Wallen pitches success as a future Tar Heel
FRI| 5-12-23 | SPORTS
Junior Andrew Wallen plays on the Rose varsity baseball team. He has played baseball for 12 years of his life and will continue his career when he goes to college. Wallen is committed to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC).
His dad introduced him to baseball and helped him develop his love for it. Wallen spent most, if not all of his childhood playing baseball and he sacrificed a lot.
“I’ve given up almost every summer I’ve had since I was ten years old, no real vacations, I’ve had to balance out my personal life, school and practices,” Wallen said, "But I wouldn’t change a thing, it’s all been worth it.”
He played in a Winterville Recreation league from the ages of five to nine. He also played for Greenville Little League from the age of ten to 12 where he played on Carolina Windows and Doors. During his time at Rose, he has played on both JV and varsity. Wallen is a pitcher, designated hitter (DH) and first baseman.
Graphic by Elliot Flinchbaugh
Wallen has faced, and will continue to face many challenges, but he has had endless support. One of these challenges being he had to see other people commit as early as their freshman year. Wallen has stayed determined throughout his journey in baseball and has put in hard work.
“Baseball is a game of failure, I’ve learned that you need to forget about everything else, stuff will happen, life will happen, but so long as you keep controlling what you can control, and staying calm, and confident you will find success,” Wallen said.
Wallen’s teammates recognize his work ethic, abilities, and qualities that make him a good teammate that everyone wants to have.
Rose senior and varsity baseball player Perry Eveleth has played alongside Wallen for many years.
“Andrew has always patted me on the back when I make a mistake and tells me that he’s got my back no matter the outcome of the game,” Eveleth said.
When deciding where he wanted to go to school, Wallen wanted to consider all of the factors and his necessities. This is why he chose UNC. Wallen also attended many camps at UNC when he was younger. He expressed that he always loved UNC and that it was somewhere where he could improve a lot.
Being that Wallen is in his junior year, he wanted to make sure that the college he chose benefited both his academics and baseball.
“I’ve always loved UNC, as a college, it is a beautiful campus, you earn a meaningful, and useful diploma, that will take you many places,” Wallen said, “But what sold us on the program were the coaches and the players, they’re very genuine and personable people, who play the game the right way, and will improve me on the field but also as a person.”
When Wallen graduates in 2024, other people feel that the baseball program will be losing one of its biggest assets and a big personality.
“Andrew is always there to pick one of us up when we get down on ourselves, and that’s a rare thing nowadays,” Eveleth said.
Although baseball has taken up most of Wallen’s life, it has given him an opportunity to grow as a person and as a baseball player. It also has given him some perspective on a lot of things.
“I think that Rose baseball has taught me how to make the game fun, while also being productive, and getting better; making the game fun, makes it easier and a lot better to play,” Wallen said.
Wallen feels very appreciative of this opportunity. He feels he has had many people to support him and lead him in the direction of success.
“Thank you to all my amazing friends, family, coaches, and teammates for all of the support, and love,” Wallen said, "It makes everything a lot more enjoyable, and easier with people like that in my life. Go Heels!”