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June 23, 2010

Alex Frederick

John Hinson

Jack Leggett

Scott Weismann


Clemson: 6
Oklahoma: 4

THE MODERATOR: Joined by John Hinson, Alex Frederick and Scott Weismann and Coach Leggett. Opening statement, Coach.
COACH LEGGETT: It's kind of a tale of different days. Yesterday I thought Scotty Weismann went out and pitched well for five innings. Would like to squeeze maybe another inning or two before the rain came because he was pitching so well.
But we did a nice job I think offensively in the one run, when they scored one run, we bounced back and scored four. Their kid had trouble finding the strike zone. We were able to take advantage of that, got some big hits by Spencer Kieboom during that inning. And then we were fortunate to grab the two runs the next inning, Kyle Parker's triple and the ball to left field and John Hinson's ball to the right side. I knew those were going to be two big runs for us when we left the ballpark yesterday.
And today their left-hander did a good job on us and kind of held us where they wanted to hold us, and Will Lamb came in and did a pretty good job for us and then Dominic did what he had to do and Alex Frederick again came in and did an outstanding job in relief in the 9th inning.
So just pleased we're in the position we're at. Day off tomorrow, we'll be ready to play on Friday.

Q. John, has it sunk in yet that you guys are within one game for playing of a national championship? Have you thought about that a little bit?
JOHN HINSON: We haven't really had enough time to think about just having one more game. But we're going to approach it just like we have every other game. Still 1-0 and gives us a chance to play for a national championship.

Q. Scott, talk to us about how hard it was to get that rain delay yesterday and your strong performance you had yesterday.
SCOTT WEISMANN: Yeah, I mean, it had to happen. It was unfortunate. I felt I was getting into a groove there for a little bit the last couple of innings. So for that to happen, it was kind of disappointing. But the guys took care of it today after me. So it was a good win.

Q. Talk about the confidence you have right now. Obviously Coach Leggett putting you in a pressure situation again with the game on the line. And do you have the confidence you can go out there and get the job done right there?
ALEX FREDERICK: I feel like every time I go out there I just try to do my best no matter what the situation is. And confidence comes along with how you feel, the people behind you, the support you have, and usually how the pitcher before you is doing. You can just build off the momentum. I feel if I go out there and we're upbeat, ready to play, I'll do my job and I'll try to do the best I can.

Q. Jack, I don't want to ask who you'd rather play -- but word it differently, who do you match up with better, do you think? Oklahoma or South Carolina?
COACH LEGGETT: Both good teams, and they're both playing well. Oklahoma has got some good balance. They're a good ball club. Got a little speed, a little power. A little bit of everything. They're a dangerous ball club. No question about it.
I think South Carolina is playing well. They played well the last game out. Developed some confidence having beaten Oklahoma. And they swung the bats well the other day.
But my concern to be honest with you is not who we play but how we play. I'm just interested in how we play and our approach. And whomever we play on Friday, whatever time they tell us to play, we'll be there, and we'll give it everything we've got and got. Got a lot of confidence in my players, and I just want them to play like we're capable of playing, no matter who we're matched up against on Friday.

Q. [Question off mic]?
JOHN HINSON: We'll worry about ourselves, and whatever happens with that game happens. We're just going to worry about ourselves and we'll get prepared like we always do.
SCOTT WISEMAN: Whoever we play we'll be ready to play. I think having tomorrow off will be nice. So get our health back and recover a little bit. But like Coach Leggett said, we're playing well, too, and whoever we play, we'll play well.

Q. Jack, is this almost like having to win two games, just managing your emotions because you had all the momentum last night and then having to come back today? Maybe just some of the challenges you faced with the delays this week?
COACH LEGGETT: That's a pretty good question. I mean, you kind of left the job undone yesterday, we went home. The good thing about it was we were able to go home with a better feeling when you're up to 6-1 rather than being down 6-1. That's a tough night's sleep there. And so I think we went home with a pretty good feeling, and we got up this morning with the same kind of feeling, went to practice with the same kind of feeling.
We had a good approach lately. The kids are excited about being at the ballpark. They're loose, relaxed. We're having a little fun playing. And got some confidence rolling right now. So we all look forward to getting back out here. We wanted to finish that game off last night because we were feeling pretty good about ourselves.
But it definitely is an adjustment to have to go home and restart your batteries, restart things up, and the kids did a good job of that today.

Q. John, you've been on quite the tirade of late. Just how well are you seeing the ball, and have you ever been on such a strong streak like you are right now?
JOHN HINSON: Yeah, I've been hitting pretty well. But hopefully we keep it going. The team's been hitting well. We've been getting double-digit hits just about every game we play, and we're putting up runs. And our pitchers are doing well and doing what they need to do for us to win.
So hopefully we just keep playing the way we are, keep playing well as a team. And hopefully play for a national championship.

Q. Coach, you mentioned specifically when you guys sort of broke through last night in the 4th inning, Spencer's two-run single that sort of squeaked through the right side. Talk about that hit, what it did for your ball club, and also his improved approach to the plate as he's got more playing time.
COACH LEGGETT: He's been a great addition to our lineup since we inserted him, really since the last game in the ACC tournament against Georgia Tech. He's very solid behind the plate, kind of shuts down the running game because he's got such a good arm and blocking the ball real well. Been handling our pitchers very nicely. And he's been doing a good job at the plate, getting some key hits in key situations.
That was the one situation, it's always tough -- he doesn't run extremely well so you want to try to stay out of double play situations.
And he hit the first pitch of that at-bat, if I'm not mistaken, hard to the right side over their dugout, and they came back with another fastball I think two pitches later or something, hit a ball hard through the right side of the infield and just past their second baseman and just out of his reach. So it was a big, big hit for us because we were able to score a couple of runs and loosen us up. I don't know if it was the second two runs of that four or the first two reasons or whatever it was, but it got us started and I thought it was a huge hit in that situation.

Q. Coach, being 2-0 obviously is where you want to be, but is there a little bit of a double-edged sword with now having to wait again? When you're playing well, would you rather just keep playing the next day? And secondly, having won the first two games, how does that set up your pitching for Friday?
COACH LEGGETT: Well, we feel like since Monday have been playing every day. And we felt like we were ready to play on Sunday, too. Somehow felt like we played Sunday. But we've been on the go every day since we've been here, once we started practice and once the tournament started.
So I think tomorrow will be good for us, actually. I think it will give us a little bit of rest and we'll go practice a little bit and swing the bats. And then we'll come back out and be ready to go on Friday night.
Setting up our pitching. We'll just have to go look at it. I think a day's rest, day off would be good. We have a lot of guys we haven't used yet. We have to figure out who we'll start on Friday and figure out who we're going to play and who might be a good matchup and just go from there. But we haven't even started looking that far ahead yet.

Q. You said the other day sometimes this time of year you like to go with the hot arm out of the bullpen. What's made Alex that hot arm?
COACH LEGGETT: Well, he's got his confidence going right now. He's a strike thrower, aggressive in the strike zone and throws breaking pitches for strikes. And a fastball, sneak it by you. He's competitive. And with that confidence, he's developed and that calmness that it takes to pitch in these situations he's pitching in. And I can think of four or five opportunities he's had in the last, you know, two or three weeks and he's taken advantage of it and done a nice job at it.
When he has a bump in the road he recovers quickly. He has a short memory. And I think the players have a lot of confidence in him when he comes out on the mound as well. That gives a little boost to the team in those situations. He's been hot for us. And we're just going to keep riding him when it's time and stay focused and poised not feeling too good about ourselves, just gotta stay locked in what he does best and execute his pitches and good things have been happening.

Q. You guys seem to be playing really loose and relaxed and with a lot of confidence. I notice kind of your pregame routine, tradition. Can you talk about the importance of that, how that started, kind of the team chemistry you have in the dugout? It's very evident.
COACH LEGGETT: We're an enthusiastic ball club. We're a team that likes to play. I think I'm enthusiastic. I like being out in the ballpark, ball field all the time. And I feel very loose. I feel very relaxed. I feel very confident in our players right now. I think they can probably feel that. I'm excited about being here in Omaha, excited about playing baseball, and there's been several times I've thought, in the third base coach's box, we've been working hard, play ball, don't try to do too much. From the dugout I'm thinking the same thing, it's time for them to go out and perform and do what we're capable of doing.
We were kind of a routine-oriented team. We've been going over to Creighton and hitting and hitting in the cages, and we've been loose and we've been feeling good about that routine. Kids on the bench are giving us a lot of excitement and everybody's feeling it right now.
But like I say, we've got to go one game at a time. Can't feel too good about ourselves, can't get too high up, too low down, just keep on playing, keep an even keel and be excited where we're at right now. But at the same time, I don't want them thinking about where we're at. I don't want them to think about do we do this or we're in a national. To me, I'm thinking about winning the game on Friday and then let the committee tell me where we play, who we play, what we've got to do, whether we're home team or visiting team. What color uniforms you want us to wear and we'll be there.
That's really how I'm approaching this thing.

Q. Jack, you were in the same position back in 2002 and didn't get the job done. Is there any lessons learned from that experience that you can bring into this scenario, and do you consider yourself the same kind of coach now that you were back then, or have you kind of changed over the years?
COACH LEGGETT: A lot of questions there. I'm the same guy I've been for a long period of time. I'm the same coach. When we weren't playing very well in the middle of the year, I was the same guy I was when we were in 2002 and had our teams here in 2006 and so forth.
I'm the same guy, but just like anybody else, you learn from your experiences out here. I do feel like I'm more relaxed maybe. And in that situation, we came out of the box and won the first two ball games. We had three days to think about where we were. I like the idea we're playing again on Friday. We just got right back on the saddle and play.
But I'm not thinking about it. I don't want our players to think about it. That's history. This is a new team. None of those guys were here, so they have no idea except where we're at right now and what we have to do to try to win on Friday.

Q. Scott, you had seemed to hit your stride about the third, fourth inning and were rolling pretty good there. Were you frustrated by the stop at that point and how bizarre was this whole circumstance of five inning stop and go, coming out and playing four innings again?
SCOTT WEISMANN: It was frustrating. But I guess it was pretty unusual. I don't know if we've done that all year where we had to stop and then come back the next day. But I mean, we adjusted Sunday, came back and played Monday, so we were cut off at the fifth inning there, but we came back, came out ready to play and it showed. We shut them down, got the win.

Q. Coach and John, the midseason slide was obviously very frustrating, but even in the midst of that did you still envision that you would have the opportunity that is ahead of you coming up later this week?
COACH LEGGETT: Absolutely, you never stop dreaming about it. Never stop thinking about it. It's a long season. It's frustrating there for a while. But that's behind us. I'm just focused on how we're playing here at the end. And I always think about it. I think about it every day. I think about playing here at Rosenblatt and playing in the College World Series every day.
JOHN HINSON: Yeah, I agree with Coach Leggett. We stayed confident through that slip and through that tough spell we had in the middle of the season. But baseball is a crazy game.
Sometimes you lose. But you always have tomorrow. That's the way we look at it. And you've got to take it one game at a time and that's what we've been doing as of late and playing well like that. So, yeah, we had that in the back of our head the entire time to play for a national championship and hopefully we come out and we play well on Friday and just do our thing and get the opportunity.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thank you.

End of FastScripts

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