WATCH: Lee, players on loss to Duke in ACC Tournament

by - Assoc. Editor -

Head coach Monte Lee and his players talk about the loss to Duke on Tuesday in the ACC Tournament.

MONTE LEE: First and foremost, give Duke a lot of credit. They threw the ball exceptionally well. Mitch Stallings, their starting pitcher did a great job and Hendrix their reliever did an outstanding job out of the bullpen, only one walk. The runs that we scored all were on solo home runs so he did -- their pitching staff did a nice job with runners on base and man, did they make some great plays at the end of the game, made a play at third base to get a lead out at second, and then made a really nice play at second base, made a great play laying out to his left to make a great play.

Offensively and pitching wise they did a nice job, and there in the eighth inning with two strikes, I think it was their 8 hitter, Phillips, came up with a huge hit right there to extend their lead. So you know, they did a good job. You've got to give them credit. They outplayed us tonight. They were the better team, and they deserved to win.

Q. Charlie, talk to me how you feel right now after pitching as well as you did to get the win, and obviously it just didn't happen for you guys.

CHARLIE BARNES: It's definitely tough any time you leave the game with a lead, you're hoping to get that win, but it's not something that I focused on. There's been plenty of times I've left the game where we've been losing, so it's not something I can control. I just go in the dugout and try to cheer my teammates on the best I can, and you've got to give Duke credit, they finished the game really strong, and we'll have to come out Friday and get back to it.

Q. Rudy, what can you guys do as players to get this turned around going into the NCAA Tournament?

ANDREW COX: Just keep playing. You know, I said it after the game on Friday at NC State, this ain't going to be easy, nobody is going to feel sorry for us. It's baseball. Just got to keep playing, got to play with a lead, play with a lot of energy and trust in each other that that guy will get the job done. You know, it hurts, but we've got another game on Friday, so got a couple days to let this one simmer, and should come out and try and play a good game on Friday. That's the only thing we can control from this point forward is how our focus shifts to Friday and the game we play then.

Q. Charlie, you came out with 86 pitches. Did you feel like you could have gone longer?

CHARLIE BARNES: Yeah, I felt like I could have gone longer, but I was also getting pretty tight being on five days' rest. It was a quick turnaround. I can't blame them at all. I was getting pretty tight there towards the end, so I think it was a really good decision to try to stay healthy, not only for the rest of the tournament but also the NCAA Tournament.

Q. Andrew, you were talking a little bit about having that game Friday. How big is that for your team, obviously regardless of what happens the rest of the way here? How big is it to have that game against Virginia on Friday?

ANDREW COX: It's big. Tonight was big. We don't treat any game differently just because that's the last game of the tournament or today is the first game of the tournament. We've got to look at it the same way we approach every game as if that game is the biggest game of the year, so we've got to be ready to play against a really, really good Virginia club and I'm confident that our guys will respond in a positive way and be ready to play on Friday.

Q. First of all, Charlie said he was feeling a little tight. I guess obviously you knew that, and then also, that play out there, what was supposed to happen? Whose ball was that, and did anybody call it off?

MONTE LEE: It's a good question. We took Charlie out at 86 pitches because he was on four days rest not five days rest, so he hadn't pitched on four days rest all year, and we felt like he had done his job. Any time you take a kid, pitch him on short rest, you have to be cognizant of the fact that pitch counts are going to matter, and we need him next week. We were hoping to get about 80 pitches out of him in max, and we got 86 out of him, and he did his job, and then we turned it over.

As far as the play down the line, you know, Jordan Greene had a better angle on the ball. Obviously, it's a ball on the line and it's right behind first base, but I played right field, I know what it's like as an outfielder to come in hard on a baseball and the ball is up above you and sometimes you don't -- he was calling the ball. Jordan was calling the ball and I think Weston called the ball, too. I think Weston just called it a little too late. There was nothing Jordan could do as far as trying to peel off or get out of the way at that point. I think he just called it a little bit too late, and he was probably just trying too much. It was probably more of Jordan's ball, probably an easier play for Jordan even though Weston got there. It seems like the collided right as the ball was hitting one of their gloves. I couldn't tell who it hit, but Greeney is pretty good on balls down the line like that, and he wasn't angling straight back, he was going kind of to his left on a diagonal line, so it probably was more Jordan's ball. I think Weston was just trying to be aggressive, was just trying to make a play, and you know, unfortunately for us, they both collided as they were trying to make the catch. But they were both calling the ball.

Q. You guys stumbled a little bit toward the end of conference play. You still have the one game against Virginia. How big is that game, even if it's just from a confidence and righting the ship perspective?

MONTE LEE: Well, it's a very big game. We all know what's at stake. We know what's at stake. We're trying to -- obviously we're trying to play our best baseball this time of year to put ourselves in a good position moving into next week, so it's a big game. Virginia is a really good ballclub. They're all important right now for every reason. They're important to try to build positive momentum going into a regional. So yeah, they're big. I mean, the game tonight was big. It wasn't like we came in just to play a game. We gave it everything we had. I put my No. 1 and my No. 2 starters to try to do everything I could from a management standpoint to win the game, along with our best two relievers, the two guys, past, Eubanks have our been two guys out of the pen. We tried to everything we could. The bottom line is we had two plays that didn't go our way, unfortunately, and it's not like those plays have happened to us this year in the outfield. We just dropped two balls, and it happened, so it was obviously tough luck on our part, but on the other side, we just couldn't come up with a hit with a runners on base and we had a couple opportunities and just couldn't come up with a two-out hit with runners on base.

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