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May 24, 2019

Mike Fox

Michael Busch

Austin Love

Durham, North Carolina

THE MODERATOR: We have head coach Mike Fox, pitcher Austin Love, and we have first baseman Michael Busch.

MIKE FOX: Just unbelievably proud of our players and our team. To get punched in the mouth like that early and come back and win the game. Just a credit to them and their resiliency. We talk all the time about how you respond to things, and just kind of challenged them there after the third inning and got great response from everybody in the dugout. These two guys and their teammates, it was an incredible win for us, I thought.

Q. Michael, can you take me through that bat in the top of the eighth inning where you hit the home run.
MICHAEL BUSCH: Yeah, it was kind of a quick one. I know Veliz, he's a really good pitcher, and you want to try to take advantage of any pitch he gives you, if he does give you one. I was just waiting for a fastball and trying to put a good swing on it.

Q. Guys, Coach just said he kind of challenged you guys there after the third inning. Do you remember kind of what that moment was and what he said, and did you feel like you could feel that momentum, the energy change shortly after that?
MICHAEL BUSCH: I mean, yeah. We went out there, and we scored two runs. There was good at bats in that inning, and that's what you need to score runs. You just need good at bats. I think Dylan Harris' line went off the pitcher's hand. They picked it up, and he was safe.

Just good at bats. Sometimes the ball doesn't want to roll your way, but it happened through that inning.

AUSTIN LOVE: Austin Love. I think our hitters hit the ball hard all inning, and we just needed a break. Once we got that break, I think it just tumbled through and kept it going.

Q. This is for Michael. Kind of going off along that, Coach Fox mentioned resiliency. What's kind of going through your mind, or what do you guys talk about when you do get down? It was kind of early enough. When you get in the 5-0 hole, what's kind of the talk, either amongst you guys or thought with you, we're down but we got this, type of thing?
MICHAEL BUSCH: Just for pitchers, defense and hitting is just keep doing what you've been doing, but I think the hardest part about coming from behind is just keeping up the energy, not getting on the plate or not standing on the mound and pressing, just trying to do what you usually do. But the guys on the bench, they really kept the energy up, and I really think that was a huge part of why we came back.

Q. Coach, I guess it would be safe to say that if you're going to have one bad inning in a game, it's better to do it in the 1st rather than the 11th. Could you address what Austin gave you and how he kind of kept you in this game.
MIKE FOX: Well, it was the key to the game, without question. Obviously, we've got to score, but you've got to hold down a really good offensive team to get back in the game, and Austin's been really good for us all year. This is the first year pitching for us. He's a great story. Austin's a great story. Just set out last year and got better this last year and this summer and came back this fall and just is a completely different guy. He's only gotten better and better as the year went on.

Just looking at his numbers, we've extended him 92 pitches, the most he's thrown all year. Just an unbelievable performance by him.

Q. How important was it to stress that inning was the first and you have plenty of time?
MIKE FOX: We talk about that. It's a mindset. If you get down big in an inning, sure, you want it to be early in the game to give you a chance to get back in the game. Michael addressed it. It's kind of a mindset in the dugout of, okay, we've still got six innings to play here, and we're going to respond one way or the other. Either we're going to press or you're going to get angry or you're just going to try to keep playing. We have a mature team. You just can hear Michael talk, just that calmness about him. Got to give credit to our leaders on our team.

Q. Austin for you, Coach just referenced your longest outing of the season. How hard is it, though, knowing you have no margin for error because you're already down, you can't afford a mistake, and how did you handle giving up the home run to Toral and come back from that?
AUSTIN LOVE: Yeah, the pitch to Toral just was a slider right down the middle. Should have been down and in. But after that pitch, I just knew I couldn't leave anything up and in or anywhere over the plate for the guys to get hold of it like that. Yeah, after that, I just tried to work down in the zone and keep the hitters off balance.

Q. Austin, two things for you. First of all, how do you evaluate the quality of your stuff? Because it felt like it was even more electric than usual.
AUSTIN LOVE: I didn't really feel like me as a person felt any different today than any other time. But I guess the energy of the crowd and all my teammates having my back just kind of helped me get a little extra.

Q. And coach talked about your -- just your development the last year and coming back from the summer and being kind of a different guy. What do you attribute that to, and what changed for you over the time that you left from campus in the spring and came back in the fall?
AUSTIN LOVE: I think it was just kind of like a slap in the face, like you're not as good as you think you are. You just need to go back in the summer and work on some stuff, like my control. In the fall and spring of my freshman year, I was walking batters like crazy. I think going over the summer and facing more live hitters got me more ready and also hitting the weight room, and just keep believing in myself.

Q. Mike, I realize this might be looking too far ahead, but do you feel you've done enough to clinch a regional host next weekend?
MIKE FOX: Oh, boy, yes. You're looking too far ahead. I'm just trying to think about getting these guys fed tonight and what our routine is tomorrow. I understand the question, but we're just going to try to enjoy this one. My opinion never matters anyway when it comes to that sort of stuff. So we'll see.

We can only control what we can, which is facing a really red hot Boston College team tomorrow at 1:00 and trying to rest and recover as much as we can for tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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