Former Pioneer pitching well in Houston Astros organization

Former Pioneer pitching well in Houston Astros organization

TROY, N.Y. --- Former Tusculum University baseball hurler Tim Hardy is shining on the mound in the Houston Astros organization. 

Hardy is playing in his second professional season and first with the Tri-City ValleyCats (Class A) in the New York-Penn League.  In his five outings this summer, he has a sterling 1.04 earned run average with a 1-1 record and two saves.  In his 8 2/3 innings this season he has recorded nine strikeouts against just two walks and boasts a sensational 0.81 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched).

The 6-7, 250-pound left-hander hasn't allowed an earned run in his last four contests and has accounted for a save in each of his last two relief appearances.  The ValleyCats are 14-10 overall and lead the Stedler Division of the New York-Penn League.

Hardy played his first pro season last year with Houston's rookie-league affiliate in Greeneville where he made 13 appearances with two starts.  He finished with a 1-3 record with a 4.19 ERA including 32 strikeouts, 15 walks and a 1.43 WHIP.

Hardy was selected in the 18th round by Houston in the 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft where he was the 541st overall pick.

During his two seasons at Tusculum, he finished with a 10-4 record with a 3.82 ERA.  In his 32 mound appearances, he made 13 starts, including three complete games, one shutout and two combined shutouts.  He pitched in 96 2/3 innings where he recorded 111 strikeouts against just 27 walks and limited the opposition to a .265 batting average.

In 2016, the Monroe, North Carolina native boasted a 9-3 record with a 3.91 ERA with the Pioneers. His 94 strikeouts were third in the South Atlantic Conference, 33rd in NCAA Division II, and the fourth-most in a TU single season.  His nine victories (2nd in SAC/29th in NCAA II) were tied for the eighth-most in a season by a Pioneer and earned All-SAC second team accolades.

He opened the 2016 campaign going 7-0 in his first nine appearances, including eight starts.  He accounted for wins against Lynn, Coker, Mars Hill, Newberry Brevard, Anderson, and Bluefield State along with victories against two nationally-ranked opponents in 18th-ranked Belmont Abbey and sixth-ranked Tampa.  He recorded eight or more strikeouts on five occasions, including a season-high 10 strikeouts in back-to-back wins over Mars Hill and Newberry.

Tusculum University, located in Greeneville, Tennessee, is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, USA and is a NCAA Division II member of the South Atlantic Conference.