UNC-MSMU: Postgame Quotes (w/audio)

CARY, N.C. --- Following Friday night's 16-8 NCAA Tournament win over Mount St. Mary's, head coach Mike Fox and players Dustin Ackley and Tim Fedroff talked to the media. Read and listen to what they had to say ...

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UNC Press Conference (Fox, Ackley, Fedroff)

MSMU Press Conference

Opening Statement -
Fox: "Good win for us. Obviously we want to get that first one here in this regional. It took us a while, but offensively I thought we were pretty good tonight and got some big hits from these guys - they've done it for us all year. Got off to a big lead, and the middle of the game wasn't our best, but we were able to respond after they put up four against us and that's the sign of a good club that we came back and scored four in the bottom of the sixth and then we were able to hold on. But I was impressed with Mount St. Mary's; they kept playing and kept coming at us. It wasn't the cleanest win for us, but it was a win and this time of the year that's all you care about."

What was your mentality going into the bottom of the sixth, getting the four runs right back?
Fedroff: "Basically just trying to get something started. We know top to bottom in our lineup we can produce really at any time. They put some pressure on us to produce that inning and we had some guys step up and get some big hits."

Tim, you went 4-for-4 today, what was going right for you?
Fedroff: "Just trying not to do too much. The coaches really emphasized having a good approach at the plate today, really not wanting it too bad and just hitting the ball where it's pitched and hopefully find some holes. And with the outfield so big, trying to keep the ball in the air as well."

Dustin, did you come in here purposely being a little more patient than normal to make them throw you pitches?
Ackley: "We try to be as patient as we can. If we see a guy that's maybe not throwing as many strikes, we'll be more patient. But when we see a guy like tonight who is around the zone, you've got to find some pitches early and drive them."

Coach, the bullpen has been consistent throughout the year, but of late has given up more runs. Can you put your finger on what's going wrong and how big a concern is it?
Fox: "Well, you can't put your finger on one thing - it's different with every pitcher. We used some guys tonight early. Matt [Harvey] threw 128 pitches against Wake and we brought him back on five days rest. Probably in hindsight I should have let him throw one more inning, but we were up 8-1 and we trust our bullpen. It's just one of those things - Tyler [Trice] is more of one-inning guy and we tried to extend him to two innings. And in the NCAAs sometimes, the strike zone is called by the book a little more and you saw that tonight. Neither pitcher on either team was getting anything off the plate and that's an advantage to the hitter. The pitcher has a smaller margin of error. It is a little concerning that we're walking some guys, but we've got to trust our guys, keep patting them on the back and they've got to be out there tomorrow. The good thing about tonight is we used a lot of guys so they got their feet wet [laughs]. We didn't tax any of them. Patrick [Johnson] hadn't pitched in a long time and we needed to get him back out there - we had to get him in the game because he hadn't pitched in a while. They'll bounce back - Coach Forbes, that's his strength, getting guys back up. So we'll be fine."

Can you talk about the decision to start Ryan Graepel at shortstop and putting Garrett Gore at DH?
Fox: "I think you saw tonight how good Ryan Graepel is defensively. He hasn't had a chance to show it as much, but we've seen it for two years ... He can play defense. He's the best defensive player we have. Defense is the name of the game this time of year. And, Garrett, we needed to keep him in the lineup offensively, so it made sense to us."

How does it make you feel knowing that your team is so multi-dimensional that maybe while you're not having a good pitching night, your team steps up in the other areas?
Fox: "You need all three phases. You need all three to be able to win. If one's letting you down, you better be pretty good in the other two. I think now when you get into the winner's bracket games you better be good in all phases. So we're going to need to pitch better tomorrow, our relievers will need to be better and hopefully we'll keep swinging the bat. We'll see."

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