South Carolina is roundly considered a top-5 baseball team heading into the 2017 season, and the pitching rotation projects as the top strength.
So it’s little surprise the team’s collection of arms is collecting preseason honors.
South Carolina relief pitcher Tyler Johnson was the relief pitcher on D1Baseball’s Preseason All-American first team. Clarke Schmidt, the team’s Friday starter in 2016, received a second-team All-American nod.
Johnson had the team’s second-best ERA in 2016 at 2.42 with nine saves. He also made an emergence start in the NCAA Tournament, throwing a complete-game, 11-strikeout gem in a 10-1 win against UNC Wilmington to keep the Gamecocks’ season going.
D1Baseball describes Johnson as possessing an “electric arm who can get up to 98 with fastball w/ good slider and changeup.”
Schmidt led USC in innings thrown (111 1/2) and strikeouts (129), while posting a 9-5 record and 3.40 ERA in 17 starts.