Thursday Post-Practice Quotes (w/audio)

CARY, N.C. -- The Tar Heel baseball team held a Thursday morning practice at the USA Baseball Complex in preparation for the start of the NCAA Tournament tomorrow. After practice, Inside Carolina talked with head coach Mike Fox and players Chad Flack, Matt Harvey and Alex White.

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What prompted you to go with Matt Harvey to pitch the opening game?

"Matt was coming off his best outing of the year and we feel like if he goes out like he did against Wake Forest, he's got the stuff to keep us in the game. I don't have a problem with him being a freshman and all that - at the end of the year after you pitched against Miami, Florida State and those people on Sundays, he's no longer in that category. He's got a great mentality, so we have confidence in him."

The World Series is still a ways off, and I know you don't want to look ahead, but can you put in perspective what it'd mean to make a third straight World Series?

"I don't want to think about that, but I'm just glad we're in the position that we're in, in terms of playing at home - and we think it's an advantage playing at home, history will tell you that. We've just got to be careful about the mindset ... but I've told our guys that I think we're going to get there, because I want to plant that in their head. And then we need to just go out and play. My biggest concern about my team is that we're going to try too hard - we're going to want to get there too badly. If you try too hard at this game, it backfires on you. ... "

What type of turnout and fan support are you expecting this weekend?

"Our crowds have been good here, especially at the end. We've got to get basketball over and we've got to get the NBA Playoffs over and I wish someone would sweep the Stanley Cup in four -- let's get the center of attention where we want it here. Our crowds have been good and they've learned that cheering helps us instead of waiting for us to do something and then cheer. The weather is going to be great and I think people will come out."

How aggressive will you be starting off this weekend or how much will you feel out your own team?

"Well, I think you've got to be careful not to overcoach in these type of things and try to do too much too soon. You've got to trust your team. A lot of what I do has to do with instincts and a lot has to do with counts. ... I try not to formulate a plan too much because I think the game dictates how you need to run your offense ..."



To what do you attribute the team's relaxed and fun demeanor at practice today?

"That's just kind of the way the team chemistry is - we all get along real well. We try to make it as fun as possible out here. We're out here working to get better, but we also have fun at the same time."

How do you feel about the state of this team heading into the Tournament?

"I think we're ready to go. We've been working our tails off since Day 1 in the fall so if we're not prepared now, we'll never be prepared."

What did you all take from the experience of last year's tough regional?

"It's just the fact that if you don't bring your 'A' game, you can get beat at any time. Everybody has a 0-0 record ... you've got to play well at every phase of the game"

Can you compare this team with the last two teams you've been on that have gone deep into the Tournament?

"We're a younger pitching staff than we've been in the past, but other than that we still play the same game - we're very unselfish and we all just want to win every game no matter who gets what hit or makes what play. I think the style of our play is the same as it's been in the past."



Why do you think this staff been so good this season?

"All the work that goes into it - on and off the field everyone is a good bunch of guys and works together. Everyone works hard in the weight room and out here. The fight to win is what keeps everyone so good."

What have the upperclassmen told you about what it's like to play in the NCAA Tournament?

"Actually not too much. They know I'm already ready for it. I think they can see that in how I've been preparing this last week. I'm sure I'll talk to Alex [White] about it tonight, since I'm staying with him."

How do you feel you're pitching right now?

"I started off [the season] good and then got a little rough toward the middle, but I'm starting to coming around. Looking forward to tomorrow - I'm definitely ready for it."

Are you nervous at all to start tomorrow night?

"No, not at all. I'm ready for it, so no reason to be nervous."



How's the team's morale heading into the Regional?

"It's good. We've been looking forward to this all year. Our season is over and now it starts a new season and we're ready to go. It'll be a lot of fun - this is what we play for."

After such impressive starting pitching in the ACC Tournament, how confident are you in this staff at this point?

"We try to prepare the same each week. We had a great ACC Tournament and we're looking forward to do it again. We try to make sure we're ready and prepare the same each week."

What do you think is the key for you to have a good start on Saturday?

"Just keep us close and let our offense do the work. I don't have to do anything special for us to win, but I certainly can't let them jump ahead early."

What's the level of excitement among the players about playing this weekend in Cary? It's not the Bosh, but ...

"At the start of the year we were kind of concerned about the kind of crowd we'd get out here, but all year it was a great surprise at what kind of crowds we got - there were great fans. We're looking forward to packing this place. "

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