Posted: Sep 20, 2019
Ten years ago Mid-Atlantic Christian University stepped onto the collegiate scene with a desire to begin building an athletic department from the ground up. That first year Men's Basketball took the court, followed by Women's Basketball. A few years later Women's Volleyball and Men's Golf joined the department and soon after Soccer would continue the growth during the fall of 2015. Fast forward a few years and MACU Athletics welcomes it's sixth sport to take the field in the form of Baseball as the Mustangs began their 2019-20 campaign with fall ball for the first time in program history.
With so much excitement surrounding the newly minted Mustangs Baseball program we decided to take a few moments with the man leading the way, Head Baseball Coach Jason Goetz, to get an idea of what we can expect from his team this year.
MACU Sports: You spent the 2018-19 season building this program from the ground up by recruiting and working with a select group of guys that were already on campus. How does it feel to finally take the field for the first time as the MACU Mustangs Baseball team?
JG - Friday was a very special moment for me personally. Seeing the guys take the field for the very first time was a moment that I will never forget. This group of guys will always be special to me in that they were my very first class, and they were the very first group to take a step of faith on me as a head coach. Obviously there were some things we could have done better, but overall I could not be more pleased with where we are as a program, especially knowing some of the obstacles we have faced leading up to that first pitch!
MACU Sports: I am sure the locker room is excited to be taking the field, do they have a sense of the history they are making for the MACU Athletics department in general and baseball specifically? Is that something you talk about with your team or they talk about collectively?
JG - I try not to focus too much on anything other than our day-to-day process. I want these guys taking the field with as little on their minds as possible. We already have enough in front of us to focus on in regards to the actual playing of the game, so I do not spend much time at all on discussing what it means to be a "new program". Our opponents are not going to be thinking about us as a new program when they are out there trying to beat us. When we are finished up in May of 2020, I am sure we will take some time to reflect back on everything that took place with this inaugural season.
MACU Sports: Being that it's a first year program, loaded with underclassmen. What are your realistic expectations for the upcoming season?
JG - I tell the guys each and every day that I am focused on exceeding expectations on our way to accomplishing our goals. My expectations are always centered around things we can directly control, whereas my goals may require a little luck, timing, etc. to accomplish. Expectations I have placed on the guys are to be in class, place the same level of importance on academics as they do on athletics, high energy on the field, match my intensity level in all practices and games, hold each other accountable, be good stewards off the field, make todays ceiling tomorrows floor, execute their roles not accept them. Most of this has very little to do with on field performance, but instead focuses on their mental state.
MACU Sports: After taking the field for the first time, what impressed you the most about this collection of players?
JG - Energy, Effort, Tempo, Sense of Belonging. These guys played with zero fear. You would not have thought that 95% of our roster were Freshman by watching the way we played. Togetherness was also something that impressed me. These are all things we talk about on a daily basis, but to actually see it in a game setting was very rewarding as a coach.
MACU Sports: First year program, so everything is all new. What can the fans expect out of your team when they come out to see them play?
JG - We will be a high energy group that plays at an up-tempo pace. Baseball is often times considered a boring game due to the length of the game and the slow pace the game is played at. We will try to do everything with an aggressive mindset to keep the game fun and enjoyable. I believe that when you play with an up-tempo pace, you limit the amount of thinking that your kids have to do on the field. I want these guys to react to situations and not necessarily have to think about what they are to do.
MACU Sports: Any additional thoughts you want to share?
JG - The fan support on Friday night was phenomenal. Hopefully everyone left knowing that we belonged on the field and that our guys were prepared for what they faced. Moving forward I want to challenge the fanbase to have the same mindset as our players. Let todays ceiling be tomorrow's floor. We need to keep increasing the level of support each and every night out, and bring a higher level of energy each time we play.
MACU Baseball continues their fall season this weekend at Knobbs Creek in Elizabeth City, NC. First pitch for Saturday's game on 9/21 is at 11 am with game times for Sunday 9/22 at 11 am and 5 pm. For the latest scores, news and updates on all your favorite Mustangs teams, go to www.gomacumustangs.com.