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May 26, 2019

Mike Fox

Michael Busch

Hansen Butler

Joey Lancellotti

Durham, North Carolina

North Carolina - 10, Georgia Tech - 2

COACH FOX: Oh, man, just excited to be 2019 ACC baseball champions. So, unbelievable league. And my hat's off to Georgia Tech. Boy, they have such a good team. Hope to see them in Omaha. Thought we beat four really good teams to get to this point.

Unbelievably proud of my team the way we played this week here in Durham. And it's just special, it's hard to win, it's hard to win a championship in this league, in any sport, but certainly in baseball.

So my hat's off to all the people in Durham here. Put on a great show and worked as hard as they did.


Q. Coach, 2013 was your last conference champion, and you guys now have 11 ACC title champions. Tell me what this means to the University of North Carolina and to the baseball program at the University of North Carolina as well.
COACH FOX: Well, I mean, right now I want to focus on what it means to all these kids, these men. These are men up here on this podium. It's just special. Each team is special. Like I said, these championships are, they're so hard to win.

And after we won yesterday I just reminded them I've been in the league 21 years and only played in this game four times counting today. So a span of six years is actually not that long when you are trying to win. It's just hard to get here. It means a lot. Just means a lot to be ACC champion.

Q. Joey and Hansen, coming into this game, Georgia Tech was the best hitting team in the ACC and you guys essentially throw a two-hit game combined. When you come in knowing it's going to be a staff outing, does your mindset change any? And why were you guys, do you think, so effective against their bats today?
HANSEN BUTLER: Well, I mean coming in early I was just trying to keep the ball down. They have a lot of home runs. Just keep the ball down, work efficiently, get ground balls rather than just trying to go for strikeouts, stuff like that.

Just going as long as I could, being that this is my third day throwing, I was just trying to make the most out of my pitches. Just, like I said, Coach Woodard prepared us really well with the scouting report, and we knew what they could do. So just utilizing all pitches and just keeping the ball down, trying to get ground balls and worked pretty good.

JOEY LANCELLOTTI: I mean, I totally agree. I think it also helps on a day, like a staff day, you want to follow up the pitcher that went before you. And Ollio had a great start. And I think Hansen wanted to follow that up. He didn't want to snap the streak of limited innings.

And I came in after him just trying to follow up what he was doing. I think everyone kind of wanted to kind of keep it rolling. And I think it's really big on staff days to follow up when pitchers are pitching like they are.

Q. Michael, Coach Hall mentioned earlier you had shown a bunt and he almost took the shift off. Could you talk about your thought process on a nice bunt single and how it sparked such a big inning?
MICHAEL BUSCH: First and foremost, you have a lefty that's throwing 92, 94, which is tough as it is, but it's just baseball. And then lead-off guy and we have some super hot bats behind me. And at that point in the game it was 1-1, I was trying to get on base and try and get us that lead.

Q. Was there anything said maybe after the North Carolina State series or during the tournament that helped motivate you at all, anything that stand out -- text message, anything like that?
MICHAEL BUSCH: Hansen actually sent us a message that night, and he pretty much said take all this in, try and remember, like, what happened to us. But tomorrow we're going to get back to work.

And that's just baseball. Sometimes the things don't go your way, but the moment that -- the faster you can regroup the better your team is going to be. And we regrouped that next day and we got in and had the two best practices we've had and it showed this week.

Q. Michael, building off that, is that experience, the fact that you guys can just kind of brush that aside and kind of start fresh?
MICHAEL BUSCH: Yeah, I feel like that does play into it. But going off experience (indiscernible) didn't have much, and those last few outings probably didn't go the way he wanted to, but he went out there and went through that first lineup like we was one of our aces.

And that's the type of mentality that he's going to have, and that experience is going to prove for him even into the playoffs and the future for his pitching career.

Q. Michael, talk about the three-run home run. Talk about that sequence. Did he throw something that you didn't see before? Were you looking for that pitch to drive to send it to right field, or did it just get out because of the heat and humidity in the ballpark?
MICHAEL BUSCH: Was that the three-run home run? Solo? Oh, yeah, so Dallas Tessar gave me some good information on him. Told me that his ball cut a little bit. Fastball was pretty straight, so I just tried to stay on the ball and tried to get a good swing off, try to get on base and get us some more runs.

Q. Michael, through four innings you all didn't have a hit. And after that you all couldn't stop hitting. What changed for you all after that point?
MICHAEL BUSCH: I would have to say that hit by Dallas Tessar. I kind of remember, Coach said it yesterday -- or, yeah, it was yesterday against BC -- that base hit that he had kind of got us going. And I think that same mentality today for him and the team kind of got us going again.

He hasn't started the whole year, but, like Coach said again yesterday, last year he was a big impact for our season. He started a bunch for us. He was a lead-off hitter for us, so he has a big impact at the bottom of the order for us.

Q. Mike, haven't worked the final numbers on your bullpen but I believe the earned run average for the week was under 2. Could you just talk about how effective they were as a group beyond today, and physically Joey and Hansen today?
COACH FOX: Pitching is the key to winning, to winning championships. If you don't pitch, you have difficulty winning. And we've seen all our relievers, like, really, really good throughout the year.

And Hansen coming from where he started the season to where he is now, I think the rest of our pitchers see that. The example that he set for the rest of his teammates is pretty special, not only on the field but off the field. The patience that he has and the perseverance and staying with it. And it's hard not to watch Hansen Butler out there throwing in the ACC championship game and not get emotional.

I've seen it the last -- it's five years. That's a long time. But he's a Tar Heel and he stuck with it. And I think our other pitchers, like Joey said, they see that and they kind of feed off that a little bit. So what they did this week didn't surprise me. I don't think it surprised our teammates, and I think Coach Woodard did a terrific job having them all ready as well.


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