LSU Pitcher Fidel Ulloa Already Making a Name for Himself as a Tiger

LSU pitcher Fidel Ulloa
Fidel Ulloa

Fidel Ulloa might not be the first pitcher you think of when you think of mustached LSU pitchers from California, but he’s making a name for himself already just four games into the season.

The 6-foot-2 right hander had never grown a mustache before this summer, but the look and the pitching that comes along with it is already taking LSU fans by storm.

“I didn’t know everybody likes mustaches here in Louisiana,” Jay Johnson said.

Ulloa wasn’t recruited out of high school. He didn’t have a single offer to play baseball in college until San Joaquin Delta College, a small JUCO school in northern California, reached out to him.

“I really didn’t have any offers out of high school,” Ulloa said. “One of my very last games, Delta Junior College, they picked me up, called me on the phone and said, ‘hey, we’d love for you to play for us.’ Went there for two years and then obviously last year committed here.”

Ulloa pitched for two years at Delta and became one of its starting pitchers. In his first season, he started 11 games and had a record of 4-2. In his second season, he started 10 games and went 5-1. Overall, he posted a 4.37 ERA and averaged 11.32 strikeouts per nine innings while posting a 1.59 WHIP in 101.0 innings pitched.

At the end of his sophomore season, he entered his name in the transfer portal. One of the coaches at Delta had a relationship with LSU head coach Jay Johnson and helped set up a visit for LSU’s scouts to watch him throw.

“One of our assistant coaches at Delta last year, he’s really good friends with Jay [Johnson], so he kind of got the ball rolling that way,” Ulloa said. “They came in and watched and I got a phone call that night saying, ‘hey, we’d like for you to come on a visit,’ and I was ecstatic.”

Ulloa was so happy with the offer that he committed to LSU before ever making that visit. He committed while he was on an official visit at a different school. He didn’t want to take too long to accept LSU’s offer, so he accepted over the phone.

“I was at another school at the time and that’s just how it lined up,” Ulloa said. “I had a visit scheduled, but I knew deep down this is where I wanted to go and I didn’t want to let the offer hang too much in the air, so I decided to take it on the phone, and it just felt right.”

Ulloa has certainly hit the ground running at LSU. His first appearance for the Tigers came in the second game of the season against Central Arkansas.

LSU had a slim 1-0 lead in the seventh inning and found itself in a jam. Central Arkansas had runners on first and second with only one out when Ulloa entered the game. Ulloa was able to record back-to-back strikeouts to get LSU out of the inning and then came back out in the eighth to record two more outs before being replace by DJ Primeaux.

But his weekend wasn’t done. Johnson called on Ulloa on Monday in the rematch with Central Arkansas, again in a high-pressure situation. Ulloa came out with LSU once again leading by only one run, this time in the ninth inning to close out the game.

He recorded all three outs in just eight pitches, six that were strikes. Ulloa’s first weekend as a Tiger ended with him pitching 2.1 innings and giving up no runs on hit and one walk while striking out three of the nine batters he faced.

“I kind of just went in there and did what I had to do,” Ulloa said. “It’s been awesome.”

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