May 24, 2006
NC State head coach Elliott Avent
Gib Hobson was outstanding today. Facing Andrew Miller is enough in itself especially when it feels like its 125 degrees out there. We're a little banged up right now. We have a bunch of guys that have worked harder than any team I've ever had. I've had lot of teams and our trademark is work ethic. This team may have taken it to a new level. They've worked hard all year and all we talk about is hard work paying off down the stretch. I am so proud of Gib Hobson on a day like today against Andrew Miller. Being down 3-0 after three batters and getting aggressive and getting after people the way he did. As soon as it was the second inning, our players sensed that he was going to keep it there. We had to scratch and claw; we were fortunate to put some things together against one of the top pitchers in the country.
On meeting North Carolina after getting swept by them in the regular-season
We did get swept by Carolina. Carolina is a great ball club. We got swept by them and actually played well against them over there; that shows you just how good they are. We knew we had to play a little better and hopefully they wouldn't play quite as well. We probably got Andrew Miller on a bit of an off day and that was a plus for us.
On this ballpark favoring NC State
I think you tailor your ball club around your ballpark at home and when you go on the road, you see what you have. I think this ballpark favors us; it is perfect for us. The hot weather is perfect for us, too. We have a lot of Miami guys and they like this weather. This is a big ballpark and we are a line drive hitting team and we try to put together a lot of quality at bats.
On the ACC Tournament field being so talented
This tournament is so good. It is tougher than any regional out there. This is almost an Omaha field and it's outstanding. The more you can win and play in the late games and rest, the better off you'll be.
NC State starting pitcher Gib Hobson
It was definitely not the way I wanted to start the game. But Coach came out there and told me to stay aggressive, stay with what I got and trust my stuff. I started doing that. We have played great defense all year and we did that today. Just trust yourself and fill up the strike zone and that seems to work.
NC State third baseman Drew Martin
I felt a little pressure before the game, but not much because I knew my teammates would be behind me. They are awesome and a lot of the older guys respect me for what I have done and I respect them a whole lot for what they have done this year. I knew Gib had me because he threw really well today. I was a little nervous because it was my first start and it was a big game today. I was just really ready to play.
North Carolina head coach Mike Fox
First of all, congratulations to NC State. They certainly outplayed us; they deserved to win. The way we started off, I thought we were ready to play. But the game turned quickly and they went on and outscored us 9-0 the last eight innings, so we weren't even in the game much after that, I don't think. They just took it to us.
On losing the first game and facing Florida State in an elimination game Thursday morning
You're not thinking about the rest of the way, you're thinking about trying to survive. Just survive tomorrow. Somebody's going two-and-out. Somebody's going out tomorrow. We certainly don't want it to be us, but we're playing a great team, and they've got their backs against the wall a little bit, too. I think we'll get one of their best shots, because they've got a tough stretch of things, and I just think they're going to be ready. We'd better be ready too, or we'll be back home tomorrow night. We have to play a lot better than we did today, that's for sure.
On whether Miller's control or NC State's patience led more to NC State's win
Well, let me say this. If we play defense like we're capable, you can get by with a little bit of control problems on behalf of your pitcher. We don't field a bunt, and that just opened the door for them. The other team's trying to give you an out and we don't get it and the bases are loaded with no outs. Then you've got their best guy up there. That's a tough spot for any pitcher. We've ridden Andrew all year long. We've got to do some things to help him sometimes. Offensively, we hit way too many balls in the air. I'm not going to focus on Andrew as much as we have to make plays defensively. We talked about in this ballpark, it doesn't matter if you hit the ball right on the nose, if you hit it up in air, you're going to be out here. We just didn't give ourselves a chance after that to get back in the game. It was 4-3, we've got to be able to respond. I thought (NC State starter Gib) Hobson was terrific. If someone had told me after the first inning that he'd throw a complete game, nobody would have believed that. But you've got to give him a lot of credit. And then they got a few runs and he started smelling it and he started spinning that breaking ball in there, he went to his changeup middle of the game to late, and he just gutted it out. It was a terrific performance by him, but we didn't give ourselves a chance. All three phases of the game - you're not going to have them all every game. Pitching and defense are the name of the game, and if we don't have it, we're going to struggle because we haven't been a team that's scored a tremendous amount of runs the last half of the season. And you're not going to do it a whole lot in this ballpark.
On whether NC State was more motivated after North Carolina swept the Wolfpack during the regular season
I don't think so. Once the game starts I think it's just a matter of execution. They executed and we didn't. That's the bottom line. They moved the ball on the ground when they had people in scoring position. They made plays. (Jonathan) Diaz' backhand on Benji's (Johnson) ball - he makes that play look easy. But that's a tough play with two outs. He doesn't make that play, we get a couple of runs. He just comes in and makes plays. You have to make plays. At this level you have to make plays, and we didn't do that. Nor did we get any two-out hits. You've got to get those, too.
North Carolina junior LHP Andrew Miller
Summarizing his performance today
I was given a three-run lead in the first inning, I walked too many guys, I hit a batter with the bases loaded and they just kind of caught fire there when they needed it. I got a lot of ground balls in tough situations and it just didn't seem to work out. But you've got to give them all the credit for taking pitches and getting on base.
On his control
I felt like I had really good control in the first few innings and the last couple, but there's a little middle ground where I didn't really seem to be able to know where it was going and that's what hurt us.
On whether it's more frustrating to give up runs because of control problems
A run is a run. I think it's more frustrating because I'm walking guys. It's not that they're hitting a double in the gap or hitting the ball out of the park, it's that I gave it to them. Putting them on base with four balls is just stupid. Those were my mistakes today.