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May 27, 2017

Mike Fox

Ashton McGee

Louisville, Kentucky

North Carolina - 12, Miami - 4

MIKE FOX: We're excited to be playing for the ACC Championship tomorrow. Long day at the ballpark, Mother Nature. But kids were ready. This is a special group. They don't panic. Just keep playing. Very tough-minded. We were very loose, I think, for the whole day, and managed the rain delay and put some zeros up, our pitchers did, after the first inning.

So a lot of contributions from a lot of guys. Proud of our relievers, as well.

Q. Ashton, Logan, the rain delay, you guys had just started to get to Lepore, and you had the home run to start the inning. Were you guys thinking that this might be another setback because you had two on, none out and had cut the lead to one? What was the approach that you guys took in that rain delay, and then when it was extended again at the last minute, how else did that affect you?
LOGAN WARMOTH: Yeah, we had him on the ropes we felt like. Big swing by ash ton to get us going right there and we got the first two guys on base and we think we've got the momentum, and then the lightning delay comes, so that was tough. But got their starter out. He threw well. Jesse through well for them.

Then we just hung out. Tried to stay loose and have some fun playing two eyeball in the cages, because we didn't know how long it was going to be.

ASHTON McGEE: It's very frustrating with all the rain delays and not being able to have a rhythm and everything. But just staying loose and I think getting the starter out was a big thing, and just having confident getting back out there and not being frustrated in the box and everything like that.

Q. I think it's now 34 runs you guys have scored in these three games here. Anything that you can kind of cite for that offensive explosion? I know you've had a pretty good offense all season but obviously not to this extent.
LOGAN WARMOTH: Yeah, I think everyone just not trying to do too much. I guess that's the easiest way to put it. No one is trying to swing for the fences. We are just trying to get on base and let the next guy drive us in or just string together as many hits as possible and get on base.

ASHTON McGEE: I agree, just not going up there with a selfish mentality and just thinking you have somebody back there behind you waiting to hit, and just try and get on base for the next guy in order.

Q. Luca gives up the three runs there in the first inning. How important was it for you guys, even just getting that one run in your first at-bats?
LOGAN WARMOTH: It's a long game. Three runs in the first, we know Luca going to hold them. They had some things fall their way the first. If I make that play at the first inning, and then who knows if they score three.

But hats off to Luca, he pitched well up to the rain delay, which is also frustrating, which means we had to take him out when he started to find his groove. We just know it's a long game and our offense will score. Just trust with our approach and try and scratch any way we can.

Q. This is your first ACC Tournament. What's the experience been like so far?
ASHTON McGEE: Just amazing. Taking it all in at once. Just taking every pitch and every at-bat like it's my last and just enjoying it.

Q. The home run, Lepore had been pretty strong up until that point, obviously you didn't get the lead till after the rain delay. Do you feel like the home run was the turning point for the offense?
ASHTON McGEE: I think so. I think that started to get them on the ropes and started to get the momentum back in our dugout.

Q. Luca had an abbreviated outing, but how important was it to get the four innings that he did, and those three shutout innings after the first?
MIKE FOX: It was important. We've seen that from Luca before, just not have it the first inning, and then once he settles in, he doesn't walk people. He gave a lot of two-strike hits there early but you have to give credit to Miami. It was good he was at least able to throw four innings and have them ready for next weekend.

Q. As far as the delay, obviously you didn't get to pitch Luca probably as much as you wanted to today and had to go to the pen a little bit more, how does that affect 12 hours from now when you're back here for the title game?
MIKE FOX: Well, we're not going to have Rodney Hutchinson, which is fine, but Josh has not pitched in a long time and Coach Woodard is texting me right now as far as who we're going to throw tomorrow. We've got a lot of arms, fresh arms, so we're going to probably need them.

Q. I would assume that you would say that this is probably the best your team is playing, both offense and pitching-wise so far. You're probably not going to get the No. 1 seed. Oregon State has probably got that wrapped up. But do you feel confident that you'll probably end up being the No. 2 seed?
MIKE FOX: You know, as long as we're one of the eight, I mean, that's the most important thing is just be one of the eight, and you know you're playing at home if you're fortunate to win for two weekends.

So it doesn't really matter. A lot of other people kind of determine that. We just want to keep playing well and right now we have an opportunity to win an ACC Championship, and those are unbelievably hard to accomplish, so we're going to focus on that task tomorrow against a really, really good and hot Florida State team.

Q. What did you see from your kids today? Game was supposed to start at four o'clock and didn't start until 6:30, and then the extra hundred or minutes or so tacked on in between the game. What did you see from your kids to kind of help keep their focus and keep their sharpness?
MIKE FOX: This is probably one of the most low-maintenance teams I've been a part of. I don't see a lot to them. They have a way of entertaining themselves. They really enjoy being around one another. So they are kids; they figure it out. It is what it is. We talk a lot about controlling things you can control, and not worrying about things you can't.

So I'm proud of them for just being ready. This is part of it. It wouldn't be the ACC Tournament if we didn't have rain delays and being at the ballpark for ten hours. It's all good. There are worse places you could be (laughs.)

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