Brief Ma­jor League Stint For Tice

PRAIRIE GROVE GRAD THROWS PITCHES FOR THE BLUEJAYS

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - SPORTS WEEK - By Mark Humphrey

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.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

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.

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