By Trey McCurry.
TheClemsonInsider.com caught up with Clemson head coach Jack Leggett Thursday as he looked ahead to the Clemson regional.
“We’re excited to have this regional here at Clemson. Our guys had to work extremely hard in the last couple of months to get to this point and I really give them a lot of credit for pulling this season together. We’ve been a strong baseball team the last 33 games and we’re playing with a lot more confidence. We really had to earn it and I appreciate their efforts. It’s great to give our fans the opportunity to see us play again.
I think this is a strong field that we’re in; each team comes to this point with some momentum. They’ve either won their conference tournament or put together a strong run at the end of the season to earn an at-large bid. We have Sacred Heart coming in and they’ve won seven in a row. Connecticut is also a strong team and we know what kind of program Coastal Carolina has. We’re looking forward to the challenge and the competition.”
On Brad Miller being named All-American:
“This is a very well deserved honor for him. He’s worked extremely hard this year on the field as a defensive player and as an offensive player. He’s had a consistent year for us in both areas. He’s our leader on the field; he’s the guy that makes the whole thing work. We really missed him when he was out with a broken finger. It’s a great honor for him and he deserves it. All-American and ACC Player-of-the-Year; that’s the kind of player we thought he was when we recruited him and he’s matured and developed that way. We’re very proud of him.”
On pitching rotation:
“We’re going to start Scott Firth tomorrow and we have question marks beside the rest of the weekend. Jonathan Meyer’s leg is not quite ready to go yet. Firth has pitched well for us recently in relief and then we’re just going to take it one game at a time and see who we go with.”
“Firth has started on the weekends for us some and he’s been in some of these major battles. To win this tournament, you have to figure out how to not use up three or four guys if you’re going to keep playing and keep winning. We’re not trying to look past anybody; we just have to use a lot of guys. It’s unfortunate we’re not going to have Jonathan Meyer this weekend, but right now we’re just going to try to keep advancing with the guys that we have.”
On players with post-season experience:
“We’re hoping that’s going to be a positive thing for us. The guys are hungry. We’ve come a long way from where we were at the beginning of the season. We’ve got some experienced players and we hope that we can just go out there and play aggressively, play smart, play with reckless abandon and no fear of failure. That’s what we’ve been doing the last 33 games and hopefully we can just continue doing that.”
On this weekend’s weather:
“Heat is the same for everybody. When it’s hot, it’s hot. We’re probably a little more used to it. We’ve practiced in it during the fall and played in it during the spring. It doesn’t really bother us that much. I would imagine that the teams coming down here are just excited to be here so it shouldn’t bother them that much either. I’m not expecting the heat to be to our advantage but it will be nice and warm out there. I just hope the fans come out and cheer the kids on.”