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"The Tar Heels had one heck of a season. That's my overview to start. As far as the game is concerned, we've just gotten beaten by a better club, and tonight it's as simple as that. Vanderbilt's got a terrific team. They pitched well, and obviously getting down early put us in a tough spot, put us in a hole and climbing out of it.
"We had a couple of opportunities, but I thought (Greg) Holt pitched really well for us. Really good night. Had a sinker ball out there with the wind blowing out like it was. We had a lot of ground balls especially early. You know, couple of long balls that certainly got us behind.
"I give a lot of credit to Vanderbilt. They've had a terrific season. It will be interesting to see how they do in the World Series from here on out.
"Obviously, end of the year, you know, you hear the same stuff from coaches about their team and their players. I don't think anybody expected us to be here, to end our season here or to even be here at the start of the season.
"So such a great credit to our players and how committed they were just to make it this far. It's obviously very difficult to win the national championship. We gave it all we had, but I'm proud that we were able to end our season in Omaha in the College World Series, and these guys got to experience it. I had a great group. I had a great group. They were fun to be around, and they taught me a great deal, especially our seniors. They taught me a lot. I just told them in the locker room, and we had fun together.
"So I'm sorry our season is coming to an end for that because they've been a fun bunch to be around."
Could you talk about R.C.'s extended stint today? I guess he had been pitching fewer innings per outing than he showed to today.
"Yeah, R.C.'s a great story. He's kind of the epitome of our team. Didn't pitch much last year and can really, really commit himself. If you had seen him work in the fall, he's typical of every player on our team, just improved from last year to this year. That's what you have to have in order for your team to be better from one year to the next.
"Watching him out there, that thought crossed my mind. I just remember seeing R.C. in the outfield just doing his throwing and increasing his arm strength, and that's why he's throwing harder this year than he did last year. That didn't surprise me. He's been kind of a situational lefty for us, but the way he was throwing, we were able to keep him out there.
"He's in terrific shape, he works hard, and that was really good for us to see. That's the best he's thrown over an extended period of time. To do it out here is pretty special. It will be a great memory for him."
Congratulations on a good season. You've had teams go further, obviously, the two runners-up. I was curious, you touched on it in your opening, but was this going into this season and what happened, would you say this was maybe even a more enjoyable team to coach or a more satisfying season than those teams that went to the finals in the previous years?
"I've enjoyed almost every one of the teams I've had in North Carolina. I really have. I've been really lucky to be around some really, really good young people. I don't think you build a program or you get out here five out of six years if you don't have really good kids and character on your team. I just don't think it works despite the talent that you have.
"So this was a unique year in the regard that we had probably more adversity this year than we've had in some years past. Our players used that adversity as kind of fuel. I thought that was pretty -- I thought that was pretty neat on their part. I really like this team 1 through 35. Some really good leaders, and two of them sitting right here. A couple of seniors in the locker room.
"Coaching -- as you get older -- you hear a lot of coaches say it's all about relationships, and that is so true. As a young coach you don't think of that. You know, you wallow in self-pity that you didn't win, you know, and everybody talks about you didn't win it again. The heck with that. I take these memories of these kids. Then my phone's going off like crazy, and I bet a lot of them are former players, and that's what makes it special.
"I want these kids to have good memories when they leave. I want them to graduate. I want them to do the right thing when they leave here because the baseball will fade away. I feel comfortable and confident that that's going to happen with probably every one of them. They're going to go on and be good citizens and make a good life for themselves. Ultimately that's what we're supposed to be doing. But we're going to keep trying to come back and win this thing, all that aside."
Can you talk about your feelings now that the season's over and just how this team is feeling right now?
"Obviously very disappointed. Any time your season ends, you're going to be disappointed. But I just feel for the seniors in there. You know, we weren't a very good team last year, and then to turn around like this and have such a great year with 50 wins. I mean, it's a testament to our leadership.
"Obviously, we were happy to get here, but once we were here I think we wish we would have played a little better."
Would you talk about what you think this outing today will do for you moving forward?
"I think ultimately I'll just keep building off this. I wasn't locating my offspeed very well at the beginning of the year, and as the year progressed, I started doing better as I was locating. Today I kept him off balance with a couple of good changeups and a couple of good curve balls here and there to mix up with the fastball. So I'll just keep trying to locate that off speed stuff, and trying to do the best I can this summer and come back to see what I can do in the fall."
CORBIN & PLAYERS
"The story was Taylor Hill from a pitching standpoint. Thought he came out and pitched very well. He set the tone early, throwing a lot of strikes, keeping them off base. It was a contrast really to the first game where there were a lot of base runners for North Carolina.
"He did a good job of neutralizing their offense, and got us deep into the ballgame where we could put Corey into the game and give him the ball. Connor's home run was big and followed up by Curtis. We did enough offensively to get by. We played tight defense in the outfield, and I that those kids made some nice catches out there. So we'll take it and move on."
Coach, did you consider going to the bullpen in that fifth inning? And how much of a boost was it for Taylor to give you a couple more innings after that and keep your bullpen fresh for a couple days?
"I think he made us keep him in, really. Going back to that one inning I don't know how smart we looked when we intentionally walked to get to a guy that already hit two doubles. We just thought the match-up was a little bit better to keep the ball away from (Colin) Moran because he's a very dangerous left-handed hitter. We just thought at least Taylor could keep the ball away from Jacob and neutralize his back a little bit.
"But we had (Kevin) Ziomek and (Will) Clinard down there, and we were thinking about going with them. But he made some nice pitches, and I and D.J. felt that when he got to Jacob it was his ballgame and he was going to find a way to get himself out of it. He deserved that. He's been the owner of some tough luck during the course of the year. But he's pitched so well to get us to this point right here. He deserved the opportunity to win that ballgame. Once he flowed through the sixth and we gave him the 7th as well."