Building a Tradition of Excellence
The Golden Eagles finished the 2010 season with a wealth of accomplishments and accolades that give testament to the direction in which the Tech baseball program is moving under the direction of head coach Matt Bragga and his coaching staff.
With an overall record of 31-25 and a conference record of 14-6, the Golden Eagles logged a .332 team batting average at the conclusion of the season, with nine batters posting averages above .300. The team scored 459 runs off of 660 hits – 204 of which were for extra bases. The lineup slugged a combined .503 and walked 257 times for a .423 on-base percentage.
The pitching staff, led by the Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year Lee Henry, recorded a 6.29 ERA on the season with 479 innings pitched. While Tech scored at least one run in every game played, the Golden Eagle rotation blanked four opponents this year, holding opposing batters to a .293 average and fanning batters in 462 at-bats. Henry maintained a 2.69 ERA to lead the season, including a 160 pitch, nine-inning victory over Eastern Kentucky in the OVC tournament. He led the team in strikeouts with 85.
Backing up the pitching staff was the top-ranked defensive team in the conference; Tech held up a fielding percentage of .964 and held opponents to a .386 OBP and over 100 fewer total bases over the course of the season.
Five players were named to the OVC All-Tournament team in Lee Henry, AJ Kirby-Jones, Chad Oberacker, Ben Burgess and Frankie Beech. Kirby-Jones and Oberacker also combined for nine total All-America team appearances, the most ever in a single season in Tech history. They boasted selections by Collegiate Baseball News, Ping!Baseball, Baseball America, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and the prestigious American Baseball Coaches Association.
OVC weekly honors were also given to five Golden Eagle players as Chason Choate, Lee Henry and Adam Liberatore were all named Pitcher of the Week during the regular season. Kirby-Jones and Oberacker also picked up Player of the Week accolades, while Kirby-Jones was named National Player of the Week in March of this year.
Four Golden Eagles were drafted in the top 21 rounds of the 2010 MLB First-Year Player draft. Junior Steven Pryor went to the Seattle Mariners in the fifth round, while AJ Kirby-Jones went to the Oakland A’s in the ninth round. Oberacker was selected in the 19th round by the St. Louis Cardinals, while Liberatore was drafted in the 21st round by the Tampa Bay Rays.
Additionally, Lee Henry signed with the Pensacola Pelicans, an independent team of the American Association, and Coach Bragga was voted the 2010 OVC Coach of the Year.
Click the link above for complete highlights of the Golden Eagles’ accomplishments over the past three seasons, as Bragga and his teams continue to build a tradition of excellence.