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NC State Baseball Head Coach Elliott Avent on being where they should be this postseason

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
The Truth Network Radio
May 31, 2023 5:47 pm

NC State Baseball Head Coach Elliott Avent on being where they should be this postseason

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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May 31, 2023 5:47 pm

NC State Baseball Head Coach Elliot Avent joined Adam to discuss how this season has been a “trying” year for his program, but they’re where they're supposed to be. He shares what the team had to go through to get here and how they’re excited for the opportunity to face Campbell this Friday in the South Carolina regional. He also gives praise to the state of North Carolina for having the most teams in the NCAA tournament this year. 



This was the first year in a long time that I did not get out to at least doke to do games for NC State this year on ACC Network Extra. I feel naked not having done that, and I do feel like I have let my friend Elliot Avent down, the baseball coach, at NC State. Before we start, Coach, Rod Brindamore says hello. Is he in the studio?

No, no, no. I talked to him earlier because I've literally spoken to Rod a hundred times, maybe more than that, over the last however many months of the hockey season. We both agreed that we were sick and tired of talking about hockey with each other. He goes, I'll talk about anything else.

Let's talk college baseball. I know you guys are friends, so I know he wishes you well. Overall, just give me a cut.

Again, I was sincere. I do feel like I missed this season because I was so busy and hyper-focused on the Hurricanes. I didn't get a chance to come out and do any of your games this year. Overall, what has the year been like for you guys? This has been probably one of the more trying years that I've ever had since I've been here.

It's just so many things wrapped up into a situation that made it awfully difficult to be where we're at today. I think our players, the perseverance they've had through, we kind of rushed through fall practice. We rushed through fall practice. Then we had no skill work after fall practice for the players to continue their development. Then the field was ready basically like the week of the first game.

We spent as much time traveling to USA and Holly Springs as we did practice. Then you couple that with 21 new players. I don't know if I've ever started a season with 21 new players. The only thing I thought the way this thing would work out this well would be if we had a veteran club coming back. We could miss a lot of valuable practice time. But anyway, we got to this point.

It worked out. We're excited. We've had three good practices in a row.

The players are ready to go. We're playing our best baseball of the year. Anyway, it's been a lot going on this year. You couple that with some personal things with the death of my mom. If you add that to the equation, which is a big part for me, with all the other stuff that I mentioned, this has been a trying year. But we're at the same place now that we always are.

It doesn't matter how trying it was. We're where we should be. We're excited about going down to Columbia and playing a great field down there.

It's going to have to play really, really well to continue this journey. Yeah, and you're open with a team that I think could probably argue that they should have been a host site as well. Because you get to start with Campbell right out of the gate.

No, that's no doubt. Everybody feels like Campbell is going to be a host all year. What they've done all year has just been incredible.

Everybody knew that Campbell would be a host site. And their team that just plays with such emotion. They got a lot of older guys. Justin Harris has done a great job down there at Campbell. It's going to be a great challenge for us, but one we're looking forward to.

Then you're talking about South Carolina playing at home. It's had a tremendous year. Certainly worthy of hosting with their resume. I think at one point in the year they're like 30 and four or something. They've been incredible all year.

We've got our work cut out for us. Elliot Avin, NC State baseball coach, is joining us here on the Adam Gold Show. You mentioned if you had a veteran team coming back. There are a lot of familiar names, but I know that not all of the players that I remember watching and calling games for last year have been at the top of their game. I just want to start with Sam Heifel who is a couple of years removed from significant injuries that cost him pretty much all of his last season. You've got Sam, Logan Whitaker, Baker Nelson, Matt Willison.

There's a lot of guys that I recognize. What has been the issue with your pitching staff? It's like you said, Sam Heifel got shut down for the entire year last year.

About five appearances. He gets shut down. It wasn't a guarantee he would bounce back at all. So we started him in the bullpen. We started in the bullpen. We got him right back where he belongs about three weeks ago in the starting rotation.

But that was a tough, tough, tough deal. Not having the real Sam Heifel out there for a great part of the season. We feel like he's close to where he used to be, but he's still not Sam Heifel. Then you got Matt Willison who had all season hip surgery, like the one A-Rod had. That's not an easy surgery. Another left-handed pitcher we had, John Lambert, had it one time. It's just not easy to come back.

Noah Soles missed 21 games early in the season. It just hasn't been easy. It has not been easy, but we're where we need to be.

Your team, your program has enough, I'm trying to think of the word. When you get to the NCAA tournament, you guys have had success regardless of whether or not you've been a favored team or if you've been kind of under the radar. You said earlier you feel like your team is playing its best baseball.

What have you seen? Where have the areas of improvement been? Well, we're definitely playing our best baseball of the season, but a lot of that has to do with the things I told you earlier. We missed a lot of practice time in the fall and we missed a lot of practice time in the preseason, so we've had to be a kind of a work in progress. Like I said, we had 21 new players and had some injuries, so we're healthier than we've been all year. We've gotten the players pulling for one another, doing the things that you have to do this time of year to be successful, and like I said, we've saved the course and we're playing our best baseball of the year.

I asked this question of Chris Pollard earlier. I'm curious your answer to this because it just seems to me that college baseball is better today than it was 10 or 15 years ago. A, do you agree and B, what do you attribute that to? Well, you know, the draft, you know, there was a time when a lot of people were signing out of high school and I think, I don't know when it was 10 years ago or whatever, professional people figured maybe the college ranks were the best place to develop players they weren't sure about through the minor league, and so those players started going to college and they figured three years of baseball in college would have them ready at a high A or double A and help their development to the big leagues. I think that's a part of it and now the draft has been reduced to 20 rounds and all I'll speak about is our league.

Our league top to bottom is the best it's been by far in my opinion in the 27 years that I've been here. Yeah, I think Chris said that Louisville and Florida State not making the ACC tournament is all you needed to know based on the history of those two programs. How about this? How about throwing in the decreasing number of minor league affiliations with major league clubs and there are fewer spots to draft and develop players for teams? Yeah, there's no question Adam.

That adds to it. It all ties in together but yeah this is you know the ACC tournament is such a great tournament and it's the two games we were part of in this year's tournament with the x-raying game against Duke who's phenomenal. Duke's an outstanding ball club and then Miami playing their best baseball of the year. They was two of the better games I've been involved in an ACC tournament and we're just so glad to be a part of it. Before I let you go Elliot Avent, the state of North Carolina has done a pretty good job. Eight teams of the 64 from the state of North Carolina, all four big four ACC schools here in the state. East Carolina, Campbell, UNC Wilmington. I mean, did you guys reinvent the game? What happened?

That's what I've always told people. Our league is so unbelievably tough but then if you couple with the state of North Carolina because you try to say within two hours of travel we have so many great teams in this state like I don't know if it's 17, 18 Division I teams in this state. So you mentioned our state has the most teams in it of any state in the country. When you add in Texas and Florida and California that's saying a lot and for our state to have the most teams in and so it's not just that league it's unbelievable for the non-conference schedule to replay staying in state and you talk about the eight teams that made it but there was a really good team that we played that did not make this tournament feel as well. So this is a great state we got a great league and we're excited to be going down to Columbia.

Well good luck down at South Carolina. I will talk to you next week after you advance, cool? Adam, thanks a lot. You have a great week and thanks for all you do for the Triangle. Thank you very much Elliot Avent.

I appreciate your time. All right I sincerely mean it wasn't emptiness this year it's about three weeks ago our feelers leader Paul who you heard that play-by-play highlight from he asked me hey it's between games do you want to do a game at the ACC baseball tournament and initially I was going to say yes oh absolutely because I haven't done one this year and then I realized because I haven't done one this year might not be a good idea like who are these teams it's it had gotten to that point but I hope to get back and do more uh next year. You'd have to find the strike zone all over again. Well isn't that done by a computer? Well yeah now it is. I have no idea is it done by computer or not uh we're headed in that direction. The new Chevy Silverado HD puts you in command own strength with its enhanced available Duramax 6.6 liter turbo diesel v8 own the lake with its available advanced towing technology and own technology with an available 13.4 inch diagonal touch screen the new Chevy Silverado HD own work own play own life learn more at find new roads Chevrolet
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-31 18:26:07 / 2023-05-31 18:30:42 / 5

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