“I’m Excited, but a Little Nervous”

by Marc Narducci | Jun 26, 2024
“I’m Excited, but a Little Nervous”
Recent Bishop Eustace graduate Landon Mack entered his senior baseball season with plenty of hype. Mack was expected to be among the top players from South Jersey.
He exceeded any expectations and was named a first-team All-State pitcher by NJ.com. 
Mack was 6-2 with a 0.55 ERA, striking out 85 and walking just eight in 51 innings. He was a first baseman when not pitching and batted .365 with nine home runs and 27 RBI.
Obviously Mack didn’t wilt under the pressure of high expectations. 
“I wasn’t trying to stress this year too much,” said Mack, after pitching three shutout innings for the Olympic-Colonial in the Carpenter Cup in which is team would lose, 3-2. “I wanted to just enjoy it for what it was, going out and playing with my friends and just having a fun time.”
He and his Eustace teammates created some great memories.
The Crusaders went 21-7 and won the Olympic Conference National Division title.
Eustace advanced to the NJSIAA Non-Public B championship against longtime rival Gloucester Catholic. 
It was one of the great pitching duels of the season with Mack going up against Miami commit Tate DeRias. Gloucester Catholic, which went on to win the state title, beat Bishop Eustace, 2-1. 

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Even though Mack took the loss, he was impressive in defeat. Against a Gloucester Catholic team that finished No. 1 in the state according to NJ.com, he allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits, with nine strikeouts and no walks (although he hit three batters). 
“Tate and I have grown up with each other too, and after the game I gave his mom a big hug,” Mack said. “They are a great team and it’s fun to compete against them and just such a high energy between Eustace and GC.”
The only thing he didn’t like, was naturally the outcome.
“Unfortunately, it didn’t go the way we were hoping, but they deserve it,” he said. “They are a good team.”
Mack is a Rutgers commit, so he will be playing his baseball in the Big 10 Conference. He said the Scarlet Knights recruited him as a two-way player. 
“I hope to go out there and do both (pitch and hit)  and if one works out and the other doesn’t, I want what’s best for the team,” he said. 
Ending at Rutgers, ended a long-time dream for Mack.
“They are a school I’ve been watching and wanting to go to for a long time,” he said. “I love coach (Steve) Owens, he just wants to win and I just want to go to a competitive team like that.
 Mack also likes that Rutgers is close to home and that his family can continue to attend many of his games.
Most of all, Mack is looking forward to beginning at the next level
“I’m excited, but a little nervous,” he said, “but I think mesh with the coaches really well and know some of the guys up there already and I think it’s going to be a fun year next year.”

 

Photo: Landon Mack Bishop Eustace / Marc Narducci


Author: Marc Narducci

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