Senior Day Q&A's

Inside Carolina caught up with UNC seniors Ben Bunting, Bryant Gaines and Greg Holt, along with head coach Mike Fox, after the Tar Heels swept No. 1 Virginia with a win on Senior Day.

Senior Outfielder Ben Bunting

What was it like from your perspective to sweep Virginia on Senior Day?
"It was an awesome feeling. We knew that we had some good momentum coming in after our first two games and today to come out and play another solid game and be able take it to them again is surreal. It is a great feeling. It feels so good to go out with a big win like that. Everybody wants to do that on their senior day it is a great feeling."

Can you discuss the suicide squeeze play in the 8th inning?
"It didn't work out so well. Coach called it and we just had a slider bounced in the dirt and could not do anything with and left Tommy [Coyle] hanging out to dry."

What goals do the team have for the ACC Tournament?
"We have not really looked ahead to that. We were focused on the right here right now. We are just going to approach it like a regular game and give it our best and play each game at a time and not try to look too far ahead."

There has been a lot of discussion about the Tar Heels chances for a national seed and continue to play at home?
"It is very exciting. It is great for us as the players to have some more chances for games in front of our fans. It is good for our fans too they can come out and support us and see some great baseball. It has been unbelievable [this weekend]. They came out in huge numbers and were very supportive arguing balls and strikes for us and yelling when we needed them to. They were really getting into it and I think that helped a lot."

Senior Pitcher Bryant Gaines

What was your opinion on the crowd this weekend at Boshamer Stadium?
"To have a crowd like that throughout the whole game. That is what was impressive to me as they were in it from the first pitch all the way to the last. It seemed to grow as the weekend went along. That is one of those things that people don't realize about how big of a deal it is making big pitches even if it puts more pressure on the other team. It doesn't just back us it puts a lot of pressure on them and in a lot of ways it lets you know how important the situation is. It just makes them stress out. It is huge."

How excited is the team for the post-season and the ACC Tournament?
"We are so excited. Especially coming off of last year when we were on pins and needles just trying to get into the tournament and not even making the ACC Tournament. I think one of the reasons we have played so well is that we have been in the situation where we have been on the edge before and now that we have achieved a lot of our goals and can potentially achieve a lot more we know that if we don't play well we are not going to be where we want to be. Having the opportunity to be a national seed and host a regional that is something that is key. Especially with the way that the crowd turned out. I mean the atmosphere was incredible so if we can have the same atmosphere it will put us in a great position in the post-season."

What did you discuss with the team before the game today?
"Well it was important to let everyone know that they put their cleats on the same way we do and I thought we definitely had the advantage playing at home and if we play well we are capable of beating anybody and I think especially Thursday night that became evident to us so the next two days we knew we could beat these guys and we played extremely well. I did not have to say a whole lot we knew how important the game was and how big it was for our season and especially for our post-season. I think everybody was locked in and ready to go from the first pitch on."

Can you discuss the starting pitching this weekend?
"The starting pitching I don't think that you could have asked a whole lot more out of it. I mean Patrick [Johnson] set the tone on Thursday for us. It was one of the best games that I have seen since I have been here. I was so happy to see him pitch so well. He is a great pitcher. The following two games were the same thing. You want your starter to go out there and put your team in a good position to win. Kent [Emanuel] threw a great game and Chris [Munnelly] also stepped up and threw a great game. When you have guys like that and battling the way they do it gives your offense a chance and fortunately the offense did not have to do a whole lot but they did what they needed to win."

Senior Pitcher/Designated Hitter Greg Holt

What was it like to be able to sweep Virginia on Senior Day?
"It was very special to have my whole family here and the emotion that carries with it and it finally setting in that it is your final regular season home game. It was really good to see all the fans and some of the nice things that they have said about me. It has not really hit home yet but I think when I play my last game here in the super regionals before we are about to go to Omaha that it will set in then."

Has the team exceeded expectations this season culminating in this final series?
"We have a really good team. We never thought at the beginning of the year and people doubted us. We are one of those teams that does not have a superstar we just have a bunch of great players who go out every day and play hard and we are finding ways to win. We play hard every day and have a great pitching staff and we have some really good hitters and overall throughout the season we have been very successful."

Can you discuss your two way play throughout the season?
"It was good. I've been trying to find my hitting. I have struggled a little bit the past two weeks. First I'm a pitcher and second I'm a hitter. I am trying to give our team the best chance to win. Just trying to put myself in a good situation and hit a good pitch. Pitching wise it is what I have been trying to do all year just come in there and shut the door."

Head Coach Mike Fox

Can you discuss the emotions of Senior Day?
"It is a special day I will go in there and say a few words to those guys. They will remember this day for the rest of their lives. We all do. We all remember that last day and even though we will get to play here again but it is still a special day. I am glad they got to go out a winner and they all contributed in their own way and they all have been a major, major part of this program. Some really, really good kids. Every one of them better kids than they are players and they are pretty decent players as well."

How is the team looking forward to the ACC Tournament and hosting a regional in Chapel Hill?
"It is exciting with the tournament being close. I like that. It is not far away and in a great ballpark. We will rest up and then find out tomorrow what time and who we are playing. We can not get too far ahead of ourselves now... I just try to coach my guys and keep them on the straight and narrow. If our RPI, strength of schedule and the wins mount up to the fact that we are considered in the top 8 then I will pass along all the credit to the players as they are the ones that have done it. I am hoping that we are worthy but it is out of my hands."

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