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May 30, 2002

South Carolina

South Carolina Head Coach Ray Tanner:

“We’re excited to again be holding this regional. This is a difficult field and a great atmosphere for college baseball.”

“We’ve been very consistent all year long and we feel like our depth is better now than it has been all season. I’ve been around these guys long enough to know that they are very resilient and persistent and when they get knocked down they get back up.”

“I respect everybody that’s here. Anything can happen in a tournament like this. If a team gets hot, we might be in trouble.”

“Whatever happens, we’re able to go to the guys in the bullpen and get it done.”

Pitcher Blake Taylor:

“I think this is exciting for the people in this state and in North Carolina for the states to play each other.”

On going to the mound in a tight situation: “When the game is on the line, I would love to be on the hill for the team.”

Outfielder Garris Gonce:

“We are happy with this regional and being at home.

“Any team that is in a regional is going to be tough. We have an advantage of being at home because we’ll have 6,000 fans cheering us on. It’s a great atmosphere to play in front of and you can’t beat it.”

Virginia Commonwealth

Virginia Commonwealth Head Coach Paul Keyes:

“We’re excited to be here. It looks like it is a very strong regional. We’ve played every team in the regional field and it is probably one of the toughest in the country. We didn’t do as well as we could have during the regular season, but we finished strong, winning our conference tournament and here we are. We played South Carolina earlier this year [in Myrtle Beach, SC] but that was so long ago in a much bigger ballpark and I think both teams were just feeling themselves out that early in the season that it is going to be different than before. They are just a great quality club and Coach Tanner has done a great job at South Carolina.”

Virginia Commonwealth Infielder Chris Gerrity:

“I think we’ve started playing good ball. We’ve been struggling throughout the year and we’ve stepped it up. We’re going to play hard and hopefully have fun.”

Virginia Commonwealth Pitcher Bo Acors:

“We have started playing well, especially in our conference tournament. We put a few things together, pitching and hitting, that haven’t been on the same page all year. We know that South Carolina is good, but we just need to go in there and make our pitches. We can’t get behind in the count and we’ve got to get ahead in the count and ahead of their hitters to be successful.”

North Carolina

North Carolina Head Coach Mike Fox:

“We are happy to be in the NCAA Tournament and happy to be in Columbia. We feel as though we’ve had a good year and that we are prepared for this event. This is an outstanding regional with outstanding teams.”

“We’re well prepared for the competition and the environment we’re going to face. As far as not feeling confident, I just don’t see that happening because we’ve already been through some wars this year.”

“I have a great deal of respect for Ray and the things he has done.”

“We’re going to have to pitch in this regional. It’s going to set the tone for how well we’re going to do. We’ll play aggressive and we’ll really try to do the same things we’ve been doing all year long.”

Third Baseman/Pitcher/Outfielder Chris Maples:

“We are happy to be here. I am the only senior on this team and I’ve never had the chance to play South Carolina.”

On playing dual roles: “The biggest adjustment has been on the mound. The attitude that I have on the mound is the key for me. It’s my last year and I’m not holding anything back.”

Outfielder Adam Greenberg:

“We are ready to go and to keep the season going as long as we can.”

“We feel confident in our team as far as putting up some runs. We can hit runs wherever we are.”

James Madison

James Madison Head Coach Spanky McFarland

“We’re just glad to be here and we are ready to go. This appears to be one of the top regionals, competition-wise. It’s a good regional, but when you get to this regional, there really are no easy games. Even some of the ‘weaker’ fourth- seeded teams have a good starting pitcher so the first game is always tough. You just have to go where they send you and do the best you can.

James Madison Pitcher Jared Doyle

“We’re just ready to play some ball. We’ve been waiting for this for a while now. I’m really looking forward to play. It’s a nice ballpark and balls fly out of here. We just have to pitch our game, keep the ball around the knees, and mix it up well.

James Madison First Baseman Eddie Kim

“I’m just ready to play some ball. I’m glad to be here after not being here the past two years. Coach has been talking to us about our last game [a loss] and our pitching was good, but our bats just didn’t come through. Defense was sloppy at times, but we’ve worked hard this past week and I think we are ready to go.”