Under The Gun: Jacob Baker

Name: Jacob Baker
Age: 26
Hometown: Garner, North Carolina
College: Elon University
Started w Dirtbags: 2014

You’re back home as the pitching coach at Garner High School, what does it mean to you to coach and play at the same place?

Coaching at the same place I played gives me a chance to carry on the traditions that were instilled in me as a kid.  I always felt that Garner was a special place and do my best to make sure future players feel the same way.

Garner High School has a bright future ahead, what do you attribute the recent success to?

Garner has been very good because we have a consistent coaching staff that is dedicated to making our guys better. Coach Goffena has always communicated high expectations from his players and our guys have really stepped up to the challenge.  We also have had a strong group of young players who have contributed to our success and set the standard.

You being a pitching guy, what’s your message to your pitchers?

The best pitchers are even keel.  Don’t let your failures haunt you, and don’t let your achievements cloud your head.  Be confident and always focus on the task at hand.

Talk about playing for the Dirtbags, now coaching. What does it mean to you?

The Dirtbags helped give me an opportunity to go play baseball at the next level. I want to dedicate my time to helping players reach their goals as well.

You have played and coached some very good players in the Dirtbags. What does each player have in common?

Most of those great players all have been some of the best teammates.  They typically have been the hardest workers as well.

When you hear the word Dirtbag? What comes to mind?

A Dirtbag is more of a mindset than it is a mascot. Dirtbags play the game the right way, and they play the game hard. Dirtbags hold themselves to high expectations.

What’s one thing most people on the outside don’t know about the Dirtbags?

Most people don’t know that the Dirtbags do everything they can to get guys to college. Some other programs just treat it as a Summer/Fall deal, the Dirtbags are fully invested year around. The guys on staff work tirelessly to help each player get to his highest possible level.

Talk about how Andy Partin and the Dirtbags helped you as a player?

Playing under Andy with the Dirtbags, he taught me how to trust my preparation and approach every game with confidence.  You can play with intensity while also staying even keel.

What are you looking forward to the most about the 2018 summer?

I’m looking forward to watching the growth of this 2020 group since last summer.  I’m also looking forward to my 4th straight year alongside Trey Daly.

For future Dirtbags, what’s your message to them?

Work hard when no one else is watching, be a selfless teammate, and put in your best effort every single day.

Best player you have coached in the Dirtbags? Best player you have played with in the Dirtbags?

Coached: Angel Zarate (’17 UNC OF), Nolan McLean (’20, Uncommitted)

Played with: Matt Roberts  & Connor Narron

Stay tuned for another exciting, “Under The Gun” interview coming up on Monday..