NEW BRITAIN - MacGregor Goulet has already made his mark on the 2018 season.
The Bristol Eastern baseball team captain and No. 3 hitter in the lineup is the lynchpin of a team that is off to an impressive 3-0 start to the season.
Goulet hit a walk-off single in the team’s second game this year to beat Northwest Catholic. He then went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI during a win against New Britain Wednesday afternoon. The Lancers have already scored 19 runs in three games, in large part because of Goulet’s bat.
His home run against New Britain came at a tipping point in the contest as well. The Hurricanes had just scored and were on the verge of taking momentum back. But Goulet’s home run took the air out of New Britain and the Lancers were in control the rest of the game, winning 4-1.
“Mac has been really solid for us so far,” Eastern coach Mike Giovinazzo said. “When he’s up in that situation, I have a lot of faith in him. When your best players produce, then the other guys can relax a little bit. And I think that’s what you saw [Wednesday].”
But the pressure Giovinazzo and the team puts on Goulet does not come unwanted. Goulet understands he has to set the tone for the rest of the team, both mentally and at the plate.
“I definitely embrace it,” Goulet said. “Like Coach G said, I just try to keep everyone relaxed. I just want everyone to be comfortable when they play so they’re not nervous out there and just so they can have fun playing baseball.”
Goulet’s “fastball first” approach while hitting gives him the ability to adjust to any pitch that comes his way, a sentiment Giovinazzo wants the whole team to follow suit with.
Bristol Eastern wants to improve on an 11-9 record a year ago and is relying on a lot of young faces to do it. Thirteen of the players on the Lancers’ roster are juniors or below, making Goulet’s role as a senior leader all the more important.
While the expectations for Lancers weren’t very high coming into the new season, they have already proven they can be a contender in the division and perhaps at the state tournament if this strong start continues. Goulet will need to continue his standout play for that to happen, but the senior is more than ready to embrace the challenge.
Tyler Roaix can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org