GCC senior to play in Big 26 baseball game
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Greensburg Central Catholic pitcher and middle-infielder Collin Liberatore, a rising senior, has been selected to represent Pennsylvania in the third annual Big 26 Baseball Classic, which will be played this weekend at Metro Bank Park in Harrisburg, and will pit the premier talent in the state against the best baseball players that Maryland has to offer.
Liberatore, who was one of five WPIAL players chosen to play in the event, said he is thrilled at the prospect of helping the Pennsylvania team defend its title against Maryland.
“I'm really excited and I can't wait for the opportunity and what good comes from it,” Liberatore said. “I've heard of a lot of the guys that are on the team before, and I'm excited to play with them.”
After grinding through a challenging junior season in which he missed considerable time due to a fractured thumb, Liberatore is looking forward to showing just what he is capable of now that he is at 100 percent.
“My thumb is completely healed now,” Liberatore said. “I have no limitations anymore. I've felt great this summer.”
The fractured thumb was enough to limit Liberatore's playing time but couldn't stop him from making a major impact on Greensburg Central Catholic's season. The 6-foot-3, 175-pound right-handed pitcher achieved a record of 3-1 on the mound, sported a 3.33 ERA and struck out 33 in 24 1⁄3 innings.
While the rising senior sports a power bat at the plate, Greensburg Central Catholic coach Anthony Manley sees Liberatore as a pitcher at the next level.
“He's got the size and the frame to be a pitcher at the next level,” Manley said. “He's got a great attitude toward the game of baseball. His fastball sits around 85-88 mph, but his strikeout pitch he relies on is his changeup.”
While most high school aces rely on their fastball or curveball for outs, Liberatore's strong handle on his changeup makes him unique among his peers. The pitch is one that he learned early on from his father, Craig, who pitched at Bowling Green and in turn, learned the pitch from MLB Cy Young-winner Orel Hershiser.
“My dad didn't want me throwing curveballs until I was 15 or 16,” Liberatore said. “So he taught me the changeup that he learned how to throw in college from Orel Hershiser.”
Liberatore hopes to take the changeup, along with the rest of his arsenal, to the next level of competition after he graduates from Greensburg Central Catholic next year. He's spending the majority of his summer playing ball, while also taking some time to visit a handful of Division I and Division II colleges that have shown interest in his baseball talent.
Liberatore hopes showing that talent in the Big 26 Baseball Classic will be one more important step in that direction.
Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Snow, freezing rain, bitter cold coming to Western Pa.
- Petrishen at ease with decision to play football at Penn State
- Pens again fail to mount comeback against Nashville
- Homemade hockey rink popular in Lower Burrell
- Pittsburgh Street in Cheswick to remain closed Monday
- Penguins notebook: Pouliot heading west with team
- Senator Toomey, GOP target Obamacare
- Tennessee’s Peterman to enroll at Pitt in May
- France supports renegotiating Greek debt
- Hong Kong protesters return
- SWAT situation ends in Sheraden, 1 in custody