Another Teconchuk — Archie — to pitch at Thiel College
The growth Archie Teconchuk has taken as a baseball player is apparent — both in size and skill.
The Warren Area High School senior hopes that growth continues playing at Thiel College beginning this fall. It’s a Division III school that wasn’t always foremost on Archie’s mind when thinking about playing at the next level.
“At first, I didn’t want to be known as ‘Tanner’s little brother’ and follow his same path,” said Archie, “but after sitting in coach’s office, I realized that it was kind of an honor to be able to do what Tanner did.”
Older brother and Warren graduate Tanner Teconchuk pitched from 2015 to 2019 for Thiel, throwing nearly 100 innings. The 5-foot-8 right-hander had a 2.25 earned-run average in his senior season for the Tomcats.
Part of what Thiel head coach Joe Schaly liked in Tanner was his development throughout his high school years. Enter Archie, entering his senior high school season a little bit taller at 6-foot-1 than his big brother. It wasn’t always that way.
“I used to be the smallest player on the field,” said Archie. “It was difficult to compete with all the other kids that were physically stronger than me.”
Throughout high school, Archie has spent as much time growing in height as growing on the field; not easy to do.
“He was the shortest kid in his class until ninth grade,” said his father, Andy. “He had to throw strikes as a pitcher because the power wasn’t there. That was his job, to not walk anyone, and he did it. His toughest obstacles were growing to be over 6-foot-1 so quickly, constantly adapting to his new body and comparing himself to his brother. We knew to stay the course because his endocrinologist said that, for every inch of growth, it takes the nervous system six months to catch up. Needless to say, there were a lot of ups and downs, but he has continuously worked to dial it in. He was lucky enough to see his brother play in college and realize that the possibility was there. He’s always wanted to throw harder than his brother, so the inspiration has always been there.”
And the work ethic.
“Very happy for Archie and his family,” said Warren head coach Andrew Morrison. “He has worked very hard to put himself into a position to play at the next level. He has transformed himself physically and continues to makes strides mentally. He is a competitor and self-motivated, which will serve him very well at Thiel. We anticipate a big year both on the mound and in the infield for him this upcoming season.”
Teconchuk has pitched for WAHS sparingly and sporadically the past two seasons as he has adjusted to his growth spurt. The rebuilding Dragons were 4-13 overall in 2022. He did have a big summer season playing for the Erie Steelheads 17U travel team.
From the garage to working with professional coaches and former major leaguers, “I would say I’m most proud of being myself,” said Archie. “I never let people change me for being or acting different than other players. All the events I went to were nice and expanded my knowledge of the game, but my dad has always been the one to push me the most… He always wanted me to be the best and never let me be comfortable. My mother always made sure I was ready and had everything I needed and now, being older, I am very grateful for that. My brother always was an outlet for anger and showed me how to keep a cool head.
“My greatest memory is probably all the times my family and I practiced together; it is the greatest bonding experience in my opinion,” he said. “I fell in love with baseball because it’s a kids’ sport at heart that just feels like a second home.”
Much the same feeling he feels at Thiel.
“There were other schools that reached out to me and schools that I visited,” said Archie. “Some were JUCO, branch campuses of Pitt and Penn State, and some were even in the same conference as Thiel.
“The process took one visit (to Thiel in Greenville, Pa.),” added Archie. “I was sitting in Coach Schaly’s office, listening to Coach Schaly, Coach (Sante) Carducci and my brother talk. They were sharing memories, laughing about things that had happened and talking baseball. It felt like I was already a part of the team. I kind of grew up at Thiel, watching them play. Between that, the small-school atmosphere, and the teacher-to-student ratio, it was easy for me. I will be studying digital marketing at Thiel. What I like most about the campus is that the student population is mostly athletes, so I will have a lot in common with the other students.
“I view myself as leader and a friend to my teammates,” said Archie. “I want our team to be as close as possible because that’s so much more important than talent. My long-term goal is to work as hard as I can and see where that takes me.”