World Series: Friday Quotes w/Audio

OMAHA, Neb. --- Oregon State coach Pat Casey and North Carolina coach Mike Fox, along with selected players, met with the media in advance of the 2007 College World Series Finals beginning Saturday at 7 p.m. EST (ESPN). Read and listen to what they had to say…

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Part I (6:55)
Part II (7:45)
Part III (7:42)

UNC coach Mike Fox

Opening remarks -

We're obviously excited to be here again. It's extremely difficult to get here through all the tough brackets. It's like I said last night it is so very difficult not only to get to Omaha but to get back here again to play for the national championship. Pat (Casey) and I were talking back in January about our teams and players that we had lost. It's funny that we're back here again playing Oregon State. I give credit to both programs. We're obviously very excited.

On coming up through the losers bracket -

We'll obviously use their (Oregon State) example from last year and they'll use ours. There is something to be said about playing three games to get here but the rest is also very important. I think just the fact that we're here is good enough for us at this point. There are pros and cons to both but we are just glad we made it back here to play for the national championship.

On when he felt like the team was in a winning groove -

There are a couple of times during the year that the team can show you good stuff. I think the ones that stand out to me the most were the series against North Carolina State and Florida State. We really needed to come out with a Sunday win at Florida State and we did and that was huge for us. Also, we finally got a win in the ACC Tournament. Those were the three situations that stand out to me the most and showed me what this team is capable of.

On his freshmen -

This is a difficult game. Keeping their confidence up is hard and they can be fragile. Our freshmen have had big swings with the bat this week. It just shows the caliber of talent that is coming into college baseball. Freshmen play a big role on any team because you have guys leave for the draft and graduation. The younger guys have to step up and fill those holes. It's the veteran's role to teach them how to win at this level.

On playing three straight games -

Three days in a row is tough to play in this tournament. You have to take a deep breath. We're playing for the national championship you can't be tired.

UNC shortstop Josh Horton

On last year's loss to Oregon State -

We forgot about last year a long time ago. We're just ready to get back on the field and play for the national championship again. We're a totally different team this year.

On the team's defense this year -

A lot of that is just how the ball bounces. We caught some bad breaks last year. We've fortunate enough to play great defense this year. We're going to try the best we can to keep that up.

UNC pitcher Andrew Carignan

On how this year's team differs from last years -

This is a tough bunch. We have all the confidence in the world in ourselves and in each other. We know how much of a challenge this but we've come together for it. We are just going to use that confidence and play the best we can.

On playing in the College World Series this versus last year -

This is the biggest stage in college baseball. You're playing in front of 20,000 people almost every game. The confidence carries over from last year. It can be distracting with everything going on off the field like the opening ceremonies. We're used to it this year.

UNC pitcher Robert Woodard

On his team's performance -

It's about putting together a solid game one through nine innings. It's a tribute to how tough this team is. It is nice to rally in the sixth or seventh inning for runs, but you have to have a complete solid game to be successful here.

On a pitcher's perspective of hit batters -

It's part of the game, especially in college. Hitters stand on top of the plate. As a pitcher you have to pitch inside to put pressure on the batters. Also, when it's hot outside your hand sweats and sometimes you just lose your grip on the ball. I think in a lot of situations this year that has been the case with a lot of pitchers. I know that happened to me against Rice the other day.

On Alex White -

He's my roommate. I told him we wouldn't be here without him. He's proved himself and deserves to get the ball in relief. I told him we need him to win the national championship and that you'll get your chance to help.

OSU coach Pat Casey

Opening remarks -

Obviously we're very excited about representing Oregon State University in the championship series. The road to Omaha shouldn't be taken lightly for the players on both sides and the coaches here. It's a wonderful opportunity to play in such a great series. The rematch makes it even more special. Our pitchers, our university, our boosters and our fan base are absolutely excited that we were able to find our way back to the championship series. On behalf of everybody at Oregon State University, we're excited to be here.

On the team's reverse roles from last year and pros/cons of playing vs. resting -

I certainly enjoyed the days off. You gotta do what you gotta do. There's also a part of you that wants to play to keep the momentum going. There are certain advantages to playing and certain advantages to rest. Each team has to figure out how that benefits them.

On pitching plans -

We'll start Jorge Reyes for the first game and Mike Stutes for the second.

On team's defining moment this season -

I think that there are times in a season when you play 60 games that people don't perform the way you think they can or the way they want to. We were pinned against the wall and had to go to UCLA (May 25-27). It came down to those guys trusting in what they can do. We had a meeting Thursday before we left for UCLA. I think within themselves they knew we need to get things turned around and they got it done.

On starting a freshman in the first game of the CWS Finals -

I'm excited about starting Jorge (Reyes). We put him in the rotation about six weeks ago. He's been our first starter for the regional, super regional and first game of the College World Series. By now we feel these kids have been through it pretty good. They have enough poise to get through it.

OSU second baseman Joey Wong

On tickets for Oregon State games being tough to get -

With all the fans coming out to see Oregon State play – not only from Oregon but all over – it has just been refreshing to know not just Oregon State people want to see us. It's a tribute to the program.

OSU catcher Mitch Canham

On team's defense -

I think our pitchers are confident regardless of the situation. Our defense is so good because of the work we put in. I'm sitting next to two of the best freshmen (Joey Wong, Jorge Reyes) in the country. All around we glow with confidence.

On development of freshmen -

The day after we won it last year, we knew what kind of talent we had coming in. We lost a lot of guys. But with the kind of work ethic we have in Corvallis, we knew we were going to get it done. We know what kind of talent we have. We know what we're capable of doing. That's the way it's been all year.

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