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The Daily Tar Heel

Tar Heels Topple Panthers

Junior Chris Maples proved this fact in North Carolina's 10-6 win against High Point on Wednesday.

Trailing 3-2 with runners on first and second and two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, Ryan Blake chopped a routine grounder to third, seemingly ending the inning and the Tar Heel threat.

But Maples dashed to second like he was the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. His effort paid off as he beat Matt O'Neill's throw, extending the inning and loading the bases for UNC.

North Carolina capitalized on Maples' hustle with a two-out rally that produced four runs, which ended up being the difference in the ball game.

"To me, that is the game," UNC coach Mike Fox said. "It just shows you what a little hustle can do."

Although High Point's Clayton Gordner quieted the Tar Heel offense during the first four innings, UNC's bats heated up after Maples kept the inning alive.

Senior Jason Howell laced a two-run single to right giving the Tar Heels a

4-3 lead, chasing Gordner.

Freshman catcher Ron Braun greeted reliever Rusty Bodenheimer with a bases-clearing triple, scoring two and extending the lead to 6-3.

Sophomore Russ Adams stayed hot, leading UNC's attack with three hits, including a two-run single in the fifth.

The fifth-inning rally made a winner out of sophomore reliever Jason King, who allowed one run on one hit in two-plus innings of work to record his first collegiate win.

"I'm happy to get my first win," King said. "I was real happy with my performance."

But it was Matt Tanner who bailed King out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh, preserving UNC's lead. Tanner worked the final three frames, allowing one earned run to notch the save.

Freshman Bo Dickerson got the start for the Tar Heels but lasted only 4 1/3 innings in the no decision.

"They hit a lot of balls hard but they hit them at us," Fox said. "I think we were fortunate to win."

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.

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