Tyler Dyson arrived at the University of Florida about a year ago hoping to help the program capture its first national championship trophy.
On Tuesday night, he will play a key role quicker than he could have expected.
Dyson, a freshman who attended Braden River High School, will start Game 2 of the College World Series final against LSU. It will be the right-hander’s second start of the season and only his fourth appearance of the NCAA Tournament.
Dyson will take the mound at 8 p.m. in Omaha, Nebraska, against LSU’s Jared Poche’, who holds the Tigers’ all-time wins record.
Dyson’s lone start of the season came April 11 against Florida State. He lasted only 1 2/3 innings and allowed two earned runs.
“It’s probably Tyler,” UF manager Kevin O’Sullivan said when asked after Monday’s 4-3 win if he had picked a starter for Tuesday. “He threw really good last weekend against Wake Forest, another good-hitting team, and he’s got a really good arm, so we’re going to ride it. He’s been really good for the last three weeks and we’re going to run him out there and see what he can do for us.”
Dyson had an up-and-down regular season out of the bullpen for UF, posting a 4.74 ERA in 22 2/3 innings. But during the postseason, he’s transformed into one one of Florida’s most-reliable arms.
His first outing of the NCAA Tournament came during the super regional against Wake Forest, when he threw seven scoreless innings across two games of a doubleheader in Gainesville. In Game 3 of the three-game set, Dyson struck out seven batters in five innings to pick up the win.
Less than a week later, Dyson was back on the mound against Louisville at the CWS, and he tossed another 1 1/3 scoreless innings at TD Ameritrade Stadium Omaha.
Dyson’s emergence has been a secondary storyline of the Gators’ CWS run. He arrived at UF with only one season of full-time pitching under his belt and the potential to serve as either a pitcher or infielder for Florida.
His lone season as a starting pitcher at Braden River, though, was dominant. He didn’t allow an earned run during the regular season as a senior and earned the Herald’s All-Area Player of the Year honor.
Tuesday could serve as the culmination of a whirlwind two seasons.
“We’re going to have to get a special start from Tyler,” O’Sullivan said. “He’s certainly capable, but, you know, we’re close and we haven’t finished. We haven’t crossed the line yet.”
This article is written by David Wilson from Bradenton Herald and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.