Looking ahead to Columbia

CLEMSON - Jack Leggett talks about the upcoming NCAA Tournament trip to Columbia, the potential of another matchup with South Carolina and more.

What do you think?
Leggett: I'm excited about being in the tournament, excited about the opportunity that we have ahead of us and going down there to play. We'll be ready to play.

Were you surprised when you saw Clemson pop up in that Columbia Regional?
Leggett: I'm never surprised anymore about anything. I just expect whatever comes our way…we'll be ready.

How do you get the team back to where it was when they won 23 out of 27? Obviously, last week, you didn't play as good of baseball as you would have liked.
Leggett: Actually, we played decent baseball. We just played some really good teams that were playing well, too. We played well don't at Florida State and had some tough games. N.C. State is playing exceptionally well and played a good game there, except for an inning. I thought we played as tough as you could possibly play against North Carolina, we just let one slip away. We didn't have much in the tank when we came back against Miami and they had a good pitcher. This conference is very tough. Based on how we've been playing the last 35 games, other than the last four or five games, I like where our team is mentally. We'll be ready to play.

Is it disappointing that, for the second year in a row, they stick you guys in the same region? It only gives one of you a chance to really go to Omaha.
Leggett: I was on the committee for six years. We kind of thought a little bit differently back then. I don't know what the factors are right now, to send people where they go or what. I'm just glad we're going some place. We're just looking forward to it and we'll be ready to play.

Does playing them so much in the postseason take away from the regular season?
Leggett: No, this is an important time of the year, obviously. This is kind of what you're remembered for when it's all over. We need to play our best baseball at this time of the year. That kind of becomes what's important to you at the end. At the end of the year, you don't remember anything about what happened during the course of the year. You just remember how you finished.

With so many young guys developing, how much different is your team and there team?
Leggett: Well, I think, we're both, probably, better teams than when we saw each other last time. It's been a long time. It's was 45 games ago. I expect that we're both more experienced, for sure. Our kids have grown up a lot. We'll be ready to play.

You guys don't win games with the long ball.
Leggett: Yeah, we have to get our game going, get our bunt game going, get our offensive game going, get aggressive on the bases. Those are things that are important to our chemistry and important to how we play. We've got to pitch, play defense. There's really no magic formula. You've just got to get some timely hits. That's the one thing that we've been lacking through the course of the year, that big hit. We need it. We've been getting guys on base and matching the teams we play in hits. It's just a matter of getting a hit with men on base in a big situation. We've just got build some innings. If we do that, we're a pretty good baseball team.

Is South Carolina a different team when you're playing them in Columbia?
Leggett: I don't know. We've played them at different places, our place, neutral sites, down there. I'm sure the crowd helps them. They have a lot more confidence when they're playing there. That's where teams -- going in this tournament -- have to make that jump. When you go into somebody else's place, you have to be able to put the crowd out of your mind and play your best baseball. If your team is mature enough to do that, you might come out winning.

How much does playing at Florida State, at N.C. State, at North Carolina and one game there help?
Leggett: I hope so. Our kids our pretty seasoned. We played in a tough conference tournament this past weekend. We played in some tough environments. I would think that we're prepared to play in any kind of environment. Hopefully, we're relaxed and just play our game.

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