inning, you didn't get the leadoff on, but you got a run and a couple hits. Talk about what that says about this team to keep fighting.
MAX MILLER: We didn't do that earlier in the year. When we were down late in games, we didn't do that as much and I think that just kind of shows how much we've grown. We've kind of been really fun to watch. We had to come back in the first two games, and you know, no one doubted that we -- everyone thought we had a chance to do that in the last inning, too.

It was fun to see. Disappointing end but that's kind of been what we've done over the past couple weeks.

Q. The last inning, the team, it never gave up, even to the last out?
CHRIS POLLARD: We strung together some good at-bats. Jimmie had a really good at-bat for us. We stayed in that right center field gap, and then Griff finally got a flare to fall. We hadn't had a lot of that today. Credit Florida State. I thought Jack had a really good at-bat.

So we had something cooking there, and then Voyles made some pitches, executed some breaking balls to spots where we just couldn't do anything with it.

But I feel very good about the way our team played and competed over the course of this week. I don't know that many people outside of our program, associated with our program, expected us to come in and compete and play as tough as we did. I'm proud of that. Max alluded to it; we weren't that team early in the year, and that's what I'm very proud of is the growth that this team has shown.

I didn't feel like we were a very tough team. I didn't think we had a lot of competitive fight early on. But this team has grown. They have stuck together, and again, that's a product, as I mentioned, on Thursday of the culture that existing in our locker room and the leadership that exists in our program.

Q. You talked about the bullpen, just to give you a chance, they really came through. Was that something that -- had they been coming through most of the year?
CHRIS POLLARD: As we talked about on Thursday, one of the cool things about this stretch run for us is some of our weaknesses early in the year became our strengths. And a lot of credit for that goes to our coaching staff, our assistant coaches, because they continued to coach and tweak and make adjustments. And guys that were struggling early, they stuck with them and kept coaching them and didn't give up on them so that they were able to step up late in the year, guys like Jalen Phillips, Karl Blum, Kevin Lewallyn, who played big roles for us down the stretch.

I'm proud of that. That was on display today. That ballgame, as well as Florida State's playing right now, I think they are playing, you look back at the past five or six games what they did to Louisville in the last week of the regular season, I think they are playing as well as anybody in the country. I think they are a team that absolutely has the pieces of the puzzle to get to Omaha. And to do what our bullpen today, to hold the game within striking distance, says a lot.

Q. You had a solid run through pool play what. Do you take from this experience moving forward?
CHRIS POLLARD: Again, if you look at it, we still have a very young team. We have very few seniors. We have five sophomores in our starting lineup. We had two freshman in our four-man rotation. We had two other pitchers in that rotation that had never started a game in college before this year.

So we have a lot of really fun pieces returning, and you know, while I'm disappointed for our seniors, I'm very excited for the underclassmen in this program because they are in a position to carry this momentum of the last part of the season forward into the summer and let that be motivation. Knowing that we came up a little bit short here, really solid motivation for us going into next fall.

Q. What are your thoughts of Louisville as a site?
CHRIS POLLARD: It was awesome. I loved it. I love the city. We were here a month ago and I kind of fell in love with the city. I love the ballpark. It's a beautiful ballpark. Obviously the grounds guys have done yeoman's work with the weather, and with the weather today, field played great, even after the delay. It was a really fun venue and I'm glad we got a chance as a team to be a part of it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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