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Pirates promote Highland’s Geoff Hartlieb to major league roster

Mater Dei grad Trevor Richards makes first Busch Stadium start

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Miami Marlins rookie pitcher Trevor Richards made his first Busch Stadium start against the St. Louis Cardinals, the team he grew up rooting for.

Highland High School graduate Geoff Hartlieb will soon be making his debut in Major League Baseball.

The Pittsburgh Pirates confirmed what Stephen Nesbit of The Athletic had reported early Friday night, that they will purchase the Highland right-handed pitcher’s contract from their triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis.

Taken in the 29th round of the 2016 draft by Pittsburgh, Hartlieb, 25, has been solid in 12 appearances in Indy. He’s 1-0 with a 3.32 ERA. He’s allowed 16 hits while striking out 23 in 19 innings of work.

The 6-foot-6, 235-pound Hartlieb, a right-hander who graduated from Highland in 2012, moved swiftly through the ranks the last two seasons. His big-league future became a little more promising with a solid season as a member of the Altoona Curve of he Eastern League. In 47 relief appearances, Hartlieb was 8-2 with a 3.24 ERA.

Like many other closers, Hartlieb’s velocity soared in the role. His four-seam fastball, which previously rested in the low-90s, now touches the upper-90s and has reached 100. He complements it with a sinker, a slider and a changeup.

He’ll replace Trevor Williams, who was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right-side strain. The Pirates also optioned Richard Rodriguez to Indianapolis.

The Pirates began a three-game series in San Diego Friday. Hartlieb should be in uniform Saturday.

Hartlieb averaged 14.6 points and 6.8 rebounds as a senior post player on the Bulldogs’ basketball team in 2012. He enrolled at Division II Quincy University and played basketball in 2012-13.

Hartlieb left Quincy after one season – he did not play baseball while there – and enrolled at Lindenwood-St. Charles, where he played baseball for three years.

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