Around The Bases with Chris Munnelly

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- Chris Munnelly bounced back to pitch four solid innings in the starting role on Sunday. Afterwards, the sophomore talked with Inside Carolina.

Looking back at the Wake Forest series, how did the rib injury affect you?
"It did affect my pitching. I just felt like I could battle through it and it probably was not the best idea to go out there but I am not the kind of guy that will turn down a start. But now, honestly, it does not hurt at all and it does not affect me at all while pitching."

Can you discuss your work with Coach Forbes after the Florida State series?
"Just mostly after Florida State I was slowing myself down too much. He said that is one of my things that sometimes I speed myself up too much, but I was slowing myself down a little bit too much. So when we got back we worked on speeding it back up and everything feels a lot more fluid now."

How does using video replay technology help in analyzing pitching mechanical problems?
"We definitely have some great technology at the Bosh. It is a really good advantage for us to be able to look at the bad pitches you made and then the good ones and compare them to each other and see how the mechanics pair up. That has helped me a lot too."

How about your start today, keeping NC State off balance for the first three innings of work?
"I felt like I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder, especially down two games, and I wanted to make a statement. Just felt like we had a little bit more - something more - to play for and everything felt really good. I was just getting a feel for the ball and a feel for the strike zone early but later in the game I felt like I had some good stuff and just lost the feeling for a couple pitches."

What does Jacob Stallings do to affect your confidence to be able to pitch the slider or fastball low in the zone?
"It is unbelievable. I love having him back there. He is a brick wall. I know that at any count and especially with two strikes and even with a runner on third I can throw a pitch in the dirt and he is going to block it."

What is it like for you to face an old teammate of yours from showcase baseball with the Dirtbags like NC State's Pratt Maynard?
"It is just good fun. Honestly it is the best feeling when you get him out. You have to step your game up to another level because you know that it is a guy that is going to give you crap after the game if you don't get him out."

What does Coach Forbes say to you when you get in a jam on a mound visit?
"Basically, make your pitch and don't give into them. Just focusing on being really aggressive and let your defense make plays behind you."

What do you think about being a sophomore pitcher starting on the weekends against ACC competition this year?
"I love it. That is why I came to [North Carolina].

How does this team deal with adversity?
"This is one of the best teams that I have played on chemistry wise. Like I have said earlier, just the ability to pick each other up. We get along so well and even after a series like this - this is going to happen, we are going to lose some games - but we will pick each other up...

How do you compare the team's reaction to great success - like winning a series in Tallahassee - as compared to losing a series against Wake Forest or NC State?
"One of the things our coaches preach to us daily is not to get too high or too low. That is one of the things that we will have to take into the next week and work our butts off to get better and get after Coastal on Tuesday... I think losing to State will motivate us to work harder."

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