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May 19, 2015

Mike Fox

Zac Gallen

Trevor Kelley


North Carolina テや 5
Virginia Tech - 3

HEAD COACH MIKE FOX:テつ Congratulations to Virginia Tech on a great year.テつ We're obviously thrilled to still be playing.テつ The team kept battling.テつ We struggled a little bit down the stretch, but I was confident our team would come in here and play hard.テつ And we did just enough.テつ
I thought Zac really showed what kind of competitor he is today, how good.テつ He had his best stuff early on, but he got us into the 7th.テつ
So Trevor has been Trevor for us all year.テつ So really a good win for us.テつ And happy to still be playing in the tournament, obviously.テつ

Q.テつ Zac, these guys were more effective against you in the regular season, what adjustment, if any, did you make this time around, what did you change up?テつ
ZAC GALLEN:テつ I just tried to make better pitches this kind.テつ Last time when we played them at their place I made a lot of mistakes.テつ So just leading up to the game I watched a lot of film, tried to dissect their swings, see what kind of holes I could get, and make better pitches.テつ My goal was to try to get as deep as I could.テつ I tried to get as deep as I could.テつ

Q.テつ Trevor, after the way the regular season ended, do you kind of turn the page and look at this as a fresh slate?テつ How did you approach this game as a team?テつ
TREVOR KELLEY:テつ Most definitely.テつ We turned the page very quick.テつ Get that bitter taste out of our mouth.テつ It's a brand‑new season in our eyes, and just playing every day like it's our last.テつ And going out there and enjoying the game.テつ

Q.テつ This is for Zac and Trevor.テつ Coach Fox called this a do‑or‑die game earlier in the week after the Virginia loss.テつ Did you sense that kind of pressure and was that the kind of thing that energized you guys or scared you at all or how did you handle that kind of situation knowing that you if you lost the season could be over?テつ
ZAC GALLEN:テつ At any type of athlete, competitor, I think you relish in those games.テつ You really want to play in those games where it's do or die.テつ Everything is on the line.テつ Everybody is watching.
So for us I think we just kind of, like Trevor said, tried to get the bad taste out of our mouth and move on at the same time, realize what kind of goals we still set for ourselves back in the beginning of the season.テつ
So we just had to keep our eyes on that, stay with the process, really.テつ And you could tell that there was a different feel in the locker room.テつ We just let everything go.テつ And showing up today you could just tell there was a different look in everyone's eyes, they knew what was at stake today.テつ
TREVOR KELLEY:テつ I agree with that.テつ Just on the ride over here before the game I could really sense that everyone was focused and everyone was going to really compete with everything they've got today.
And for me, personally, I'm a senior, so the time is ticking and I'm not going to go out easy, that's for sure.テつ

Q.テつ For both Zac and Trevor, you guys haven't had a ton of run support as of late.テつ How much did that help today in this one?テつ
TREVOR KELLEY:テつ Yeah, anything is great for us.テつ You know, we're struggling, but it's a new season for us now.テつ So I think we're going to start piecing together some runs and our bullpen is going to follow up on our starters and take it from there.テつ
ZAC GALLEN:テつ As a pitcher, you definitely like, no matter what, if you get ten runs a game or one run a game.テつ It's all about keeping us in the game.テつ You only need one to win, if you throw up zeroes and string them together.テつ
Today we had big time hits, the guys comes to play every day.テつ We manufactured runs, which we're getting better at.テつ You could see that when the runs start pushing across the board as a pitcher you definitely feel that weight come off your shoulders.テつ Instead of making pitches, you can get in a groove.テつ It's always good to have a little bit of run support.テつ

Q.テつ This is for Trevor, when you were facing Brendon Hayden in the ninth inning, tying run, dangerous hitter at the plate, what was your mindset on how you were going to attack him?テつ
TREVOR KELLEY:テつ Well, you know, I've had success going first pitch, back door slider, I knew I wasn't going to give him anything good to hit.テつ I was going to stay away, and then that last pitch I went in, you don't want to go at his knees, because his swing ‑‑ that helps him out.テつ So I knew if I went hard in that last pitch I was going to get him out.テつ But for the most part I was just setting myself up for that pitch and staying out and mixing up some speed, I guess.

Q.テつ Trevor, similar question, when you faced Sciretta, you had him down, 1‑2 and he battled, what kind of spots you were trying to hit to sit him down?テつ
TREVOR KELLEY:テつ Well, you know, I was just being aggressive.テつ I knew I was going to get a slider in there.テつ The inning before I got out of it with a slider, strike three.テつ And I was just feeling very confident out there with that pitch.テつ That's what I wanted to throw, in the back of my head.テつ I just threw it at him and it breaks right over the plate and the result came.テつ

Q.テつ This is for both Trevor and Zac.テつ You guys both escaped multiple jams throughout the game. テつWhat goes through your mind, what's the mindset you have in order to perform in that situation, make your pitches?テつ
ZAC GALLEN:テつ Well, depending on the point of the game.テつ If it's during the game you try to limit the big innings.テつ The game goes on, you're looking for a strikeout.テつ
But the main thing for me is just to try to keep my composure.テつ If I make my pitches most of the time they're going to get themselves out.テつ I just try to stay out of the middle of the plate and make them hit my pitches, not try to give up any free hits.テつ So luckily today I made some good pitches.テつ I got some help from the defense, they really baled me out.
TREVOR KELLEY:テつ For me, like Zac said, early in the game you can go for ground outs, and later in the game you're looking for that strike out.テつ And today that's what I did.テつ And it was a big situation.テつ I had to get like two back‑to‑back strikeouts.テつ And for me I'm just ‑‑ I'm more of a ground ball guy.テつ And to get two strikeouts in a big situation, that's very rewarding for me.テつ But our guys played great today.テつ

Q.テつ Trevor, you warmed up and got an out in that seventh inning, and then you had the lightning and storm delay.テつ I think you ended up out for like 50 minutes, when you were taking the bottom of the 7th.テつ What did you do in that delay to stay warm, if anything, or is it just a matter of staying moving?
TREVOR KELLEY:テつ Well, actually when Zac got taken out we had two outs and ‑‑ two quick outs, right?テつ And I saw two lightning bolts in the distance.テつ And I was like, I'm going to go out in the 8th.テつ So I better not warm up or throw too much.テつ Because I knew some sort of delay was coming.テつ And luckily it worked out.テつ I actually didn't even throw a slider in the bullpen. テつI come out, throw six in a row.テつ (Laughter).
It works out.テつ So during the delay I just kind of relaxed, got off my feet and got into some AC.テつ And went back out, kind of warmed up how I usually do, sort of like right before I go in.テつ And sort of get that adrenaline back.テつ So that is pretty much what I did.テつ

Q.テつ I was going to ask the coach a question.テつ Talk about this do‑or‑die mentality.テつ Did you think you needed to win this game to get in the NCAA tournament?テつ Did you think you were already in?テつ Have you studied that at all?テつ
HEAD COACH MIKE FOX:テつ I haven't, but I felt like we needed to.テつ I'm still not sure we're in.テつ But I just wanted my team to come over and really be competitive and try to relax and play a full nine innings and kind of let the chips fall where they may.テつ It is what it is.テつ Elimination game.テつ So I didn't want to take any chances here.テつ Had a great performance from these two guys.テつ

Q.テつ Mike, when you have a team that's scuffling a little bit, especially one like yours that's had problems offensively, how big is it get a break in the centerfield that turned up into a crooked number?
HEAD COACH MIKE FOX:テつ Yeah, that was big.テつ And just right out of the gate we got 2nd and 3rd, and we've got a chance to get on the board early and we don't.テつ And that deflates us, because that's happened before.テつ
So we're in the dugout just trying to ‑‑ don't let it deflate you, keep going, we've got 8 innings to play.テつ We got a break, took advantage of it, got some two out hits from some of our young ones at the bottom of the order.テつ That was big.テつ We put up 3 in one inning, we haven't done that much lately, it's good to see.

Q.テつ What did you have game plan‑wise for Zac?テつ What did you think how Zac executed the game plan?
HEAD COACH MIKE FOX:テつ Zac is just a competitor.テつ And I really don't think he had his best stuff.テつ He's pitching on four days rest, back‑to‑back, and it's very hot and humid.テつ And he's in good shape, but I don't know if he was tired or not early, but I think he made pitches certainly when he needed to.テつ And he just competes.
I think it's most important to keep the ball in the ball yard or not let Hayden pop one out or hit one off the wall.テつ Nice to have a blue monster out there, for sure.

Q.テつ Given the circumstances of the win, Virginia Tech kind of kept coming at you in late innings, did you learn anything about this group today or feel like there's maybe some progress or corner turning from the last couple of weekends?
HEAD COACH MIKE FOX:テつ Yeah, I hope so.テつ I knew it wasn't going to be easy.テつ I knew this game wasn't going to be easy.テつ It was going to come down to the last out, last pitch.テつ You just kind of feel it, just kind of sense it the way the game was going.
And not that you want Perez to get a hit, but the tie run is coming to the plate in the 9th, has been the story of our last couple of weeks.テつ You've got to play under pressure.テつ Our team has competed pretty much all year, we just haven't been great.テつ We left runners at third three times today.テつ But we got the win that we needed to there in the 8th, with Eli coming up.テつ We'll focus on that.テつ We need to continue to get better as a team, certainly.テつ

Q.テつ Who gets to start tomorrow and what's the key to coming out on top against Louisville?テつ
HEAD COACH MIKE FOX:テつ I have no idea who is going to start right now.テつ I'll figure all that out tonight.テつ Obviously we're playing a great team, one of the best teams in the country.テつ Great challenge for our players, I think.テつ We don't have too many weaknesses.テつ They run.テつ They pitch well.テつ We'll have to play pretty much a perfect game, I think, to have a chance to win.テつ

Q.テつ Mike, you said Saturday after the Virginia game that you were embarrassed by the way you guys played.テつ What signs were you looking for to make sure that you guys put that in the past and did you see those signs today?
HEAD COACH MIKE FOX:テつ I did.テつ I just challenged my team that they're at the University of North Carolina and they're playing in a great league, and that's what they signed up for.テつ When I talked to all of them recruiting them, they knew what they were getting into.テつ And you can't forget that.テつ And to go out and ‑‑ not so much not play well, but not play with effort is unacceptable.テつ And I think they all understood that.テつ And I think they were embarrassed to a certain extent.テつ You've got two ways you can respond to that, our kids responded the right way, that we talked about.テつ And we talked about to them for a long time, individually, and as a team.
So I felt like we would come over here and play hard and compete hard and we did that today.

Q.テつ The offense in the Virginia series didn't hit well with runners in scoring position, and weren't able to get the insurance runs when you needed it.テつ To what do you think this team can do if they play well offensively?
HEAD COACH MIKE FOX:テつ We have to continue to do that.テつ We get a runner at third base and get the bases loaded, we've got to produce runs, that's how you move on, not only in this tournament but if you're fortunate to play later on, you can't leave runners on base.テつ The good teams get them in and extend the lead and don't leave it so scary in the ninth inning.
Hopefully we'll get better.テつ I think when you get in the box and you don't get it done you've got to learn from that, whether you're swinging at a bad pitch or nervous or anxious, or whatever the case was.テつ We've had a lot of learning opportunities this season on that.テつ So hopefully we'll continue to get better.テつ

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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