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ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP


May 23, 2014


Mike Fox

Benton Moss

Wood Myers


GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA

Virginia: 3
North Carolina: 2


THE MODERATOR:  We are joined by North Carolina, Head Coach Mike Fox, student athletes Wood Myers and Benton Moss.  We'll first get comments from Coach Fox.
COACH FOX:¬† Well, tough, hard‑fought game.¬† A loss added to our resume, unfortunately.¬† I thought Ben was sensational tonight and he certainly pitched well enough to put ourselves in a position to win.¬† That small margin of error, and Virginia is so good at taking advantage of our mistakes and getting some big hits.¬† Tough loss for us.¬† We just didn't do enough.
I thought almost every inning, I think except one, we had a big strikeout in the inning.  A lot of times with people in scoring position and that's something you can't do, that's a great credit to their pitching.  That's why they are as good as they are.

Q.  Mike, what do you think of Nick Howard?
COACH FOX:  He's good.  He might be one of the best in the country.  His numbers are just incredible.  We've seen him before, saw him up there.  A lot of breaking balls, you know, tonight.
We saw some of those in Charlottesville but we saw that good fastball, too.  You know that fastball is in the back of your mind and it makes that breaking ball that much more difficult to hit.  It's a challenge for every hitter that goes up there.  He's very, very good.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH FOX:¬† Yeah, I don't know, I thought we competed against Florida State, it just may not have looked like it, and because of the score.¬† But we were really, really ready to play tonight and just‑‑ the position we're in we have to compete.¬† We gotta get in there and give it all we have or we're not going to put ourselves in a position to win.¬† But I thought we were very competitive tonight against a really good team.

Q.¬† 6 out of 9 times tonight you had the lead‑off runner on base and I don't remember a time when Virginia allowed that.¬† Would you expect to have better production than you had tonight?¬† If you're getting guys on. ¬†What was the secret to that and are you disappointed that you couldn't get them around?
COACH FOX:  Yeah, very!  One inning we bunt, we decide to sack and then we get a couple of big strikeouts, again, tip the hat to their pitchers.  The next inning we hit into a double play.  It's one of those situations where we just don't execute when we need to.  We get a bunt down and then we got the guys up there we want, we just can't get a big hit.
Again, that's the pitcher versus the hitter and, you know, the pitcher won more than not tonight against us, anyway.  But it was very frustrating.

Q.¬† Why did you have success tonight getting the lead‑off guys on?
WOOD MYERS:  I guess I lead off the inning three times.  I just got balls I could get a good swing on.  We were clicking offensively, even though we didn't come out on top.  We still made good attempts to score runs and move runners and we just couldn't come up with that big hit in the end.

Q.  Wood, what did you get on the home run pitch?
WOOD MYERS:¬† It was a change‑up, he left it out over the plate and tried to put a good swing on it.

Q.  Obviously you had one of your better outings all season tonight, how frustrating was it a couple errors near the end, what does it feel like?
BENTON MOSS:  That's the game of baseball, we've been grinding it out all season.  Baseball is all about confidence.  If you lack confidence, it makes it that much harder.  If you have confidence, it makes it that much easier sometimes.  Russell being out, he wants to be in last year, and I hadn't played shortstop and I played shortstop.  I could list a whole host of things that were different tonight.  Execution is key and, you know, Virginia was very good at taking advantage of them.  It's just baseball, you know, the pitcher can control what the pitcher can control, and after the ball leaves my hand I can't do anything.

Q.  What seems to be clicking for you right now?
BENTON MOSS:  I'm focusing on staying down my line, and when I say that I mean staying in a line toward the plate instead of pulling off or cutting balls or letting balls fly loose, keeping my head in line with the strike zone is helping me to focus on the location I'm going to throw it, and last couple of times it's clicked for me.

Q.¬† Tournament‑wise how much does this hurt where you guys are now?
COACH FOX:  It would have been a good win for us.  We got a game tomorrow and we're going to do everything we can to show up and compete tomorrow and hopefully play a little bit better.  Then it really is out of our hands after that, we'll see.

Q.  Frustration about some of the breaks, the double that might have scored a runner, bounced around a little bit and also the runner gets to second on the play at the plate?
COACH FOX:  Sure.

Q.  How so?
COACH FOX:¬† How frustrated on a scale of 1 to 10?¬† (Laughter.)¬† That's part of it!¬† I mean, I don't know if Adrian Chacon would have scored on that or not but I sure would have been waving him, but earlier in the game we swing at a 3‑2 pitch over our head and get caught stealing.¬† That's ball 4, swing at ball 4 in the dirt.¬† Those are the ways you score and get you get the lead off.¬† Game swings both ways, you get breaks some days and some days you don't, and you go back and play these 1‑run games over and over, but it's all over with now.¬† We gotta focus on playing tomorrow.

Q.  How important is that game for your NCAA chances?
COACH FOX:¬† I do not know.¬† I just want to end on a win here and not go‑‑ obviously we won the first game to get in the pool play.¬† There will be something on the line but there has been something on the line for us, I think, probably the last eight or ten games, won't be anything new.

Q.  You played three games like this up in Virginia, low scoring, were you expecting it tonight?
COACH FOX:  Yeah, it's how they win.  It's how Virginia wins.  They pitch so well and they got Howard on the back end.  You gotta try to stay ahead, you try to bunt and get ahead and you don't want to be behind when he comes in the game because he's good.  They steal bases.  Stolen bases are huge.  We made a good throw and maybe doesn't catch it in the right spot, and that was the big play of the game.  I expected a close game and we got one.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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