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May 24, 2019

Elliott Avent

Will Wilson

Durham, North Carolina

THE MODERATOR: Coach, when you're ready.

ELLIOTT AVENT: Just want to congratulate Mike Martin. I've been around this game to for a long time and I've had the pleasure of coaching against a lot of great people and a lot of mentors and stuff, but of all the legends out there that I've had the pleasure to meet he and Augie Garrido come to mind, and I've had the pleasure of coaching against both of them, in the same league with both of them and the pleasure of being able to call both of them a friend. So congratulations to Mike Martin, his team played a heck of a game tonight, Van Eyk was unbelievable. Best pitching performance I saw all year. And we got to go home and shower this off, go back quickly and come back tomorrow and play Georgia Tech.


Q. Guessing the goal was to escape without injury. Did you cringe a little bit when McDonough into the fence in the fifth?
ELLIOTT AVENT: I used to, but he's done it so many times I don't even look now. He's done it so many times. And -- but you never play trying to not get hurt. But we have had some injuries this year so I did see him go down. I just -- but he's a competitor. That he's what he does. That guy plays lights out every day. He plays the game the way it's supposed to be played. He doesn't care if the score is 11-0 or if it's 2-1. He plays the game the same way and boy, you got to admire that.

Q. First time we seen Michael Bienlien on the mound for about a few days shy of a month. How would you assess his performance today?
ELLIOTT AVENT: I thought Michael did good. I was more proud of him than anything, I mean we had a plan going in we were going to pitch everybody one inning. That's the only way we can get ready to play four games in four days. So we were going to pitch everybody an inning and then we kind of changed off that and we went with Barger, he just didn't have command. And once that happened we went to Swiney and next thing you know it's 6-0 or something like that. And Bienlien came in, we were going to hold his pitch count down so he can come back tomorrow or definitely Sunday. And I went out there when he was at 33 pitches and we talked when he got in the dugout and just said, hey, really proud of you. I mean, he was giving up hits, I think they may have even had his signs at second base. I think they may have been relaying signs. And so I was just really proud of his composure.

It's hard when you are sitting out there and every hit's finding a hole and then they hit one hard and then you walk a guy, that's tough. It's tough to keep your concentration and play good defense, which I thought we did a great job of. And it's tough for Bienlien to accept that. I thought he was a pro tonight, I thought he handled it very professionally, and just very proud. So we made a decision. He said, Coach, let me bite this bullet, let me keep going to save everybody for tomorrow night against Georgia Tech. I thought it was a class act on his part, shows what a teammate he is. But I thought he pitched better than he showed.

Q. It looked like you had kind of an extended moment there with Coach Martin at the end of the game. I don't know if that was a private message or not or how much of that you would share with us.
ELLIOTT AVENT: Well, we're very, very close. We have -- my first year in the league we had a something that was really kind of cool that happened at his hotel room. And he just, you know, we have gone through so many things. But I think it all goes back to me giving that Scotty Cameron putter. That's the biggest gift he says he's ever had, and he's had a bunch in his life, and he got a bunch this year.

So, but he did lean over and he said, I like to say a lot of things, but I don't think we need words. I think we know what we think of each other. And he knows what I think about his career and what he's done to me. I told him one time, I said, Mike, what you've done, nobody may have ever done that in any other sport. But there are some things, some records, but this, for college athletics, except for John Wooden, winning seven national championships in a row, I don't know of anything in college that compares to what this man has done. He's just an icon, he's a class act, he's loved by so many, and like I said, just proud that I can call him a friend.

Q. Is there anything positive coming out of this game tonight? I know it's only 11-0.
ELLIOTT AVENT: Yeah, there is. It ended after 7. That was really positive. So we saved two innings of pitching and come back, get home a little bit earlier, come home ready for George Tech.

Q. What was it like playing when you know you're in the semi-finals already and the game doesn't necessarily count?
WILL WILSON: Every game counts in this league. We're fighting for a hosting spot for us, so every game counts. But it's just a game you got to wash off and get ready to play for the semi-finals and we haven't played George Tech this year but we're looking forward to it. And they're a good team and so are we, so it's going to be a good game, a dogfight. And so we're looking forward to it.

Q. Is it kind of weird to be playing a team in the ACC for the first time in the semi-finals? And how much do you know about George Tech?
ELLIOTT AVENT: They have had a heck of a year. We know they're very offensive and they -- but it is, just with the expansion of the league it's going to happen. You miss a lot of people during the season, but you get them in the tournament. So we're looking forward, like he said, to playing them. We haven't seen them and we know they got a really good ball club, very good offensive explosive ball club. And we know that they're playing very, very well right now.

Q. How will you overcome this loss to be prepared mentally prepared to play George Tech tomorrow?
ELLIOTT AVENT: Mentally it won't be a problem. These guys have played I don't know how many games. We played 60 games and we have gone through a lot of things. You know what I'm saying? This won't be a problem at all. So mentally it won't be a problem. It's like you know the next day's momentum is starting pitching and we're going to have to come out and get a good start out of our starter tomorrow and we'll go from there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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