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Nico Tellache verbally commits to Oregon Ducks baseball team

Nico Tellache won't graduate from Canby until 2016, but he already knows where he will play college ball.


by: JEFF GOODMAN - Nico Tellache releasing a pitch against Aloha last season.

It’s a late-April evening, and the Canby baseball team has just defeated Lakeridge in league play on a neutral field at Wilsonville High School.

As the upbeat Cougars laugh their way through postgame diamond maintenance in the infield, Nico Tellache is busy with another task.

The starting left-handed pitcher is running methodically across the outfield from one foul line to the other, back and forth and back and forth.

It looks like punishment that a coach might hand down for some sort of transgression, but it isn’t.

“That’s what you do after a game,” he says after completing his routine. “It’s good for your arm. Honestly, I don’t really know why.”

But considering how things are going for Tellache these days, he doesn’t feel the need to start tweaking his pitching rituals. Tellache, who is on schedule to graduate from high school in 2016, received an offer from the Oregon Ducks earlier this year and is verbally committed to the school’s Division I baseball program.

“The coaches made me feel welcome,” he says. “When they said, ‘Hey, we want you to come here,’ it didn’t take long to think about it. It’s every kid’s dream, and it’s a real blessing to have that opportunity.”

Tellache recently finished his sophomore campaign at Canby, logging a 1.75 earned-run average and 53 strikeouts in 56 innings on the mound while posting a 4-4 record.

His highlights included a nine-strikeout performance in the Cougars’ 5-3 victory against Sherwood at home April 1 and a seven-strikeout outing in a 6-1 win over Keizer-McNary on the road eight days later.

The star underclassman was also effective at the plate. He batted .321 with 26 hits — including four doubles and two triples — as well as five RBI, 23 runs scored and a .466 on-base percentage. He was hit by a pitch 10 times and worked 12 walks.

His efforts earned him second-team all-conference honors as a pitcher and honorable mention as an outfielder.

“He is a great teammate who makes others around him better and an outstanding worker,” Canby coach J.J. Stolsig says.

Tellache, who spent part of his childhood in California, has been playing baseball in the club ranks for many years. His college offer stems in part from his participation in Baseball Northwest, a development organization that helps area prospects gain exposure.

He was invited to Eugene for a visit and was impressed not only by the facilities and amenities at Oregon but also by the program’s coaching staff, which stays in touch with him via text message. The Ducks went 44-20 and reached the NCAA regionals this season under coach George Horton.

“They make you feel like you’re part of a family,” he says.

Just halfway through his high school baseball career, Tellache is determined to improve his skills over the next two years.

He says the offer from Oregon serves as a constant reminder that he must maintain good grades, stay in shape and exhibit exemplary behavior.

“It motivates me a lot — in the classroom, in the weight room and as a person,” he says.

Tellache also wants to continue developing his mental focus and fortitude as he prepares to play at the collegiate level.

In the top of the first inning of the Cougars’ game against Lakeridge in Wilsonville this season, Tellache found himself in a bases-loaded jam with two outs. Seemingly unfazed, he struck out the next batter.

“Whether the bases are loaded and you’re struggling or you’re throwing a shutout, it’s one pitch at a time,” he says. “You have to take extra concentration to hit that pitch.”

 



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  • 21 Oct 2014

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