Charlie Hecht making Georgia College proud in his last season on the mound
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. -- When a college pitcher is given the Friday night starting slot for his team, it's the equivalent of getting the No. 1 slot in an MLB rotation.
That's the role that Georgia College senior Charlie Hecht has filled this year, and it's safe to say he's lived up to the call of being the Bobcats' ace in 2018.
In nine starts, Hecht is a perfect 7-0, with a 1.34 earned run average and 72 strikeouts in 60.2 innings pitched.
If you ask his head coach Jason Eller, he'll tell you that those stats aren't what he's most impressed by when he looks at what Hecht has done in his four years in Milledgeville.
"He's a very advanced college baseball player, an advanced student athlete," Eller said. "The way he handles his daily rigors, from the weight room to his preparation on the mound, to attending class and being an 'A' student, Charlie Hecht is what college baseball is all about."
Georgia College is 24-7 this season, and 16-2 in the Peach Belt Conference, largely because of the Bobcats' offense. The team is hitting .375, good enough for first in all of Division II baseball, and averaging 9.5 runs per game.
A lot of the credit also has to go to the pitching staff, which is anchored by Hecht. Georgia College hasn't lost any of his nine starts this season, which sets a great tone for the opening of every weekend series.
It wasn't the easiest road to get to this dominant senior season for Hecht. In his first three seasons with Georgia College, he owned an ERA that hovered just below 5.00, and didn't have the strikeout stuff on the mound that he's shown this season.
His catcher Brandon Purcell says that a change in mentality and a great work ethic are responsible for this change for Hecht on the mound.
"His preparation, man, that guy is a hard worker," Purcell said. "I think it's shown a lot in this season. He's changed his mentality when he's going out on the mound, I think that's had a lot to do with his late success. He's going out there with a killer instinct."
This is Hecht's last season with the Bobcats, and he seems to be making the most of it. He's drawn the attention of a few MLB scouts at some of his recent starts, and could very well move on to play professional ball at the conclusion of this season.
Coach Eller says that while the Bobcats will miss Hecht on the mound, the legacy he leaves behind will affect the program for years to come.
"He loves Georgia College, and he is everything that Georgia College stands for," Eller said. "He's gonna pass it down, and the history is going to be great."