Around The Bases With Cody Stubbs

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- Inside Carolina caught up with senior first baseman Cody Stubbs after the Friday night series opening loss to the Miami Hurricanes. Stubbs is the reigning ACC Player of the Week after his performance last weekend in Winston-Salem.

Cody, you're hitting .373 this season and slugging .644 - can you discuss your comfort level at the plate so far this season?
"It is kind of my approach at the plate this whole entire season. It is my senior season and I am enjoying it and am being relaxed and really trying to enjoy everything. Not put pressure on myself but just try to do whatever I can to help the team win."

What have you done to improve at the plate to prepare yourself for the talent level of pitching at the ACC? Coach Jackson and Fox have stressed working on strike zone recognition this spring. What have you done to improve?
"Honestly, I think that is the biggest thing, besides keeping my head still like Coach Jackson preaches to me all the time. It is just being relaxed. You can preach mechanics all the day but being relaxed at the plate helps me more than anything."

What has it been like from your perspective seeing a freshman come in and play at a high level like Skye Bolt has done so far early in their collegiate career?
"I love having Skye in front of me [in the batting order]. It is almost a guarantee to have somebody on base and have a chance to knock someone in and get us a run. As a freshman he is doing great and is very composed."

Can you discuss the depth that the Diamond Heels have on the field this season?
"Absolutely, look at what Alex Raburn did in the game tonight. He had a great game in left field. There are so many interchangeable parts so if somebody gets hurt or somebody does something wrong, somebody will be right there to take that spot and keep us going and carry us all the way to where we want to go. So there is a lot of competition which is a good thing for us."

Last weekend the Tar Heels had a power barrage at Wake Forest. Can you discuss what that was like with the less potent BBCOR bats from a player's perspective?
"It is kind of shocking when Zoom [Mike Zolk] hits a home run. I was standing there when he did it. Before the game I said, 'No you are not going to hit a home run, so don't even try.' Then he did it. I about fell out. That pretty much says it all. When you almost do something like that and tie the single game home run record here. It was pretty neat for us to do that."

Do you think that fellow senior Chaz Frank will hit his first career home run this year?
"He sure is going to try. I hope for his sake that he finally does it so he doesn't have to try anymore. He might, who knows, we will see."

What was it like to find out that you were the ACC Player of the Week?
"It was a great honor. I was happy but that is the thing about baseball it is like there you go there is the next game and you have to enjoy it for a second then move on. I have to do some work this weekend."

This season Skye Bolt in right and yourself at first base have gotten to a number of foul balls for critical outs. What have you done to improve your range as a fielder?
"Two words. Fungo Man. Coach Fox loves that Fungo Man. A lot this fall just shooting up fly balls out of the Fungo Man. So I have to thank the Fungo Man."

Can you put the 16-game win streak into perspective now that it is over?
"It is something I have never been a part of. It is something pretty incredible. I wish we could have kept it going tonight but unfortunately we didn't. I think it was well deserved on our part. But [tonight] was just one loss. We just have to pick it up and move forward."

Your roommate last year Tommy Coyle took advantage of his opportunity to sign with Tampa Bay and is in spring training with the Rays. Have you discussed his experiences in professional baseball?
"I know Ninja loves it. Ninja loves baseball - that's all he does. He is a great guy. Oh, I just called him Ninja didin't I? I mean Tommy Coyle [laughs]. I know he loves baseball and is enjoying every minute of it. I know he got to have some at bats with the big guys recently. I couldn't be more happy for him about that."

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