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May 24, 2019

Chris Pollard

Hunter Davis

Kennie Taylor

Durham, North Carolina

Georgia Tech - 5, Duke - 4

CHRIS POLLARD: Our team has competed great all year, and a big reason why we've competed so well is because of the two guys that are here beside me. Our two captains, Hunter Davis and Kennie Taylor, have had incredible senior seasons, and as good as they've been on the field in terms of their performance, they've been even better in terms of their leadership and their character and the job they have done of protecting our culture.

Q. Coach, in the eighth inning when Colin Hall doubled to start the inning, you came out to the mound, did you put the play on?
CHRIS POLLARD: Yeah, well, the reason I went out to the mound was because I wanted to put two plays on, so we put a play on for the first pitch, and then depending on what happened with that, we had a play on for the very next pitch. I didn't want to sign them both in, and we had a trip. We had a plan there and executed it pretty well, and I think even if he doesn't get the bunt down, we had a good plan for the next pitch, too.

Q. Coach, your confidence level that today was not the final game you played in the 2019 season?
CHRIS POLLARD: Well, I'm incredibly confident in our club and the fact that we're going to have a chance to keep playing next weekend. But more importantly, the folks that do this for a living have shown a lot of confidence in our club with where they've projected us over the last several weeks. While I'm going to always tell you that I'm confident in our club and our ability to keep playing and have success, what gives me confidence even more so is that if you look at all the projections from the folks that really know this game, they've had us comfortably a 3 seed for the last several weeks, and I think the way we played this week did nothing to ding that in any way.

Q. For the players, what's it going to be like over these next couple days and especially Monday waiting it out to see if things break your way?
KENNIE TAYLOR: Well, we're definitely going to prepare like we're going to be in the tournament. We're going to take it each day at a time, probably going to have -- we'll have a plan throughout this coming days until selection Monday. But I think we're very confident in ourselves, and we think we deserve to be there, and we're going to take each practice like we were preparing to play in the tournament.

HUNTER DAVIS: Yeah, I think Kennie said it all. I think we're just going to be getting ready these next couple days. It'll give guys a chance to get fresh. We've got a couple guys that are going to be coming back. They're going to be ready. So I think that even though it stings now, I think that will give us a good chance to get a couple days, regroup and get ready to go wherever we end up.

Q. Chris, were you hoping to keep Girard in the pen a little bit longer?
CHRIS POLLARD: No, that was kind of always the plan. We felt like it was the right play to go to him against English and didn't -- as well as Matt pitched, looking at the splits, particularly the slugging splits, didn't think it was a great match-up for Dockman to pitch to English. Whether Dockman gets McCann out or not, we're going to Girard to face English. He's so tough to keep in the ballpark, especially in this ballpark the way it was playing today, it was a better match-up to have Girard in there.

I would have loved it if we'd have executed a two-strike pitch there and been pitching to him with two outs, yes, but we had made the decision to go to Girard against English either way. He's slugging .788 against left-handed pitching.

Q. Kennie, you faced Connor Thomas before. You know how tough he is. How did that experience, I guess, help you guys kind of game plan for him today, and you guys hit him pretty well. How did you feel like you guys executed today against him?
KENNIE TAYLOR: We felt really confident coming into this match-up. Last time we played them, we hit him pretty well, as well. Not everything fell, but we still squared up a lot of baseballs. So we just tried to keep that same mentality and approach for this game. We knew he'd be throwing a lot of changeups and a lot of sliders, as well, to left-handed hitters, and so we just really tried to prepare and tried to stay backside and drive the ball.

Q. Kennie, the offense started out really well for Duke, then all of a sudden Duke just stopped hitting. What happened?
KENNIE TAYLOR: I mean, we faced some good arms. They pitched -- the guys that came out after Thomas like Bartnicki and English are really good arms, and sometimes they just -- you have to sometimes tip your cap to those pitchers. But sometimes we need to take I guess a little bit more advantage of free offense and staying within our zones, and sometimes it happens as a hitter, sometimes that high fastball looks really good to hit and you can't catch up to it, but it's some things we'll definitely be working on in the next couple days.

Q. Coach, the last double off the wall, that's play -- and it's obviously a tough unusual field, but do you think there was a better shot at the plate?
CHRIS POLLARD: It was hard because of the way the wind was playing today. It's really hard to get at. That ball was coming straight down. I'll be very candid with you. When it left the bat, I said, "good job," because I thought it was an F7. I thought that ball would land about the edge of the warning track, and the ballpark played difficult today in left with the way it was pushing, and we've got to go for the catch there. I think even if Gallagher spins right there with Waddell at second and he's halfway, right there he's going to play that halfway, it's not a tag situation, he's going to score if the ball drops, so we've got to go for the catch. I thought it was the right play by Gallagher.

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