The Golden Eagles (2-1) baseball team opened the 2010 campaign, taking two of three games from the defending Southern Conference champion Georgia Southern Eagles (1-4).Adam Liberatore, the Ohio Valley Conference pitcher of the week, set the tone for the weekend pitching six scoreless innings and striking out five in route to Tech’s 5-2 victory. It was Liberatore’s first action since Tommy John surgery last season.
“It was really tough coming back from surgery, being forced to watch all last year,” Liberatore said. “It felt great to help my team win a game and be back on the mound.”
“He picked up right where he left off, which was great to see,” Head Coach Matt Bragga said. “He got out there, did what he does and won a huge game for us. It’s great to have him back.”
Georgia Southern took the Saturday contest 16-9, but Tech won the rubber match and the series on Sunday 12-9. The Golden Eagles erased an early eight run deficit on Sunday in a dramatic come-from-behind victory. Clutch RBI’s from sophomore Ben Burgess and junior A.J. Kirby-Jones late in the final game secured the series win.
“Our guys were really resilient,” Bragga said. “It takes a lot of resolve to win in an environment as hostile as Georgia Southern. Southern is a really good team, so it was great to finally compete against someone besides ourselves.”
The Golden Eagles welcome Cleveland State Vikings (0-3) this weekend for a three game series at Bush Stadium. The Vikings were swept by UNC-Greensboro last weekend.
“These early non-conference games you don’t know your opponent that well,” Bragga said. “All we can do is go out and play the best possible baseball we are capable of playing and if we do that, we will have a great opportunity to win some games regardless of who we are playing.”
Tech has won its last four home openers and was 20-9 last year at home. Admission is free for students at every home game.
“We’re just excited another season is here. We are the last sport on campus to start, so it’s just great to finally get started,” Bragga said.
The Golden Eagles travel to Nashville next Tuesday for a mid-week contest with in-state rival Vanderbilt (4-0) at Hawkins Field.