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May 22, 2018

Brian O'Connor

Daniel Lynch

Andy Weber

Andrew Abbott

Durham, North Carolina

Florida State - 3, Virginia - 2

BRIAN O'CONNOR: Yeah, just start off by saying that Florida State has got a really nice ballclub. We didn't get a chance to play them this year, and I thought that they pitched really well. Certainly their first two pitchers are freshmen, and they proved that there's a very, very bright future in their program from a pitching standpoint, and they look to have a very nice offensive ballclub and good defense. Just really well-rounded club, like Coach Martin typically has. Credit to them. They did a great job. They beat us. I thought Daniel Lynch was tremendous against a really good offensive ballclub.

That team is tough to put away, and certainly the first time around the order, they battled Daniel and battled him all day, and he started to settle in and get a few strikeouts and things like that and made some good pitches for us. I thought Abbott was tremendous for us out of the pen, as well. I hated to see him lose that game, but credit them. The kid put a good swing on the ball.

Q. Andrew, can you take us through that at-bat, were you starting to feel a little bit of fatigue kind of going into the fourth inning there?
ANDREW ABBOTT: I wasn't starting to feel any fatigue, I just think that it was a matter of they were coming up with a game plan against me since they had seen me one time through the order, so this was the second time through. So they definitely had some knowledge of what I've thrown to them in the first at-bat, now what they're going to get in the second at-bat. I messed up on one pitch and he put a good pitch on it. My outing can't be defined by one pitch.

Q. Daniel, just talk about your last -- possibly your last outing here. What were your emotions out there?
DANIEL LYNCH: I mean, I tried not to think about it like that. I just tried to treat it like a normal game. But I know once I came out and Abbott went in, I had a lot of confidence about him, and I thought he battled like -- I mean, I'm so proud of what he did. You know, it's kind of tough, just starting to sink in that this will probably be my last start. But I'm proud of the team. I thought we fought really hard after I gave up two early, and I thought our offense battled all day, and we played good defense. Sometimes it doesn't turn out your way.

Q. Andy, because of the format of this tournament, this was essentially an elimination game. Does that change things for you as players at all going into your first game of the tournament knowing you have to win?
ANDY WEBER: No. I think our mentality always is -- you want to win. So I mean, we still have to play a second game on Thursday against NC State, and we're still going to come out and try to win, and we're going to have to battle hard like we did today, and we'll see what we can do and see if we can finish the season off with a win.

Q. Andy, when you look back at this game, will you kind of remember a lot of the missed opportunities, obviously not just you but a lot of the players had, a lot of base runners, stuff like that?
ANDY WEBER: I mean, yeah, we had a couple opportunities to capitalize on, and we didn't, and some days that's the game. That's baseball. I think you've just got to take it for what it is, and we just didn't execute what we were supposed to, and we didn't come out on top.

Q. Andrew, what do you think this outing today and in this setting will do for you going forward?
ANDREW ABBOTT: I think it just gives me confidence to go out there and compete with the best teams. Florida State was ranked pretty high, I believe, in the nation, so just going out there knowing that I can stay with them and compete with them as Daniel did before me and my teammates did hitting-wise and off their pitchers and things. It just gives me a lot of confidence going into next year.

Q. Brian, you've had a lot of good pitchers here; Daniel had more ups and downs than some of your really good ones have had early in their career, and he finished strong like this. How far has he come over his three seasons as a pitcher?
BRIAN O'CONNOR: Well, I think it's a great question. I'm really, really proud of Daniel Lynch. I think it shows you the kind of man he is, right, that it's not necessarily how you start your career, it's how you continue to develop and how you finish your career. You know, he's a winner. He's been in our rotation for three years, and he's grown through his time here. I'm just really, really proud of him. He learned how to really, really compete, and he had some tough days, as you can have in this league, right, through his career, and it humbles you pretty quick at this level. I'll tip my cap to him because he continued to grind, he continued to be just consumed with working and getting better. You never have to tell Daniel Lynch that he needs to be in the weight room at 7:30 in the morning the next morning after his start. He's there, he's dependable, he's a great teammate, and certainly really, really proud of how he learned to compete and continued to make pitches in the clutch. He did that again today.

Q. One thing that kind of surprised us watching the game is the mental baserunning errors that your team made, which we think is kind of uncommon for your team to make those kinds of mistakes. Was it because they were pressing knowing that this was a one-and-done situation for you?
BRIAN O'CONNOR: Well, I'm not sure. I mean, I'll never make excuses for them, certainly. They need to be accountable for those decisions that they made. You know, certainly there is a miscommunication from -- in the third inning where we had runners on first and second, no outs, Tanner Morris up, 3-2 count. We didn't execute what we needed to do in that situation. As it turned out, there ended up being a runner at second base, two outs, and completely different ballgame, and I think we let them off the hook a little bit with that. Alex Tappen got picked off at second base. That's uncharacteristic of him. He's grown into being a pretty mature player. He understands that that can't happen, right.

And then Nate Eikhoff, I think it was in the seventh inning went to third base on a ball in front of him, which is one of the golden rules that you don't break in baserunning.

We'll discuss it. Were they putting pressure on themselves, I don't know, but certainly I appreciate you recognizing that it's uncharacteristic of this program to do that. We haven't done much of those kind of things the whole year.

In summary I'd like to say that I would much rather have a player and a team that presses and wants to win and wants to press the envelope than being tentative. Although they're baserunning mistakes, I'd rather have them be aggressive and want to win so bad that they make mistakes.

Q. You obviously addressed yesterday that if you didn't win today that -- or win four games that you weren't going to make the NCAA tournament. What's kind of the reaction as being the first time that's not happened for your program?
BRIAN O'CONNOR: I can't give you a reaction because the game ended 10 minutes ago. We'll talk about it as a team. I mean, there's no built-in reaction. It's disappointing. I mean, we lost a ballgame. I don't -- I can probably speak for the players that we don't immediately respond to things and have emotions that, hey, maybe we won't be going to the NCAA tournament. There will be another time that we assess that. We're here, we're here to play baseball. We've got practice tomorrow. We've got another game on Thursday, and that's what we'll be consumed with, and then we'll analyze that when it's done and determine where we go from there.

Q. Brian, you've coached in a lot of extra-inning games. How big an advantage is it to be the home team in that situation?
BRIAN O'CONNOR: Oh, it's certainly an advantage, there's no question. I mean, you can -- although none of the situations really played out, but you can certainly manage the game a little bit differently. But that didn't have anything to do with the outcome. I don't know what the statistics are, but I would imagine that the home team in extra innings wins certainly a greater majority of the games. You just get a chance to have that last at-bat and stuff.

But credit to them. I thought Abbott was locked in, he was great, and in this game when you're playing a good opponent, you make one mistake, it can cost you, and certainly that's what happened.

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