Rarely do you find a high school pitcher who stands 6-foot-4. Even rarer is one who throws left-handed.
Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, Ga., found one in Lakeside graduate Dustin Tyra and snatched him up after a tryout in May.
Tyra, 19, made the official announcement to play for the Hurricanes at a press conference in the Lakeside High library Tuesday afternoon.
"It is kind of weird making my commitment public only two weeks before I start school," Tyra said. "But it is fun to be at Lakeside without having to go to class."
Tyra secured a scholarship during a "special" tryout nearly two months ago.
"He has some good movement on his fastball and good command of his pitches," said Hurricanes' interim head coach Bryan McLain, who received praise for Tyra from Hardaway coach Tracy Powell. "He does have to work on his velocity, but that should come naturally as he matures as a pitcher."
McLain recruited Tyra as a pitcher, but Tyra also excelled with the bat this year.
"He was one of those guys we didn't want to see hitting in a clutch situation," said Greenbrier head coach Ed Williams. "Pitching around him was always a consideration."
McLain said he might allow Tyra to play another position if it "works out that way" but that he will start out as a pitcher.
"It is so hard to try and get a player to play to multiple positions," McLain said. "With the competitive nature of collegiate baseball, you want a player to get as much practice at one position as possible."
Lakeside coach Jay Matthews believes Tyra will succeed regardless of what position he plays.
"Dustin works as hard as any player," he said. "I have no doubt that he will work hard wherever the coaches decide to play him."
The Hurricanes play in a fall league with other junior colleges, giving Tyra an opportunity to settle into a role.
"It is going to be tough," Tyra said, "Dealing with baseball and getting used to collegiate classes will be hard. I'm up to the challenge."
Tyra will major in business and take six classes in his first semester.
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