Around the Bases with Dillon Hazlett

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- Dillon Hazlett is only 12 games into his Tar Heel career, yet he leads the team in batting average (.395) and runs batted in (14), and sports a perfect fielding percentage. Inside Carolina caught up with the starting first baseman ...

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How has the adjustment been to playing first base?

"It has been an adjustment for sure. I had never played first base until I came here. It is a lot harder than it looks; I thought it was pretty easy but it has turned out to be something you really have to work at day after day and learn certain things to play first base. I think the biggest challenge has been in getting to the bag in time and setting and being in position for a bad throw. That was something that took me a little bit - to learn how much time to get over there and get ready for the throw."

What about the academic transition to UNC?

"In my classes here it has been a little different. At my community college you had work you had to do everyday. Most classes here your professors gives you a midterm and a final exam and perhaps one or two other things for your grade in class."

What has the adjustment been like as far as the size of school as compared to Allen County Community College?

"I like it. I get a chance to meet a lot more people. Because at my JuCo I kind of knew everybody at my school and stuff. Here you can go out every day and meet new people."

To what do you attribute your strong start at the plate this season?

"I think just that I worked hard in the offseason and I knew that one of my goals was to get off to a good start. I'm being selective [at the plate] and my teammates are getting on and getting into scoring position so that helps out a lot - I'm just putting the ball into play."

Your offensive game has shown a balance between power and speed ...

"Power just happens when it happens. You cannot really try to hit home runs or anything like that. You just try to hit doubles and hit the gaps. And when you do get on base you try to get a good jump on first and try to steal bases or stretch out singles into doubles - that's what I try to do."

This team has a lot of speed - is it a team goal to utilize that?

"Almost everyone in our lineup can steal bases and that is what we plan on doing. First to third - or first to home even for some of us - and we should get a lot of stolen bases."

Coach Fox talks about the importance of leadership each year - does this team have that?

"I would say one of the biggest leaders is Mike Cavasinni. I came down here on my official [visit] with him and once I got here he kind of helped me through everything, helped me on the field with situations and knowing how the coaches are and helping us out with that. He leads through his actions - he hustles non-stop and I think he is probably the biggest leader on the team."

What's been the impact of Greg Holt's performances coming out of the bullpen this season?

"He definitely brings intensity every time he gets on the mound. He has that attitude that 'I'm going to throw it in there, hit it if you can and I don't think you can.' Just with him being out there on the mound that kind of attitude rubs off on everyone else. So when he comes in we know what we are getting and we are going to get fired up."

What is the approach to bounce back from a tough loss like Tuesday's game against William & Mary?

"We take it and we embrace it and we look to see what we did wrong and we come out the next day with even more intensity than we would have had after a win. We have to come back twice as hard - especially after a loss like this. We looked like we just were not ready to play. We need to have a lot more intensity and attitude that we are going to go out there and score a bunch of runs this game - we have to do it."

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