Ty Pryor is a junior pitcher at North Florida. He was 5-4 as a freshman at USF in 2005. Pryor was 1-1 as a sophomore at Tennessee in 2006 with 52 strikeouts in 38 innings. He sat out last season and served as a radio color analyst for UNF home games. Pryor was taken by the Indians in the 26th round of the 2006 draft and by the Angels in the 28th round of the 2007 draft. His brother, Tucker, is also an Osprey.



February 11, 2008
Daydreaming of Opening Day

The two months leading to opening day are almost like a type of college spring training.

With "Hell Week" a seemingly distant memory, the days start to feel longer and longer as my teammates and I count down the hours until the first pitch on Feb. 22.

Practices are grueling at times, going four hours straight some days but it's all for a good reason. We have three weeks to get in game form, to build up pitch counts, for hitters to get their timing down and for coaches to get their rotations and lineups in order.

At times, I find it hard to stay focused in class because for me the semester truly begins when the season starts. Over the past three years, however, I have learned that it really pays to be ahead of the curve class-wise before opening day because the last two and a half months feel like you're in a constant race to catch up.

That being said, it still doesn't make it any easier to focus in class. I find myself jotting potential lineup cards in my notebook and watching the clock, waiting for my professor to stop droning on about stratified sampling or ancient Greek art and for practice to start.

I find it hard to imagine what teams up in the Northeast are doing right now. Being in Florida, you tend to get spoiled by great weather in February, and practice is outdoors in 79-degree, sunny, breezy afternoons. Practice usually consists of PFPs, augmented batting practice, where hitters work on different aspects of the offense, defensive situations, some kind of simulated game and conditioning.

With time constraints, however, a lot of work has to be done on your own to play at an elite level. A 1:30 p.m. practice time usually means getting there at noon to get your individual work done. Weekends mean intrasquad games, which, in my opinion, tend to get boring because facing the same guys over and over again for seven months can breed complacency. The trick is to convince yourself that you're facing a completely different opponent each game and detach them from the "teammate" label.

By that last week leading up to the first game, you can feel guys starting to get anxious; that nervous energy is building up. The great teams can control that anxiety and use it to do what they've been training all fall and winter to do.

Man, this class is really dragging today.