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May 21, 2018

Mike Fox

Durham, North Carolina

MIKE FOX: Well, we're certainly excited to have finished the regular season on a good note. Our team played a little bit better over the weekend than we had been previously, so just proud of our guys for doing what they need to do, you know, against Virginia Tech to put us in a position to be co-champions and get the No. 1 seed.

You know, we feel good about that and going into the tournament, so we'll see.

Q. So during that short stretch where you all went on, I think it was three losses in a row, what do you think was going on during that time where you all were struggling?
MIKE FOX: Well, I mean, whenever you're not winning games, it's generally not just one thing. You know, we lost to some good teams, for one, that just on that particular day just played, you know, played a lot better than we did.

I guess that was, you know, at Coastal, they just played better than we did. We didn't generate enough offense, and we went over to Duke and Duke just played exceptionally well against us and some close games, just the ball didn't bounce one way or the other. Didn't get a big hit. Didn't get it done out of the bullpen. It wasn't one specific thing. We just didn't play well on those days and that's baseball.

Q. Do you feel like you guys have turned it around? Are you pretty confident the way you all played this last weekend?
MIKE FOX: Well, I think our kids feel a little bit more confident than probably they did previously. I mean, winning always helps, but the tournament is a whole different animal. Everybody plays at a high level.

We're a better team, probably like most teams but we're a better team I think when we feel like people are still doubting us and we play with a little bit of an edge, and you know, we did that there for awhile. We came out of the exam period where we had not played in a while and thought we lost a little bit of that.

So you know, maybe we got that back over this past weekend. Hope so. But now it's about just playing your best baseball, just sound fundamentally and getting a good start from your pitcher and you know, getting big hits. That's what it comes down to when you're playing good teams from here on out.

MIKE FINN: If you could talk about the two teams, particularly that's in your pool, and what issues they present for your team.

MIKE FOX: Yeah, we played Pitt here early in the year and they have got some good arms, and I think they have got one of the best players out there in Sabino. He's got 16 home runs and they have got some guys that can hurt you. We are certainly going to have to play well. Pitt is very well-coached and they play everybody tough.

You know, Georgia Tech might be one of the hotter teams out there right now. We were able to beat them here at Boshamer in some close games. We kind of stole one from them there on Saturday.

You know, I think they are a dangerous team. They are obviously playing for an NCAA Tournament bid, and so I think Georgia Tech historically has really played well in the ACC Tournament, and we're certainly going to plan on that continuing.

Q. Did Luca show you everything that he needed to show on the mound the other day that you can kind of use him more toward how you were hoping to this season down the stretch here?
MIKE FOX: Yeah, I think he did. He looked good to all of us and the ball is coming out of his hand good. He felt good. Most importantly, he felt good the next day. It was obviously good for us to see him back out there. That was a 12-week, almost 12-week `, I guess, for him, and he did everything he needed to do during that time to put himself in that position. Great credit to him.

Yeah, it's pretty much what we wanted from him, four innings, about that number of pitches, and now it's a matter of just how we think we're going to use him going forward this week.

In a perfect world, he needs to get back out there and pitch again this week before we get into the NCAA Tournament.

Q. You obviously needed to see him out there before the post-season.
MIKE FOX: Yeah, in a perfect world, that's what we wanted and that's obviously what we got. So we were hoping that was going to be the case, and as soon as he was ready, by everyone's account, then we didn't see any reason why we shouldn't put him out there to start the game on Saturday, and fortunate we were able to do that.

Luca has always been able to throw strikes. It's quite amazing, after that long layoff. He looked like the same Luca to me. Obviously he's got to continue to build up his pitch count and his endurance, but he takes unbelievable care of himself. So he obviously wanted to go out and throw some more and that was the competitor in him. But we got exactly what we needed from him on Saturday.

Q. Last time you won the tournament was in 2013. What would it mean to you and your team to win one this year?
MIKE FOX: Oh, gosh, well that's one of the huge goals is to win the ACC, win the ACC Tournament. It's extremely difficult to do. It would mean a lot to our kids and to our program. These titles, they don't come around very often. They are spread out amongst a lot of great teams in our league.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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