Advertisement

Tellers Still Playing Waiting Game : Baseball: San Jose State pitcher hopes for a chance after college. It’s a familiar pattern, all the way back to Western High School.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Dave Tellers has waited for a lot of calls that never came.

After going 27-6 over three seasons as a pitcher at Western High School, he hoped he would be drafted, or get scholarship offers from prominent college programs.

No professional team chose him, and the only four-year schools that showed much interest were Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Irvine and Cal State Long Beach.

“No offers came, so I took the JC (option),” said Tellers, who added that he was interested in Cal State Fullerton but when there was no reciprocation, he chose Rancho Santiago and went 21-4 over two seasons.

Advertisement

He wasn’t drafted out of community college, so he signed with San Jose State. Now he is finishing his second season with the Spartans, and is expected to start today against Irvine in the final game of a weekend series at Anteater Field.

Midway through his first year at San Jose State, Tellers had won 11 consecutive games, finishing with a 12-4 record that tied an 18-year-old school record for victories.

He pitched 135 innings, had a 3.60 earned-run average, and a strikeouts-to-walks ratio better than three to one.

People started talking draft again.

Advertisement

“A lot of guys last year were telling me I was going to sign,” Tellers said. “The coaches were all worried.”

No need to worry.

“I didn’t get any phone calls,” Tellers said.

It wasn’t anything new.

Advertisement

The problem is that he is a 5-foot-10 right-hander who doesn’t throw very hard. He keeps putting up numbers, but all the scouts see is a guy who is too short and whose fastball is 85 miles an hour at best.

Tellers’ best pitch is a split-finger fastball that he developed during a summer at Rancho Santiago. He just hopes he’ll get the chance to show it off after San Jose State.

“I think it’s very important that I get drafted,” he said. “I want to see how far I can go, just to have the chance to play pro ball.”

He figures to be a late-round draft choice, someone who will have to prove himself again.

Advertisement

Tellers would like to pitch at home in Orange County.

“It’s nice to come back and play against a lot of guys you know,” he said. “You want to show yourself against teams that might have overlooked you. They let somebody get away from their own backyard, and you want to make them pay for it.”

With an 11-3 record, seven complete games and a 3.25 ERA this season, Tellers has had another fine year, and he is again chasing the school record for victories.

“Each year I try to get one victory better from last year. My freshman year at Rancho I got 10, and then 11 my sophomore year. Last year I got 12. This year I’m shooting for 13, and that happens to be the record for wins. I had a chance last year and I thought I had it for sure.”

Advertisement

But San Jose State went into a late-season slump, and he never got it. This year, he figures he has two starts left, plus an NCAA regional appearance if the Spartans can make the field, or possibly an opportunity for a victory in relief.

And an opportunity is all he wants.


Advertisement
Advertisement