By Brandon Fuhs

Just three years ago, Tyler Wells was a senior at Maxwell High School in California, hanging with his favorite pig, Jimmer, in a town that has only a little more than 1,000 people. Now heading into his third year as a starter for Nevada, the left-hander’s life has changed quite a bit. Pitching for a school with almost 15,000 undergraduates (as of Spring ’13) is like nothing he’s done before.

“College ball is a different atmosphere,” said Wells. “You not only play for yourself, but you play for your school— you play for Nevada. The crowds are bigger, the publicity is bigger, everything’s on a bigger scale.”

It has been a long journey from the town of Maxwell to being a veteran pitcher for the Wolf Pack. Wells’ life has been centered around baseball since he could walk, and his father has been with him throughout his childhood to help him become the best player he could be.

“In Maxwell, almost everyone in town grew up working on a farm,” said John  Wells, Tyler Wells’ father. “Instead, we would be hitting, fielding and throwing constantly, always trying to work on something.”

The constant hard work Tyler Wells put in has paid off, but the extra time he put in outside his travel and high school teams wasn’t exactly hard for him.

“I always loved the game, but my high school coach taught me how to fall in love with the game and make it a major part of your life,” said Tyler Wells. “He taught me that everyday you have to do what you love, and maybe make a life out of it someday.”

Tyler Wells wasn’t on a big stage when he played high school living in a town as small as Maxwell, but still turned down an offer from UC Davis to come to Nevada. It takes more than a good support group to make it from a small town to a Division 1 school.

“I would say Tyler Wells’ love for the game is what drives him to work so hard at it,” John Wells said. “He loves getting better.”

His effort before attending the university doesn’t compare to how he’s grown since pitching for the Wolf Pack, especially considering he started 12 games his freshman year. Tyler Wells was only 17 when he joined Nevada, and transitioning from Maxwell High school to the University of Nevada wasn’t the easiest task.

Tasked with replacing the one-two punch of Braden Shipley and Tom Jameson this season, pitcher Tyler Wells gave up two earned runs in a 7-4 against Boston College on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Nevada Media Services

Tasked with replacing the one-two punch of Braden Shipley and Tom Jameson this season, pitcher Tyler Wells gave up two earned runs in a 7-4 against Boston College on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Nevada Media Services

“He’s grown so much as a player from the start of his collegiate career, but he still has a long way to go,” John Wells said.

“I think last year his biggest weakness was his mentality, but this year he’s shaped up and changed his whole mental approach,” said Austin Byler, first baseman for Nevada.

First year head coach Jay Johnson has stressed the importance of focusing on the current moment and making the most out of your day. His message to the team is to take the game one pitch and one play at a time, and that has helped Tyler Wells mature as a pitcher. Tyler Wells said it has been more than just coach Johnson that’s helped him improve his mentality towards the game.

“I came in freshman year and had two decent starts, and then it went down the drain,” Tyler Wells said. “I learned from those experiences. You can’t let the little things bother you, and you have to go on to the next pitch.”

Now starting his third season for Nevada, Tyler Wells’ role goes past being a reliable pitcher.

“Tyler Wells and I know that we’re two of the leaders on this team, and our job is to help the younger guys on the team keep a strong mental approach to the game, as well as leading by example,” Byler said. “Physically he’s gotten a lot better this offseason. He’s gotten bigger, added a couple mph to his fastball, and added some bite to his curveball.”

Tyler Wells has no problem stepping up to be a leader on the team, but that doesn’t mean he’s all about business all the time.

“He’s hilarious, and he’s always cracking jokes,” Byler said. “He’s a good teammate and a great guy on and off the field.”

Tyler Wells has loved the game since he could walk and talk, and he has enjoyed the atmosphere of playing ball at Nevada. He loves playing and improving his game, but there might be one person that loves it more.

“It is so awesome you really can’t explain it,” John Wells said. “My wife and I are all about sports, so watching our son pitch for a D-I school is a dream come true.”

Brandon Fuhs can be reached at