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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC Splits Double-Dip With UCLA

Instead, with the two teams splitting Friday's doubleheader and persistent rain washing out Saturday's rubber game, UNC coach Mike Fox was left somewhat perplexed.

The Tar Heels gave him reason to be pleased with a 8-7, 11-inning win in the first game of the twinbill, but his club then responded with a 10-2 clunker.

"I don't know how I'm supposed to feel when I drive home tonight," Fox said.

Josh Karp, whom experts say might be the first pitcher taken in next June's draft, started game one for the Bruins and entered the contest with a 1.44 ERA and a .170 opponent batting average.

But UNC (11-3) jumped on Karp for a run in the first when Ryan Blake doubled home Sean Farrell, who had walked with two outs.

UCLA responded with two runs -- one unearned -- in the third inning off of Tar Heel starter Daniel Moore, but UNC tied it up in the bottom half on a Russ Adams single, a stolen base and two straight fielding errors by shortstop Preston Griffin.

The Bruins used two Tar Heel errors to tack on a run in the fourth, and Matt Pearl homered to open the fifth.

A single and a hit batter then chased Moore from the game, and Casey Grzecka walked off of Kevin Brower, scoring another run and giving UCLA a three-run lead.

But UNC responded in the bottom of the fifth. After Adam Greenberg led off with a single, Adams reached on another fielding error and Sean Farrell singled, loading the bases.

Blake then deposited a Karp 3-2 fastball over the left-field fence, and the Tar Heels took a 6-5 lead.

"We were hoping for one big inning (against Karp)," said Fox, who is now

72-3 in non-conference home games during his Tar Heel career. "We just hoped for a couple big swings, and Ryan did that. That was a big shot in the arm."

The fifth inning was Karp's last of the night. For the game, he struck out nine and walked just one, but he allowed four earned runs in five complete innings.

He had allowed four runs in his previous 25 innings before Friday.

"Karp wasn't at his best," UCLA coach Gary Adams said. "He was good; he was solid. If we would have supported him it would have been a different story, but we made too many errors in the middle of the infield.

"I've seen Josh pitch better, and I've seen him recover better after errors."

After the game entered extra innings, the Bruins had things rolling in the 11th against Whitley Benson and Jason Howell (3-0).

But when Eric Reece rounded first too far after singling, the Tar Heels ended the threat with a rundown and the old 7-1-4-6-2 putout that nabbed Rashad Parker at the plate.

The baserunning mistake was magnified five pitches later, when Russ Adams sent most of the 651 fans home with a line-drive homer against Doug Silva (1-2).

That marked the third time this season that Adams had ended a ballgame with a clutch base hit.

"I was just looking for a fastball," Adams said. "He got it up, and I got a hold of it pretty good."

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The Tar Heels lacked anything clutch in the nightcap, which was witnessed by only a few diehard fans after the 3 hour, 51 minute marathon that proceeded it.

UCLA jumped all over Scott Manshack, who lasted only two-plus innings after giving up six earned runs.

Griffin atoned for his fielding miscues in the first game by smacking a grand slam in the third off of Matt Tanner.

UNC was limited to just four hits against starter Jon Brandt, who struck out nine. The Tar Heels' only runs came on Ron Braun's two-run shot in the fifth.

Said Russ Adams, "The guys they had on the mound were all good pitchers, but we have to learn to battle with two strikes, just put the ball in play."

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