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May 21, 2018

Dan McDonnell

Durham, North Carolina

DAN McDONNELL: We put it together here this last month, and I like our starting pitching. We feel like we've got four quality starters. Offensively with a younger group, we've got two juniors in the lineup and a bunch of sophomores, and they grew up as the year went on. So I think offensively we're swinging it as well as we've swung it all year in a very challenging schedule here this last month.

Q. Just some thoughts from you about facing Wake Forest and what kind of issues do they present for your team?
DAN McDONNELL: Well, you know, they beat us two out of three at their place earlier in the year, and Tom has got a young group. They lost a lot of great players last year, but they kept the belief up and the winning up, and so I would imagine they've got to be confident going up against a team they've already beaten twice.

You know, he's got a nice run going there. They've got more experience in the conference tournament, more experience in the NCAA, so I would imagine they feel good about their chances, and we're excited we get an opportunity to play them again because we've got a lot of respect for them, and we get a chance to play a really good Duke team that we've heard great things about all year from the national media. We just haven't seen them this year. So I'm excited that we get to play one of the better teams in our league, having played it seems like everybody else, Florida State and Clemson and NC State and North Carolina. I love to see where we stack up against a really talented ACC.

Q. Just talk about playing against Wake Forest, what do you guys have to do to beat them? I know last year you hosted a championship down there and now you're back in Durham, so you're playing basically in front of your home crowd?
DAN McDONNELL: Yeah, it starts on the mound. Everybody's goal is to throw strikes, make routine plays and hopefully get some timely hits. I think their pitchers did a phenomenal job the weekend we played them where their starters gave them seven or eight innings. They were efficient, they pounded the ball in the zone, they didn't give up a lot of free bases. I thought they played really clean, good baseball. They might have had a couple bad innings there like everybody does, but overall I left there going, those three starters are going to give them a chance to compete even with a young team, to compete in the ACC, and they did. Like I said, we've got a lot of respect for them and obviously haven't played them, and seeing how well they played against us, we realize it's a really good challenge.

Q. I know last week you played against Cincinnati, and you guys scored like 25 runs. Do you have enough runs for the weekend?
DAN McDONNELL: Well, I mean, that's the old mid-week baseball and got to save your arms for the weekend. We were very fortunate. But I think if you look at our offense the last month, we've swung it as well as we've swung it all year, and I think you look at a guy like Josh Stowers, as hot as he's been the last couple weeks, our junior five-hole First-Team all-ACC player, it helps. It helps take pressure off of everybody else. It's a good time of year to be swinging it well because you need balance. You need a little bit of everything going into a great tournament like this.

Q. Coach, talk a little bit about the depth and the quality of the ACC in baseball this year.
DAN McDONNELL: Well, I've been in the South with college baseball now almost 30 years, so even though I've only been in the ACC, this is our fourth year, I'm just very familiar with the teams and the tradition. Having been in the SEC for six years and seeing that league take it to another level, I think any time you have parity, any time the bottom half catches up with the top half, it makes for a better league, and I think just what I've seen over the years and firsthand these last four years, there is a lot of parity in this league.

And when a Virginia wins a national championship, they were one of the lower seeds; Florida State was the eighth seed last year, they go to Omaha; Boston College is one win away from Omaha; Wake Forest, one win away from Omaha. It just shows you the depth top to bottom, and I think this year, I think it makes a great statement for our league that everybody is beating everybody up, and if you give so much love to teams from other leagues for being 16-14 or 17-13 or 15-15 or 14-16, I hope you open your eyes and realize that you should be doing the same for our league because it's a war. I mean, every weekend in baseball sense, it's not easy. It's just like Danny Hall said, everybody has got good starting pitchers, everybody has got good relievers, and everybody has got good hitters. I mean, it's just -- it's better for all of us. It's better for all of us when we beat each other up and we have that parity because it just prepares us. It prepares us for the postseason, and I'm excited to see what the ACC does in these next few weeks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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