The Atlantic Coast Conference held its head coaches teleconference leading up to this week’s ACC Baseball Championship Tournament. Here are NC State head coach Elliott Avent’s remarks regarding the Wolfpack’s upcoming games against Virginia and Florida State.

Opening Statement

“This team has been very, very consistent from opening day to where we are now. Their mentality, makeup, intensity, and just how they go about everyday; I haven’t seen change through winning streaks we’ve had or losing streaks that we’ve had. [It’s a] very resilient group that has gone through a lot of changes this year through injuries and had to make adjustments, rely on a lot of freshmen, and watch them come along and grow. They just dealt with a lot, and they’re a very resilient group.”

“Virginia has been using a lot of lefties in their lineup. How does that impact maybe who you pitch, maybe what your strategy is this weekend, and what you see out of that UVa lineup?”

“Well, one of the great things about the tournament is that you know who you’re going to play, so you can play matchups that you’re alluding to. If we had to win the tournament to advance to postseason, then that’s obviously something that we would look at more so than we are now. But right now, we’re trying to not only go to the tournament and improve our seeding, whether it be a national seed or just improve our seed for hosting, and try to win the tournament, but obviously get ready for postseason play next week as well.”

“Isn’t it weird to see UVa in your pool as a 10-seed given what they’ve accomplished and them not having that type of year this year?”

“They’ve dealt with some injuries as well. I know McCarthy, who was one of the top players in the ACC. You lose a guy like that for basically all the year, I think they got him back for the last 10 games or so which is not only a big boost to their lineup, it’s a boost to their team mentally to get a guy like that back. They’ve dealt with some injuries as well, so they’re the 10-seed in this tournament. They’re a lot better team right now than they’ve been all year.”

“Do you have a starting pitcher for your first game?”

“First game’s going to be Reid Johnston.”

“Talk about the overall depth and quality of the league this year.”

“I think the overall quality for the last six or seven years has been incrementally a lot better than it’s been since I’ve been in the league. A lot of people talk about the fact that because this is the league that has eight or nine regional teams in it, and hopefully we will. Hopefully, there will be teams that will make a run here in this tournament that will get in postseason. I think the quality of depth of this league is what’s changed this league from where it was, say, 10 years ago. Everybody beats everybody. Every weekend’s a tough weekend. Obviously, you have teams that put together unbelievable years on top of that. The league is the strongest I’ve ever seen it.”

“You also have Florida State in your pool. Can you talk a little bit about what they present as well?”

“They’re fresh in my mind. We just got through playing them. They’re as hot as they can be right now, much like when we played North Carolina a few weeks ago. Good teams are good teams, but good teams on a roll — they present quite a problem for us. They’re very hot right now playing very well, and they’re as healthy as they’ve been all year. We all go through injuries throughout the year. You want to be as healthy as you can to get ready for postseason, and that’s where they’re at right now. They’re very healthy, playing very well with a lot of confidence, and their pitching is really, really, really, really good.”

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