Trice made 20 appearances out of the bullpen for the Tar Heels in 2008, posting a 2.04 ERA and holding opponents to a .185 batting average.
The senior reliever from Cherryville, N.C. was preparing for the Super Regionals when he found out that he was selected in the 21st round of the Major League Baseball draft.
"It was amazing - a dream come true, something that I have always wanted,” Trice reflected. “There were several teams that called - I was actually at practice when I got the phone call from the Rockies."
And it was a Carolina connection that led the Rockies to Trice.
"I talked with Jay Matthews a number of times." Trice said of the Rockies scout. "He is a great guy - a Carolina guy, so that helped out a lot. It was really nice to have somebody who knew where I was coming from and who could help out with the whole process."
Trice’s big league dreams trace back to his days playing with his future collegiate teammates on the Dirtbags, a select team from the Carolinas. "It was lot of fun playing for Andy Partin and the Dirtbags,” he said. “I met Chad Flack and Josh Horton playing with them and that really got me ready for college baseball."
Tyler joined Flack and Horton as a part of a recruiting class that would set a Carolina record with 206 wins in four years and head to Omaha three straight times.
UNC head coach Mike Fox spoke highly of Trice’s contributions during the season: "Tyler has been very special to our team from a senior leadership standpoint. He knows his role and he just wants to win. When he does not get in games you can never tell with his personality coming back in the locker room. It is that kind of attitude from our upperclassmen that has us where we are right now."
The 6-4, 205-pound right hander made his first two appearances for Tri-City within the past week.
"I want to make it all the way to the Major Leagues." Trice said. "Right now I want to help the Dust Devils win out here in the Northwest League."