Lehigh baseball senior pitcher Teddy Toliver throws a pitch on the mound at Legacy Park. Lehigh baseball will host their first home game of the season against Saint Joseph's University on March 12. (Courtesy Lehigh Sports)

Lehigh baseball senior pitcher plays with no regrets


“Believe in your gut!” Lehigh baseball senior pitcher Teddy Tolliver yelled to his teammates in the leadup to what would be a shocking upset over No. 20 Iowa on Feb. 17. “No regrets! Play with no regrets!” he said.

In the upset victory, Tolliver threw 6.1 innings, allowing four runs, with only two of them being earned. He added two strikeouts in the efficient outing.

Coach Sean Leary had high praise for Tolliver’s performance after the game. 

“Teddy was amazing versus Iowa,” Leary said. “He put the team on his back and led us to our highest-ranked win in school history. It set a tone that we can play with the elite teams in the country, which certainly enhanced the team’s confidence moving forward.” 

From the minute he woke up that morning, Tolliver had a feeling the team could knock off Iowa.

“I think that was the first step,” Tolliver said. “Just having that confidence and knowing you can do it.” 

This mentality has guided Tolliver throughout his life, making for a successful opening to his senior season.

Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, Tolliver grew up playing sports, primarily wrestling and basketball. 

His father, Teddy Tolliver Sr., played baseball in high school, though the younger Tolliver did not share this love until high school where he began to take the sport seriously. It wasn’t until his senior season when he began pitching. 

“I think it just kind of became my best sport out of nowhere,” Tolliver said. “I liked wrestling and basketball more as a child. I didn’t play any fall baseball or anything until high school, so I think it was just kind of random that I got good at it and decided I might as well stick with this one.”

In his first three years of high school, Tolliver was looking to pursue baseball at a Division II or Division III level as a third baseman. However, in his senior year, Tolliver took the mound as a bullpen pitcher. 

His aspirations to pursue a career as a third baseman soon vanished.

“It was coming out hot, and that’s the moment I realized I had a better chance at going D-I playing pitcher,” Tolliver said.

Soon after he started pitching, the pandemic began. Though this set most athletes back, for Tolliver it was a chance to get better.

“I didn’t get to have my senior season when I first started pitching, but it just gave me the opportunity to get outside every day and go (to) a random field,” Tolliver said.  

Tolliver received an offer from Lehigh when Leary and his staff traveled to Florida in 2019 to watch him pitch during a showcase tournament. 

However, his first two seasons were riddled with injuries, which limited his time on the mound. Despite this setback, Tolliver made an impact on the team through his leadership and by learning from the older players on the team. 

“Teddy’s presence is huge in our dugout and locker room because he brings veteran leadership and experience to our team,” junior pitcher Alex Bouchard said. “He knows how to command a group of people and he is a great teammate.”

 Tolliver did not always operate this way. The Cincinnati native was admittedly timid when he first joined the team, a far cry from the leader his teammates see him as today.

“I mean, I’m sort of a shy guy as well,” Tolliver said. “So coming here and just not knowing like, literally a single person at the school was probably a bit stressful coming in as a freshman.” 

Now, as an upperclassman, Tolliver’s presence has transformed into anything but shy. 

“Teddy brings a calmness and confidence that helps the guys relax, knowing that he’s going to get up there and keep us in a game every time,” senior infielder Tyler Young said. 

In three starts this season, Tolliver has pitched a team-high 17.1 innings and has allowed 1.33 walks and hits per innings pitched, helping the team to a 7-3 record.

As Tolliver continues his spectacular season, he looks to continue to lead by example and instill confidence in his team. 

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