This Week With Mike Fox

Inside Carolina interviewed UNC head coach Mike Fox after his team won one of three at Clemson over the weekend. The Tar Heels are 18-13 (7-8 ACC) as they enter a home-stand with a pair of mid-week games against Coastal Carolina and Liberty before the NC State series.

With today being Major League Baseball's opening day – there are 10 Diamond Heel alumni playing in the Majors along with manager Walt Weiss and 18 Tar Heels developing in the minor leagues…
"It makes for a good at least hour out of all of our days going on the internet and it is kind of a daily ritual once they all get started. It is exciting. I reached out to a lot of them by text and wished them all the best. It is very exciting to see all of those guys in the Major Leagues and those guys in the minor leagues trying to get there."

Zack Gahagan seems to be getting back into the swing of things after missing his senior season of high school with an injury…
"It was a challenge for Zach in the fall because he had not played in so long. Just the fact that he did not play his senior year but that he was drafted tells you of his potential and talent. He was always totally committed to attend UNC - just a terrific, terrific young man, a very good student, has a great demeanor about him and has just really worked and he we really had to talk him through the fall because he was not having enough success. Rightly so - he just hadn't played in so long. He's getting better and better and his knee is almost fully healed and we are excited about his future. He is learning the toughness of our league and what a challenge it is. But, that happens with every freshman. He is an exciting part of our future."

The team is winless this season in extra innings in three attempts and has had some bullpen issues with walks so far this season. How do you feel about the mindset of the team in light of those challenges?
"Well, nothing has come easy for us, that is for sure. The mindset of our team is awesome. I just love this team and how they compete. Yesterday was a perfect example of the character of our club. We lose Saturday night and shouldn't have in a four-hour game and we get back late then it is Easter Sunday and we get up early to have chapel and family is everywhere at Clemson and rightly so. We have to get off the mat again as we talk about a lot. We just got punched in the first inning with a three-run homer and all of the sudden it is 4-0; for us to climb back and to win that game yesterday says everything you need to know about our team. We are not happy with our record but we have a lot of baseball to play and I think we are all in line with this and I think our destiny is certainly in our hands for the rest of the season."

With five ACC series left in the season there is a lot of baseball left to be played. At this point the Tar Heels are ranked 28th in the RPI according to, and have a lot of ground to make up in order to be comfortable about a postseason berth. How do you keep the team focused on the importance of every game?
"Our goal is simply to play better and play well. It is simplified … pitch to pitch and focus on the next game. That is all you can do. We put a real emphasis on not looking down the road. You can't. Here comes Coastal [Carolina] who thumped us good down there. We have to be ready for our next game. We can't get caught up in it at this point. I know other people are looking at our RPI and Coach Forbes and I were talking about it on the bus and our strength of schedule is really good [currently 11th according to] so we are where we need to be in terms of who we have played and who we are playing next. We just need to play better and close out games where we have a lead late. It is pretty simple."

Do you have any updates on Wood Myers and Reilly Hovis's recovery from their injuries?
"I do not. Wood obviously was an extensive injury and he is still way out, but he is in a walking boot which is good. Reilly is going to have another evaluation of his injury probably this week. So I don't expect him to be available for this upcoming weekend unfortunately."

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