From the mound of John Kurtz Field, Charlie Hecht dedicates much time and hard work to leading the GC baseball team to a winning season. A senior from Johns Creek, Ga., Hecht will graduate with a degree in marketing. The 6-foot-2-inch right-hander has thrived each year on the mound.
Hecht started playing T-ball when he was 4 years old, developing a love for the game of baseball during his childhood. His pitching career began at the age of eight.
A journey of ups and downs has led him to be the GC Friday night starting pitcher. Through dedication and perseverance, Hecht has achieved a phenomenal record of 8-0 on the season with a 2.21 ERA.
Growing up with a family lake house on Lake Sinclair, Hecht passed by GC’s beautiful campus with each trip to the lake. This sparked his interest in GC at an early age.
While going through a normal recruiting process, Hecht attended a showcase at Georgia Gwinnett College where the GC coaching staff noticed him and asked him to visit GC.
“I came on a visit but didn’t need to because I knew I already liked the school and coaches,” Hecht said. “I liked the environment and saw that they won a lot.”
Hecht accepted the offer to play for GC and has been a leader on and off the field ever since.
“Charlie drives the energy bus when he doesn’t pitch,” said head coach Jason Eller. “He has a great attitude and tremendous work ethic, and he makes everyone around him better.”
His cheering for his teammates displays the type of teammate and person he is.
“He is a blast to be around on a daily basis,” Eller said. “He is everything that a GC student-athlete stands for.”
Hecht has blossomed over his years at GC.
“I have gained mostly mental growth and confidence on the mound,” Hecht said. “The coaches have helped me understand the game better.”
He also said he has learned to slow the pace of the game down and have a better focus on every pitch.
Throughout his baseball career, Hecht has attributed his success to all the people who have supported him along the way, including God, his family and his coaches.
At every Tuesday practice, he throws a bullpen to prepare for the series on Friday. In preparation for the game, Hecht said he uses a lot of visualization: “I visualize throwing my key pitch, which is a fastball low and away to both left-handed and right-handed batters.”
He pictures himself throwing his key pitch for a looking strike or imagining the batter swinging through it to get ahead in the count.
The GC baseball team has obtained a position in all three Division II National Polls. They are ranked No. 10 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
According to Eller, the ranking will only add pressure to Hecht and the rest of the team if they allow it. However, Hecht has not let it be a distraction to him so far.
Senior teammate Brandon Purcell said Hecht’s mentality makes him stand out.
“Charlie’s mentality is the best I have ever seen, and I have caught a lot of guys,” Purcell said. “He goes out there with a killer instinct. He is a really good leader, showing the young guys the ropes, and they follow him. When he speaks, they listen.”
Despite the huge impact Hecht has had on the program, he said he could not do it without the rest of his team behind him.
“Run support is always nice,” Hecht said. “This is the best overall defense I’ve ever got to play with, and I have a connection with everyone on the field.”
Hecht’s expectations are winning the regular season, the PBC tournament and finally a National Championship.
Hecht and the rest of the Bobcats are back in action Friday, April 20 at Augusta University at 6 p.m.