Leggett previews UNC, will be happy with tourney format change in 2014

by - Senior Writer -
Jack Leggett talks the media on Clemson's off-day.

DURHAM, N.C. – The current round-robin format for the ACC Baseball Championship is confusing to many, and lacks much of the drama of the old double-elimination format of years past.

For Clemson, much of the remaining drama centers around N.C. State’s 11 a.m. game against Miami on Friday – a Wolfpack win would eliminate Clemson from title contention, taking all of the drama out of the final two games, something that head coach Jack LeggettJack Leggett
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referenced following Wednesday’s game.

“This whole thing is just confusing to me anyway to be honest with you,” Leggett said. “Our main thing is just to win ballgames. Get ourselves locked in to what we have to do on Friday and win on Friday and I can’t really worry about what anybody else is doing.”

The good news is that with the addition of the new teams to the ACC, the tournament will go from eight to ten teams and the double elimination format will return for the 2014 tournament.

Leggett said he likes the double-elimination format better.

“It will be a different format with ten teams. It will be double elimination until Saturday and then single-elimination after that,” Leggett said after Thursday’s practice. In my opinion it [double-elimination] is better. I think you can do it both ways, with double-elimination or the way we do it now. But it would make this weekend more exciting, knowing that you can still have a chance.”

The Tigers have lost three in a row after reeling off a nine-game winning streak, and he will pitch lefty Zach Erwin against the Tar Heels on Friday night as he tries to get his team ready for the NCAA regionals.

“We just have to get our focus back,” he said. “We are just trying to get this team ready for a regional. We have a good challenge against North Carolina. We just have to play really well. We will start Zach Erwin and hopefully he will pitch well for us.”

Leggett was asked if he thinks his team needs to win one of the remaining tournament games in order to be considered as an NCAA Regional host, and he said no.

He also said his message to his team was to try and relax and get back to playing fundamental baseball.

“They are all important, but I think our body of work speaks for itself,” Leggett said. “This is a very tough tournament. It’s as tough as any regional. There are four of the top teams in the country, and if you can do well here you have to feel good about yourself. This tournament is tough. You can always learn something. You just have to wipe out yesterday and worry about tomorrow.

“N.C. State is a good ball club and we are a good ball club. There were just a couple of pivotal times in the game where things could go either way and we didn’t make it happen. We are just not getting that big hit with two outs or when we get men on base. I hope that changes tomorrow night, but North Carolina is a really good ball club.”

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