Q&A with Mike Fox

Inside Carolina's exclusive Monday interview with Tar Heel baseball coach Mike Fox, whose Tar Heels have advanced to next weekend's NCAA Super Regional.

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What are your thoughts looking back at the weekend regional?

"It was a great weekend for us. We are certainly excited to be moving on. We did what we needed to in all the three games to get the win. I thought we won all three games in different fashions which was good to see. I thought we did some nice things on the mound and defensively I thought we were the best that we have been over a three game stretch. We got some big hits and obviously Tim Fedroff was sensational during this regional. He really carried this offense along with Mark [Fleury] in the championship game."

How important was Alex White's performance in the first UNCW game?

"I think it was two-fold. One is obviously that is the biggest game in the winner's bracket. That is the most important game, after the first one. We needed it because Wilmington is a great offensive team and we needed Alex to pitch his best game of the year. The flip side of that is that we were able to save our bullpen and keep them fresh - of course we needed those guys in our championship game as well. It served two purposes for us and Alex was at his best in our biggest game so far for us."

Can you tell me what Tyler Trice means to this year's team?

"Tyler has been very special to our team from a senior leadership standpoint. He knows his role and he just wants to win. When he does not get in games you can never tell with his personality coming back in the locker room. It is that kind of attitude from our upperclassmen that has us where we are right now."

What is the team's itinerary for this week?

"We are working on that right now a little bit. We are working today and will be back to practice tomorrow and make a trip back out to Cary. We do not know our schedule yet for this weekend and will not know that until late tonight as far as the game times and the days. We will try to do some team activities again and enjoy the week together and get some work done on the field, continue to move forward and play either Friday or Saturday."

Did you get a chance to catch up with former UNC coach and current UNCW pitching coach Jason Howell over the weekend?

"I did not get to talk to him too much, I was not scouting the games when he was. Last night, walking to the bus I mentioned to him that he did an exceptional job with their pitching staff there this year. We sent text messages to each other a couple of times driving home and I thought he made a big impact on the program this year. He has a bright future; it was great to see him. He is a great person."

What are you all doing to get ready for Coastal Carolina next weekend?

"We are going to continue to work on getting the scouting report for them. We will watch the film on our game earlier this season with them from way back at the start of the season. The numbers that they put up at their regional... I think they had 45 hits down there in three games and there were a lot of runs scored in that regional by a lot of teams. We will get a detailed scouting report together... they have over a hundred stolen bases and we will have to work to keep their top two guys off of the bases; they kind of set the table for the middle of their batting order."

Will next weekend's Major League Baseball Draft be a distraction at all?

"I hope it is not going to be a distraction. These guys deal with that stuff all year long. People talking, their advisors, message boards and people calling them and speculation about this and that. Honestly, I probably don't know the half of it with what these guys are getting in their ear leading up to the draft. I hope they look at is as an exciting day for them if their name is called... I think our guys will be focused come Friday or Saturday on playing the game and have [the draft] on the back burner."

Do you think that it would be better for college baseball if the draft was after the College World Series?

"Sure, I think that would save everybody... but Major League Baseball is not concerned about college baseball. They are not going to be concerned about how it affects us or the kids continuing to play in college baseball. They are going to have it when it serves them best. It is out of our control."


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