Georgia State’s new pitching staff brings talent, but they will also be the key ingredient this season

Brad Stromdahl is excited for the new pitching recruits to make names for themselves. Photo Submitted by GSU Athletics

The 2021 season for Georgia State baseball is right around the corner, and the pitching staff is shaping up nicely. After the 2020 season ended abruptly, the new Panther rotation did not have a chance to show its full potential.

Georgia State in the offseason added 13 talented recruits, including ten in-state products. Pitching is emphasized for the 2021 class as nine new arms will dawn Panther blue in the spring.

“We are thrilled for the 2021 signing class and what the future holds for our program,” Stromdah, now in his second season as head coach, said.

However, in 2021 the Panthers landed a reliable crop of new pitchers to its recruitment class. The most touted pitcher from the recruiting class is Will Cannon, a right-hand pitcher out of Central High School in Alabama.

Cannon is a Perfect Game Top 500 recruit and threw a team-high 30 innings while posting an exceptional 2.33 earned run average. Cannon projects as a starter for the Panthers and head coach Brad Stromdahl is excited to see him throw. 

Since moving to the Sun Belt in 2013, the Panthers have struggled to gather a competitive pitching core. Stromdahl and the new coaching staff are tackling the pitching head-on in his second recruiting trip. 

Pitching will be a focal point of the new regime going forward at Georgia State. The Panthers also recruited Micah Underwood out of Cartersville. Underwood posted an incredible 0.34 ERA with an outstanding 30 strikeouts. 

“Micah has tremendous upside,” Stromdahl said. “His strike-throwing ability and current strikeout numbers showcase someone who can contribute immediately in the Sun Belt.” 

The Panthers have their work cut out for them in an extremely competitive Sun Belt Conference. Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern and Texas State will be challenging for this upcoming Panther squad. 

Making things more challenging are the reigning conference champions Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, who are poised to make another run to Omaha. The newly-minted recruits will have to grow up quickly with not just a tough conference but a rigorous schedule overall.

The Panthers will play 13 ranked opponents in 2021, including five in their first 13 games. The recruits will pitch against the best the college baseball world offers, and the games will give the recruits much-needed experience. 

In the shortened 2020 season, the Panthers’ pitching staff showed early signs of improvement. The staff had solid outings against quality programs such as Cincinnati and St. Johns. The new Panthers rotation will also face off against their in-state rivals such as Georgia, Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State. 

With the Atlanta Classic canceled for the 2021 season, the new rotation is thrown into the fire, starting the new college season. However, with the talented crop of pitching recruits, Georgia State baseball is closer than ever to being competitive once again. 

Georgia State will begin the season at home against the West Virginia Mountaineers on Friday.