This Week With Mike Fox

Inside Carolina interviewed the UNC head coach Mike Fox after his baseball team returned from Pittsburgh. The Diamond Heels are 12-7 (3-3 ACC) heading into hosting Davidson on Tuesday and then departing for Atlanta this weekend to face Georgia Tech in another ACC series.

Coach Fox, what went into the decision to start Trent Thornton on Sunday?
"Trent's versatility has been talked about before and we continue to have to use it - we went into the weekend against Pitt thinking he might need to pitch on Friday or Saturday depending upon how the games went and if not we would have him available on Sunday. He gave us a good start on Sunday and gave us a chance to win and it was good to see him throw as well as he did for 4-5 innings."

Skye Bolt had a big weekend hitting a pair of home runs. Can you assess his performance so far this season starting in center field?
"He did have a good week. He swung the bat well this weekend and hit a couple of home runs which is good to see and led our guys this week with RBIs with six. So obviously we need that offensive production from him. He came up in some critical times and the home run to give us the lead on Friday was a huge one. He is a terrific center fielder and ran down some balls up there at Pitt and just continues to make plays there for us which is an important part of our defense."

Spencer Traynor has been an important part of the Tar Heel bullpen this season with 11 appearances out of the pen...
"We use him pretty much for one inning stints at this point. His last two outings he was working a lot better. Of course he got off to a little bit of a rough start but he is a veteran, throws strikes and he is extremely competitive. He comes in the game, he's not scared and he's in attack mode. Saturday he came in and had a very clean inning for us and of course we had to bring him in the game on Sunday because we can't pitch Trevor Kelley but so much and he made a good pitch to Hess the first pitch and got him in an 0-1 count and we try to go in and Hess hits the ball over second base. It is one of those things baseball is a game of inches. Spencer is a reliever that we trust and he has to pitch for us this season and I think he will continue to get better."

The Tar Heels have had a run of injuries - Wood Myers, Reilly Hovis and Benton Moss - along with backstop Adrian Chacon being out this past weekend. Can you give an update on the injury woes for the Tar Heels?
"That is way too many names, isn't it? Obviously Wood is going to be out for an extended period of time. Reilly is going to start throwing back lightly this week - hoping more towards the middle of the week than towards the end so that is a good sign. Adrian Chacon has a back issue that right now is keeping him out. He will be re-evaluated today. Terri Jo is working on him rehabilitation-wise on one of the lower joints in his back. Benton - we are just being cautious with Benton. Nothing structural, the MRI came back negative which is a great sign. Hopefully Benton will be able to throw a bullpen this week and be available this weekend at Georgia Tech."

With Wood Myers being out of the lineup, Alex Raburn got an opportunity to play third and Elijah Sutherland got some playing time in the infield with Logan Warmouth playing at short. How did you think they performed in those roles?
"The big story was in Warmouth sliding over to short and making about every play and Alex proved last year he could play all over the field for us. Out of necessity we needed to move Logan and that meant we needed to move Alex and there we go at second base. We played a couple of guys there that we trust and who can throw accurately. Elijah - we had him at short and second all fall and gosh we put him in the game up at Pitt and he was a quality at bat, going 6-for-7 and made every play and got on base all four times yesterday. It was just a great credit to him that he stayed ready and his teammates really like him and he has a great attitude and he wants to win. It is nice to see those kids have some success. He was not so much a surprise for us but certainly gives us more options going forward. I was really impressed with how he played at Pitt."

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