Around the Bases with Chris Munnelly

ELON, N.C. --- Inside Carolina caught up with senior hurler Chris Munnelly after he got the win over Elon in UNC's 30th victory of the season Tuesday night. Munnelly is now 3-0 with a 1.63 ERA with three starts and seven appearances out of the bullpen.

We'll start off with a reenactment of the 'Elon Heckler' chanting "COLIN," which later got the Tar Heel fans fired up to mimic his shouts. On the field, what is it like to hear hecklers?
"It was absurd. I'll give it to him. He does his research. He knows what he is talking about. You can hear it but I try to drown it out as much as I can and just focus in on the hitter like anyone else. But, obviously the only guy screaming you can hear him out there."

Trent Thornton mentioned the other day about what a big help you were in getting him ready for the ACC. As a senior what did you impart upon the underclassmen with your leadership?
"I think the biggest thing is reminding them to stay with the process every day. That is the biggest thing that we have as a pitching staff. We have so much talent and competition amongst our staff that you just have to remind the guys to stay with the process and keep grinding every day getting better. I think it helps us a lot."

Can you discuss your performances in your last two starts at UNCW and now at Elon...
"I felt great out there. With the competition we have with our staff I want to soak it in and have as much fun as I can. That is what I tried to do out there last week and then today again. Just try to go as far and as long as I can. You don't know when the next time you are going to be out there."

You had a no-hitter going against UNCW and your teammates have had a couple going with the other starters. When do things start to get funny on the bench with people ignoring the pitcher or other superstitions?
"I think probably the fifth or sixth inning is the cutoff. If you have something going good that might turn into something great you just get shunned at the end of the dugout. We have not had one yet but we have been close and we will see what happens."

During the fourth inning the left handed batters squared up on you a little bit, putting three hits together. What makes you effective against right handed batters and what do you do against lefties?
"Well with righties my out pitch is my slider. If I can get ahead in the count against righties I feel pretty good about putting them away. So with lefties the biggest thing is getting ahead in the count and pounding the zone."

If you got a chance to get an at bat this season, what bat would you grab?
"It would be a toss up right now. Probably, it would either be Skye [Bolt], Colin [Moran], or [Cody] Stubbs. They are all real hot right now so it would be a toss up. We have pitcher's batting practice if we throw a shutout collectively. We try to do that a lot since it is the only time that we get to hit. This fall I made my debut in the box. Felt pretty good I thought. I earned an at bat later in the season if things were going well. A chance to be on the board. I'm the only senior pitcher."

Speaking of being a senior - how close are you to graduation?
"I will be graduating in May. I am actually taking an underload this semester. So it has been nice having more time to focus on baseball. I am excited about graduating and moving on and seeing what else is out there."

Who is the biggest clubhouse joker on the team right now?
"I don't know if you have seen Landon Lassiter's hair cut right now but he is rocking a bowl cut that looks like Moe from the Three Stooges so I will have to go with Lassiter."

How much do you all pay attention to the other teams in the ACC and who would you say is your team's biggest rival?
"Well since I have gotten here as a freshman NC State has been our biggest rival. I have noticed that Virginia has been doing really well this year and we have them the last series of the year this year so that will be a really good match up for us. As far as records we just try to focus on who we have that weekend."

As a senior what has it been like seeing the fan interest building in the team?
"It is awesome. I love it. Coming in my freshman year we did not have half the crowds that we have now. So it is really rewarding, I think we have earned it as a team with our status and it is really good to have that support with the fans and that connection. It motivates us to play harder when we have a bigger crowd."

What was it like getting a chance to see Matt Roberts hit his second collegiate home run tonight?
"[He's] just putting it all together. It is all there for him, he has the potential to do that every game. So to see it all come together tonight is awesome. He works so hard so to see him do it tonight is awesome."

Inside Carolina Top Stories