Georgia Baseball: Opening Weekend Pitchers Announced


Robert Tyler begins life as the Diamond Dawg Friday night horse when he gets the ball Friday for opening day against the Eastern Illinois Panthers .

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Second year Georgia baseball head coach Scott Stricklin announced his opening weekend starting rotation as the Bulldogs prepare to battle Eastern Illinois in a three-game series at Foley Field on Friday.

Sophomore right-hander Robert Tyler will get the baseball Friday in the season opener at 5:05 p.m., while junior left-hander Ryan Lawlor will start Saturday at 4:05 p.m. and junior right-hander David Sosebee will go on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. All three games will be televised on SEC Network Plus and carried on the Georgia Bulldog Sports Radio Network.

A native of Cordele, Ga., Tyler earned Freshman All-America honors in 2014 after posting a 6-4 mark and 2.68 ERA in 12 starts. On Tuesday, he was named to the preseason watch list for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, presented in June to the top amateur baseball player in the country. He also is second team preseason All-Southeastern Conference. Based on his professional potential, Tyler is ranked first among the Top 100 College Sophomores by Perfect Game USA.

Lawlor, a native of Savannah, Ga., made a team-high 14 starts in 2014 and went 4-6 with a 4.22 ERA. Sosebee, a native of Cleveland, Ga., finished in the rotation last year, making five starts and compiling a 1-4 mark and 3.12 ERA.

Meanwhile, the Panthers have set their rotation too. Junior right-hander Jake Johansmeier will start on Friday followed by senior left-handers Christian Slazinik and Garrison Stenger in games two and three. Johansmeier went 3-3 with a 5.94 ERA in 14 starts for the Panthers last year. Slazinik registered a 1-2 record and a 5.70 ERA in six starts for EIU in 2014. Stenger made 17 relief appearances last year and wound up 0-5 with a 12.21 ERA in 24.1 innings.

The Diamond Dawgs are predicted to finish fifth in the Eastern Division by league coaches. Defending NCAA Champion Vanderbilt is predicted to win the 2015 SEC as voted by the league’s fourteen baseball coaches in the twenty fourth annual preseason SEC poll announced Thursday. Also for the first time, a preseason All-SEC First and Second Team, as determined by the head coaches, were announced.