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May 22, 2018

Mike Martin

Reese Albert

Clayton Kwiatkowski

Durham, North Carolina

Florida State - 3, Virginia - 2

MIKE MARTIN: Rarely do you think this, but knowing Brian and everybody on their staff, it's a shame that somebody had to lose that ballgame, because it was a well-played game, one error, the pitching was excellent, the defense was excellent. It was just one of those games in which our ballclub happened to come out on top.

But let's don't even think of short-changing anything that our baseball team accomplished because there were times when we had our backs against the wall. Clayton comes in and gets us out of it. We struggled offensively, and Reese picks us up in the 21st or whatever innings. We've played a number of these babies -- what did we play, 12? 11?

But I think when you look at the overall performance of both teams, you have to be proud to be a part of this great league that we play in. This is a heck of a league. But I'm also extremely proud of the way our guys battled. There was no folding the tent. Lynch and Abbott pitched extremely well for the other club. There was no pouting. There was no bickering. It was just total focus on somebody pick us up. This particular time, these are two of the guys that picked us up. The big double play that we got, I believe that was in the eighth, there was just so many big moments in the game that our young men performed very well, and I'm very proud of them.

Q. Clayton, when you came in the eighth inning what was kind of your plan there, and after you get Tappen, do you feel the confidence start to rise there?
CLAYTON KWIATKOWSKI: Yeah, whenever you come in, you've got to expect there to be guys on, and if they're not, then they're not, but being in the bullpen everybody wants to pick each other up, have each other's backs, and I've came in in a couple bases-loaded situations this year, which probably really helped my confidence out in that scenario, and just coming in, I knew Pollock threw really well, and I just wanted to have his back and do my best to throw the pitches that Coach Bell called, fill up the strike zone, and it just worked out in my favor. Initially you're just working for a ground ball, let your defense do the work because you trust those guys behind you, and it just happened to go in my favor, two strikeouts.

Q. Reese, when you got to see Andrew Abbott again, did that impact you at all, just getting a second opportunity?
REESE ALBERT: Well, the whole day for both of their pitchers, I only saw two fastballs. The rest were curveball, slider. So coming up there for the second time against Abbott, I had a feeling he was going to try to flip one in again, and he was staying more on my side of the plate than throwing it away, so I just sat on it.

Q. Could you talk about the format and the kind of pressure it put on both these teams today?
MIKE MARTIN: Well, we as coaches voted to have 12 teams in our tournament. It's extremely difficult to work it out without discussion among other people. We have just learned to accept it. I'm sure there will be further discussion. But there's certainly no complaining from any of us. It's just that if there is something that can be done to make it better, then that's what we will attempt to do.

Q. Mike, have you ever won so many challenges in a game as you did today?
MIKE MARTIN: Well, we just thought that we had a legitimate challenge, and we utilized it, and it just happened to go our way. You never -- there's so many funny stories I could tell you this year. I mean, one time I didn't even want to do it because I said there's no way, he's safe. And I don't know why, I went ahead and challenged it, and I'll be doggone if he wasn't out.

And when I found out what had happened, I just shook my head. I didn't see that from where I was. But it's just luck. I think it has done a tremendous -- I think it's been a tremendous boost to college baseball to have this system in place. We utilize it at home. Everybody, almost everybody is utilizing it, and it's very important because there's a lot at stake. There is a lot at stake. And I thought that throughout the year, the umpires have been extremely professional. There hasn't been any of this, look, yeah, right, I missed that. They've been as professional as the day is long. They've gone back there, they've looked at it. Of course they didn't have to do that today because there were two other people looking at it, but during the regular season they would go back there and diligently look at it, come back, make the call, and that was good enough for me.

They busted their fanny to try to get every call right, and that's a credit to them.

Q. I know you had high hopes for Reese coming in as a freshman, and it seemed like he's really come on strong, especially down the stretch. How have you seen him develop over the course of the year, and how much confidence is he playing with right now?
MIKE MARTIN: I think to try to answer your second question first, he just is comfortable in his own shoes. He's not one that gets down when he does things that he knows he can't do and be the kind of baseball player he wants to be. The more he plays, the more he improves. I've been impressed with him because he came in as a center fielder, and we moved him to right. We platooned him with Wells. He was doing a very good job there. I didn't see him playing this much, but he's the kind of player that was determined he was going to be seen. So he goes out there pregame, and he's busting his fanny to be a great right fielder, and he's working every single day, taking balls off the bat, and he knows I'm watching them, but then on the other hand there were some times he couldn't find me. But he's still out there working.

Well, J.C. gets hurt in Central, he goes and plays some center field. Did a very good job. That's what he played in high school. Then we get J.C. back, we put him in left field, what's he do, he goes out there and learns how to play left field in a couple of weeks.

I think number one, it's a dedication to hard work and not ever doubting yourself. I think that describes Reese Albert.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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