Tanner Teconchuk has spent most of his baseball career putting on the blue and white.
The Warren senior will continue that trend next season at Thiel College, as a member of the NCAA Division III Presidents Athletic Conference.
"Academics were my top priority," said Teconchuk, who splits time between second base and the pitcher's mound for the Class AAA Dragons. "Matching baseball with academics was my second priority. Finding a school within three hours of home was another important factor. Thiel just happened to fit all the criteria I was looking for."
According to Teconchuk, there was a sense of familiarity with Thiel after playing on the Tomcats' home field as part of a summer showcase early in his high school career.
"The head coach-Joe Schaly-had three years of numbers on me and was watching my progression since I was in ninth grade," said Teconchuk. "He was very honest with us from the beginning. After my last showcase there on December eighth, Coach Schaly told me that I would have the opportunity to compete for starting time, as a freshmen, both as a pitcher and at second base."
"We first saw Tanner at a showcase in the summer of 2012, and then he played on our field back in the fall," said Schaly. "We feel confident that he can play in the infield and on the mound, and we are excited about his decision to be Tomcat. He has been taught to play the game the right way, which is very important to us."
Part of a trio of talented Dragons' pitchers, Teconchuk saw work as both a starter and reliever on the hill last season.
His notable performances included three and a third relief innings in the District 10 title game against Slippery Rock, in which he set down the first seven batters he faced, allowing just one run on two hits. He also picked up a win over Region 7-rival Corry during the regular season.
In addition to Warren Area High School, Teconchuk plays summer baseball with Kwik Fill Octane and Blair Legion. He has also played with Western Pennsylvania Lightning, Bruisers Baseball, and the Ohio Patriots travel teams at select tournaments.
Teconchuk became the second 2014 Dragon senior to choose a college program after teammate Collin Fantaskey signed with Division II Mercyhurst University in November. The two will be key pieces of a Warren team looking to improve on last year's playoff run that ended with a loss to Slippery Rock in the District 10 championship game. The Dragons return all but two starters from the 2013 club.
"We want to pick up right where we left off," said Teconchuk. "We have experienced coaching, deep pitching, great defense and depth. I think our whole group is excited for the 2014 season."