Quotes from Wednesday's win over Georgia Tech

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DURHAM, N.C. – Quotes from both teams following Clemson’s 9-0 win over Georgia Tech Wednesday in the ACC Tournament.

Danny Hall, Head Coach

Opening Statement…

We had a lot of chances early to score and we didn’t do enough little things whether it was having a runner on third and trying to get him in -- we had a leadoff triple and couldn’t score with nobody out. We had the bases loaded and hit a ground ball to third so we had our chances early to at least get on the board and get the game going in a different direction. We didn’t do it. The three-run homer was big. It definitely gave them a lot of momentum and I felt like they made a couple of nice plays. [Chris] Epps made a nice play on [Matt] Skole. [John] Hinson made a nice play diving. They peppered that left field wall on us. Give them credit. Their hitters made some great approaches, not only on Mark [Pope] but on some of our other guys to go at that left field wall.

On Clemson as a possible NCAA Regional host and the strength of the ACC…

I think there are five teams in our league that could easily host. I think our league is really good. I don’t look at RPIs all the time, but I know that five of us are top ten in the RPI or top fifteen and last I looked there are sixteen regionals. I think those RPIs are pretty indicative of how good our league is.

Mark Pope, Starting Pitcher

On being challenged by Clemson this season…

Clemson – they have a good approach at the plate. Both times I’ve pitched against them I haven’t had a feel for my slider which is something I like to throw first pitch a lot and they jump on first pitch fastball. They were sitting on that every time. Without the feel for my slider, I had to go first pitch fastball a lot. Toward the end of the game I started mixing in curveballs but when they were sitting on fastball they were taking advantage of it, especially to left field.

On the pitch to Chris EppsChris Epps
#26 6-1, 195
Stone Mountain, GA

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that yielded the three-run home run…

It was fastball low and away. He took a good swing on that one… I just didn’t roll over it as much as I had on my other pitches trying to get as much sink because I didn’t want to get behind 3-1 or walk him. He took a good swing on it.

On Clemson as a tough out…

They’re a real good team. I think the main difference in them is they’re not the same type of hitters they are with zero or one strike as they are with two strikes. They spread out and put a whole different kind of swing on the ball. I threw some curveballs in there that were really good pitches in the beginning of the count but toward the end they were putting them in and finding holes with them.

No. 6 Clemson

Jack Leggett, Head Coach

Opening Statement…

“I thought we played a real complete game today. I was really proud of us. There were a couple opportunities in the first, second, and third innings and we came up dry a little bit. But, I thought we took some good swings. Chris (Epps’) home run really broke the ice for us, and then I thought our pitching was stellar. Dominic (Leone) didn’t have his best stuff for us today, but he still found a way to get it done, and he had good will. We played good defense and we came up with five runs in the ninth. I feel good about how we swung the bats and about how patient we were early.”

On the importance of not having to use the bull-pen this game…

“It’s always important that we didn’t have to use a closer. It’s good that [David HaseldenDavid Haselden
RH Pitcher
#29 6-4, 240
Spartanburg, SC

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] threw a minimum number of pitches.

On the team’s confidence level going into tomorrow’s game with Florida State…

“We just have to lock in and try to play a good baseball game. They’re a good team. We played well at their place, and all three games were pretty close. They will probably throw Gilmartin at us, who is one of the better pitchers in the conference. We put together some good at-bats against him last time, but we just have to stay focused on playing the game the way that we’ve been playing it. My job is to keep this team focused and to take it one game at a time.”

Chris Epps, Senior Outfielder

On his home run…

“I took the first pitch, which was a fastball away. He (Mark Pope) had gotten me with some change-ups earlier that were good pitches, so I just wanted to make sure I saw some pitches this at-bat. I just put a good swing on the 2-1 fastball.”

Jeff SchausJeff Schaus
#3 6-1, 205
Naples, FL

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, Senior Outfielder

On the complete team effort…

“I just think batters 1-9 we’re a pretty even squad. Every day, someone different can step up. We hit against good pitchers, so we were just trying to battle. Their pitcher had some good movement away, but we just tried to hit them. We’re probably fortunate that the wall was only 305.”

On sensing that Pope was struggling with his slider…

“We noticed that he was throwing the lefties a lot of fastballs and change-ups, so we were just looking for balls up and over the plate.”

Dominic LeoneDominic Leone
RH Pitcher
#6 5-11, 185
Norwich, CT

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, Sophomore Starting Pitcher

On getting out of the bases-loaded jam earlier in the game…

“That was a critical point in the game. I really just tried to bear down and throw strikes. I knew I had the defense behind me and I just had to settle in.”

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