Jack's take

GREENVILLE - Despite losing another series to South Carolina, Jack Leggett believes that Clemson's 2014 season won't be defined by what happened again in their series with the Gamecocks.

The following Q and A is from Saturday's post-game press conference at Fluor Field.

Early on, it looked like much of the same last night with the errors leading to unearned runs.
Leggett: We had a good game going there, a 5-2 ball game for a long time. We have a pension, I guess, if we're having trouble during a game in the season so far, we've allowed a big inning. We allowed a five-run inning and a five-run inning there at the end. It wasn't characteristic of us. They're an explosive team. If you give them an opening, they have enough guys in the order, if you give them an extra out, over the course of an inning it can cost you. It cost us in the third inning, [and] then it cost us at the end. We just didn't throw enough strikes. Really, our golden opportunity -- we battled our way back in it, 5-2 -- our golden opportunity when we had the bases loaded with one out and we came up dry there. It was 5-2, if we scratched something across there, maybe we would have had something a little different. We just have to collect ourselves and go back to work tomorrow. It's a long season. It's a long ways to go and we just gave them an opening in that third inning, and they took advantage of it.

What's your frustration level like after these two games? You had chances and you couldn't capitalize, like with the bases loaded and two outs.
Leggett: We just didn't quite couldn't get that big hit when we needed it. Last night, we had a little bit of a problem with that, but we had some big hits last night. We just allowed a big run in a big inning. Three big innings in the last two nights have bothered us, so we've just got to collect ourselves and go back to work. We have a good baseball team. They have a good baseball team. We've got a long ways to go.

What was your take on what happened there at the end of the game with Jay Baum?
Leggett: Nothing. Both teams are playing hard. Both teams are emotional. At third base, the runner slid in hard. They both were probably 50/50 at fault. We have a good relationship. We're going to play hard. They're going to play hard. Nothing going on there at all. We'll be ready to play tomorrow. We've just got to get our game together. We're really not that far off. We're just a little bit off, but we're not far off.

What was the explanation about the call by the home plate umpire, calling him safe?
Leggett: He just said he thought he was safe. I thought he was clearly out. It didn't make a difference in the game, but it just caused all the things that went on. He had a different view than I had, a different call than I would have made. It was inconsequential to the outcome, just one more run that you don't want to see up on the scoreboard.

They've won the series four years in a row now, 22 out of 30. What are your thoughts on the way this thing has kind of changed?
Leggett: You guys are the ones that keep all that kind of stuff and get excited about it. I'm just interested in how our team plays and where we finish at the end of the year. How we play against them is very important for us, but at the same time, it's not going to dictate how the rest of the season goes, one way or the other. Our program, our fans should be proud of our program. Those that know what's going on see we played good baseball. It's not something I'm focused on or locked in on. It's not going to determine what this program is all about. They've just been a notch better two innings here and there. That's all there is to it. It's been close. We're both good baseball teams. We both have a chance to Omaha at the end of the year. I can see it in their team. I can see it in our team, so we've just got to keep on battling, keep on working, shore up a few things. I saw some things this weekend that get me excited about what this team is capable of doing. Already, the first nine games we've played, I've seen some good things. I think we'll just keep on growing and come out and battle on [Sunday]. We'll keep on battling. It's a tough schedule ahead of us. We've played some tough games up to this point, which is going to serve us well before it's all over.

How important was it to have Zack [Erwin] come in as a reliever for five innings?
Leggett: Zack did a great job today. That's best I've seen him pitch this year. We needed to have someone come in after that third inning there. He gave us five and maybe ran out of gas that last part there. He's a tough guy. The first five innings that he pitched were really crisp and sharp. He was throwing his breaking ball and change-up for strikes. The fastball was locating down low. He was sneaking it by them at different times, just keeping them off balance. He was very good for us today, put us in position to win. We just didn't swing the bat. I was very pleased with how he pitched for us.

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