Monday with Mike Fox

The Tar Heels took two out of three from Clemson in a thrilling ACC opening series and moved up to No. 2 in the Baseball America Top 25. Inside Carolina caught up with head coach Mike Fox on Monday for an exclusive interview ...

Week in Review
Tues. 3/3 - Longwood (cancelled)
Wed. 3/4 - UNC 10 Gardner-Webb 3
Fri. 3/6 - Clemson 5 UNC 4 (10 inn.)
Sat. 3/7 - UNC 5 Clemson 2
Sun. 3/8 - UNC 9 Clemson 8

The Tar Heels managed to win their first ACC series of the season against the Clemson Tigers after dropping the first game in extra innings. Earlier in the week the Heels had a game canceled against Longwood due to poor weather and then defeated Gardner-Webb.

Adam Warren was spectacular on the mound on Saturday against Clemson. In seven innings Warren limited the Tigers to three hits and did not give up an earned run while tying his season high of eight strikeouts.

Kyle Seager paced the Tar Heels at the plate this week - batting .353 while accumulating a .471 on base percentage and knocking in eight runs.

The Tar Heels were the beneficiaries of what is sure to be one of the best fielding plays of the college baseball season when senior Garrett Gore reached beyond the wall to steal a certain home run from Clemson's Wilson Boyd in right field.

UNC hosts Appalachian State for a two-game home mid-week series then hits the road to Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech for their second ACC series of the season.

This Week's Schedule
3/10 - Appalachian State - 3 pm
3/11 - Appalachian State - 3 pm
3/13 - at Virginia Tech - 3 pm
3/14 - at Virginia Tech - 2 pm
3/15 - at Virginia Tech - 1 pm

On the series against Clemson...
"I thought it was three different types of games - obviously very intense, and that is how all ACC games are. We did some good things and we did some not so good things. I think the thing that I am going to take from the series is that we got contributions from a lot of people - both on the mound, offensively and defensively - which will serve us well down the road. I think we were very fortunate to win two of three."

On the fan support...
"We are so excited about that. We were hoping that would be the case with the new facility - that people would want to come out to see it and we'd hopefully play well and continue to be successful. And the weather cooperated this weekend. It was a great atmosphere at our new facility."

On hitting the road this weekend...
"Are we looking forward to it? Probably no... We love playing at home but it is what you have to do in this league - you have to play five series on the road. We have a tough match up with Virginia Tech. They are obviously playing very well and lost a close game to Duke, but on the road in this league you have to play well against everybody. It looks like it might be a little chilly up there so we need to manage the weather and be prepared to play this weekend."

On the come from behind win on Sunday...
"You have to give our kids a lot of credit. I think our experiences the past couple of years have really helped. Certainly everybody was distraught about giving up the 7-1 lead and we go into the bottom of the ninth behind. You go into the top of the ninth expecting to get three outs to end the game - that is a swing of emotion that you have to be able to manage and manage it in a very short period of time. You go from being ahead to behind and now you are trying to fight to win. I thought Kyle Seager was sensational all weekend. We got a couple of breaks, which you have to do - they were playing deep with Kyle and he dropped one in front of the right fielder and then obviously the throw away at first helped us win the game. You have to give us credit with [Ryan] Graepel coming up and Greg Holt coming up with some big hits - we took advantage when they opened the door for us and we were lucky to win."

On Jeff Schaus' play for Clemson this weekend...
"There are great players in this league. You are not going to shut everybody out - there are aluminum bats... He certainly was their best hitter for the weekend. W are happy to get though the weekend and win another series. We have to continue to improve."

On areas the Tar Heels are working on...
"Well, over the weekend I thought our hitters for one thing looked at the ball pretty well. Our strikeout-to-walk ratio is still pretty close, which is a good sign for us. I think we made their pitchers work deep in the count - a lot of 2-1, 3-2, 3-1 counts - which I think is important for us. I think we need to be a little more aggressive on the bases. I was a bit disappointed in our defense this weekend. We have to play much better defense, especially on the infield and our pitchers have made too many mistakes on the mound. Throwing bunts away and pickoff attempts away, we work on that just constantly, but have not been able to execute that in the games. So just the little things: working with each individual player to keep their confidence level and keep them positive. It is that same mix every season - manage your team and each individual player as best you can and keep your team positive and confident, no matter what."

Talk with UNC baseball fans on Inside Carolina's Diamond Heels Message Board
On leaving runners on base...
"You have to get big hits to win no matter what and no matter who you play, especially in close games. You have to get two out hits and step up and drive the ball. Sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn't. The kids are making every effort to score runs. I thought we did a great job yesterday... for about a five-inning stretch there we scratched a run every inning. I think that might the M.O. of our team offensively. We have not hit many home runs and I could not care less about that. I just want to score more runs than the other team at the end of the day and how we get them I don't care."

On Adam Warren pitching well after a loss...
"He is a guy we want on the mound. Especially ... well we don't want him on the mound anytime after we lose, but if we do happen to lose he is the guy we really like to have out there. Our team has great confidence in him. He is always very prepared - he is such a pro. Anytime you lose Friday at home, it puts the pressure squarely on the home team. I think you have to give our kids a whole lot of credit coming back on a good Clemson team and winning the series after dropping the home opener. I think that says a lot about our team."


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