Bice comes back to win player of the year
Grayson Bice completed his comeback story by being named The Clanton Advertiser’s 2018 Baseball Player of the Year.
Bice fought through adversity and returned from an ACL injury after five months of rehab and recovery. He suffered the injury during football season.
“It was tough to overcome,” Bice said. “What helped me get through it was praying to God and hoping that he blessed me to come back and do something that I love again.”
According to Bice, he met doctor-ordered goals prior to being cleared to play baseball.
It was the first major injury that Bice had endured after years of playing multiple sports.
“I had never broken anything before except for my finger,” Bice said.
Throughout the rehab process, Bice was determined to not let the injury derail his senior season.
According to head coach Billy Jackson, the entire varsity team asked to practice on Saturday, a routine off day, just so Bice could get some reps prior to playing his first game back.
“That’s how much every loves him as their teammate,” Jackson said. “It was like the icing on the cake for us whenever he came back.”
It was eight games into the baseball season when he returned to live action with the same intensity as before to the delight of everyone involved.
The senior was a catalyst during Thorsby’s run to the Class 2A state semifinals.
He led the Rebels with a .473 batting average and had a .602 on-base percentage while driving in 23 runs.
“In the playoffs he was just unconscious hitting the ball,” Jackson said.
However, what stands out more than any other stat is that he struck out just one time all season.
The patience he possessed at the plate was undeniable.
“The older I got, the more intelligent I got [at the plate],” Bice said. “I’ve seen all kinds of throws and velocities.”
Bice also pitched 16 innings in relief and earned five saves and one win during those outings.
Playing the shortstop position tested him physically and mentally after his injury, but he fell back into a groove and the grind of the season to finish with an 85 fielding percentage.
Bice teamed up with junior second baseman Tyler Jackson to turn 18 double plays on the year.
Having been playing baseball since he was 4 years old, Bice endured a memorable senior season that involved its share of unexpected adversity and ended with the honor of being named player of the year.
All-Advertiser First Team
Pitcher: Christin Brown, Maplesville
Pitcher: Trent Jones, Thorsby
Catcher: Tanner Jones, Thorsby
Infield: Griffin Green, Chilton County
Infield: Grayson Bice, Thorsby
Infield: Tyler Jackson, Thorsby
Utility: Brent Schoener, Maplesville
Utility: Cade Minor, Chilton County
Designated hitter: Austin Chapman, Jemison
All-Advertiser Second Team
Pitcher: Tucker Patterson, Thorsby
Pitcher: Jackson Abbott, Maplesville
Infield: Wesley Gore, Jemison
Infield: Noah Chambers, Maplesville
Infield: Austin Barber, Verbena
Utility: Tyler Durham, Isabella
Utility: Cain Niece, Thorsby
Utility: Gabe Gray, Chilton County