NCAA Baseball Norman Regional Central
|| UNC Head Coach Mike Fox
"It's certainly good to get the first win here in the tournament. Obviously, the first inning was big for us. We're generally not a team that has big innings, so it was nice to start the first inning that way and Dillon (Hazlett) swinging the bat that way got us off to a good start. After that with Mattt (Harvey) on the mound, we felt pretty confident. I felt that we played about as complete a game as we could. Our defense has been something. We've played well down the stretch. I thought Ryan (Graepel) was sensational at short tonight. We're happy to get a win."
On the Tar Heels gelling at the right time:
"I was anxious to see how we would play tonight after having such a long layoff. I think the first inning really helped in that regard. It's just one inning, but I think it gave us some confidence that we weren't going to be rusty. You hope you're gelling at the right time, but we have played better. We've been more consistent down the stretch and gave ourselves a chance to win by the way we pitched and played defense, which we weren't doing earlier in the season. If that's gelling than that's what we've been doing a little bit better the last three or four weeks of the regular season."
|| Junior Pitcher Matt Harvey
On starting on the mound with a six-run lead:
"Whenever you get that big lead you always get that comfort. You just want to go out there and try to keep the ball game close and keep the offense rolling and try and get them back in there. They're swinging the bats. They were hot there, for a little while. Getting them in there quick was something I really tried to do, in the first inning, especially."
On the excitement of making the NCAA Tournament:
"I think the excitement that we all had during the announcement on Monday was something special in itself and for us to go on the road and play somewhere, Half of that excitement was we knew we were going to have to make a good run here. Just getting a chance to get back on the field and have another run at Omaha was something we were really excited about."
|| Senior Shortstop Ryan Graepel
On still being nervous after 19 NCAA Tournament starts:
"You get butterflies before every game. If you don't get butterflies you probably shouldn't be playing this time of the year. We're used to being in regionals and being in big games. This was also a little bit different coming into Norman as opposed to playing in Chapel Hill. It's a new experience but it's also a lot of fun. Once you get out there it's all the same game. It doesn't matter where you're playing, the bases are still 90 feet apart and the pitcher's mound is still the same distance away. It doesn't matter where you play. Luckily, we came out on top."
On if its NCAA experience gave UNC an advantage:
"It definitely may have. It helped out at they weren't throwing strikes to our first two batters and Dillon (Hazlett) just put a charge into one. That was huge for us. I guess our experience way have helped us make sure that we go out there and play our game and not get too focused on the things that other teams are doing and the different scenery that we have this year."
|| Junior Outfielder Dillon Hazlett
On starting the game strong after not playing for 13 days:
"We've been playing well at the end of our season and to come back and play that way was big for us."
|| Cal Head Coach David Esquer
"(It was a) Difficult ball game. Not the way to start, not the way we like to start. I don't think we showed how we have played in the past or who we really are. Justin Jones, I don't know whether it was nerves or just getting used to the mound, but he hadn't been that shaky the whole year. It was a difficult way to start and to be quite honest; they beat us the old fashioned way. They did not give us a break and we had some opportunities, but they played better defense than we did. They made some nice plays on defense and they just wouldn't crack. We kept getting guys on there for our offensive to create opportunities, and they just would not give us the opportunity to crack. That's a tribute to them. They made some nice plays that kept them in the game. Like I said, pitching and defense won it for them tonight. It's like the old fashioned way and we helped them out. We didn't make some plays and we made some poor decisions defensively. Disappointed we didn't get a chance to play like we are capable of, but we have to rebound and come back strong tomorrow."
On if his pitching is deep enough to come through the loser's bracket:
"You have to have a little foresight. Jones will be available in a day or two. He didn't throw that many pitches. You really have to set yourself up to win one game at a time. You don't want to blow everything as far as that's concerned, but you have to get some big performances. It's kind of known that if you are going to fight your way through a loser's bracket, you're probably going to get a pitching performance from someone you haven't gotten one from during the year. If you stay in it long enough, if you are able to win a ball game, then every game you play you are coming off of winning and someone is coming off of losing. You may have the opportunity to get hot during the tournament and like I told my team, not everyone gets to get off the ground running. Some guys have to fight their way through it."
On North Carolina pitcher Matt Harvey:
"I think he threw just fine. I think he was as advertised. He was able to work away from our hitters very well and kept us off balance. He threw that slider just enough to keep us looking for and was able to paint that fastball away on the outside corner. He was tough on us and again he didn't give us a whole lot. He may have walked a couple guys to lead off an inning which looked like he could crack and then the defense came through for him. When he maybe wobbled a little bit his defense backed him up and came through for him, which was big for them."
|| Junior First Baseman Mark Canha
On the first inning:
"It was tough. We've had to deal with that in other games this year too. We couldn't get the bats going early and we made a few mistakes. I think at some point in the game we were trying to hard to get back into the game offensively and it just didn't happen for us."