This Week With Mike Fox

Inside Carolina had an exclusive interview with head coach Mike Fox while the UNC Baseball team was on a break during final exams. Next the Tar Heels (29-16, 13-10 ACC) host two mid-week games before heading to Notre Dame this weekend.

How did the players and coaching staff approach this past week with everyone preparing for final exams?
"We gave the players completely off of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday - they could come in optional if they wanted to around their exams and reading day. We got back to practice over the weekend Saturday and Sunday. Sunday was optional for those who had exams this morning. We will work out this afternoon so there was a little bit of downtime. The coaches spent some time with their families and went recruiting. So it was a little busier time than you would think but we were off the field for three days which was probably good for the players?"

Korey Dunbar has caught most of the innings for the Tar Heels with Adrian Chacon being unable to catch with his back injury this season. What has he shown you during his junior campaign and what feedback have you heard from Major League scouts checking him out before the draft?
"Korey's durability has to be the word that you use to describe him first and foremost. Just the fact as you said that he has caught pretty much every game for us and done it at a high level and continued with his strength, his arm strength and his power. It has been pretty incredible and, as I have said before, it is a testament to his hard work that he is in such physically good condition - that was a key to his success. We don't really talk about the draft that much, but we will cross that bridge certainly when we get there."

Entering the final couple weeks of the regular season, can you speak to the importance of every single game?
"There is certainly no question that these last nine games are of ultimate importance for us. They are pretty much going to determine a lot of things for us. Our players understand that and hopefully we will come out of exams and have the academic part behind our players and we will play at a high level. These last nine games will be a big challenge and I think our players understand the importance of them."

Which pitcher has the best pickoff move at this point of the season?
"Gosh - Benton Moss has a really good one. Zac Gallen has a really good one. Those probably have to be our top two. I would say they were pretty equal with their ability to pick guys off. Spencer Trayner also has a real good one. Those guys probably have the quickest feet and the fastest arm over there. All three of them are right handed and that certainly helps them."

If there was one item that you could influence Major League Baseball to do for the betterment of the game and college baseball what would it be?
"The smart answer would be to say to recognize a larger percentage of players playing in the big leagues that went to college than any other [avenue] and to recognize it and value the experience, instruction and value that can be placed on kids coming out of college. It is a known fact and it is pretty clear - all you have to do is look it up. Players that play in college get to the major leagues faster and spend less time in the minor leagues. So I know that would be more of a general statement on my part, but I hope that they would value the college experience more and take the benefit of it."

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