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Boston College Vs. Miami (NCAA Super Regionals): Coaches Press Conference Transcripts

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Yesterday, Coaches Gambino and Morris sat next to each other and met with the media ahead of their team's best-of-three series. Here's what they said.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Gambino opening statement...

I think the boys are excited to play. We were really fortunate to play in Oxford [Miss, at Ole Miss] this past weekend, which - I've said it before and I'll say it again - I can't imagine a better postseason experience than what that town, that administration and those fans put on, and we're extremely lucky to have come out of a tough regional, and now I think the boys are really excited to play. If you're going to talk about college baseball programs, if you are going to do the Mount Rushmore of college baseball programs, Miami has got to be on it, at least in that conversation. So, the boys are excited to come down here. We know this team we are going to play is really, really good. We know that they are going to be well-coached. So they are excited to go out there and play hard and have fun and see what happens.

Gambino on the emotions of advancing to the Super Regionals...

It was one of the most fun things I've ever been able to do, as far as in my athletic career, in my coaching career, just sitting in the dugout being able to watch the boys celebrate. On top of that, even better than that, was watching the boys go grab the 'Frate Train' flag [for Pete Frates] and celebrate with the 'Frate Train' flag, it was awesome. I think that the boys were extremely excited, and this might come as a surprise to the people outside ofthis proram - and this is not an indictment on the other three teams in that regional, this is just how much they believe in each other - the boys were excited, but not surprised. This is a team that really, really believes in themselves and believes in each other."

Gambino on what Miami has been able to accomplish this year...

They have a little bit of flair for their dramatics late in the games. It's what you would expect when you play the University of Miami. It's a really good lineup, top to bottom. They've got power, they've got speed, they can play defense, they can pitch it, they've got starting pitching. They've got a guy in the back end [of the bullpen], which they always seem to. It's a team that's got a chance to win the national championship, we know that, and I think you can say that most years about this program. So even though we haven't played them in a couple of years, every time you play the University of Miami, you know you're playing a national championship-quality ball club.

Gambino on his starting pitchers...

I think it just doesn't matter what baseball game you're talking about, every game starts with the starting pitching. Specifically, with our ball club, that's what we are built on, pitching and defense, and we have a ton of confidence in Justin [Dunn] and a ton of confidence in [Michael] King, but we also have quality arms in that bullpen.

Gambino on the Coral Gables weather...

Coming where we come from, weather is not going to affect us. We are used to weather. It might be a different kind of precipitation than we tend to get in Boston, but weather is not going to affect these boys.

Gambino on the ups, downs, and progression during the season...

We were playing great early and then scuffled a tocuh in the middle, and I think the biggest thing was there were a couple weeks where we sort of started worrying about things that were out of our control. All of a sudden, we were talking about regionals, we stated talking about postseason, and all of a sudden we weren't focused on what we were doing. Now we are re-centered and back to playing baseball. And, I've said it a bunch of times, yes this is a playoff weekend, but we've been playing playoff baseball for the past seven or eight weekends.

Jim Morris opening statement...

I would like to congratulate coach (Mike) Gambino, BC, his players and his staff for being in the Super Regional for the first time. It's a great feeling, no question. It's something the guys work for, year round. Seeing the progress that the program has made under [coach Gambino] in six years is unbelievable. I watch them play and I watched the games on TV, and they have an outstanding club. Of course, it starts with their pitching and they have great pitching. They're a club, to me, that's similar to us, that takes advantage of its opportunities, and it starts with pitching. They have a good bullpen and they play hard, so I think it's a good matchup. It's interesting that it is an ACC club. I wouldn't have thought that we would have been playing against another ACC team, but again, it's just a testament to the quality of baseball in the ACC. We have 10 teams in the tournament and every weekend is a battle. For us, it's great to be here, it's great to be in a situation where you are hosting a Super Regional. Our guys have worked very hard [to get this point]. It's one of our goals that we have here at Miami; I learned that my first practice when I came in here. Guys have worked very hard and they have put themselves in every advantage that they can, through a lot of hard work, dedication and commitment as a team. It's always fun to watch because different guys are coming through every day. It's been fun to coach these guys. I might have ulcers at the end of the season after 22 or 23 come-from-behind wins, but they play hard through the ninth inning.

Morris on having dominant pitching late in the season...

Pitching is the name of the game. It starts with pitching. I always kid our guys about it—because I was a shortstop, not a pitcher—that we ought to give all the scholarships to the athletes and use a machine for a pitcher. The real deal is that you end up giving the money to the pitchers because that’s what it takes to win. We always stress that with our starting pitching and I’m huge on the bullpen-type scenario. If we have an All-American pitcher, it’s normally a back end, closer-type of guy. It’s very important for every advancing team to have good pitching because you’re not going to outhit good pitchers. It’s tougher – they’re going to stop you. We’ve got to pitch well, play solid defense and do the little things to win.

Morris on his confidence level with his pitching staff...

Well, it’s one game at a time. We’ll start with [Michael] Mediavilla and do whatever you have to do to win there. It’s a great thing. He was a Freshman All-American last year as a setup guy. He’s a left-hander, big left-hander. And, he’s always wanted to start and due to some pitching issues, we took him out of the bullpen and moved him into the rotation, which he loved. He’s responded and has had a tremendous year. He’s definitely our number one guy right now and we’ll go with that and do whatever we have to hopefully have our bullpen get in there and give us a chance to win."

Morris on Jesse Lepore's health...

I don’t know right now. He’s taking some time off and just doing some therapy and trying to get ready for that third game, if necessary.

Morris on the importance of being a hot team...

At this stage, with 16 teams remaining, everybody’s hot and everybody’s got good players, no question about that. It comes down to little things. It might be bunt defense or offense or making a play or making a pitch, or it might be how kids handle the draft. [The draft] starts tonight. I think BC has somebody that’s going to go in the first round, I think we have somebody that’s going to go in the first round and tomorrow we’re going to have some guys go as they will. It’s a crazy time of year to try and handle something like this. I told our players yesterday and today after practice, ‘Some of you guys are going to be really happy and some of you guys are going to be disappointed. You can’t control it. The only thing you can control is being your best and handling the situation.’ I’ve gone from the extreme in 1998 to Pat Burrell finding out in the on-deck circle in the College World Series that he was the number one pick. I don’t know how in the world he could hit. He probably hit a home run, knowing him [Laughter], but for me, I don’t know how I could handle that. These guys are very emotional on both teams. They’ve worked very hard to get where they’re at and they’ve done the best they could do as teams to be the best they can be and now this is a crucial time during their career. You got to see how guys handle that. So, that’s another scenario you throw in there, the mental state.