The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Adams, Blake Continue to Shine for UNC

But some heroic individual efforts led UNC to a victory in game one and have proven to be a key to the Tar Heels' early success this year.

Sophomore Russ Adams has delivered in the clutch all season for UNC (11-3), driving in three game-winning runs in North Carolina's final at bat.

And Adams, who went 3-for-10 with three runs scored on the day, came through again in the bottom of the 11th inning of game one.

The 6-foot-1 second baseman belted a 2-2 changeup over the right-center-field wall to give UNC an 8-7 victory.

"We made a bad pitch to Adams, but I give him credit. I mean he punished it," UCLA coach Gary Adams said. "Good hitters hit bad pitches."

Friday's walk-off homer was Russ Adams' third game-winning RBI of the season, and entering the contest he boasted a .306 batting average, including six extra-base hits.

Adams hit a ninth-inning, bases-clearing triple to push the Tar Heels past James Madison on Feb. 11. His RBI single against Minnesota gave UNC a 7-6 win on Feb. 18.

Adams might have ended the game Friday, but sophomore Ryan Blake set it up with his own blast in the 5th.

Facing Bruin ace Josh Karp (2-0, 1.44 ERA), a preseason second-team All-America, Blake launched a grand slam down the left-field line, giving UNC a

6-5 advantage and spoiling an otherwise solid outing by the highly touted Karp.

"We knew they had good pitching," Adams said. "We got some hits early, got loose a little bit. The grand slam was a big hit that put us right back in the ball game."

The 6-1 Blake was one of the few Tar Heels who looked comfortable in the batter's box against Karp's arsenal of low-to-mid 90-mph fastballs and knee-bending curves.

Blake went 2-for-2 with five RBI off of the UCLA junior righthander.

Blake, who missed all but nine games last season due to shoulder surgery, is enjoying the chance to play everyday.

He has split time behind the plate and at first base this season, and has collected two home runs and 13 RBI so far.

"I just like to swing the bat," Blake said.

The Tar Heel hitters showed their inconsistency in game two, collecting only four hits with no player having more than one in the 12-2 loss.

"We just didn't battle as well as we needed to," UNC coach Mike Fox said.

In the Tar Heels' three losses, the offense has disappeared, producing one run each game against South Alabama and Auburn.

Heading into ACC play, North Carolina needs to develop a more consistent offensive attack to take some pressure off of the young arms on the mound.

"I think they've got some speed especially at the top of the order," Gary Adams said. "They're good and they should keep getting better as the season goes on."

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.

The Sports Editor can be reached at