UNC-VU: Postgame Interviews

Johnson

OMAHA, Neb. -- Inside Carolina's postgame coverage includes quotes and audio from head coach Mike Fox, Ben Bunting, Chaz Frank and Patrick Johnson, as well as Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin and his players, who spoke to the media following UNC's loss to the Commodores on Saturday.

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FOX, BUNTING, FRANK & JOHNSON
(9:56)

Fox

Opening statement:
"Well, first of all, Vanderbilt has a terrific club, which we knew you have to play them for nine innings. It seemed like it was almost a two-half game. The first half we really hurt ourselves not taking advantage of the opportunities we had first three or four innings, I guess, four or five innings.

"You look up and we have ten hits and they've walked us six times and two hit batters, 18 base runners. Of course, I looked on here and saw we left 16 men on base. That's pretty much the tale of the game for us, offensively.

"Out here, it's how well you play from the first pitch to the last and getting big two-outhits. And they got them and we didn't. And that was pretty much, I think, the tale of the game. They have a terrific team. And we'll just have to regroup and be ready on Monday."

Coach, talk a little bit about the character of your team; for some of us who haven't seen much of your team this year, just their comeback ability and your confidence in them?
WWell, we were right down there in the last inning. Makes a great play. Westlake makes a great play at first base. We got a chance to get the tying run up there. So I love our team. We're not going to give up. And I really -- I felt like the home run deflated us a little bit. Maybe more than I expected, and we still had plenty of game to play. Maybe I misinterpreted my team a little bit. But Vanderbilt's bullpen, they're as good as advertised.

"I was probably remiss in not saying that earlier in my statement. You know, everybody knows the pitching they have; and coming out of the bullpen, they're going to match it with some arms, 91, 92, 93, and they're going to bring a lefty at us and we've got lefty hitters. You've got to give them credit. They made some big pitches when they needed to. But I thought that was the story of the game."

Moving forward from here, going to Monday, talk about your team, their comeback ability after they've taken some tough losses.
"You know, we've been in this situation before. Certainly not out here, but you gotta -- you get a day off, which is unusual. I think most college teams would prefer to get right back on the field the next day. Not let this linger too long.

"That's usually what happens in a weekend. But we'll regroup and we'll go workout somewhere tomorrow and let the guys rest a little bit and most important let them do their fathers tomorrow, I think that's extremely important. Dads always make you feel good, no matter what. So I'll make sure they get around their dads and this one will be over with and we'll see what happens Monday."

You won the first game out here three times and lost the first game twice. How does that change your preparation moving forward?
"I'd rather win the first one. That's the difference. It's a four-team double elimination tournament, so it's like a regional. If you lose that first one, you're like, 'Oh, boy, gotta get on with this thing, we've got to win.' I don't look at how many you have to win, you just have to win the next one.

"By my take it's either going to be Texas or Florida. So that's not going to help me sleep good tonight either."


Bunting

What different look did Corey Williams give you guys compared to Sonny and what he did that allowed him to have such a positive effect for Vanderbilt?
"I think he did a nice job coming in, getting ahead of his fastball, keeping us off balance with his off-speed pitches, making us chase his off-speed stuff in the dirt and made us get ourselves out."


Johnson

How did you feel out there today? Looked like you were struggling a little bit at the beginning.
"I definitely didn't have my best stuff. They're such a good hitting team. You can't leave balls over the middle of the plate. I did that a couple times today, and they made me pay. But I wasn't as sharp as I've been. And I just made a couple of mistakes."

Patrick, if you could talk about the sixth inning, take us through that, if you were getting tired at that point, and the home run that Harrell had?
"It just goes to show they can score runs quick. I got the first two guys out, then the next guy got a single and hits it off the wall. And then the next pitch I hung a slider and he took advantage of it. It was a 3-1 count. I really didn't think he was going to swing at a breaking ball, but I kind of laid it in there and he didn't miss it."


CORBIN & PLAYERS
(11:15)

Corbin

Opening statement:
"Obviously a big victory for us. Sometimes you never know how you're going to react out here for the first time. But I thought the kids were very comfortable during BP today. When we started the game, Sonny grinded it through. But obviously we got very good relief pitching from Corey and Will Clinard and Kevin finishing up. And some big, big two-out hits today were the story. Guy on my right with a big home run, and that's what we needed, because that's a pesky ballclub; they keep coming. So we're fortunate."

Coach, it seemed like this was a game that really could have gotten away from you at various junctures in the game. Talk about what it says about this baseball team, your baseball team, that you were able to battle and figure out a way to win? And, secondly, in a tournament of this caliber, does it take winning games like this, games that arguably you could have lost, in order to get where you want to be at the end?
"Well, you're right. The fifth inning was kind of a decider. After all, they had plenty of guys reach base today. The fact they only scored three runs, we were fortunate, we pitched out of jams. And Sonny did early.

"But Corey's strikeout obviously with the bases loaded was big. But we have been a team that has been able to get ourselves through the middle of a game and then put games away in the 7th, 8th and 9th inning with some runs. We've played a lot of close ballgames up until the 7th and 8th inning and then we've separated ourselves. That was kind of the story today. But the pitching at the end was crucial. We were able to stop them."

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