Brief Major League Stint For Tice
PRAIRIE GROVE GRAD THROWS PITCHES FOR THE BLUEJAYS
PRAIRIE GROVE — Former Prairie Grove and UCA pitcher Ty Tice made his Major League pitching debut at Florida spring training on Saturday, March 24, 2018.
Tice faced 4 batters when the Toronto Blue Jays played the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field with 9,924 fans present for a game that lasted nearly three hours (2:54). The Yankees won 13-6.
Tice was the sixth of seven pitchers used by the Blue Jays during the contest. Toronto starter Chris Rowley went three innings before giving way to the bullpen. Aaron Loup, Carlos Ramirez, who was charged with the loss, and Sam Gaviglio pitched one inning apiece.
Sam Moll began the seventh inning on the mound, but gave up 6 runs (5 earned) on 4 hits with 2 base-on-balls and a home run against 8 batters. The Yankee deluge gave the Bronx Bombers a 7-run lead after the Blue Jays closed to within, 7-6, with a pair of runs in the top of the inning.
Tice was inserted with one out and did the job. Tice faced 4 batters. He was extremely efficient needing a mere 9 pitches to work through two-thirds of an inning despite giving up 1 base-on-balls.
“I walked the first guy and hit the
second guy, and somehow found a way to get the next two out,” Tice said, recalling the moment in a telephone interview Monday. “I struck a guy out with a slider down and away. After it sank in I thought that was pretty cool. It made me want to go out and do it again.”
His mother Tracy Tice has asked if he can hear them yelling, but Tice honestly answers, “No.”
“I was so locked in, I can’t really remember what I heard, but it was fun,” Tice said. “The adrenalin just took over. I could tell my body was moving a little faster than what I wanted. I just took a deep breath and settled down.”
Tice’s grandmother Sandra Statham, of Prairie Grove, could hardly contain her excitement.
“He did well, too! The Blue Jays lost to the Yankees at George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, but Ty got to pitch .2 innings with 1 strike-out, 1 fly-out, and 1 base-on-balls, not bad for a 9-pitch debut, and a very big deal for him,” Stathan wrote in a message to the Enterprise-Leader. “Fortunately, his parents, brother, and fiancée were all there! We’re so proud.”
Murphy Smith pitched the eighth inning holding the Yankees scoreless, but Toronto couldn’t make up the difference and lost 13-6.
Tice credits his high school coach, former Prairie Grove skipper, Mitch Cameron, now head coach at Rogers Heritage; with helping him compose himself on the mound.
“The biggest thing he taught me was how to control my emotions and act on the baseball field,” Tice said. “He taught me to lead with my front heel, that kept me closed a little longer towards the plate so my arm didn’t lag.”
Tice still uses that cue today and Cameron keeps up with him. They are still in contact with texts and social media.
The Toronto Blue Jays signed Tice as a right-handed pitcher on June 19, 2017. Two days later he was assigned to the Bluefield, Va., Blue Jays, and played last season as a rookie in the Appalachian League where he was selected as a post-season All-Star.
On March 18, 2018, Tice was assigned to the parent club in Toronto, where he made his Major League debut in spring training for the Blue Jays against the Yankees. After two weeks, Tice was assigned to the Lansing, Mich., Lugnuts on April 2, 2018.
On May 10, 2018, Tice was assigned to the Dunedin, Fla., Blue Jays, at the Class A Advanced level competing in the Florida State League. A year’s difference means tougher competition and building relationships.
“It’s still the same game, I’m still getting outs,” Tice said. “It’s awesome. I’ve got to know coaches and players.”
Tice will get married in six months. He is engaged to Katelyn Harryman, of Rogers, with a Dec. 8, 2018, wedding planned.
Tice has Psalm 18:30 posted on his Twitter page.
“’God’s way is perfect,’ for me that’s just a constant reminder that I’m where I’m supposed to be,” Tice said. “I don’t second guess myself. God has a plan and it’s going to work out. I have to just trust in God’s plan for my life. It’s not worrying about tomorrow. I just read in Matthew yesterday that tomorrow has enough worries for itself. I want to make the big league like Jalen (Beeks) did the other day. That’s the ultimate goal, but I don’t want to miss out on what is going on right now.”
Prairie Grove 2014 graduate Ty Tice (left) poses with fellow UCA alumni Jonathan Davis during spring training when both were temporarily assigned to the Toronto Blue Jays. Tice was selected in the 16th round of the 2017 MLB draft. Davis is a Camden native, who was drafted in the 15th round in the 2013 First-Year Player draft.
Prairie Grove 2014 graduate Ty Tice prepares his next pitch on the mound during the seventh inning of a spring training game between the visiting Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. Tice allowed no runs while pitching two-thirds of an inning on Saturday, March 24, 2018. He entered the game with one out inducing a fly-out and recording a strike-out to get the Blue Jays out of the seventh with no damage.