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Wells, Vedo set to showcase Colusa County pitching in Reno
When University of California, Santa Barbara, visits University of Nevada, Reno, this weekend, two strong-armed Colusa County pitchers will take the mound.
Freshman lefty Tyler Wells is scheduled to make the start on Saturday for the Wolfpack and senior righty Matt Vedo will likely start on Sunday for the Gauchos.
Vedo enters the game as a veteran college player with a proven track-record, while Wells has just begun his collegiate journey.
Wells' performance on the baseball diamond in high school earned him a spot on the Wolfpack baseball team and he quickly moved up the depth chart by impressing his coaches during fall ball.
"At the beginning of the year I was kind of surprised at being a weekend starter instead of a Tuesday starter or out in the bullpen," Wells said.
Wells focused on improving his conditioning with Wolfpack pitching coach Pat Flury during the fall, as he prepared to make the big step up from the Northern Section to a Division I college program.
"In high school there were one or two good hitters on each team that you'd maybe have to throw a few curve balls to, but in college every single guy is a really good guy and you have to be sharp on every batter, every pitch," he said.
All the hard work has led to some promising early results, as Wells is 2-0 with a 1.56 ERA in his first three collegiate starts for Reno (7-4).
He made his collegiate debut against the University of New Mexico on Feb. 18 and picked up a no-decision after giving up two runs in four innings. In his next start, the southpaw threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings to earn his first win of the year, a 9-1 victory against Utah Valley University.
On Saturday, the former Panther pitched his best game of the season as he guided the Wolfpack to a 3-2 road victory against University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Wells struck out four and allowed one run in seven innings of work.
The key to his improvement has been getting ahead in the count, something he said he struggled with in his first two starts.
Santa Barbara (6-5) arrives in Reno on Friday for a three-game and Wells is scheduled to take the mound on Saturday. Vedo will likely make the start for the Gauchos on Sunday.
Vedo is off to a strong start to his senior season, holding a 2-1 record with a 2.70 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 20 innings.
The two were teammates on the Colusa County Channel Cats Junior American Legion team when Vedo was a senior at Colusa and Wells was a freshman at Maxwell.
"I was really happy for (Wells) to land a scholarship out of high school, which is hard here because we go to small schools that don't get a lot of attention," Vedo said.
Vedo took a longer route to Division I by making a stop at Yuba College. He's coming off a strong junior campaign with the Gauchos. His best game came on March 9 when he came within one out of throwing a no-hitter, the opponent — the Wolfpack.
The Los Angeles Angels drafted Vedo in the 49th round of the Major League Baseball draft last year but he chose to return to Santa Barbara for his senior season.
While it would be fun to face his former teammate, Vedo won't be making any special requests and will probably take the mound on Sunday, he said.
"I'd like to but no, I'll let our coaches set up our gameplan so we have the best opportunity to win all three games, so I'm not going to make any special requests. I just want to win," Vedo said.
First pitch on Friday is at 2 p.m. and both weekend games begin at 1 p.m.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.