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ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP


May 21, 2014


Justin Gonzalez

Mike Martin

Billy Strode


GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA

Florida State テや 7
North Carolina テや 1


THE MODERATOR:テつ We have Florida State head coach Mike Martin, Billy Strode, and Justin Gonzalez.テつ Coach Martin, if you could give us an opening statement?
COACH MARTIN:テつ Very pleased and proud of the way our guys played, but I would just like to say that I tip my hat to NorthCarolina.テつ They've had a very tough last five days.テつ They went to Miami and got rained out, if I'm not mistaken.テつ Had to play a double up on Saturday and a single on Sunday, get on the plane, fly home and play their rival Tuesday, and then play Florida State tonight.
So we definitely had an advantage, and we played very well.テつ Billy Strode pitched extremely well.テつ Our captain had a big night for us.テつ It was a game that just happened to go our way.テつ But I just like the way The University of NorthCarolina does things, and they're a class operation.テつ So is this group to my left, and so is 25 other guys that are eating right now while we're talking to you all.

Q.テつ Billy, you worked a lot of ground out there, was that part of keeping the fastball down?
BILLY STRODE:テつ Fastball movement, just locating the pitches in and out.テつ Not trying to leave anything too much over the middle of the plate, but just keeping the batters off balance.テつ Trust your defense, keep the pitch countdown and keep the game going.

Q.テつ It seemed pretty narrow at the plate today.テつ What was it today for you?
JUSTIN GONZALEZ:テつ It hasn't only been today.テつ I think since Senior Day I've kind of realized that things are winding down, so I'm trying to make the most of these opportunities with this team, because I think we have a special team.テつ Just go out and give a hundred percent every day.

Q.テつ How good does it feel?
JUSTIN GONZALEZ:テつ Oh, man, I haven't been here for five, so my freshman year was a long time ago.テつ So to come out and get it out of the way, so we just want to keep this train rolling.

Q.テつ Coach, you guys coming in with seven straight losses, is that something that's really driving these guys?
COACH MARTIN:テつ You know, every game that we play, and I mean this, every game that we play is important to these guys.テつ The fact that we hadn't won one in a long time I'm sure was on the minds of our guys.テつ My pitching coach pitched for us, and had the line of the night.テつ He said I‑‑ he came to us two years ago‑‑ he said, I ain't won a game in the ACC since 1994, so you might say we were aware of the drought, but just glad that we played well and got it done.

Q.テつ How big was Billy tonight?テつ What's that mean for you guys moving forward in this tournament to get six strong innings out of him?
COACH MARTIN:テつ I just can't tell you what Billy did for our baseball team tonight.テつ He's a great competitor.テつ He gave us a tremendous lift.テつ We didn't have to really dive into the bullpen.テつ Gage needed some work.テつ We got him a couple innings, and Jameis needed to work.テつ It was very fortunate that we were able to put them in under those conditions, because it's early in the tournament, but yet we've got three guys that have now pitched, and that was important for us.

Q.テつ Coach, actually given how low Billy's pitch count was through six, was there even any thought that you needed to give Gage some time and Jameis some time?テつ Was there any thought of giving him another inning or so or getting these guys work?
COACH MARTIN:テつ As much as anything it was to get him out of the ballgame and have him ready to pitch again possibly in this tournament.テつ But I can also say we did want Gage and Jameis to work, so kind of a two‑fold answer.

Q.テつ In the bottom of the order Danny comes up with a huge hit for you guys and draws a walk.テつ Did that turn things around in the top of the order?
JUSTIN GONZALEZ:テつ Oh, yeah, I hate to call us the bottom of the order.テつ We go up there with situations, and we did our job tonight.テつ We produced.テつ We had great at‑bats, tough at‑bats, and that's all anybody ever asked out of us.テつ So for us to come through the way we did to help our team, because it can't always be D.J., it can't always be Nogowski, can't always be Brizuela and so on and so forth.テつ The fact that we were able to lift these guys up really showed tonight.テつ A huge credit to Billy the way he pitched.テつ It was easy to play defense behind him.

Q.テつ The home run was a pretty big shot.テつ Did you know it?テつ You had planned a couple of pitches foul early on the floor.テつ Did you know the ball was going that long?
JUSTIN GONZALEZ:テつ To be honest, I know I hit it hard, but as soon as I put my head down.テつ I knew it was gone.テつ I didn't know how far it went or anything like that.テつ But I'm just happy we got the W tonight.

Q.テつ You didn't ask anyone in the dugout where it landed?
JUSTIN GONZALEZ:テつ I did ask.テつ Some guys were very eager to tell me where it landed.テつ I did ask and they told me, and I was just happy I was able to put a good swing on it.

Q.テつ When you hit it as far as it went, his first hit after driving that first run and seeing someone rocket a double‑play.テつ It was kind of bad luck.テつ For him to come back and give you guys an early lead‑‑
COACH MARTIN:テつ A great analogy, yes.テつ That was really big because Sansone hit the daylights out of the ball, and Lassiter made a big‑league play and turned a double‑play.テつ Gonzo comes up and gets a big two‑out hit for us.テつ It's very, very important.

Q.テつ What's the mindset you have to have to be able to come through?
JUSTIN GONZALEZ:テつ What I've been doing lately is I just tell myself that really just not at the moment be bigger than myself.テつ Just go out there and try to make hard contact and have a productive at‑bat.テつ Now, that necessarily doesn't mean I have to get a hit every time, though I'd like to, but just having good at‑bats, not chasing bad pitches, and really boxing up the pitch that I want.テつ The coaches tell me that all the time.テつ It's starting to finally sink in my big head.テつ But I was very fortunate and very happy to come through with my team.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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