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      Former Bulldog getting used to pro life in the NY-Penn league

      BROOKLYN, N.Y. (WCIV -- Two months ago, James Island High School and Citadel grad Austin Pritcher was comfortable, pitching at home for The Citadel.

      Now, we catch up with him on a perfect summer night at an iconic New York spot. He's pitching for the Connecticut Tigers, playing on the road at the Brooklyn Cyclones in the New York Penn League, Pritcher can realize the whirlwind ride his life has become.{}

      "It's a big change, culture- and area-wise for me," said Pritcher. "I've never left Charleston for more than a month or two when I played summer ball."{}

      This world, living in the northeast is different. It's the daily life of a baseball player, spending most nights in the stands of minor league ballparks.{}

      "I run the radar gun, game charts, I work the video camera getting angles of pitchers," he said.{}

      Pritcher is learning it is a job. His results have gotten him a recent promotion to the starting rotation. He throws once every five days, always feeling at home on the mound those days.{}

      "It took a few weeks to get used to it. The game hasn't changed in 100 years, just throw strikes and get guys out, I tell myself," said Pritcher.{}

      While the game is the same, life is a whole lot different.{}

      "Way different, night and day. At The Citadel, I woke up every day and went to class. Here, it's breakfast then maybe sleep in a bit before lunch. I then head to the field. The biggest difference is in the locker room. I spend so much time in there, we've become best friends. It made me feel like The Citadel, being with teammates 24/7," he said.

      There isn't much free time in this league, but on a recent trip to Staten Island, Pritcher got to venture into Manhattan. The James Island native smiles as he calls it a bit of a culture shock.

      "I'll take King Street compared to Times Square. It's a big difference. Guys rag on me for my accent and things I like, but it's different, and I like it," Pritcher said.

      His plan for now is simple to keep climbing the ladder.{}

      "Throw strikes, get ahead in the count and throw ground balls," he said.

      It's a journey and Austin Pritcher is taking it all in.{}

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