"They were good (notes)," Vaughn said with a smile moments later.
Vaughn, who sealed the deal for Clemson's fourth super regional in five
years Monday night, represented the state of the Clemson baseball team as
it heads to Arizona State (47-12) for a best of three series in Tempe,
Ariz., which starts this Saturday at 9 p.m.
Simply put, the Tigers are as loose as
they have been at any point this season and doing what's important in any
sport, especially baseball — they're having fun.
"Back in '06 and '07, we had a bunch of really, really good players and a
bunch of first and second rounders and stuff like that," he said. "But
this year's group, and who knows what the young guys will do after this
season, but for us seniors and juniors, we just kind of fly under the
radar and have just as much fun as possible.
"There is really not as much pressure for us to perform because we are
really not the guys Baseball America has in the top 100. We are just guys
that like to have a good time."
The Tigers (44-20) are having a great time, especially after Monday's 6-5
come-from-behind victory over Oklahoma State to win the Clemson Regional.
"You have to enjoy this experience as much as possible," Vaughn said.
"Playing here, we kind of get spoiled because we are supposed to be here,
but last year we didn't go. So we have to enjoy this because you don't
know when you will get a chance to do these things, especially for me
because every game could be my last.
"You learn to appreciate it. I told the other guys not to take it for
granted because this is a special time and they really should enjoy it."
The game plan for the Tigers when they get out to Tempe is simple, just
grip it and rip it.
"This is a business trip for us because there are some things we want to
accomplish," Clemson coach Jack Leggett said. "We want to be loose and
relaxed. We are a little bit of the underdog here which is kind of a good
role to go in to.
"They have had some great success at home. They have had some success when
they have pitched those two front line guys that they have, but we hope
the magnitude of the game, the atmosphere and we rise to the occasion a
little bit and hopefully they are off their game a little bit. Maybe we
can put some pressure on them."
Leggett admits that his players are probably a little more relaxed than he
is at this point, but he says that's the way he would prefer it. After
losing to Oklahoma State last Saturday night, his players came out Sunday
relaxed and played like they were having a lot of fun.
Subsequently, they rolled to 10-0 and 15-1 wins over Tennessee Tech and
Oklahoma State to advance to the championship round. They then continued
to play loose and ultimately rallied to beat the Cowboys for a second time
"Our players have a pretty good handle on it," Leggett said. "I think we
were a little bit wound up before that first ballgame against Tennessee
Tech, but I think the experience of the regional and playing in the five
games was a big thing for us.
"Now I think we're able to put things in a little bit better perspective
so I think they will be ready to play. I think we just have to relax and
go out and do our thing."
Tigers are relaxed, having fun
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