The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

November 21, 2012

Liberty’s Lacek signs to play baseball at Concord

Of the things that attracted Liberty senior Joey Lacek to Concord, one is reflective of his own personality.

“They want to win championships,” Lacek said of the Mountain Lions, with whom he recently signed a letter-of-intent to continue his baseball career.

Concord is just two seasons removed from its last West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship. Kyle Webb, a Liberty alumnus and now an assistant coach for the Raiders, was a member of that 2011 title team.

Kyle’s brother, Tyler, also is a former Mountain Lion and current Liberty assistant.

Lacek continues a sort of Glen Daniel pipeline to Athens and brings with him the type of competitiveness that will fit in well with head coach Andrew Wright and his staff.

“Maybe my favorite thing about him is how much he hates to lose,” Liberty head coach J.J. Tabor said.

Of course, there is much more to Lacek than the intangibles. He also brings loads of on-field talent.

Lacek hit .358 last season with four home runs and 29 runs batted in for Liberty, which won a sectional championship for the first time in Tabor’s four seasons. The Raiders were led by a senior-dominated pitching staff.

“We only have three seniors so we will be really young (in 2013),” Lacek said. “But we have good coaches and good leaders.”

One of those leaders will be Lacek, who has shown willingness to do whatever necessary for the good of the team.

He has played shortstop, third base, catcher and center field through his first three seasons at Liberty.

Concord recruited Lacek as a corner infielder and outfielder.

“He is maybe the best all-around player I have had at Liberty,” Tabor said. “He has everything a scout looks for when projecting the next level. He hits for both power and average. Great glove in center field and a right fielder’s arm. He runs well — exceptionally well for his size. He also has the type of frame to be able to add muscle and become stronger without slowing him down.”

Lacek, who also considered West Virginia Wesleyan and Charleston, also had a successful football career at Liberty. He thought about playing football in college instead of baseball.

“I considered it, but baseball is by far my favorite sport,” said Lacek, who plans on majoring in pre-chemistry and eventually becoming a pharmacist.

“Concord is getting not just a great ballplayer, but a great student and a great person,” Tabor said. “He will fit in perfect down there.”

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