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Clemson vs. Auburn Postgame Quotes

June 6, 2010

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Clemson Head Coach Jack Leggett

Opening statement… “We played a really good ballgame tonight, and it started right on the mound with Casey Harman. He threw strikes, mixed his pitches and got ahead of batters all night. We played really good defense behind Casey all night as well. I thought the game changing defensive play was Wilson Boyd’s catch against the wall in right-center. We got the runs we needed early in the game and competed the whole time.”

On Harman finishing the 9th inning… “He was pitching well for us. He came in after the eighth and said ‘I want the ball.’ He was in a good rhythm and knew what to expect from the hitters coming up. He hit a little bump with the leadoff home run by Morris and the single by Caldwell, but the double play allowed him to get out of the jam and finish this thing off.”

On confidence in leading in Regionals right now… “I’m never really very comfortable. The thing I really like tonight is, as Casey mentioned, they hit a couple of home runs, but if they hit solo home runs, you can let those things go a little bit easier. He pitched very well with men on base. A couple of solo home runs didn’t hurt us.

When he had to make pitches, he made pitches. I was very pleased with how we competed tonight. We had to come in here against a good baseball team in a hostile environment. They’ve got some great fans, and they’ve got great backing. There were people hanging off of everything, the parking garage, everywhere. We knew we were going to be in for a battle and they’ve had a great season. They’re a good baseball team and whether we see them or Southern Miss tomorrow, we’re going to see a good baseball team again. You never get really comfortable. You’ve got to take care of your business. You have to be focused and locked in. We were very focused tonight, very locked-in to what we had to do. We had some people step up. Mike Freeman’s home run at the beginning of the game was a huge home run for us to break the ice. We had a couple of good base hits to get the runs that we needed to feel good about ourselves. It was one of those games where they never let it get out of control, and we kept it under control. I expect the same thing tomorrow against whoever we play.”

On the starter tomorrow and pitching… “We’ll throw Will Lamb tomorrow as it stands right now. We’ll go back and talk tomorrow, but that’s what we’re thinking. Our pitching has been good, it’s been really good. Coach (Dan) Pepicelli’s done a great job with our pitchers, and they’re in shape and prepared to win. They called a good game tonight and followed the game plan and did what we had to do against the hitters that we saw last night watching them play. I think our pitching has been good against two good hitting teams so far in this tournament. We just have to keep on maintaining that and keep on working at it and keep on getting better.”

On playing on the road in the postseason… “We still have got a lot of baseball left to play. We have to go home and collect ourselves and get our rest to come out here and play tomorrow. That’s what a coach has to say, but you always want to play at home. We love to play in front of our fans and that kind of thing, but when you go on the road you have to take a different mindset. You have to be tougher. You don’t have the pressure, you don’t worry about the weather or where do we have to be, when do we take batting practice, who are we playing, are we the home team, the away team, what color uniforms. That’s what we’re going to do, and then we go to work. There is a little less burden on your mind. We’ve just come out the last couple of days, and we’ve been very focused. Everybody’s been onto it. Everybody’s been on the bats. Everybody on the field has done what they’ve had to do so far. We still have to win another ballgame.”

Clemson Outfielder Wilson Boyd’s

Opening statement… “Casey went out there and gave us max effort. It’s easy to play behind a guy and get inspired by a guy who is throwing strikes. It was a total team effort tonight, and I really feel we are coming together at the right time of the year.”

On the catch against the wall… “I’m not sure if the ball was out or if it would have hit off the wall. As soon as the ball was hit, I had a bead on it. When I got to the track, I had to either go after it or play it off the wall and lose momentum for our team. When you got a pitcher competing for you, you want to give it everything you have, and I tried to do that on that play.”

Clemson Pitcher Casey Harman

Opening statement… “The biggest thing for us was to go get some runs in the first inning. That really got us going. It was one of those days where everything was working for me, and I felt great.”

On bouncing back from controversial call in the 8th… “It was a questionable call that could have gone either way. We had to let it go and move on. I went after the next two hitters and made a few quality pitches to get us out of the jam.”

On the approach versus Auburn… “They came in here on a high with a very good reputation offensively. I knew I had to make quality pitches and get ahead of the hitters to be successful. Fortunately, I was able to hit my spots and make some big pitches. I let my defense do work behind me and get us this victory.”

On allowing home runs from Auburn since they’re leading the nation… “It’s not something that you want to happen, and it’s not something that you’re OK with happening, but if it happens, it happens with any team whether they’re leading the nation or not.”

On feeling better about this game than any previous ones… “This is the best I’ve felt all the way through. I’ve had points in games where I’ve felt maybe a little bit better, but this game was just putting all the pieces together. Throwing with runners on base was really important and just going after them the whole game. It was a good night for me.”

Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski

Opening statement… “You have to give credit to Clemson’s pitcher Casey Harman. He did a great job and certainly kept us off balance all day long and made some big pitches. You can’t say enough about the job that Grant Dayton did. He gave us a chance, and that is what we ask of our starters. He was outstanding today except for an error or two, but the bottom line is that he gave us a chance to win, and unfortunately we could not get anything going offensively. Against good teams you have to be able to create some type of momentum or get something going and we certainly didn’t.”

On Clemson pitcher Casey Harman performance… “He made big pitches when he had to. He was outstanding and pitched a great ballgame. When you get into championship play and regionals that is what it’s about, and he did exactly that.”

On Clemson holding the game momentum… “We had a few opportunities, but not many. (Clemson) made the plays. They took the double plays and made some nice plays in center field. They did what they needed to do, not only to keep the momentum, but to win the ballgame. Going back to Grant (Dayton), you look at the job that he has done all year, and you can’t say enough about the job he did. I know he’s disappointed, as we all are, but he did outstanding for us. I thought he did a great job today for us.”

On tomorrow being a difficult game… “We have another challenge ahead of us tomorrow. It’s been done before. We still have life and an opportunity to play tomorrow. We will face a solid team, a very good team, in Southern Miss. We need to be ready to play, and we need to come back. I challenged our guys, and told them that we have some more opportunities to play. We have a short memory. We’ll put this behind us, come back and be ready to play tomorrow.”

On recent offensive struggles… “In the SEC Tournament, I thought that we swung the ball well, but, at times, the results were not there or what we were looking for. Yesterday, I thought we did some good things. We regrouped and scored nine runs yesterday, and I thought that was pretty good. Today, (Casey) Harman was just outstanding. Against good pitchers, you have to have quality at-bats, and we didn’t have enough of them today.”

Auburn Pitcher Grant Dayton

On getting on track after struggling early… “Early in the game, I was struggling with my fastball. I made a couple of mistakes in the first inning, and it showed on the scoreboard. After that, I settled in a little bit and was able to get my fastball going. I started to throw some off speed and some strikes, and I was good after that. It was just the first couple of innings that I struggled, and that was the difference for me. “

On battling back after giving up three runs in the first inning… “Every time I go out there, I try to give our team a chance to win. After giving up three runs, I knew that I was going to have to settle in. Otherwise, someone was going to have to come in and get the job done. I wanted to pitch. Luckily, I found my fastball location, and I settled it down a little bit. With two runs in the fourth inning, they got on me a little bit, but after that, I felt great. My pitch count was high. I think the results of that got me out of the game sooner than I wanted, even though I went 7 2/3 innings. If it wasn’t that case, it would’ve been a different game, but it wasn’t.”