You are on page 1of 4


Heels Keep On Turning

Picture this: The teams are tied. It’s the bottom of the ninth inning. The home
team is up to bat with two outs and two strikes. The home team head coach
really doesn’t want the game to go into extra innings because he’s hungry.
Something extraordinary needs to happen – and it does. The next player at bat
cracks a home run to win the game and the crowd goes wild. It’s a 4-3 win for
the home team.

That player’s name is Dylan Enwiller, and this is Carolina baseball.

It was a sunny 66-degree day at Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill on Tuesday
as the UNC Chapel Hill Tar Heels, nicknamed “Diamond Heels,” took on the
UNC-Wilmington Seahawks. The Heels knew the matchup wouldn’t be easy,
considering the Seahawks’ home-and-home sweep in the previous season.

“Wilmington, they have a really good team, a great program,” Coach Mike Fox
said. “The games with them are always close, and tough and good.”

Junior RHP Andrew Grogan (#37) started on the mound pitching for the Heels
with one player left on base and one error committed by Wilmington. As the
teams switched places, the Heels got one hit and one error to round out the
first inning.

During the third inning, junior catcher Brandon Martorano committed the
Heels’ first error of the game when he overshot a throw to first base. Seahawk
designated hitter Greg Jones advanced to second base and later third.

The error didn’t take the Seahawks far, with Grogan striking out the next
hitter and ending the inning. The Diamond Heels were itching to put some
runs on the board, but it wasn’t the time yet.

The fourth inning came and went with a home run from UNCW outfielder
Riley Zayicek off of a long fly ball to right field, and nothing for the Heels.

During the fifth inning, the Heels finally got two runs with an RBI from senior
outfielder Jackson Hesterlee, tying the score after another Seahawk run at the
top of the inning. It was starting to get interesting.

Within minutes of each other, two calls against the Heels from the umpire
were heavily disputed by both Carolina fans and Coach Fox.

“I can’t talk about it,” Fox jokes. “It’s part of the game, and the umpire is the
authority. But [his supervisor] will be getting a lot of pictures.”

The score remained at 2-2 for the sixth inning, but at the top of the seventh,
the Seahawks surged forward again with another run. The Heels were quick to
respond with a run of their own, courtesy of junior Ashton McGee, assisted by
Martorano and sophomore Ben Casparius.

By the end of the seventh, the sun was going down, but the intensity of the
game was only rising. It had become a cat and mouse endeavor with matching
scores and both teams were looking to break away with a few more runs.

It wouldn’t be that easy for the two North Carolina teams, as the eighth inning
came and went without another score. And then, it got really interesting.

The Seahawks went into the top of the ninth inning with one hit, but it wasn’t
enough to score, which meant one runner left on base. It was time for the
Heels to finish it.

Things didn’t start off too well, with redshirt junior Dallas Tessar and
Martorano earning the Heels two outs. Senior Dylan Enwiller stepped up to
the plate with one goal in mind: get the win. Or at the very least, get on base.

He knew the pitcher on the mound was throwing fastballs left and right, and
figured his turn at-bat would be no different.

“Well, the whole at-bat, I knew he was liking his fastballs, so I was just trying
to sit on his fastballs and put a good spin on it,” Enwiller said.

Fans in the stands were nervous. Could it be done? One strike, then two. The
opportunity to score was slipping away quickly, and then – thwack. Enwiller
made the most of the next pitch and hit a homerun over the left wall.

His walkoff solo run was the second of his career, and his first hit of 2019. He
completed his run around the diamond and ran straight into a crowd of his
teammates waiting to congratulate him.

Enwiller is a special player, according to Coach Fox. Coming from a junior
college, he’s always pushed a little harder to prove himself – and it’s paying
off. Fox says Enwiller is one of the best players he has ever coached.

“He’s one of the most mentally tough kids. He’s one of our hardest workers at
practice,” he said. “I love coaching kids like that, and when they get rewarded,
that’s why you coach.”

So what sets the Heels apart from other college baseball teams? Most baseball
teams rely on their starters to make the key plays, but Carolina’s M.O. is a little
different – they pride themselves on the ability of the depth of their bench.

“The beauty of baseball is that if I don’t get the job done, someone else can,”
Martorano said. “And we have one of the deepest benches in the country.”

The Heels improve to 8-0, a strong start for Coach Fox’s twenty-first season.
The matchup may have started slow, but all in all, Fox thinks it was a good
day, especially for the bench.

“This is a coach’s dream, you get to go in the locker room and acknowledge
two guys off the bench that helped you win, which is Ben Casparius with a
sack fly, and then Dylan Enwiller,” he said. “That’s me preaching about the
names on the back of the lineup card.”

In addition to the bench, Martorano thinks their success is also due to the
talent of the pitchers. And he should know, because he watches them from
what he thinks is the best seat in the house – behind home plate, as catcher.

“They’re absolutely unbelievable,” he said. “I’ll take it to my grave that we
have the best group of pitchers in the country. Our guys are talented and work
hard, and when you have that mix, you’re gonna be tough to beat.”

They may have the longest active home game winning streak in the country,
but the Heels aren’t focused on numbers. Celebrating this win is nice, but it’s
already onto the next game in their minds. Don’t get them wrong though,
being undefeated is nothing to gloss over, but for now, they’re enjoying the
ride and trying to play the best baseball they can.

As the sun goes down and the fans leave Boshamer Stadium, the Diamond
Heels aren’t quite ready to leave. One player goes straight to the batting cages
to get some more practice in. Others linger in the locker room. They’re not
sure what the rest of the season will bring, but one thing is for sure – the Heels
will keep on turning.

You might also like