Around The Bases with Tommy Coyle

Around The Bases with Tommy Coyle

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- Inside Carolina caught up with junior shortstop Tommy Coycle following his Fall World Series performance that included a .500 average, nine runs and three stolen bases for the White team.

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Last season you got an audition at shortstop when Levi Micahel was injured, pairing with Brian Holberton at second. What has it been like manning it this fall with some new second basemen?
"It is not too big of a transition for me. I actually played shortstop for the majority of my life -- little league, high school, travel ball and all that. Playing second base the last two years I still had shortstop in the back of my mind or in my back pocket. So it is not too big of a transition and the other second basemen are doing good over there."

The White team's offense was propelled by you and Seth Baldwin this fall - how have you been feeling at the plate?
"We just kind of need to keep doing what we are doing. Overall at the plate this Fall World Series I have been feeling pretty good and worked on a lot of stuff this fall and last summer so it feels good to have it all kind come together here going into the fall and the offseason."

This fall you have shown improvement in taking leads, reading pitchers and stealing bases - can you discuss the speed of the college game and how you have adjusted?
"My freshman year Coach Fox worked with the base runners a lot about getting leads and we have not done it so much this year - I do not know if the freshman have but I know I haven't, but that carried over to the summer from my freshman year. Getting more comfortable with bigger leads and getting back on balk moves. Coming out of high school you don't really see balk moves so that takes a little bit to get used to. It is just being confident on getting back to the base and knowing when to run if the dude slide steps or has a high leg kick - it is picking the right pitch off the pitcher."

What are your thoughts on Cody Stubbs' performance this fall? Obviously playing against him you have a little different perspective but looking forward to the spring how do you see his ability in being able to help the Diamond Heels?
"I was excited to see him play. I heard good things about him before I met him and he is actually my roommate. He is a really good kid and very talented. He has a lot of power and he is a good replacement for (Jesse) Wierzbicki. They are very similar players coming from the same JuCo. He brings it every day and is very intense. He has good feet around first base and can hit with some power."

How has it been with now having the opportunity to try out the new bats this fall?
"That was kind of a shock to us. It is kind of cool to be able to test out all the other bats that our opponents are playing with. A lot of the guys on the team are still using Nike and they think that is one of the best bats and I have been switching around with them. I have used the Nike, the Rawlings and now the Easton. They are all pretty much the same. It is pretty much a personal preference."

What has it been like for Tyson Lusk, the team equipment manager, to coordinate all of the new bats for players to test?
"I remember one practice where Tyson came around with a clipboard asking everyone what their preference was on bats. So he does a good job of getting everyone's input. I don't know if he set it up but the Easton guys were here the other day and they had their machine that tracks the ball velocity coming off of the bat. So it has been pretty cool to be able to try them all out."

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