First, the Tar Heels needed them to spread sand on the field after rain caused a 74-minute delay in the first game of their double header against Towson.
Then they needed the shovels to help dig out of early deficits in both games. The Tigers lead 4-1 in the opener before the rain delay and grabbed a 4-0 advantage in the nightcap.
UNC only managed to claw its way back in the first game as it split the twin bill, winning 7-6 in 10 innings and falling 4-0 in the second game.
"It's a tough uphill climb," UNC coach Mike Fox said. "It's just hard to play when you're behind early in the game."
Trailing 6-2 in the game one, the Tar Heels (16-8) mounted a four-run rally in the bottom of the seventh by collecting five consecutive hits and scoring three times before the Tigers (10-4) recorded an out.
Sean Farrell doubled and then Chris Maples, Chad Prosser, Ron Braun and Jason Howell each singled before Adam Greenberg drove in UNC's final run of the inning on a fielder's choice to tie the game at 6-6.
Then in the 10th, Ryan Blake drove a two-out pitch deep to center field that Ryan Avila couldn't run down. It hit his glove and fell to the ground as Jeremy Cleveland crossed the plate with the winning run.
"I was just hoping he wasn't going to catch it," said Blake, who went 3-for-8 with two RBI on the day. "I saw (Avila) drifting on it. I was praying he wouldn't catch it."
The Tar Heels were able to rally back largely because of Whitley Benson's work in relief.