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June 6, 2004

Recap?|? Box Score?|? Notes

South Carolina Quotes

Head Coach Ray Tanner
That game was exactly the kind of game that we expected coming into today. We knew it was going to be a difficult matchup for us. North Carolina has a great team, has a lot of class and are very well-coached. To beat a team like that is an honor. Being here at the Sarge was big. Our fans are the greatest. We had a lot of mental toughness out there today, which I think is the main reason we were able to come out of here with a victory. I can’t say enough about our players and coaches.

Pearce had a great tournament. We had a clutch pitching performance from Fletcher. Melillo had a big home run for us. We just had people stepping up every time we needed it. I’m not interested in playing North Carolina ever again. I’m a little worried that the percentages will eventually catch back up to us.

(on Pearce)
He came up big for us this tournament. I was a little worried about moving him up to the three-hole, but, when you are the visiting team, you get a couple of guys a couple of extra at-bats. I didn’t think anyone deserved those extra at-bats more than him.

(on North Carolina)
We tried to do what we could to get a little more insurance. I’m not sure we could have shut them down and put them away that easily. Great teams don’t let you do that to them, and UNC definitely has a great team.

First Baseman Steve Pearce
I just thought I could hit the ball well again today. I’ve been feeling better at the plate the last few weeks, and I got some good swings this weekend. I’m happy that I could help my team. I’m ready for the Super Regional now.

Second Baseman Kevin Melillo
It’s an incredible honor for this program to be included in the top 16 teams in the country again this year. We all know that the SEC is tough, but there are other good teams out there that I love going up against. Hopefully, we can use this opportunity and make it back to Omaha again.

Pitcher Jason Fletcher
I wanted to go back out there in the ninth inning, but the coaches thought it would be best otherwise. I had enough juice to pitch another inning, but Blackwell is an awesome pitcher and it’s a good feeling having a guy behind you like him.

North Carolina Quotes

Head Coach Mike Fox

Congratulations to South Carolina on winning the regional. They are a great club and are very well coached. I am fairly certain they will do well next weekend. I am proud of our club. They showed why we made it here in the ninth inning. I am sad for our seven seniors and the other guys who may not be here next year.

(on playing USC again)
Anytime your season ends it doesn’t matter where it is tough.

(on South Carolina)
They are good. I’ve heard Coach Tanner say that this may be his best team ever and it is hard to argue with that. With that being said, it is hard to compare teams from year to year but they are very good.

(on going with Garry Bakker)
We had other options but Garry usually recovers well. We wanted to hold them off in the first couple innings and Garry was our best choice. Unfortunately it backfired on us this time.

Pitcher Michael Gross

(on playing South Carolina again)
It is tough but we were excited to come here and play them.

Catcher Chris Iannetta

(on playing South Carolina again)
I really liked our chances. Like coach said, we competed all year from the first game to the last. South Carolina has a great team and they got the best of us.

(on scoring early and getting Pitcher Billy Buckner out of the game)
We were optomistic. Any time you knock a starting pitcher out you get a little more energy and a little more fight in you.