Highland native Geoff Hartlieb made his professional baseball debut one to remember.
Hartlieb earned his first pro win after firing two scoreless innings of relief on June 24 in the Bristol Pirates’ 4-2 victory over the Bluefield Blue Jays. The 2012 graduate of Highland High School surrendered just one hit while striking out two.
“As for my outing tonight, all I can say is that it was fun, probably the most fun I’ve had on a mound,” Hartlieb said. “I was nervous in my first outing at Lindenwood (University in St. Charles, Mo.), and throughout much of my time there. But tonight I just felt ready to go, and it felt good, man. I’m ready for my next appearance.”
Hartlieb said he had a pretty crazy first week with his new team, which is located in Bristoal, Va., and is a Rookie Affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Pittsburgh drafted Hartlieb on Saturday, June 11 with the 885th pick in the 29th round of the this year’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
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“I’ve played summer ball and lived with a host family and all that before, but it’s a little different now. Baseball is my job,” he said. “That being said, I’ve loved it thus far. My host family is really cool, and so are the guys on the team. Our clubhouse and home park are nice as well. We have some long days here, but I expected it, and I’m just trying to embrace them. Pirates baseball is honestly quite a bit like Highland High School and Lindenwood ball, because we have to wear our pants up still and they run a tight ship, so I fit in pretty well.”