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Clemson Quotes from Friday’s NCAA Super Regional Press Conference

June 11, 2010

Head Coach Jack Leggett

On Alabama’s strengths: “Well they are pitching pretty well right now. They have had some complete games out of their pitchers and good relief pitching. They also have some guys in the order that can swing the bat and are dangerous and they have been playing really good defense. I think they are a very balanced team.”

On similarity between Alabama and Clemson’s season: “We started off strong, but hit a lull in the middle of the season and just tried to keep our confidence going. We manufactured a way to get back in the ball game during the course of the season and kept our heads in the game. I think we did a good job of that and our players kept on battling and working hard. We have been playing good baseball lately, after the end of exams and hopefully we can keep on going.”

On environment here in the post season: “This is a great place to be as a coach and during regional time. Fans come out and have scoffed up every ticket available, there is standing room only and we expect those to be sold. Have every available place in this side of the fences cheering for Clemson. It is an exciting and electric atmosphere and we are just so glad everything worked out so that we can play at home. It doesn’t ensure a victory though, so we have to go out and win. I think all good athletes feed off the environment whether it is for you or against you so you have to utilize it as motivation and hopefully we can do that here at home.”

On Coach Kyle Bunn: “He has done a nice job for them and he is obviously got some pitchers in good shape with those complete games lately. It has spurred them on and they are playing very well at the end of the season.”

On young pitchers stepping up at Auburn: “Coach Pepicelli has done a great job with our kids and has a great relationship with our players. He has had a tough task because we have a lot of young players that we are relying on. It caught up to us in the middle of the season, but they have matured and given us some good innings lately. We are counting on those guys to give us some innings this weekend. I think they have all matured and gotten better, even the guys out there that are older have gotten better. I like the way that he has done things for our program and he has got them in shape and their minds right. Hopefully we will pitch well this weekend.”

On youthfulness of team and staff being a positive thing: “There is really no substitute for experience. At the same time, if you have enthusiasm and keep your mind focused where it needs to be then you can lend an awful lot to this baseball program, which Pepicelli has. The kids that haven’t been there, I don’t even want them thinking about it. I want them thinking about playing our game, playing baseball and trying to win. They just need to execute their pitches, execute their at bats or execute defensively. I don’t want them thinking about all those other things. I really want them just thinking about playing the game, like we did against Georgia Tech and the last game against Auburn. We didn’t think about what was at stake, we just have to relax and play ball.”

On pitching being the key this weekend: “I think there are lots of keys. Obviously you have to pitch to win, but you also have to hit to win and we are going to have to solve their pitching offensively if we are going to make a run at this thing. We are going to have to hit and get base runners on. We have to play good defense and not give them any extra outs because they are a good team offensively. We can’t put any extra base runners on and throw strikes. So there are a lot of keys to this weekend.”

Third Baseman John Hinson

On excitement of home super regional: “We’re really excited. We’re coming off a big win over Auburn and it’s great to be back home. This is what we’ve been working towards all season. Hopefully we can keep our momentum, get the job done and make it to Omaha.”

On no MLB draft distractions: “I don’t think the draft was a big distraction in the beginning, but now that it’s over it’s definitely a relief. We’re just really excited and ready to play.”

On home field advantage: “We have to come out here and play like everyone else. Alabama has a great team and coaching staff and we just have to get it done. We definitely hope to have our fans behind us. We want this to be the loudest place in South Carolina.”

Outfielder Kyle Parker

On home field advantage: “You definitely feel more comfortable coming back and playing in front of your fans and on your field. This is something that we’re going to be able to use to our advantage this weekend, especially having our fans behind us.”

On MLB draft: “It’s a big relief having the draft over. I was really happy with the outcome. I talked to the Rockies general manager a couple of days ago and the word was “just finish your season”. We’re not going to talk about any contract negotiations or anything right now. Now, I can just focus on this team and getting to Omaha.”

On team’s mid-season struggles: “Our focus is different now. This team has the potential to be great every time we step onto the field. We had some moments in the middle of the season where we lost our focus a little bit and made some mistakes that really aren’t characteristic of this team. Now, we’re playing well when it counts and our focus is back to playing together as a team so that we can accomplish the ultimate goal of playing for a national championship.”

Comparison from last year to this year: “I think being in a super regional last year is really helping us out. Everyone sort of knows what to expect and that might help ease the nerves a little Saturday night. I think if we just treat this like any other game, we’re going to be able to go out and just get the job done.”

Pitcher Casey Harman

On pitching Game 1: “It is exciting. It is always good to be back at home and they way things worked out for us it is going to be good to play in Clemson. It is just like any other weekend for us. It is just important to go out there and set the tone in the first night and get the win and move on from there.”

On going up against Kyle Bunn: “It is just going to be like another game. There is not going to be any hostility or anything like that. He made a move that he thought was best for his career and we have moved on. It is just going to be like another game for us.”

Do you think the atmosphere and crowd will play into Clemson’s favor? “We played off that even this past weekend in Auburn even though the hype was towards the other team. That is something our team really fed off of and I know I like that as a pitcher. It will be great having our fans behind us supporting us.”

On goal of going to Omaha: “It is two wins away. It is right on the tip of our tongue. Everyone feels it and everyone is excited. The way we have been playing lately it is not out of reach. All of the guys are excited for it.”

On last game against Auburn and keeping that momentum going into this series: “It is just making sure all of the pieces are in line and going about things the same way every week and just keeping the right approach towards everything. The week to prepare is what is important and as long as you go about that the right way there is no reason things shouldn’t fall back into place.”

On Clemson’s success carrying over into this series: “It is like any team, you play better in front of your fans. That is something that we have been doing this year and need to carry out this weekend. It is the best scenario we could have asked for.”

On drawing from experience of going to Arizona State last season: “There are a lot of people back from that team and we all feel that bitterness of losing that super regional. I think that will drive the eight starters that are back. We are ready to go out there and play.”