Bristol Pirates pitcher Geoff Hartlieb, a Highland native, is making the most of his opportunities after earning his second win in his second appearance in the Pirates’ wild 8-7 come-from-behind victory over the Greenville Astros Tuesday night in Bristol, Va.
Hartlieb threw a perfect 1 1/3 innings of relief with two strikeouts to bump his record to 2-0.
The Highland native entered the game with his team trailing 7-6 with two outs in the eighth inning and runner standing on second base. Hartlieb struck out the batter to end the threat.
The Pirates, the Rookie Affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates, then rallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth to give the 2012 Highland High School graduate a good shot at the win.
Hartlieb was not about to waste the opportunity as he easily retired the side in order in the ninth on a weak ground out to first base, a strikeout and a ground ball to the shortstop to end the game.
“I honestly didn’t have my best stuff tonight,” he said. “I felt good, loose and I was pumped to pitch at home for the first time in a big spot but my fastball wasn’t spotting up like it was the other night. That being said, my slider was exactly what I needed to get the job done and it was fun. Especially because my dad (Chris Hartlieb) came to watch the game also. At this point, I’m pretty settled into a daily routine that involves a lot of baseball but I’m loving it right now. Just like last time, I’m excited to get back in the game.”
In his two relief appearances that have resulted in the two wins, Hartlieb has thrown 3 1/3 scoreless innings and allowed just one hit while walking none and striking out four.