Patrick Dyer went through a lot of changes last year.

Patrick Dyer went through a lot of changes last year.

He walked through the doors at St. Charles Preparatory School for his junior year at 6-foot-1 and by the time June rolled around he was 6-7.

That growth spurt and a talent for throwing the baseball with his left arm helped to catch the attention of the University of Akron, and the senior signed a letter of intent to play for the Zips.

"I think the fact that he was left-handed and that he was 6-7 was really attractive to (Akron)," St. Charles coach Ray Benjamin said. "Patrick is a hard-working, phenomenal kid. He works hard and nothing seems to bother him. I know they are going to put some weight on (his 180-pound body) and if he can get that 20, 30 or 40 pounds that he needs, the sky will be the limit for him."

Dyer was 6-0 for the Cardinals last spring with a 1.37 ERA, 43 strikeouts and two saves. His fastball averages 85 or 86 mph, topping out at 87, but he considers himself a finesse pitcher.

"I don't throw hard enough to be a power pitcher," said Dyer, a Worthington resident who was first-team all-league and second-team all-district last season. "I throw a fastball, curveball, change-up and a cutter, which is a fastball that moves like a slider. It's important to be able to throw those extra couple of pitches because you can't just throw a fastball every time."

Despite the numbers, Benjamin said his left-hander might not have been as dominating because of his rapid growth.

"I think growing kind of affected him because he was growing so much that I don't think his body was catching up with what was going on," Benjamin said. "He throws 85 or 86 (mph) but it doesn't look always look that fast. Maybe it's deceiving because he's so tall out there."

Dyer played for Columbus-based Team EAS last summer. That's when Akron coach Pat Bangston was able to see him in action.

"Coach Bangston saw me play and asked me if I was interested in coming to see the campus and the facilities," said Dyer, the son of Thomas and MaryAnne Dyer. "I think he liked my stability on the mound and my ability to cope with different situations. He liked that I just went out and got the job done.

"Also my control was very good. Control is very important, which is why I consider myself to be a finesse pitcher. I think it's more important to locate the ball than to throw it as hard as I can."

Dyer has a 3.4 GPA and expects to major in civil engineering.

"I really liked the coaching staff and the players, but one of the biggest attractions was being able to major in civil engineering," Dyer said. "They have a really good engineering school at Akron thanks to grants they have received from Goodyear over the years."

But Dyer knows he's not ready to step on the mound at Akron just yet. He still wants to work on his game.

"I think I need to work on my velocity and need to use my body more to my advantage on my delivery," he said. "Also stamina will be a big difference, going from seven innings in high school to nine in college. I need to do what I can to prepare for that."