Meadowdale graduate Sam Triece is glad to be back on the mound.
Triece, who recently graduated from Washington State, is even happier that he is on the road to a professional baseball career.
Triece was selected in the 10th round by Tampa Bay in the Major League Baseball amateur draft in June and flew down later in the month to Florida to join the GCL (Gulf Coast League) Rays, a short season Rookie League team based out of Port Charlotte.
“I’m just really excited to be down here and to get to work,” Triece said in a phone interview.
Because he was finishing up school, Triece missed the extended spring training and arrived the day before the season started. He pitched in his first game two days later and since then has made two more appearances. Triece has improved in each outing.
In his first appearance on June 30, he gave three earned runs in a 1/3 of an inning of work. On July 3, Triece pitched 1 2/3 innings and allowed one earned run. He then went 2 2/3 innings and didn’t allow a run during a July 8 outing.
Triece had talked to Tampa Bay as a freshman but hadn’t really had much contact with the organization since then. He was sitting around at his apartment when he received a call from the Rays’ area scout.
“It was definitely a very good feeling,” Triece said.
The plan is for Triece, who hadn’t pitched in a month before joining the GCL Rays, is to get back into playing shape and then he likely will be heading to the Hudson Valley Renegades in Fishkill, N.Y.
Triece had a breakthrough senior season at Washington State, where he had a 2.66 ERA in 50 2/3 innings with 59 strikeouts. The Edmonds native pitched 26 innings as a junior and 20 2/3 innings during his sophomore season. Triece played at Edmonds Community College as a freshman.
The big difference his senior year, Triece said, was that he knew it was going to be his final season of college ball. He also had been in the WSU program for two seasons and came in with more confidence.
Triece was a starter in high school and as a college freshman but over time shifted into a reliever role. It took some time for him to develop the mindset of being ready to pitch at any time.
“That was one of the things that took some experience to get used to,” Triece said.
But the more he was put in pressure situations, the more Triece became used to being a reliever.
“I got to a point where I could execute on an outing-by-outing basis,” he said.
Triece has confidence in his skills and thinks he has what it takes to make it to the Major Leagues.
“I think I definitely have the stuff,” Triece said. “It’s just building some consistency and just following up on what I did this past season.”
– By David Pan