Chase BelcherNumber 27, July 7, 2015
Chase Belcher ’18 wants everyone on campus to know that CCGA Club Baseball is here to play. Through word of mouth, the club team is up to 13 players, but they’d like to have more don one of their new uniforms and join them on the field.
Baseball is a passion for Belcher, president of the club team.
“I never planned to go pro,” he said, “but I was looking forward to a few more years of fun playing the game.” The Marietta student had a baseball scholarship lined up for college, but an injury on the third day of baseball practice – a labral tear in the shoulder - during his senior year of high school cancelled that opportunity. “The tear in my labrum was so bad, I only got to play in one game my senior year – the final game of the season.”
With the scholarship gone, he had to re-think his college plans. He was familiar with Coastal Georgia because of friends going there, including Paul Anderson, who is now vice president of CCGA Club Baseball. Coastal Georgia hadn’t been on his list before, since the Mariners didn’t have a varsity baseball team. But it became his college of choice and, now that he can play again, he and his friends have filled the baseball void by organizing a club team.
“We started out with just five guys playing sandlot baseball,” he said. “Dr. Aloia encouraged us to organize a team. So we checked out the National Club Baseball Association (NCBA) for the state of Georgia and we’ll be playing in the club conference District 4, Southern Division, with four other teams. We’ll be the first NAIA school with a club team in the NCBA.”
Because Coastal Georgia is a new team, they were automatically assigned to Division 2. But a game against Georgia Southern University won NCBA attention, according to Belcher. “Georgia Southern is an experienced Division 1 team. We lost, but the 3-2 score was close and we gave them a good run.”
The team practices behind the Southeast Georgia Conference Center on campus and plays their games at Selden Park and Edo Miller Baseball Park.
Belcher is completing his core classwork with an eye towards the School of Education and Teacher Preparation and a B.S. in early childhood/special education. “I’d like to be a teacher, and some day, a baseball coach for a school team,” he admitted.
Meanwhile, he’s back home in Marietta for the summer, working at Horsetown Western Store. “I worked there during winter break and my sales were good enough that they held a job for me this summer,” he said. “My cousin owns horses and I grew up riding, working with cattle and horses.”
He sees a similarity to baseball and riding. “In baseball, when you step in between the two lines, it’s just you and the pitcher. Worries about school and life fade away in that moment. I get the same feeling on horseback – just me, the horse, and that moment.”
To learn more about CCGA Club Baseball, check out: http://htosports.com/teams/?u=ccgaclubbaseball&s=baseball