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May 29, 2021

Brian O'Connor

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Truist Field

Virginia Cavaliers

Postgame Press Conference

Duke 4, Virginia 2

Q. Curious your impressions of Luke Fox for Duke and what he was able to do today for them on the mound.

BRIAN O'CONNOR: Well, he had an impressive outing. Fox and Loperfido was the game. He didn't walk anybody, first of all, and the poise for a freshman that he showed, we knew when he pitched against us at our place in relief that he had a good arm and his pitch ability was very, very good. He rose to the occasion in a critical point, so you tip your cap to the kid. He did a terrific job, and they threw two really good arms out of the bullpen and held us at bay. We just couldn't get enough going offensively against him, and he did a nice job of mixing his pitches and pitching in on our right-handed hitters, and you do that with consistency, you're going to have a lot of success.

Congrats to him. He had a terrific outing.

Q. After yesterday you called this game a bloodbath, and kind of with two of these teams being so hot down the stretch, what do you think you take out of a game like this going forward?

BRIAN O'CONNOR: Well, you know, we've got to be better to win a championship next weekend than we were today. We just didn't have guys rise up. They did. This time of the year, everybody needs to play consistent, but you need certain guys to have big days, and we didn't do that.

You know, I thought that we played really well this week, just ran into a great starting pitcher and a really, really hot team. You know, what Duke has done down this stretch is -- as impressive as what we've done, it's even more impressive what they've done. Kudos to them. They've done a nice job, and they're playing some great baseball with a veteran team.

Q. Obviously not the result you wanted today, but the last two months of the season your team has played some really good baseball.

BRIAN O'CONNOR: Oh, there's no question. The spirit of our team and the aggressiveness and the way that we've played the last two months is impressive, and I'm really, really proud of this group, that they were at a critical point and they made a decision that they were going to stand up and do what it took to flip it, and they certainly did that, and so I have got a great feeling this -- today I'm disappointed. We obviously wanted to win the game and have a chance at the championship tomorrow, so I'm disappointed in that, but that said, this team will be ready to go and play really great baseball next weekend.

Q. Just talking about that, this team has had a nice run down the stretch here, but if there is one spot on the field, where are you looking to kind of improve or focus on for this next week?

BRIAN O'CONNOR: You know, I thought we've gotten pretty solid starting pitching for sure. Hitting sometimes is going to come and go. We're going to need to have a better offensive approach than we did today to win a tournament next weekend. Unfortunately we had a couple mishaps in the field, Kent's error allowed the fourth run for them to extend the lead. I thought our bullpen pitched great, so I like where we're at in all facets. It's just going to come down to do we have certain guys that rise up when they get opportunities, especially offensively.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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