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June 21, 2013

Kent Emanuel

Mike Fox

Landon Lassiter

Cody Stubbs


UCLA テや 4
North Carolina - 1

COACH FOX:テつ Congratulations to John and his staff and getting back here two years in a row and playing for the championship.テつ We wish him well.
The end of the year just‑‑ it always stinks.テつ But it's just been a great pleasure for me personally and our coaches.テつ What we did in the ninth inning is just indicative of our kids and how we played all year.テつ Just fighting until the very end.テつ Proud of all of them.テつ And this has been one of my most‑‑ one of my most fun seasons.テつ And it's because of these guys up here and the rest of them in that dugout.
So sorry for our season to come to an end, but I'm glad it ended here at Omaha.テつ That's for sure.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions?

Q.テつ Cody and Landon, I think with Berg coming in in the ninth, you guys down 4‑0, a lot of people hand kind of written you off.テつ What was your mindset going in?テつ Seems like you've done this a lot recently where you've been able to battle back.テつ What was the team's mindset entering that situation?
CODY STUBBS:テつ At that point it was do or die.テつ We either did it or didn't.テつ We've been doing it all year, especially late in the season.テつ Especially the senior, with me and Chaz, we just didn't want it to end there.テつ So we actually got to watch him pitch against ‑‑ who was it?テつ Who did they play last?テつ NC State.テつ Oh, we watched him pitch against them, so it actually helped getting to watch him throw on TV.テつ Kind of saw what his ball did, and that helped.
But we weren't going to go down without a fight.テつ That just wasn't going to happen.
LANDON LASSITER:テつ Like Cody said, it was a do or die, and everybody was going to go out there, do their best, and this time we just came up a little bit short.

Q.テつ Kendall Rogers, perfect game.テつ You two guys obviously had a great night at plate.テつ But your perspective, what was Grant Watson able to do against you guys that they just weren't able to figure out top to bottom?
COACH FOX:テつ It was good for them.テつ Mixed his pitches well, and a lot of first pitch strikes, which is important.テつ Didn't walk anybody.テつ And that's the key out here.テつ Just making guys swing the bat, and we had a few opportunities, but hit a couple of balls hard at them there and weren't able to capitalize.
But again, he's a strike thrower and just kept our guys off balance just enough, we didn't put enough good swings on it.

Q.テつ Mike, how would you describe maybe some of your team's offensive struggles the past week or so here?テつ Was it just a matter of facing hot pitchers?テつ I'm sure that had a lot to do with it, but anything else play into this the past week?
COACH FOX:テつ Well, the teams that are here can all pitch really well.テつ That's why they're here.テつ So you're seeing the best arms and the best pitching staffs I think in college baseball when you get on this stage.テつ So that's the biggest factor, is the teams can really, really pitch out here.
And obviously, you know, the ballpark, the ballpark's the same for both teams, and it's hard to score out here.
You saw how they got their four runs, and you've got to be a little lucky and you've got to be opportunistic and take advantage, and we just‑‑ we just weren't able to do that tonight.
But I think that's the biggest‑‑ I think that's the biggest reason.

Q.テつ Coach, can you first kind of talk about Kent's toughness and longevity with how much he threw this week in Omaha and then I guess his game tonight.
COACH FOX:テつ Well, the rumors of Kent's arm being dead, overused, ruined, whatever the adjective you want to use, were certainly greatly overexaggerated.テつ And you saw that in the ninth.テつ Kid's one of the toughest pitchers we've had in our program.テつ And he showed it tonight.テつ Thought he pitched exceptionally well and gave us a chance of‑‑ gave us a chance to win.テつ That's the way he's pitched for us his whole career.テつ I'm glad he chose us, come to North Carolina, and we wouldn't be here without him and we wouldn't have been here I don't think in 2011 without him.テつ He's a stud.

Q.テつ Seems like you're doing pretty well up until UCLA really got those couple of runs on you, really struggled it out.テつ How are you feeling by the end with that high pitch count, and what do you think UCLA was able to do to squeak out those couple of runs?
KENT EMANUEL:テつ I mean, felt fine all the time, felt good.テつ Felt good afterwards, especially with our team knowing that we're always going to fight, especially in the ninth inning kinda showed that.
In terms of the runs, I mean looking back at it, none of them are really off the barrel.テつ Probably could have maybe an inch more outside or an inch more down, some of those pitches might get a swing and miss, but I can't be too upset.テつ All those hits, they're on the front foot and the chopper over Cody's head and stuff like that, it's just baseball.

Q.テつ Coach, had a great time watching your team this year, a lot of fun.テつ Wanted to expound on what you said earlier, what was special about this team that you had this year, and did you have a better experience with them than the runner up teams possibly, 2006/2007?
COACH FOX:テつ I wouldn't say that.テつ It's just, I mean, you saw it in the 9th inning.テつ It's something you just don't coach.テつ It's within your team.テつ We're not going down.テつ We're going to keep fighting.
I think they really, really enjoyed just playing the game first and foremost, and that comes from within every play.
And they've been fun.テつ Just they like one another and practice was fun and everything we did was just a blast.テつ And we didn't‑‑ we didn't have any cliques.テつ We didn't have any turmoil.テつ We didn't have anything.テつ It was a coach's dream.テつ Our coaching staff, we said it all year long.テつ This might be one of the best rides we're ever going to be on as a coaching staff.テつ You get teams like that occasionally, and I felt very fortunate to be a part of it.テつ Small part.

Q.テつ You seemed a little bit looser this year.テつ Is that part of it, too?
COACH FOX:テつ I don't know.テつ I don't know.テつ If I seemed looser, you know, maybe, I don't know.テつ I didn't feel like I wasn't loose in the past, but that's perception, maybe.テつ You'd have to ask some others about that.
I just enjoyed‑‑ I enjoy these guys.

Q.テつ Coach, Cody, he touched on this earlier.テつ He had a crucial at‑bat there in the ninth.テつ Chaz had a great at‑bat drawing that walk.テつ Can you just talk to the senior class, just piggybacking on what he said, what they've brought to this program, what they meant to the program and this run?
COACH FOX:テつ We had three of them.テつ We're fortunate to have three really good ones, and you saw evidence of that just in the ninth inning.テつ That's just a very small fraction of what Chaz and Cody have done for us offensively and just throughout their careers and have done a lot more behind the scenes that most people are never going to know about, reporters and media and stuff that goes on just kind of within your team.テつ It's special.テつ It's the memories that you're going to take.
This kid right here is‑‑ he's about as special as they come.テつ And I'm glad he came to our program.テつ And so glad he had the great year that he had.テつ We wouldn't be here if Cody Stubbs had not done what he had done for us this year.テつ And Chris Munnelly, graduated.テつ I think they're a big reason.
They're always a big reason when teams are out here.テつ If you don't have a good senior class, you don't have a good group of kids, you have to have talent, but you have to have some character within your team and your program.テつ I don't think you'd get this far.テつ I know it's a big‑‑ I think it's a big part of our program, at least.テつ I feel like it is.テつ And we talk about it a lot, and it helps you.

Q.テつ Landon and Cody, coming into the night knowing you were going to be facing Watson, what was your approach in terms of base running?
LANDON LASSITER:テつ I have the same approach every game.テつ Just go there and try to get a pitch you can hit and see what happens and we just fell short.
CODY STUBBS:テつ Did you say base running or hitting?テつ I don't know.テつ Coach Jackson warned us that he had a really good move, and I saw that when I got on base the first time.テつ I felt like he was coming over but it wasn't 100percent but he almost got me.テつ Yeah, he had a really good move.テつ Kind of reminded me of Kent's move.

Q.テつ Mike, you guys obviously got off to the best start in school history and were number one most of the year, made it here, won the ACC tournament, came up a bit short, but how do you want people to remember your team and what you guys accomplished?
COACH FOX:テつ Oh, gosh.テつ Good question, Andrew.
Well, I'm going to remember them probably differently, just kind of from within.テつ But on the outside, I just hope people will look and say‑‑ we obviously won 59 games, but we really‑‑ hopefully we played hard.テつ Hopefully people feel like we played hard every game and represented college athletics and college baseball the right way and tried to do things the right way as best we can.
The winning is part of it, certainly, but so many other special things went on throughout our season.テつ They're going to be great memories for me and I'm sure the players.テつ I hope people on the outside remember we were a pretty good team as well.

Q.テつ Kent, all the ground balls that you got today suggest that perhaps you had a better feel for your curveball and your off speed pitches than you might have had your last couple of starts.テつ Was that the case?
KENT EMANUEL:テつ Yeah, I think so.テつ I mean, my changeup was a whole lot better than it was last Saturday.テつ And my curveball I used a lot more today, and it seemed like I was able to get good depth and put it in there for strikes for the most part.テつ Yeah, anytime you can do that, you're going to get some ground balls.

Q.テつ Kent, you've been so effective in NCAA tournament going into this year, after struggling your last couple of starts.テつ Was it important to kind of close on a note like you did tonight?
KENT EMANUEL:テつ I mean, we lost.テつ So, no, would have liked to get a win.テつ But I don't know.テつ I guess just having another chance to pitch with these guys meant a lot.テつ Didn't want it to be like the opening game be my last time out here.
So, yeah, I guess there was something to that, getting another shot to just enjoy it with all these teammates.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you.

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