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May 26, 2018

Mike Martin

Rhett Aplin

Cole Sands

Durham, North Carolina

Florida State - 5, Clemson - 4

MIKE MARTIN: There have been a lot of ballgames in the short career that I've had, but I can tell you one thing, that was one for the ages. It was a well-played game on both sides. It wasn't one that one club handed to another. The club that won certainly had to earn everything that they got, and the team that lost did everything they could to prevent it. It was just one of those games that you pay to watch.

Q. Cole, talk about your performance. Obviously you had a big night. You were able to find the strike zone pretty successfully.
COLE SANDS: Yeah, it was a team effort, but my thought process was just attack the guys. No free passes because I know they can leave the yard in a second, and that's kind of what happened. So I just attacked guys, tried to limit the walks, and just go right at them.

Q. Two of your three games here have come down to the wire. Talk about your clutch coming down the end of the game to be able to find a way to win obviously against Clemson and then earlier in the week, game 2 against Virginia.
RHETT APLIN: You know, you can't really teach clutch hitting, but we stay within ourselves, and we preach that a lot, and I think we've done that. We've battled hard every single game. It hasn't been easy. But we do what we do, and you see it comes out, and we get some clutch hits, and we win ballgames, and we stay right on track.

Q. Talk about playing in the championship tomorrow and the opponent you'll face here in Durham for all the marbles.
MIKE MARTIN: Well, we played Louisville earlier in the year, and they did not have their full ballclub. They're big-time different than when we played them. They're playing extremely well right now. It's one of those matchups that you feel is going to be a heck of a ballgame. Obviously baseball is a game that can produce just about anything, but we're just hoping that we can go out there and play like we did the last couple of games that we played here, and we just hope that we can do the little things.

We did that tonight, and let's see what happens.

Q. Coach, talk about playing in an environment like this. Obviously there were a ton of fans here, a big-time game against Clemson; how that can help you in the NCAA going forward?
MIKE MARTIN: The league provides you every opportunity for a game like this. We have played in a number of venues such as this. Maybe not quite the noise, but if you've ever been to Tallahassee, I will show you some -- let you hear some noise, because our fans provide that opportunity for us to play in an environment like this.

It's still -- and it's a great question that you ask, because it's a whole lot different when you're playing on the road than it is when you're home, and that's what impressed me so much about our ballclub was the way that we kept our poise and so-called got it done, because that was a good club. Clemson is a heck of a ballclub, and they'll be a top-eight seed, and they deserve to be a top-eight seed.

Q. Talk about the run that you've had obviously coming to the championship game because you've been here several times consecutively.
MIKE MARTIN: You know, I guess -- I look at it this way: We're just going to play hard. I don't know -- did we win last year?

Q. Yes.
MIKE MARTIN: We just play. It's exciting. We're competing. And if we won last year, which we did, okay, we're going to come back the first game next year, and we're going to compete, and we're going to get somewhere, and we're going to compete. It's the players that make this so exciting, the way they enjoy -- they enjoyed that tonight. There was no fear. And yeah, you might say we were outnumbered fan-wise, but can't say enough about the noise that our fans made. I know I had a lot of family here being from this great state. There was a lot of my folks up there yelling. You can hear my wife just about anywhere over all those Clemson people with her woo-hoos.

Q. Can you talk about the decision to bring C.J. in after starting him Tuesday and then sticking with him in the ninth inning there?
MIKE MARTIN: I just felt good about the young man. I felt like that he has been in this arena before. He was not intimidated. He relieved a guy that literally kept us in the ballgame through determination and the love of competition. What also really stuck with me, and this is something you folks should use, when I went out there, it was one of those, like what the heck are you doing here, go on back over there. Cole looked me dead in the eye. He was over 100. We know that next weekend is extremely important. He knows he's going to get the ball. I know he's going to get the ball. And yet he looked at me like, gotcha, I understand. He wasn't happy, but he was displaying great teamwork. I didn't want to go get him, but it was time. And I don't know if I've ever gotten a guy when the count was 2-2, to tell you the truth. I just went and got him. And Cole showed great support, and it's stuff like that that makes our team what it is.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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