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May 23, 2018

Dan McDonnell

Reid Detmers

Josh Stowers

Durham, North Carolina

Louisville - 10, Wake Forest - 2

DAN McDONNELL: Proud of my group. They fought hard. Super excited for Reid Detmers. This is a talented freshman who chose to come to college and experience this and has thrown a lot of big mid-week games this year. So we felt like he was ready for this, having thrown against a couple SEC schools, a Big Ten school, flipped him the ball against Texas Tech earlier in the year. So we just felt like he was ready for this. We trusted him. He gave us a real quality start, and then obviously the guy next to him has been on fire.

I felt like he had a chance to be one of the best center fielders in the country, and no disrespect to others, I'm going to stand by it, because I get to see him every day, and I get to see what he does defensively on the base pass, and obviously you guys saw what he did today with the bat. Really proud of this group.

Q. Josh, this tear that you've been on here for at least a solid month it seems like, what's been the difference for you after early in the year? I know since you switched to that 5 hole in particular, seems like you've really taken off. Is part of it comfort or is there more to it than that?
JOSH STOWERS: It's a bit of comfort and a little bit of analytics. Just talking to our team manager, Mike Allman, he just brought it to my attention that when I have runners in scoring position, my batting average is like .380, so I just decided to text Coach Mc one day, and I was just like, what do you think about me in the 5 spot; I feel like I can drive in a lot more runs, be more productive. And then ever since then, it's been smooth sailing.

Q. And then that home run today, did you think you were going to get a steak there for a second? Were you disappointed when you saw it sail over?
JOSH STOWERS: Yeah, I actually told my teammates I was going to try and hit it at one point, either in BP or during the game, but when it went over, I just started laughing.

Q. Josh, somehow you neglected to pick up a single and hit for the cycle today; have you ever done that before, hit for the cycle? And what specifically -- you were talking about making a change; what did you do, for those of us who don't see you all the time?
JOSH STOWERS: In regards to the cycle, I probably maybe hit one when I was like 12 or 13 when it didn't really matter.

But adjustments-wise, I would just say I was just more of a -- just having more of a slower load. The beginning of the season I was just real anxious, jumping at the ball, and pretty much getting myself out instead of letting the ball come to me and just trusting my ability.

Q. Reid, what was your approach today against that Wake Forest lineup? Seemed like you kind of settled into a pretty good groove after the first couple innings.
REID DETMERS: Yeah, we played them earlier in the year and I just left the ball up and they hit me pretty well. So I just came in today trying to keep them off balance and keep the ball down in the zone and just have the infielders and outfielders field everything for me.

Q. And how nice is it to have a guy have your back like that with six RBIs and a monster game like that?
REID DETMERS: I mean, it's nice to have, being down by one and going in -- I don't remember what inning it was, but him coming up and hitting that three-run home run, that was huge. It was a big turning point in the game.

Q. Reid, how much of a boost was it for you to get out of the third inning when they had bases loaded no outs with only giving up one run?
REID DETMERS: Yeah, it felt good. Just bases loaded, you're kind of stressed, and then just getting -- we always say minimize. That's what Coach Williams and Coach Mc always say, so I tried minimizing, got the double play and then got out of it, so it felt good.

Q. Coach, you kind of talked about Josh and your expectations for him this year, but from your perspective, how have you seen him just evolve over the course of this season?
DAN McDONNELL: You know, he looks like the guy, the last part of last season, where he was so locked in. What he's done the last month was the guy I think everybody saw, the country, how well he played in the postseason. It's just fun to see these guys evolve, Josh from Chicago and got to play with Corey Ray and Logan Taylor and Colin Lyman and Ryan Summers and just to get better each year and knowing he's the guy this year. We've had a great tradition of really good center fielders, and it's comforting knowing that you've got a guy out there that's a special, special defensive player. But yeah, when we moved him to the 5 hole, that was big. I wanted to lead him off because of his dynamic base-stealing ability, the pressure he puts on teams.

But I think when you look back, just too many young guys in the lineup, too many guys that weren't used to those RBI situations, and we also -- we didn't have Oriente, who was one of our better RBI guys. Really changed our lineup when we put him to the 5 spot, put Fitz at the lead-off, and we got nice balance up and down the lineup. It's just fun seeing Josh play to this level and continuing to get better.

Q. Then that squeeze play may be overlooked a little bit in this game, but almost the ideal personnel for you to execute that play. What were you thinking heading to that at-bat and what did you see?
DAN McDONNELL: Witt is a really tough reliever. We faced him early in the season. I watched a lot of video on him that last weekend against Virginia, and he's a strike thrower, so fortunately when the count got in our favor, he just didn't feel like he was going to miss by much. You felt like he was going to throw the ball in the zone. And Drew is a good bunter.

So for us, it's just about being offensive. I know you guys obviously should remember Josh's home run, but just the HBPs, the walks, the bunts, the double steal, we feel like we've got good balance. We're not one-dimensional, and we talked about -- in the postseason you've got to be offensive. We've got four quality starting pitchers. I've been saying it now -- even when we went through that tough stretch, I kept leaving weekend series going, man, I like our three starters, I like our three starters. And when we got this guy going and he beats Kentucky and he beats Vanderbilt and he leaves the Indiana game 1-1, I just felt like, man, this guy is in a good spot to start Game 1 of the tournament, and it allows us to give Wolf and Bennett and Miller an extra day's rest. And there's no guarantee we get to those guys, but we just felt it was important for this team to put them in the best position. That's a luxury to have a guy like this to throw in Game 1 after not throwing on the weekend. You've got to have these type of talented arms.

And then let's not forget what Hoeing did. Brian Hoeing has filled that role for us. He has been that first guy out, that long relief guy. That has been his role, and he's been phenomenal in it. When we took off the second half of the year, it was shoring up that bullpen and letting those pieces fall into place, and that combination of Reid and Hoeing, man, that's tough to go against.

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