home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 20, 2014

Mike Fox

Michael Russell

Trent Thornton


North Carolina: 4
North Carolina State: 3

THE MODERATOR:  We welcome North Carolina, Head Coach Mike Fox as well as student athletes Trent Thornton and Michael Russell, Coach?
COACH FOX:  We're obviously very excited to have won and be able to stay here a little bit longer and play three more games.  It's an incredible game, I think what everybody expected when we get together.
Long game.  A lot happened in the last four hours.  We did just enough, you know, to come out with a win.  Exciting for our team.  I'm glad we get to continue playing here in the ACC Tournament.

Q.  How much of a "must win" game do you think this was especially for a postseason bid?
COACH FOX:  You know, I don't know.  That's a pretty strong "must win" but we knew this was a very important game for us.  Just didn't want to take any chances on maybe what could happen going further here.  We just wanted to stay alive, you know, stay in this tournament as long as we keep playing.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH FOX:  A little bit, yeah.  Reilly was very rested, he hasn't thrown a lot in the last three weeks, so he gave us exactly what we wanted to get us hopefully in the fourth or fifth inning and you gotta give State and their hitters a lot of credit, they had a lot of 3‑2 counts and got his pitch count up there early and I think that was part of the problem there in the fourth inning, he was having to work.

Q.  Did you plan that Trent would be the closer?
COACH FOX:  We hoped that would work out that we would be able to bring him in the game with the lead.

Q.  Trent, what was it for you like coming in as a closer?
TRENT THORNTON:  That was what I wanted.  I told Coach after the game I missed that adrenaline.  I was really prepared for that time of the game.

Q.  What does it feel like to beat your rival and win the first game of the tournament?
MICHAEL RUSSELL:  It was awesome.  It always feels good to beat State.  I don't know what it is about it, I guess it is that rivalry, a lot of us know each other and it's just a real fiery atmosphere whenever we play each other.  It was a weird game, going back and forth and it was exciting and fun.
TRENT THORNTON:  I would have to agree with that.  It's always a very intense game and that's what you want against your rival, so fun to meet them in the ACC Tournament.

Q.  Mike, did you get a good look at home plate in the fifth?  What are your thoughts?
COACH FOX:  I saw it like everybody else.  Incredible, courageous play on their part.  Certainly close.  Umpire called him out.

Q.  (No microphone.)

Q.  Trent, coming off the mound in the 8th inning, it looked like you were pretty amped up.  Can you talk about that?
COACH FOX:  Motivation, keeping focused.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH FOX:  Got a couple guys we can pitch tomorrow.  Two or three, about it.  I'll let Coach Forbes figure that out, obviously that's the position we're in.  We'll use some guys and kinda piece it together but we have Taylore Cherry ready, he will pitch tomorrow night and then I would think we will be able to bring back Zach Gallen on Friday.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH FOX:  Yeah, and Spencer Trayner, too, all three of them came in and did exactly what we needed them to do.  Those two‑‑ some young guys, and that's what the regular season does, it gives those guys experience.  I'm proud of them coming in and pounding the strike zone and getting a couple big strikeouts.  Strikeouts played such a big part of this game, critical parts of the game, and I thought it was huge for them to be able to come in and do that.

Q.  Mike, is there anything that the catcher has prepped for like the possible scenario with a guy breaking third like that?
COACH FOX:  Not really.  He's so good and obviously trying to keep 'em off base for one.  It's hard.  We got a freshman out there, lefty, you can't really practice that.  Probably the best base stealer in the country trying to hold them, you can only do so much.  He's been an incredible player to watch and compete against.

Q.  Did it feel strange to play your rival on a Tuesday at 11 a.m.?
MICHAEL RUSSELL:  I don't think so.  Coach got us in bed early and good atmosphere, surprised how much people made it out for that game at 11.  It was great to play in front of a big crowd.  We've been up for a long time so I don't think we really noticed.
TRENT THORNTON:  Pretty much what he said.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH FOX:  I mean, yeah, it's in the back of your mind but you're just focusing on one pitch at a time‑out there and trying to win.  That's pretty much it.

Q.  Were either of you guys surprised‑‑ (No microphone.)
MICHAEL RUSSELL:  I think they had him down there warming him up at the end so if they would have gotten the lead he would have closed.  I wouldn't have been surprised if he would have come in.
COACH FOX:  You know, I wouldn't have been either, seeing him pitch.  It's out of our control, obviously.  We compete against whoever they put out there.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH FOX:  Yeah, that was important.  We had to sorta pitch backwards today with starting Reilly and with Trent and it worked out.

Q.  (No microphone.)
MICHAEL RUSSELL:  You know, Charlie thrives in those situations, that's when he's at his best, so kind of like a good friend, letting him come back and play the closing role.  He came in right there and was phenomenal.
COACH FOX:  Michael has no meal money for the rest of the week.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH FOX:  That big inning helped us there where we were able to put three on the board and get the lead.  That's important, especially knowing we got Trent down there to finish the game.  We gotta be better at executing offensively the rest of the week.  We felt like we had an opportunity to score more runs and we certainly need to do that the rest of the week.

Q.  Has that been an issue all year, with runners on and not getting the clutch hit?
COACH FOX:  A little bit.  That's what separates, you know, teams.  Two‑out RBIs and driving in runs, we have done it well at times but we have not done it well at times, and we've got to try to improve and get better but, again, it's the pitcher against the hitter, and it's that competitive battle and you hope your guy wins more than the other one.

Q.  Seventh inning, you're trying to bunt.  Did you think you needed another run at that point?
COACH FOX:  Oh, absolutely.  You know, I took it off‑‑ Michael knows, he's the second baseman, I put it back on hoping he would throw ball 3 and he may have.  He may have thrown ball 3.  Like he did the first two pitches he pulls the bat back and then you get to a 3‑0 count and then 3‑1 and you let him hit.  So it's all those scenarios, the kid was just trying to hard.  He was trying to get it down and they made a play.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you all very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297