PC: Avent, Deatherage, and Knizner Talk Win

DURHAM, N.C. -- NC State's Elliott Avent, Brock Deatherage, and Andrew Knizner met with the media after the win over Georgia Tech.

ELLIOTT AVENT: Just really proud of our guys. Again, they played the game last night, and had a tough game with Florida State, as well. The game last night took a lot of energy. And the way Gorst was pitching tonight, it almost makes you want to quit he was so good. But our guys just refused to quit and they got lucky, but we all know luck is part of athletics. And we obviously got lucky. But if you don't quit sometimes you get lucky, so just proud of our guys.

Andrew, you guys have played in a lot of crazy games in the postseason recently. When Shane's ball pops up to centerfield, were you just thinking, this was a normal night, you're going home or did you even think that that was possible with what happened?
ANDREW KNIZNER: Obviously it was kind of a fluke play. But I don't think there was a doubt in anyone's mind in the dugout that he might drop the ball. But like coach said it was kind of a lucky play. But that's a part of the game and a part of postseason baseball. You need a little luck on your side. So it was nice to get the ball to bounce our way. It hasn't bounced our way in a while. It was nice to get back on and get a win.

Brock, did you feel it off the bat?
BROCK DEATHERAGE: Yeah, I mean it was really a feeling that I've felt before, but at first, you know, I didn't really know it actually happened, right off the bat, springing out of the box. I knew the wall was big so I thought maybe I hit a double off the wall. I got to first base, and Coach Black, our first base coach was whooping and hollering. And after that I knew it went over.

Quick follow-up to that. Most thrilling baseball moment of your career so far?
BROCK DEATHERAGE: Oh, yeah, most definitely. I can't really think of any other moment that would top that except a team moment or something like that. But personal, yeah, that tops everything.

Coach, just two things, kind of thought process in the extra innings, first off. Bunting, trying to play for one run, and also bringing Tommy in to run, there.
ELLIOTT AVENT: It was just -- you felt like one run. We got -- what did we get, three in that one inning, then Georgia Tech gets five and there was no other scoring until the dropped fly ball. It was just a game. I think both teams were -- I'm not saying exhausted, but spent mentally and physically a little bit. I know Georgia Tech played in the -- they played in the playing game. So we all came off that week, now a short week, we've all played a lot of games that mean a lot in a short period of time. I felt like both teams were a little bit mentally and physically exhausted so you felt like one run might do it. And Tommy, I basically looked at my sheet, and he was the fastest guy up there.

Why was Johnny Piedmonte brought in the 12th inning? Why did you pull Will Gilbert?
ELLIOTT AVENT: Will pitched 32 pitches night before last, and we know that Georgia Tech tightened up a little bit, and we shut him down like three weeks, when the doctors said we didn't have to. I'm not saying he's our MVP, but he could easily be MVP of our ballclub. But I didn't want to risk injury. When he threw the 32 against Florida State, I kind of wanted to bring him in last night against Miami. But Tommy was throwing so well, we decided to give him another night off, but that was two innings, that was enough. Postseason, this is a great tournament, even though we don't have a chance to win it. And it doesn't mean you don't want to win any game you play, but not at the risk of somebody. Johnny Piedmonte, he started the ACC Championship game last year for us, he started the Regional Championship game against TCU for us last year. He's been in so many big games for us, and we haven't been able to throw him lately, and he's been having really good bullpens, because not as many mid week games. We wanted to see him get out there and boy, was he really, really good?

Talk about how they pitched you in the 12th.
BROCK DEATHERAGE: He threw four change-ups in a row. The first one, swung through, I fouled the second one off, and I also fouled two more change-ups, right after that. I felt like I was taking really good swings. I was trying to time up my changeup. Obviously he gave me four in a row. I tried to start a little bit earlier, and cover the outside part of the plate. I was really focusing on letting it get deep and trying to hit it to left center. He threw me a fastball and it was just perfect timing. And the rest was what it was.

Andrew or Brock, you mentioned the ball hasn't always bounced your way, obviously the way your season ended last year. Is there any way this is a cleansing moment for you guys, as you now head into the ACC Tournament, again, almost like a refresh, restart button?
ANDREW KNIZNER: We've had a couple of played some really good teams as of late. So I guess it is nice to get a big win like this, and have a little bit of momentum going into a Regional.

BROCK DEATHERAGE: It was a big time series against Carolina, especially after losing those series, we've been playing well this tournament, and then obviously tonight, it's going to be huge for us.

Coach, obviously with the drop ball, you still needed Stephen to come through with a hit after that. Did you have a feeling in that spot that he was going to come through?
ELLIOTT AVENT: I think Steve is what this team is all good, toughness, and competitiveness. And he's a steady player. The play we made in the 11th, where he had to fight, such a tough, in between hop, for him to knock that ball and get it to Preston with a short throw, I thought that was an incredible play. That's when Stephen Pitarra is. Matter of fact when he went to the top of the lineup, I'm not saying why, our offense clicked better, but him at the top of the lineup, we've been hot ever since he's been up there.

How better a feeling is is going into Selection Monday, 1 and 2 instead of 0 and 3?
ELLIOTT AVENT: Jimmy Valvano always told me winning is good, losing is bad. That's always stuck in my mind. When you lose it beats you up a little bit. And these guys have been beat up enough. They've gone through a lot of adversity this year. They went through a schedule knowing that I made, but the ACC schedule was extremely tough. The kids mentioned down the stretch it was almost impossible. It looks to a lot of people like we might be limping in. Actually if anybody in the country had to play the teams we did down the stretch, they'd have a tough time faring any better.

So it's nice to get a win, because I think it does let you know who you are and not forget exactly what we're all about, because losing can take a lot out of you a little bit.


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