Listen to Audio (11:34)
"Incredible… incredible baseball game. We feel very fortunate to have won. Just some clutch swings of the bat by a lot of guys and a couple of them up here on the podium (Parks Jordan, Skye Bolt). Our bullpen saved us today and I thought Chris Munnelly was a big key in that third inning to keep the score within reach. Big win for us."
How are you holding up with all of these postseason down to the wire contests?
"I'm holding up fine. My wife's a pharmacist. (laughs) I'm kidding. It's fun once the game is over. You can take a deep breath. It's a fun bunch to be around and they have been since day one. I'm happy for them."
Comments on trust in Trent Thornton's ability to close out a game of this magnitude:
"We've trusted Trent from the very beginning. We have the luxury of being able to use him almost at any point and time in a game and we've done that down the stretch here. Wonderful performance by him."
What pitchers will not be available for tomorrow's game?
"I don't know the answer to that yet. I'll have to go in and talk to Coach Forbes and obviously look at the number of pitchers and how much they were up in the bullpen. Coach Forbes and I will talk when I get back inside."
On Kent Emanuel's performance:
"He wasn't locating any of his off-speed pitches. His changeup was floating on him a little bit and he couldn't command his breaking ball. It was basically just one pitch there for him. South Carolina just came out swinging. Actually they pretty much swung it the whole day. They got the leadoff man on every inning but one so all our guys pitching out of the stretch the entire game was tough. Last weekend didn't have any bearing on Kent today."
On impressive performances from the freshman class:
"It's what coaches say, if you play this many games than they're not freshman anymore. They've been in tough environments before. We've gotten contributions from a number of our young guys. Landon (Lassiter) comes up there and hits a line drive to the right fielder and it could have fallen in there. They've been a big part of our success."
What went into moving Skye Bolt back into the cleanup spot?
"I was thinking he'd be up in the bottom of the ninth with the winning run at second. Obviously he's seen a ton of lefties and he's a better hitter from the right side and can do more things. You saw that with dropping the bunt down and then hitting the ball in the four hole. He's hit some homeruns from the right side. We trust all these guys in whatever spot they've been in and I'm glad I had him in that spot today."
How much confidence do you have in your team with both Colin Moran and Skye Bolt getting back on track today?
"It was good to see. We talked about you have to be clutch to win Super Regionals. The teams that I've seen win it have been clutch. That's what they were. It obviously was a big swing of the bat from Colin and great base running from Landon Lassiter to be able to score. Just a lot of little things that I can see our guys have gotten better at.. I think all of our guys have some confidence now. Or at least I hope so."
Chad Holbrook & Players
Listen to Audio (10:52)
"Congratulations to North Carolina. They're obviously 56-9 for a reason. As good as their pitching has been all year the thing that has stood out to me about their team is their offensive approach, their willingness to never give in, the incredible job they do with two strikes and they've got nine really good hitters in the lineup. You never really can catch your breath with those guys.
"That being said, we had our opportunities to win the game. We can't drop fly balls and miss cutoff men in the outfield. That led to two runs and obviously we lose by one. The game was there for us to win. We had opportunities to win it and we didn't capitalize on those opportunities. North Carolina, on the other hand, took advantage of a few mistakes that we made. (Skye) Bolt there with the game winning hit was a great at-bat against a veteran pitcher. You've got to tip your cap to him. Outside of that, I'm proud of our guys for the way that they came to the park to play. They gave me everything they had. They played as hard as they possibly could. They just didn't play as well as they possibly could. You have to play extremely well to beat North Carolina."
On his team's offensive productivity against the Tar Heels:
"We had 15 hits. At the plate wasn't the issue today. We swung the bats very well. We did what we could do against a great pitching staff. We failed to get a bunt down there. That was costly. Tanner (English) couldn't get that bunt down there in the top of the eighth. I think some of the critical at-bats of the game were two. We had runners on second and third with one out early in the game and we couldn't push one across. Then we had it again with the meat of our lineup up later and their kids made some great pitches to get out of it and we couldn't come up with a big hit or big groundout to get a run across. You've got to capitalize on your opportunities against this team. We had our opportunities. Sometimes you won't have opportunities against them. Today we had them. We didn't capitalize on them and they made big pitches when they had to make them."