Matt Clements/Inside Carolina

This Week in UNC Baseball with Mike Fox

Inside Carolina interviewed head coach Mike Fox during the team's break for final exams. The Diamond Heels (28-15, 9-12 ACC) face VCU on Tuesday before hosting Louisville for a crucial weekend series.

The players entered their exam break after winning with a walk-off against UNC-W before defeating Campbell. What was the weekend like for the coaching staff with the break in the competition schedule?

?"Our two wins before finals were certainly important to us against a good UNC-W team and we didn't play particularly well and sort of overcame ourselves but got it done in the end which I thought was a big win for us and Campbell as well. Kids have a lot on them with exams coming up. So it was good to go into the break with some confidence and momentum. Exams are times for us to get out and go recruiting. We had a huge event here at the Bosh on Saturday night with a baseball gala benefiting UNC Children's Hospital, which I was fortunate enough to be part of. Coach Forbes and Coach Jackson have been out seeing games and visiting our 2016 commitments."

Can you discuss the Campbell game and specifically Rodney Hutchinson and Brett Daniels getting some effective innings in the books before the exam layoff?

?"That was important. I thought that Rodney - that is the best and the longest he has thrown since he has been here. That is a good progression for him and he has continued to work and get better and better and I think the outing prior to Campbell he gained some confidence and to be able to pitch deep in that game was important for us. And Brett has continued to pitch well for us. Just a great story from his improvement and his jump from last year to this year with a huge part of our bullpen and continues to give us quality innings."??

Brian Miller swung a hot bat last week with six hits, and overtaking Tyler Ramirez for the team batting average lead, while leading the Tar Heels with 21 stolen bases in 25 attempts. What has enabled his improvement as a sophomore?

?"You know Brian is just a good player. He has a great swing and it is hard to get a fastball by him. I think for a stretch there during the season he was being pitched to backwards a lot and he had to make some adjustments getting a lot of off-speed pitches in any count. But, Brian has those tools that you cannot coach. He can really run and he is a big time competitor and works unbelievably hard. We need him up there at the top of the order, getting on base and creating some havoc up there and putting some pressure on the pitcher and catcher. We said before the season that he had a chance to steal 25-30 bases and he has a chance to do that. We need him, Adam Pate and of course all of our hitters - but those two guys in particular to stay hot and consistent down the stretch here."??

Another sophomore that has been swinging the bat well is Logan Warmoth - but also had a pair of errors in the field last week. Can you discuss his performance at the plate and in the field?

?"Logan is a good player, obviously, starting the season sensational at short. I don't think he made an error in the first 12-15 games it seems like. They have been coming in bunches a little bit lately which is something that he is going to have to work through. It is a matter of concentration and he has been caught a couple times with in between hops. But hitting the home run the other day and getting the big double for us - you know he was coming off a tough weekend at Wake Forest and we've just tried to calm him down a little bit. He gets so anxious in the box wanting to do so well. I think he is learning. The mid-week games he calmed himself down and sat there and watched before his at-bat and not be so anxious to get into the on deck circle. I think that helped him a little bit."??

With a four-game week ahead of you, hosting VCU before the ACC series with Louisville at Boshamer Stadium this weekend, who will be the starting pitchers for this week?

"Believe it or not, we have a major decision about tomorrow. Coach Forbes will be back in town today. I'm not exactly sure how we will go with the weather and whether we will be able to get the game for one and whether or not there is any chance that we can move it to Wednesday if we can't get it in tomorrow. I'm dealing with all of that now but we will certainly go with Zac Gallen and J.B. [Bukauskas] on Friday and Saturday against Louisville. But again, the same guys will be out there whether it is Jason Morgan, or Rodney [Hutchinson] or Hunter Williams. We have those five guys in the mix to start for us. Whoever it is we need a good outing from all of them because these games down the stretch are the most important ones for our season."??

What have Cody Stubbs and Chaz Frank brought to the table as assistant undergraduate assistant coaches for the team this season?

"They both have been great. The transition has always been fun to watch going between playing to coaching. I kind of get them sometimes at their most vulnerable time because they realize that their playing career is over and the coaching side of it is quite different. They adjusted quickly and I am proud of them that they both are graduating. Cody has his last two exams today so this afternoon he will be one happy boy because he'll have all of that behind him and Chaz as well. They brought a lot to our team and our guys talk with them a lot and they have been great for our team and our program this year. Thank goodness the NCAA changed the rule to allow these kids to coach and then we have the complete Carolina program with the kids wanting to come back and being close to their degree so it is a matter of getting support from a lot of areas. But the kids still have to want to do it. It speaks more to them and their families about how important that Carolina degree is more than anything else."

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