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“You’ve got to appreciate good pitching. You’ve got to appreciate great pitching. Oh my word. We knew we had to match Carlos (Rodon) almost pitch for pitch and just try to keep the game close and manageable. We were somehow able to do that. Trent Thornton comes in and does what he does after Hobbs (Johnson) gives us a great start. I’m not sure we deserved to win. It’s certainly a shame somebody had to lose that one. I was happy to be a part of it. I’m sure it’s a game I’ll always remember. I’m sure these guys will as well. I guess we should apologize for keeping everybody here so late as well. We’re happy to have won and I guess we play here again shortly.”
How do you get your team back up and ready for tomorrow’s championship game against Virginia Tech?
“It’s not them I’m worried about. It’s the old people in our program. They’re young. A few red bulls and they’re probably ready to go. They’ll be ready. This is something we’re excited to be a part of and to play for a title.”
Do you know who you’re planning on starting in the championship game?
“More than likely Taylore Cherry and a few others.”
How different is this Virginia Tech team versus the one you faced earlier this season in Blacksburg?
“They were really good back then. We had to fight tooth and nail . The first game they hit the ball all over the place. They hit Kent (Emanuel) harder than he’s been hit in his career. We were fortunate to win the second game. They’re playing with a lot of confidence and it’ll be a really tough challenge for us.”
UNC had six hits in sixty-one at bats. Can you remember a game where you had to grind out a win to that extent?
“No, I mean tonight I saw some of the best baseball I think I’ve seen and I saw some of the worst. You all can look at the box score and figure out which is which. Just some awful at bats but then you’ve got to credit it to some unbelievable pitching. I mean Rodon is one of the best that’s ever been in this league in the fifteen years I’ve been here. We ran some good ones out there as well. It was just an unbelievable baseball game. My gosh, it’s going to take me awhile to kind of just wake up and think what did I just experience. I don’t think I enjoyed it like I wished I had probably because I was right in the middle of it.”
What was so difficult about facing Carlos Rodon tonight?
“Carlos gets ahead against most of our batters. It’s not just his fastball. He has two breaking ball pitches. His cutter and his slider which is even more sharper. It’s hard to pick up especially being left handed for me and I’m sure the other left handers on our team. It’s just really hard to pick up out of his hand. It just broke really late and he struck out fourteen of us.”
Is it almost better at this point to have the championship game at 1 pm?
“I think so. It’s going to be tough to strap it on in the morning but like I said we might not go to sleep. It might be better. I was joking around with the guys and I said I might not wake up if I go to sleep. You might have to drive the bus by my apartment and pick me up on the way out. We’re excited to be in the ACC Tournament final. I’ve never been in it in the past three years I’ve played here. I think all of our guys are excited to be in the ACC final no matter what time it is.”
Have you ever played in a game that has lasted this long and do you have a sense of the magnitude of such an outing?
“It was kind of rough sometimes and it almost felt like nobody wanted to win the game. There were so many opportunities for them to win the game and so many opportunities for us to win the game. I’ve never been a part of a game like this. This was definitely the longest. Last night was the second longest so that’s I don’t know how many innings in two days. It wears you out a little bit but you’ve got to grind through it. That’s been the mantra of this team. Grind through every inning and play till the end and that’s what we did.”
What was going through your mind when you had the tying run on third with nobody out?
“Honestly, I was just trying to get the three outs so we could go home. But really, just trying to get ahead of every batter. That’s the main thing, just getting ahead and pounding the zone and let the infielders make the plays that they did.”
Were there any nerves in that situation?
“I think honestly it was so late that all of my nerves fell asleep.”
Do you even remember pitching at this point?
“Very vaguely. It seems like I never even started to be honest with you.”
Comments on performance against N.C. State:
“I thought I threw the ball well for the most part. I made a couple of mistakes. I was able to pitch well off of my fastball and had some success and tried to keep us in the game.”