May 27, 2005
Opening Statement from Clemson Head Coach Jack Leggett:
That was a really well pitched game. I thought Robert (Rohrbaugh) pitched the best I've ever seen him pitch. He kept us in the ball game, threw strikes, got great pace on it. He had a really good fast ball today, but he also had a good feel for his change up and his breaking ball. We've had three great starting pitching performances in the tournament, and in fact Jeff (Hahn) came in and did exactly what he had to do in the end and got a big strike out. We played good defense and got some timely hits in the first inning. We came to play in the first inning and got our four runs we needed to and we just kind of sat on that for a while. Their player, Phil Davidson, came in and did a good job. He slowed things down and got them back in the ball game a little bit. But I thought it was a well played game on both sides. They've got a good ball club, and we always have a good match up when we get up with NC State.
On nervousness in last inning and considering pulling Rohrbaugh out earlier:
My nerves were just like they always are, very calm. Actually I've felt pretty calm lately; I feel like we're well prepared. I feel like our team is playing well and once we start the game, I feel pretty confident that it's in good hands. The kids are playing well and they're playing hard. There's not much you can do. You can make a few key decisions maybe at third base and decide what to do, or change up different things with pitching, but in the end, you've got to go out and play. They've been playing well as a team and I have a lot of confidence in how we're playing now. We wanted to let Robert (Rohrbaugh) finish they game. I thought he was going to be able to do that, Herman (Demmink) made a great play to start off the 9th inning there. It just didn't quite work out that way. We had to make an adjustment and I thought Jeff (Hahn) did a good job and got the out that he needed to get.
Pitcher Robert Rohrbaugh on his performance today:
Coach (Leggett) is probably right. This year, I've struggled a little bit but today is a different time of the year. You've got to step your game up. I went out there and threw strikes. Anytime your team scores four runs in the fist inning, it makes it a lot easier to pitch. I was hitting the spots and Cass (Adrian Casanova) did a great job calling pitches and setting up behind the plate. Sully (Assistant Coach Kevin O'Sullivan) left it up to me and him to call the pitches today, so that made a little difference I'm sure.
Coach Leggett on allowing Casanova and Rohrbaugh to call pitches:
We've played a lot of ball games, close to sixty games, so they start to understand what Sully (Kevin O'Sullivan) is thinking, and Sully understands what Cass (Adrian Casanova) is thinking, they've got a good relationship. Cass does a good job with the pitchers and he's got really good instincts. He knows what works and he knows some of the other hitters. Of course we've played the other team three times and every time we've played them, he's been back behind the plate. It's really a good triangle there between the three of them. It's been working out pretty well.
Pitcher Jeff Hahn on magnitude of pitching today:
It was big, a lot of esteem points for the confidence that they're going to give me the ball to go right back out there. We're lucky to be in the tournament, but you don't have a lot of days off. When you play a lot of games, you're going to get a chance to go right back out there. It was unfortunate; I was really disappointed in the way I threw the other night. But, at the same time, you can't get too down on yourself. You have to learn from it, it's a sad way to look at it, but it's the reality of the situation. Like I said, it means a lot for them to give me the ball to go back out there in that situation. It always seems like when the game is close, those last three outs are impossible. They're never easy, it's never just two pop ups or a ground ball or something like that, you have to fight for them. We knew it wouldn't be easy. I was happy just to get back out there and wanted to make something good happen especially after feeling the way I did the other night. I let my team down, I let myself down. It's tough to go through, but you look forward to getting back out there. And I was definitely anxious to do that.
Opening Statement by NC State Head Coach Elliott Avent:
As difficult as it is to be going home from this great tournament, and our guys really wanted to be here and win this thing, it's nice to see us going back and playing the type of baseball we are capable of playing. To be in a 4-0 deficit after the first inning, it was like here we go again, so it shows how hard we played; how much heart and character we played with to be able to battle back from four runs down against a great Clemson club that is extremely hot, in a ball park where it is difficult to score runs. They had a guy on the mound that was filling up the strike zone. It's a shame that we are going home, but hopefully we can take this into next weekend at the regional and have a better outcome come next Sunday.
On his decision to go with Matt Payne to start today's game:
It was a decision that we wrestled with all night. If it was about winning one baseball game, which I guess is what it is about to stay alive to have a chance to win. We came down here to win the tournament. We know we are in a regional, we hope we're hosting. This was about getting the guys an ACC Championship ring and winning the ACC Tournament. And to do that, we felt Payne had to give us four or five good innings today and then go to (Jason) Duncan and finish with Joey Devine. Then go with Phil (Davidson) and (Brandon) Knapp tomorrow in a double header to get to the championship game, bringing (Gib) Hobson back on Monday. That's what we decided we had to do to win it.
On the size of the ballpark at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville and its dimensions:
I'm not sure if it's the size of the park, sometimes it's just the way the ballpark plays. Dimensions don't tell everything. The wind was blowing in just slightly the last few days, but just a slight wind made it impossible to get anything out.
First Baseman Aaron Bates on the pitching performance by Clemson's Robert Rohrbaugh:
I think he pitched the way a lot of pitchers will pitch when they are up 4-0. He was going to make us do something with it. It took us making adjustments at the plate. Scouting reports help me a lot and with those, you can see what he is going to do for you and what he is going to do against you and that helps a lot in certain situations. He did a good job of attacking the zone and did his job with a 4-0 lead.
Pitcher Phillip Davidson on the homerun by Clemson's Taylor Harbin:
It was a 1-2 pitch. I tried to bury the pitch into the ground, down and away, but I hung it a little bit. He got out in front of it and the ball carried well to left for the homerun.