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May 23, 2018

Michael Busch

Mike Fox

Durham, North Carolina

Pitt - 5, North Carolina - 4

Q. What did they do to keep you off balance like that?
MICHAEL BUSCH: Well, first and foremost, they were pounding the zone and we knew coming into this game that they had some arms that they needed to use to kind of get us off balance and kind of throw fastballs by us in some at-bats. But we knew that, and I'll give it to them, they pounded the zone, and they were ready to pitch, and I wouldn't say that we weren't ready to hit, but I think the pitchers just pitched very well tonight.

Q. Michael, do you feel like you guys left some runs out there early and kind of gave them a little incentive?
MICHAEL BUSCH: Yeah, I mean, like Coach said, that catch from Maldonado in center was a huge catch, obviously. Three runs for sure, maybe even more, that inning, and then we had some other hard balls hit. Brandon Martorano with two guys on, right at the second baseman for a double play. Sometimes there's just nothing you can do about it. But I felt we had good at-bats tonight, and some things just didn't go our way. But it is what it is.

Q. Michael, can you just talk about not getting a chance to advance on? You have another game, but you won't be advancing on to the semifinal. Just talk about how devastating this must be for the team here.
MICHAEL BUSCH: Yeah, I mean, we had a goal to win this tournament, and first we got to take care of Georgia Tech on Friday. We're going to wash this one away pretty quick and worry about that one. But you know, it's a smaller goal for us. We have bigger goals for us in the future, looking ahead to next weekend. But first we've got Friday, and then we'll go into next weekend and worry about that.

Q. How will you guys approach that game on Friday as far as keeping whatever mentality you have to have so you can get some type of momentum going into that bigger picture that you're speaking of?
MICHAEL BUSCH: Yeah, I mean, some people might think it's going to be a tough game for us, just because it's away, and you can't really do anything about it. But I think we have a group of guys that are going to go out there and compete like we always do, and I don't think it's really going to affect us that we can't move on to the semis or the finals. I think we'll go out there and compete just like we always do.

Q. What are the biggest takeaways from this game that you can kind of, I guess, conjure up, whatever is necessary to win, and when you get to the NCAA Tournament if you're fortunate enough?
MIKE FOX: Well, you're going to play close games. You're going to have guys on base. You've got to get a big hit. For us, I mean, we just -- when we don't play defense, we have a hard time winning. I mean, you can look at the box score and only see five hits, and that's not good enough, either, but we had some good at-bats. You have to look at the walks, you have to look at the 3-2 counts. Just got to give them credit. They stepped up there and got a base hit after a couple walks, and we didn't. It's just baseball. It's part of it.

But we don't make a couple plays in the outfield, we don't field a bunt, we have a passed ball, just probably five or six things that -- the takeaway from our team is we can't do that. You can't do that in a regional game or you're not going to win.

Q. Coach, strategy-wise, how do you plan on approaching Friday's game?
MIKE FOX: We're going to approach it like we do every game; we're going to do everything we can to win. We'll throw Luca Dalatri. He needs to pitch. And we'll see -- we'll get him back on the mound, which was a goal of ours in this tournament is to get him another outing before next weekend. So there's a silver lining to that.

It's like Michael said; the tournament is what it is, and format is what it is, and you can be out in one game, like a number of teams already are. I don't believe in meaningless games. I think everything -- we have a lot to play for in my opinion. We're going to be facing, I think, probably the best -- one of the best pitchers in the league Friday, so we've got a tough task coming up.

Q. Michael, this team has talked a lot about having a chip on its shoulder and a little bit of an edge because of the way last season ended. Do you see a way that the top seed losing to the 12th seeded team and not being able to advance because of that may add to that or affect that type of mentality going forward?
MICHAEL BUSCH: Maybe a little bit, but I think there's enough from last year that -- I mean, we've got enough guys coming back from last year that are ready to kind of prove a point from that last year's loss. So I mean, we're going to come out guns blazing against whoever we play next weekend. Like I said, first we've got to take care of Georgia Tech on Friday. But we're definitely excited for kind of revenge next weekend.

Q. What was the dugout like after the game, and what did you say to the team as you move forward?
MIKE FOX: I haven't talked to the team yet. You never talk to the team right after a loss. You wait. Time is good. Take a shower if you can, whatever you can.

Yeah, I mean, it is what it is. It's not the end of the world. We get to keep playing, and we get to keep being together. We get to practice tomorrow, work out tomorrow. We've got a game Friday. I mean, two years ago we were all somewhere else, so we didn't even make the tournament. Everybody was home and the lockers were empty. So we're going to look at it on the bright side here, and we've got another game or two to play, and I love being around this team, they love being around each other, so I'm glad we're continuing to play. That's what I'll say to the team.

Q. Mike, why do you think Pitt has flown under the radar this season or really in their five years in the league?
MIKE FOX: I don't think they've flown under the radar. I think -- I mean, that's some good arms, and they had -- they threw good arms against us at our place. I thought we were really fortunate to win. And in a game like this, we knew they were coming in -- I don't know how to pronounce his name. But you've got a guy throwing 95, 96, and then they bring West in. That's what we did. It's kind of a crazy game. It's one game where we're all throwing our best arms. They've got some good players, and they competed hard, and I thought they -- I think Joe does a great job. He's been at it a long time. He knows what he's doing.

You know, I said out loud, this is a good time for them to squeeze here. Before it actually happened. And then I didn't do anything about it. It's me going -- if I'm out there, this would be a pretty good time, even though the infield is in, and you've got to give him credit. It's a great call on his part, and obviously they executed it well.

Q. You stretched Hiatt out tonight. Do you feel like he kind of ran out of gas there at the end?
MIKE FOX: Yeah, and we thought we could do that with him. We didn't really have a pitch count in mind. I mean, it's been a while since he's thrown. He was kind of teasing us there at the end, 3-2 count, and you get a strikeout there on a pitch in. You know, I thought he was terrific. Josh is -- he's really good. He can strike guys out, and yes, he probably got tired. I'll have to -- I have to go back and look at that and say, yeah, well, maybe one batter, two batters. That's part of what we do.

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