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May 24, 2018

Monte Lee

Brooks Crawford

Drew Wharton

Chris Williams

Durham, North Carolina

Clemson - 7, Miami - 1

JIM MORRIS: First and foremost, I'd like to make sure that we recognize Jim Morris with this being his last game in uniform. 41 years as a head baseball coach, to have the type of success that he has had is unprecedented. Only a handful of guys have ever had that type of career, so just want to make sure that we wish Jim Morris -- I hope he has a great retirement and gets a chance to relax and enjoy life after baseball. But he's done a lot for our game.

Played a very, very complete baseball game tonight. 7-1 game, it was a pitchers' duel for a good portion of the game, for five innings. I thought that Bargfeldt and Brooks went toe to toe and executed pitches. Both defenses were making plays behind them. You know, we just found a way to do the little things early, and then in the sixth inning, as I've said time and time again, that momentum, once that momentum starts and our offense is so contagious, it's very, very difficult to stop it.

But in the second inning, Wharton got it started for us with a two-strike base hit the other way, did a good job of staying on an off-speed pitch, Hawkins drew a walk, Sam Hall got a bunt down, and Jordan Green did a great job of hitting the first strike he got, 6-3, RBI. Good situational hitting on our part in the second inning.

And then in the sixth, Wharton got it going again, hit a huge blast for us to give us the lead at 2-1. And then with two outs, five consecutive hits, Jordan Green, Logan, Wilkie with a two-out single RBI when they brought in Hammond, Seth with a single RBI when they brought in Bartow, and then Chris Williams hit one of the hardest balls I think I've seen hit. That pitch was slightly off the plate and down, and hit a line drive. I was just hoping it was going to get over the right fielder's head when he hit it, and it went out of the ballpark. You don't see balls that are in that location that are hit that hard the other way. Just an outstanding job of hitting by Chris Williams. We scored six runs there in the sixth, and then Ryan Miller. Between Brooks and Ryan Miller, that was all we needed. Those guys did just a great job of executing pitches, filling up the strike zone, and we played pretty good defense behind them. Just a very complete game by our guys, and happy to get the win tonight.

Q. Brooks, early on you were just a little off and then you got it dialed in. What was going through your mind to keep this team close and keep Miami close?
BROOKS CRAWFORD: Yeah, I was just trying to execute pitches as best I could. I was throwing a little off to the outside to the righties, so I kind of made an adjustment, just dropped down my arm side just a little bit so I wasn't as high and getting a little more run on my fastball, so that kind of helped me a good bit.

Q. Drew, in that sixth inning, talk about how that kind of got you guys going. Coach talked about the contagiousness when you guys start hitting.
DREW WHARTON: Yeah, Coach brought us up in the dugout after that and just told us to relax and just see pitches up. I felt like some guys were chasing pitches out of the zone early in the game, and I thought we saw pitches up that inning and put good swings on it.

Q. Chris, how much does hitting behind Seth allow you to see better pitches?
CHRIS WILLIAMS: I guess I don't really think about it that way, honestly, to be honest. But I know honestly, Logan, Wilkie and Seth all in front of me, all having fantastic years, it's kind of taken a load off of me, and I've been able to produce a lot of runs with them getting on base, and they've been the reason why I've had the success I've had the past month or so. It really takes a lot of stress off of me, you know.

Q. Chris, after scoring the runs came so easily yesterday after just scoring one run through the first five innings and then Drew starts it off in the sixth with a home run, was there any kind of frustration on your part being able to get that second run?
CHRIS WILLIAMS: No, I don't think so, honestly. Talking to the guys on the team, we knew we were facing two really good arms, or three, I guess, in Bargfeldt, Hammond and Bartow. We knew we were going to have to manufacture some runs and have really good at-bats, and that sixth inning we got the ball rolling, and once we do that, like Coach Lee said, our hitting is really contagious. I knew when I was going to get up to the plate, if I got a chance to hit, I was trying to do some damage. He threw a good pitch, and wasn't really trying to do too much, but it kind of went out.

Q. Drew, I was watching you before the home run coming up in the on-deck circle you were watching Bargfeldt. What were you thinking at that point? Were you thinking I'm going to try and ambush something early? I know you wanted to get runs for this guy, but what's kind of going through your mind as you approach that at-bat?
DREW WHARTON: Yeah, I was definitely looking for something early. He started me off with a changeup away, and Chris in the previous inning told me that he was starting to work him in, so I just -- I looked at what Chris was going through in his at-bat, and he threw me a changeup away, and he came with a lot of fastballs in, so I was looking for a fastball middle in, and I got the pitch and put a good swing on it, so that felt really good.

Q. What is it about this offense that when one guy kind of gets something going, the rest of you just kind of jump on and enjoy the ride?
CHRIS WILLIAMS: I don't know, it's been like this for the past three years now, like since I've been here with Coach Lee. Like I don't know if it's just the way we've been practicing, the way our fall goes or anything, but once we get the ball rolling, it's hard to stop us. And we know once we get one guy on, two guys on, it's just -- we want to get up there and hit. That's how every hitter is in our lineup.

Q. Monte, talk about how this team -- it seems they always get that one or two innings where they seem to jump on people and get that lead, that separation you need.
JIM MORRIS: Well, I think when these guys get here in the fall, there's a couple things that we preach to our guys from a mentality standpoint, an approach standpoint, and some of our goals in game. We're always -- our goal is to always get to seven runs in a game. That is our goal. So we talk a lot about offensive approach and how we can put together innings to get to seven runs, one of them being a big inning. Our goal is to get to one big inning per game. So we got one big inning today, and we had one big inning, I believe, in Game 1.

But our guys understand that we're trying to put together the types of at-bats that it takes to lead to a big inning, and we preach and preach and preach plate discipline, attacking the ball up in the zone, understanding what the pitcher is doing to you, and what it takes to get guys on base to put us in a position to get a pitch up and hit a ball hard to put together a big inning.

We also celebrate the home run. We do celebrate the home run. We talk a lot about getting pitches up in the zone and swinging the bat with the intent to do damage. It comes out of my mouth a lot. So we never slow our swing down. We don't try to put the ball in play. It's just not in our DNA at Clemson. We don't talk about putting the ball in play. We're not defensive at the plate.

I think our guys, I just talk about that constantly with our guys, and it kind of -- again, they buy into it and they run with it. Once we get into the season, I don't have to talk a whole lot about it because they understand our philosophy and just what it takes to score a bunch of runs. And it's worked for us this year.

Q. Monte, how tempted were you after getting the lead to save Miller, or was it kind of given the history of your team against this particular opponent that you wanted to use some extra caution?
JIM MORRIS: Well, we don't look ahead, and we really didn't think too much about trying to save Miller, so to speak. I mean, you've got to win today's game to advance. Miller -- you know, I think everybody knows that we use Miller, Spiers and Gilliam. Those are our three main guys, and we felt like at that point, Ryan is throwing strikes like he always does, and if he gets to the point where we can't use him, we have the other two that we can use as opposed to taking him out and using two of them or three of them.

We thought about it in the ninth once he got to pitch No. 50, just with -- he's at that threshold of whether he could come back on Sunday or not, but I don't look ahead too much. We try to win today. I think that's a big factor for our program. We talk about putting everything we can into winning this game, and we'll take care of business when we get to play again. We don't worry too much about that.

It crept in my mind a little bit to possibly go to Spiers in the ninth, but on the other hand, we felt like Ryan was in a good spot. He was well-rested, and we decided to leave him in.

Q. Seth had that assist to get the runner at second in the fifth when it was still tied. Is that a part of his game that isn't talked about enough?
JIM MORRIS: Well, he's got a good arm, and he's got an accurate arm. You know, he was in the right place at the right time. I mean, it was a flare base hit down the right-field line. I think if you asked their guy, he was probably being a little bit overly aggressive, but you have to give hem credit. He's trying to get in scoring position with two outs to give the next hitter an opportunity to drive him in. The ball was not down the line probably enough for him to get there, and Seth made a good throw.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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