Boerne state of mind: A&M’s Thompson, UT’s Hodo to play in the College World Series

The San Antonio area and the state of Texas will be represented in both games on opening day of the College World Series. Oklahoma will take on the Texas A&M Aggies on Friday at 1 p.m., followed in the night game by the Texas Longhorns against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at 6.

Expected starters in the center field for both the Aggies and the Longhorns are names familiar to fans in Boerne, a baseball hotbed north of San Antonio.

Jordan Thompson, a former standout with the Boerne Champion High School Chargers, plays center for the Aggies. Douglas Hodo III, formerly of the Boerne High Greyhounds, patrols center and bats leadoff for the Longhorns.

On Saturday, former San Antonio Madison High School multi-sport standout Jalen Battles is expected to start at shortstop for the Arkansas Razorbacks. Stanford will meet Arkansas in the first game at 1 p.m. In the 6 p.m. slot, Ole Miss will take on Auburn.

Both Thompson and Battles were teammates in 2020 for the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio. The Chanclas played that summer in the Texas Collegiate League. They were a team made up largely of players from the San Antonio area looking to stay sharp in the first summer of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For Hodo, it is his second straight trip to the CWS. Last year, he played right field for the Longhorns, who finished with a 3-2 record and in a tie for third place in the tournament. This season, Hodo hit for a .319 average, with 25 doubles and 10 home runs. Both Thompson (.245) and Battles (.293) are making their CWS debuts.

Besides Thompson, Texas A&M will have another San Antonio connection in left fielder Dylan Rock, who played four seasons for the UTSA Roadrunners through 2021 before transferring to play as a grad student this year under first-year A&M coach Jim Schlossnagle. Rock has been a mainstay in the middle of the Aggies’ lineup, hitting .332 with 18 home runs.

College World Series
Friday through June 26, at Charles Schwab Stadium, in Omaha, Nebraska.

Friday’s schedule

Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M, 1 p.m.
Texas vs. Notre Dame, 6 p.m.

Saturday’s schedule

Stanford vs. Arkansas, 1 p.m.
Ole Miss vs. Auburn, 6 p.m.

San Antonio ties

Players from the San Antonio area on rosters of teams that have clinched berths in the College World Series:

Texas A&M

Rody Barker, OF-C, graduate transfer from Kerrville Tivy, New Mexico Junior College. Barker played eight games and batted .200.

Nathan Dettmer, pitcher, sophomore from Johnson. Dettmer has appeared in 17 games, all starts. He has fashioned a 5-2 record, with a 4.75 ERA.

Alex Magers, pitcher, sophomore from D’Hanis. Magers has appeared in eight games, all out of the bullpen. He has a 5.59 ERA.

Austin Stracener, INF, freshman from New Braunfels Canyon. Stracener played in six games. He hit .250.

Jordan Thompson, OF, junior from Boerne Champion, Incarnate Word, Grayson College. Thompson hit .245 in 43 games. He delivered five home runs and 26 RBIs. With a starter’s role in the playoffs, Thompson has belted two home runs.

Texas

Douglas Hodo III, center field, a redshirt sophomore from Boerne. Hodo played 67 games and hit .319. A power threat, he also contributed 10 home runs and 25 doubles.

Travis Sthele, pitcher, redshirt freshman from Reagan. Sthele made 21 appearances and started three games. In fashioning a 3-1 record and a 6.03 ERA, he struck out 32 and walked 19 in 34 and 1/3 innings.

Sam Walbridge, pitcher, redshirt sophomore from Saint Mary’s Hall. Walbridge has made three appearances, pitching 1 and 1/3 innings with a 0.00 ERA.

Arkansas

Jalen Battles, shortstop, a senior from Madison High School, McLennan Community College. Battles has started for two straight years, narrowly missing out on the CWS last year when his No. 1-ranked teammates lost in the super regionls. He is a .293 hitter with 10 homers and 44 RBI.

Stanford rallies in the ninth inning to end Texas State’s season

Texas State relief pitcher Tristan Stivors, a senior from Medina Valley High School, pitching against UTSA at Roadrunner Field on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. - photo by Joe Alexander

Tristan Stivors, Texas State’s All-American closer, started and pitched seven innings against Stanford. He gave up one run in a masterful performance, only to see his team let a late lead slip away. Here, he is shown pitching on April 26 at UTSA. – Photo by Joe Alexander

A record-breaking baseball season for the Texas State Bobcats came to a heartbreaking end Monday night in California. Leading by two runs going into the bottom of the ninth inning, the Bobcats couldn’t hold on.

The home-team Stanford Cardinal scored three runs in their last at-bat and escaped with a 4-3 victory to claim the championship of the NCAA tournament’s Stanford regional.

Stanford coach David Esquer called it a “miracle” finish. Texas State coach Steven Trout said he thought it was “an unreal” game.

“Last game of regionals, we pushed it to the brink,” Trout told reporters at the game site in Palo Alto, Calif. “Obviously thought we had it, going up 3-1. I mean, you got to tip your hat. They took some great swings in some big moments … That’s why they’re the No. 2 team in the country.

“Just couldn’t be more proud of my guys.”

With the victory, Stanford (45-15) advanced to the Super Regionals. The Cardinal, the No. 2 seed in the 64-team NCAA field, will host the Connecticut Huskies this weekend in a best-of-three series.

The Bobcats (47-14) likely will lament the lost opportunity for some time.

Texas State, frustrated with an inability to hit with runners on base for most of the evening, finally put it together in the top of the ninth.

They broke a tie and took a 3-1 lead when Wesley Faison ripped a two-run single off Stanford reliever Braden Montgomery.

Moving to the bottom of the ninth, they were three outs away from their first regional title and their first Super Regional, which would have been held on their home field in San Marcos.

But just as their vocal fans in attendance started to think about winning on the home field of one of the nation’s most storied programs, the lead slipped away. Stanford sophomore Drew Bowser opened the inning with a solo homer to left field.

Duly inspired, sophomore Tommy Troy followed with another solo blast, this one to deep center. Centerfielder Isaiah Ortega-Jones leaped for the ball, but couldn’t reach it. Just like that, the Cardinal had tied the game, 3-3.

At that point, Texas State pulled reliever Zeke Wood, who gave up both homers. Levi Wells entered to try and put out the fire, only to have Eddie Park greet him with a single — his fourth hit of the night.

Park moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt, which prompted Texas State to walk Brock Jones intentionally. With runners at first and second, a double play could have ended the inning. But it wasn’t to be.

As freshman Trevor Haskins entered the game as a pinch-hitter, Wells threw a wild pitch, allowing runners to move up to second and third. Wells appeared to hang a slider, and Haskins stroked it to left for a single, which scored Park with the winning run.

“A lot of respect for Texas State,” Stanford coach David Esquer said. “What a quality team. Obviously it went right down to the very end. They were unbelievably good and tough on us. We had to dig down deep for a miracle there at the end.”

Records

Texas State 47-14
Stanford 45-15

Notable

Texas State finished with a school-record 47 victories and won the regular-season title in the Sun Belt Conference.

The Bobcats entered the NCAA tournament ranked second in the Stanford regional and opened Friday with a 7-3 victory over UC Santa Barbara. They followed Saturday night by matching up against the home team and claiming a 5-2 victory, which snapped a 17-game winning streak by the Cardinal.

Not only was it the first 2-0 start for the Bobcats in a regional, it put them in position to close out with the regional title on Sunday night.

Stanford didn’t let that happen. The Cardinal won an elimination game against UC Santa Barbara, 8-4, on Sunday afternoon. A few hours later, they took on Texas State for the second straight night and won — again by an 8-4 score.

In the winner-take-all game Monday, Trout flipped the script with his pitching. He elected to start All-American closer Tristan Stivors, who responded with a dazzling performance.

Stivors, a senior from San Antonio-area Medina Valley High School, toiled for seven innings and held the powerful Cardinal in check. In a 101-pitch drama, he gave up one run on eight hits. Stivors struck out nine and walked one.

Trout said he was looking for two or three innings from Stivors, who led the nation with 18 saves this year.

“For us, it was mainly, just get off to a good start, whatever that looked like,” Trout said. “You know, just kind of watch his stuff and how they reacted to it. He just kept pounding it in there. When we finally got out (to see him) in the seventh, he was losing a little bit (of his stuff), and I was going to pull him for the lefty, and he looked at me and said, ‘Don’t take me out.’ That’s just who he is.

“I hope the kid pitches in the big leagues, because he has the stuff, he has the guts to do it.”

While Stivors was making big pitches, a cadre of Cardinal pitchers were doing the same. Texas State finished the game with 10 hits but left 11 runners stranded. With runners on base, the Bobcats were 4 for 20. With runners in scoring position, they were 2 for 13.

Stanford used six pitchers on the night.

Joey Dixon started, followed by Max Meier, Drew Dowd, Ryan Bruno, Braden Montgomery and Brandt Pancer.

“I’m so proud of that pitching staff,” Esquer said. “Drew Dowd, who went as long as anybody, 2 and 1/3 (innings). From Dixon to Meier to Bruno, who pitched for the third day in a row. Montgomery, we pull (him) out of right field. What a lot to ask of him, to go two innings for the first time in a long time.

“No blame on what he did for us. And then Brandt Pancer obviously coming in, and getting that last out in the ninth. Just proud of this team.”

‘Batman’ powers Stanford past Texas State in NCAA baseball

Who was that masked man?

Why, it was Stanford University slugger Carter Graham, who celebrated each of his two home runs Sunday night by rounding the bases and then briefly donning a ‘Batman’ mask as he high-fived his way through teammates en route to the team dugout.

The reason for the invocation of the ‘Dark Knight’ into an NCAA tournament game against the Texas State Bobcats wasn’t entirely clear.

But as the game moved along, it became evident that the top-seeded Cardinal were not about to allow the Bobcats to play ‘The Joker’ and eliminate them from the playoffs. Not in an NCAA regional on their home field in Palo Alto, Calif.

Beaten by the second-seeded Bobcats on Saturday night, the Cardinal responded on Sunday by winning twice, once against UC Santa Barbara in the afternoon and then again against the Bobcats on Sunday night, both of them by scores of 8-4.

As a result, they ruined Texas State’s dream of a victory that would have clinched the school’s first title in a four-team NCAA baseball regional. Now, the same two teams will meet again Monday at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond in a winner-take-all for the championship.

The Bobcats raced off to a fast start, with Jose Gonzalez stroking a solo homer in the first inning for an early lead. It was Gonzalez’s third home run in the regional after hitting two in a 5-2 victory over the Cardinal on Saturday.

But Graham, not to be outdone, responded with a soaring two-run blast of his own in the bottom of the first for a 2-1 advantage. He added a three-run shot in the fourth inning, boosting the Cardinal into a 5-2 lead.

After the Bobcats scored single runs in the fifth and sixth to pull within one run, Drew Bowser hit a two-run homer in a three-run seventh, an uprising that seemed to take the starch out of the visitors from San Marcos, Texas.

Stanford’s offense was just too relentless to contain.

Not only did the Cardinal hit the ball over the fence three times, but they also sprayed line-drive singles to the outfield. They even scored on a squeeze bunt single by Adam Crampton that brought a runner in from third.

In all, the Cardinal produced 13 hits to only four for the Bobcats. Stanford pitchers Ty Uber (4-1), Brandt Pancer and Ryan Bruno combined for eight walks and seven strikeouts. Texas State starter Tony Robie (4-1) took the loss.

Robie pitched 4 and 1/3 innings and gave up five runs on eight hits. Offensively, the Bobcats were sparked by home runs from both Gonzalez and from San Antonio’s Dalton Shuffield, a senior from Johnson High School.

Records

Texas State 47-13
Stanford 44-15

Coming up

Monday — Stanford regional title game between Texas State and Stanford, 9 p.m.

Quotable

Texas State coach Steve Trout said: “You have to give credit to Stanford. They made some really big swings in big moments and did a good job with their arms as well. As I told the team, we are over it. This is the beauty of being in the winner’s bracket. You get to come back tomorrow and play one game to move onto the Super Regional.”

Texas State upsets Stanford and inches closer to an NCAA regional title

Another night, another milestone for the Texas State Bobcats’ baseball team. The Bobcats hit three home runs Saturday in a 5-2 NCAA tournament victory over Stanford, which snapped the Cardinal’s 17-game winning streak.

Jose Gonzalez ripped two homers and Wesley Faison added another as the Bobcats upended the top-seeded team on its home field in the Palo Alto regional.

More importantly, the second-seeded Bobcats improved to 2-0 in the tournament and moved to within one victory of the regional title.

On Sunday, third-seeded UC Santa Barbara and Stanford will play the first game of the day. It’s an elimination game, with the loser going home. The winner will meet the Bobcats on Sunday night. If the Bobcats win, they would claim their first regional crown.

If they lose, the same teams would play again on Monday to decide which team advances to the Super Regional round.

Levi Wells, a sophomore from La Porte, pitched seven innings and allowed two runs to earn the victory. Finishing on the back end was Tristan Stivors, from San Antonio area Medina Valley High School, who worked the last two innings for his national-best 18th save.

In the past few weeks, the Bobcats have strung together some impressive team accomplishments. They won the regular-season title in the Sun Belt Conference. They set a school record for victories in a season, which is now at 47.

On Friday, they hit two home runs and cruised to a 7-3 victory over UC Santa Barbara.

In beating Stanford on Saturday, the Bobcats may have topped everything. The Cardinal entered the NCAA tournament as the No. 2 overall seed in the 64-team field. Stanford hadn’t lost a game since May 1 at Washington, and yet the the Bobcats won and opened an NCAA tournament regional at 2-0 for the first time.

This is Texas State’s sixth trip to the NCAAs, and its first since 2011.

Records

Texas State 47-12
Stanford 42-15

Coming up

Sunday — UC Santa Barbara vs. Stanford, 3 p.m. UC Santa Barbara-Stanford winner vs. Texas State, 9 p.m.

Monday — Championship game, if necessary, TBD.

Notable

Gonzalez stepped to the plate in the bottom of the first and blasted a solo home run, pulling it over the right field wall, for a 1-0 Texas State lead. After Stanford tied the game with a run in the second inning, the Bobcats retaliated in the fourth. First, Gonzalez led off with a solo shot to the opposite field in left. His blow made it 2-1 Texas State. Next, Justin Thompson doubled down the line. Faison, the next batter up, ripped a two-run shot to make it 4-1.

Quotable

Asked jokingly by an ESPN commentator what he had to eat before the game, Gonzalez said he had rice and beans at a San Francisco restaurant. “I was pretty disappointed with myself yesterday,” he said. “I felt like I was trying to do too much a little bit. I just had to go back to .. what got me to this point now. Seeing the ball deep and being able to react and hit the pitches, you know.”

Texas State powers past UC Santa Barbara 7-3 in NCAA tournament opener

The Texas State Bobcats returned to the NCAA baseball tournament for the first time in 11 years Friday night, and they made the most of the opportunity with a 7-3 victory over the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Palo Alto, Calif.

Playing in the Palo Alto regional, on tree-lined Klein Field at Sunken Diamond, the Bobcats scored four runs in the fourth inning to take the lead for good against the Gauchos. The big blow in the inning was a three-run home run by Peyton Lewis.

Ben McClain hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning for a 6-3 lead. It was Texas State’s 82nd home run of the season, and it sailed high over the trees in right center. Lewis walked with the bases loaded in the seventh to make it 7-3, earning his fourth RBI on the night.

Zeke Wood, Triston Dixon and Austin Smith combined to hold the Gauchos to six hits. Wood, a 6-foot-4, righthander, pitched six innings to earn the victory. He improved to 7-1. Smith worked the final 2 and 2/3 innings to pick up the save.

Saddled with his first loss of the season, UC Santa Barbara starting pitcher Cory Lewis dropped to 9-1. He was roughed up for four runs on four hits in five innings.

With the victory, the Bobcats moved along in the winners bracket of the double-elimination tournament, set to meet the powerful Stanford Cardinal on Saturday — on the Cardinal’s home field.

Stanford, on a 17-game winning streak after a 20-7 victory over Binghamton, N.Y., is the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA tournament and the top seed in the regional. Texas State is the second seed in the regional.

Three-seed UC Santa Barbara will play four seed Binghamton, from Vestal, N.Y., in the losers bracket.

Records

Texas State 46-12
UC Santa Barbara 43-13

Coming up

Saturday — Binghamton vs. UC Santa Barbara (losers bracket), time TBD; Texas State vs. Stanford (winners bracket), 9 p.m.

Notable

One of the plays of the game came in the bottom of the third when Dalton Shuffield, a Texas State senior from San Antonio’s Johnson High School, hit a drive to the outfield wall that was caught on the run by UC Santa Barbara centerfielder Nick Vogt.

In the eighth inning, Shuffield walked and took second on a wild pitch but then was picked off for the second out. Shuffield, the Sun Belt Conference’s player of the year, went one for three in the game.

Because of Austin Smith’s strong performance to finish the game in relief, Tristan Stivors, the national leader in saves with 17, did not pitch for the Bobcats. Stivors, a first-team, All American by Collegiate Baseball magazine, is from San Antonio-area Medina Valley High School.

A&M’s Jordan Thompson makes a memory in the College Station regional

Jordan Thompson likely will always remember his first at bat in the NCAA baseball tournament.

The former standout at Boerne Champion High School hit a two-run homer in the second inning Friday to help ignite the Texas A&M Aggies in an 8-2 victory over the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles.

Thompson, a San Antonio native, added a single to give him two hits in the opening game of the College Station regional.

Jordan Thompson playing for the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio during the 2020 Texas Collegiate League season. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jordan Thompson playing for the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio during the 2020 Texas Collegiate League season. – Photo by Joe Alexander

At 6 feet and 175 pounds, Thompson packs quite a wallop with his bat, and he proved that in the bottom of the second. With the Aggies trailing 1-0, Brett Minnich hit a double to get A&M started.

Thompson then unloaded with a blast that carried over the left field wall.

Playing their first NCAA game under first-year coach Jim Schlossnagle, the Aggies made it 3-1 in the fifth inning and then 6-1 in the seventh on Austin Bost’s three-run homer.

In a two-run eighth for the Aggies, Thompson struck again. He singled and eventually scored on a Jack Moss’ double. All told, Thompson finished his day two for four, with two runs scored and two RBI.

Not bad for a player that wasn’t heavily-recruited out of high school.

Thompson played as a freshman at the University of the Incarnate Word. He moved on in his sophomore year to toil at Grayson College. With the season cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic, Thompson looked for his next opportunity and found it with the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio.

So, in the summer of 2020, with much of the nation locked down in quarantine, he played with the Chanclas in the Texas Collegiate League to hone his skills and to prepare for his first season with the Aggies.

“My journey to get (to A&M) was a little unconventional, but it’s my journey, and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” he told The JB Replay on the eve of the TCL season. “Going from UIW, a coaching staff change, leaving to go to Grayson, then going on to Texas A&M, I love my story.

Jordan Thompson playing for the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio during the 2020 Texas Collegiate League season. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jordan Thompson takes a big swing at a pitch in 2020 with the Flying Chanclas. For fans in San Antonio at Wolff Stadium, the Chanclas were the only show in town that summer after officials canceled all levels of affiliated professional ball at the minor-league level. – Photo by Joe Alexander

“I’m just really excited to be where I want to be. It’s every kid’s dream to go to a Power 5 conference, (to) Texas A&M especially.”

Thompson has seen it all in terms of the business of college baseball.

He has experienced two coaching changes. In 2019, after his freshman year at UIW, coach Pat Hallmark left to take a new job with the UTSA Roadrunners. At the end of the 2021 season, just as Thompson won the Wally Moon Award as the Aggies’ most improved player, his world was rocked again.

Rob Childress, the coach who brought him to College Station, was dismissed and Schlossnagle was hired.

With the former head coach at TCU now in charge in Aggieland, Thompson didn’t flinch. He adapted to the change, stayed with it and played in 39 of the Aggies’ 56 games this season, starting 28 of them. Thompson hit a modest .253 with four home runs and 22 RBIs.

But, as Oral Roberts now knows, one of the smallest players on the A&M squad can play at the major college level, and he can achieve on the big stage of the NCAA tournament.

“He has been the ultimate team guy and ready to perform when called upon,” Schlossnagle told reporters on the eve of the regional. “That’s how you put together special seasons.”

Jordan Thompson playing for the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio during the 2020 Texas Collegiate League season. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jordan Thompson played outfield for a Flying Chanclas team that included the likes Kite McDonald (from Antonian and Mississippi State) and Porter Brown (from Reagan and TCU). – Photo by Joe Alexander

Jung, Shuffield, Stivors lead area talent into NCAA tournament

Texas State relief pitcher Tristan Stivors, a senior from Medina Valley High School, pitching against UTSA at Roadrunner Field on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. - photo by Joe Alexander

Texas State relief pitcher Tristan Stivors, a senior from Medina Valley High School, has earned first-team, All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball Magazine. Here, he is pitching against UTSA at Roadrunner Field on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Most observers in college baseball who follow the game closely knew that Texas Tech infielder Jace Jung had the talent to lead his team into the NCAA tournament — and he did.

Jung, a third-year sophomore from MacArthur, lived up to his billing. Showing patience at the plate as one of the most feared power threats in the nation, he paced the Red Raiders in multiple offensive categories and earned all-conference honors in the Big 12.

Tech is scheduled to open the tournament Friday in the NCAA Statesboro regional in Georgia. The Red Raiders will play Notre Dame in their opener.

Jace Jung, a Texas Tech sophomore from San Antonio MacArthur, is regarded as one of the top prospects in college baseball leading into the 2022 draft. — Photo, courtesy of Texas Tech athletics, by Elise Bressler

More surprising than Jung’s efforts were the performances of two other players with San Antonio-area connections — Texas State’s Dalton Shuffield and Tristan Stivors.

Shuffield, a senior infielder from Johnson, and Stivors, a senior pitcher from Medina Valley, emerged as two of the best players in Texas.

With a robust .390 batting average, Shuffield was the Player of the Year in the Sun Belt Conference. Stivors led all of NCAA Division I with 17 saves.

The Bobcats’ NCAA sojourn starts Friday night at 8 p.m. when they take on the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in the Palo Alto regional.

Jalen Battles of Arkansas (from Madison High School), Luke Boyers of TCU (Boerne Champion) and Douglas Hodo III of Texas (Boerne) were three others from the area who started on teams that will play in the national tournament.

Local athletes
Elite performances

Jace Jung-Texas Tech, Dalton Shuffield-Texas State, Tristan Stivors-Texas State. Shuffield was Player of the Year in the Sun Belt Conference. Stivors was named first-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Magazine. Jung and Shuffield were named to Collegiate Baseball’s second team. All three were named to their respective all-conference first teams.

Starters

Jalen Battles-Arkansas, Luke Boyers-TCU, Douglas Hodo III-Texas, Jace Jung-Texas Tech, Dalton Shuffield-Texas State, Tristan Stivors-Texas State. (Stivors is included in this list because of his standing as a core player on the Bobcats’ pitching staff).

Player periscope

Jalen Battles, shortstop, an Arkansas senior from Madison High School — Slashed .289/.357/.490 at the plate for the Razorbacks and once again displayed skills that showed he is one of the top defensive shortstops in the Southeastern Conference. His offensive numbers improved from his first season in Fayetteville. Last season, he slashed .269/.371/.407.

Luke Boyers, right field, a TCU sophomore from Boerne Champion — Boyers started all 56 games for the Horned Frogs. He starred defensively with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. A former quarterback in high school, Boyers had 113 putouts and three assists in 116 chances. Offensively, he slashed .256/.347/.412.

Douglas Hodo III, center field, a Texas redshirt sophomore from Boerne — Hodo was a steady force both defensively and offensively. Switching from right field last year to play center this year, he produced a 1.000 fielding percentage with 126 putouts and one assist in 127 chances. Offensively, his slash line .311/.409/.518. He improved his batting average 30 points from last year. Hodo ripped a team-leading 24 doubles and scored 65 runs, which ranked second.

Jace Jung, second base, a Texas Tech redshirt sophomore from MacArthur — Considered one of baseball’s top prospects leading into MLB draft this summer, Jung led the Red Raiders with a .340 batting average and tied for the team lead with 14 home runs. He also produced 56 RBI. Jung’s home run production was down from last year, when hit 21, but it’s been traced to the way opponents pitched so carefully to him. Jung, the younger brother of Texas Rangers minor league standout Josh Jung, was fifth nationally with 58 walks.

Dalton Shuffield, shortstop, a Texas State senior from Johnson — In earning Player of the Year honors in the Sun Belt, Shuffield became the first Texas State player to do so since Paul Goldschmidt in 2009 … Goldschmidt is a six-time all-star in the major leagues … Shuffield led the Bobcats in hitting (.390), doubles (20) and runs scored (76). His slash line was a robust .390/.450/.686. Defensively, he struggled at times with 14 errors in 245 chances. Shuffield is Texas State’s career leader in doubles, triples and extra-base hits.

Tristan Stivors, relief pitcher, a Texas State senior from Medina Valley — Stivors was a rock in the Bobcats’ bullpen all season, utilizing a devastating breaking ball to ring up a nation-leading 17 saves. He also recorded an earned run average of 2.42, which was second on the team. For the season, Stivors struck out 72 and walked only 16 in 52 innings.

NCAA tournament

San Antonio athletes in the NCAA tournament:

Coleson Abel, Texas Tech, LHP, freshman from Kerrville Tivy

Jalen Battles, Arkansas, SS, senior from Madison and McLennan Community College

Rody Barker, Texas A&M, OF-C, graduate transfer from Kerrville Tivy, New Mexico Junior College

Brandon Beckel, Texas Tech, P, sophomore from Antonian

Luke Boyers, TCU, OF, sophomore from Boerne Champion

Porter Brown, TCU, OF, redshirt sophomore from Reagan

Nathan Dettmer, Texas A&M, P, sophomore from Johnson

Cohen Feser, TCU, P, freshman from Reagan

Douglas Hodo III, Texas, OF, redshirt sophomore from Boerne

Jace Jung, Texas Tech, 2B, sophomore from MacArthur

Alex Magers, Texas A&M, P, sophomore from D’Hanis

Matthew Nicholas, Texas State, RHP, New Braunfels Christian Academy

August Ramirez, Texas State, C, redshirt sophomore from O’Connor

Dalton Shuffield, Texas State, INF, senior from Johnson

Travis Sthele, Texas, P, redshirt freshman from Reagan

Tristan Stivors, Texas State, P, senior from Medina Valley and New Mexico JC

Austin Stracener, Texas A&M, INF, freshman from New Braunfels Canyon

Jordan Thompson, Texas A&M, OF, junior from Boerne Champion, Incarnate Word, Grayson College

Sam Walbridge, Texas, P, redshirt sophomore from Saint Mary’s Hall

Zac Vooletich, Texas Tech, INF/OF, junior from Brandeis and Navarro College

UTSA snubbed by NCAA baseball tournament

UTSA's baseball team upset No. 2-ranked Stanford 6-5 in 10-innings on Leyton Barry's walk-off hit at Roadrunner Field.

The UTSA Roadrunners celebrate after beating Stanford on Feb. 28, 2022, at Roadrunner Field. – Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA won 38 baseball games this season. Eleven of those victories came against ranked teams.

None of those were enough for the Roadrunners to earn an at-large bid in the NCAA baseball tournament. UTSA was left out of the 64-team field when the draw was announced today.

The Roadrunners’ notable games included beating Stanford, the No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, on Feb. 28 at Roadrunner Field. UTSA split two games with nationally ranked Texas State.

UTSA finished the season by winning three of four games in the Conference USA tournament. Two of those wins came against Southern Miss, which is the No. 11 seed in the NCAA tournament.

UTSA hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament since 2013 and has never received an at-large bid.

The tops seeds are No. 1 Tennessee, No. 2 Stanford, No. 3 Oregon State, No. 4 Virginia Tech, No. 5 Texas A&M, No. 6 Miami, No. 7 Oklahoma State, No. 8 East Carolina.

Texas is a No. 9 national seed and will host a regional in Austin. That foursome includes Texas, CUSA tournament champion Louisiana Tech, Dallas Baptist and Air Force.

Texas A&M will host a regional in College Station. That group includes Texas A&M, TCU, Louisiana and Oral Roberts.

Texas State is heading west. The Bobcats are playing in the Stanford regional. Texas State and Stanford will be joined by UC Santa Barbara and Binghamton.

Baseball America: UTSA projected as last team in the NCAA field

UTSA is projected by Baseball America as “the last team in” the NCAA tournament’s 64-team bracket.

The magazine’s website has UTSA pegged to start play this weekend in the Austin Regional against the Texas State Bobcats.

The NCAA will announce the bracket Monday morning at 11 a.m. If the Roadrunners make it, they would become the first team in school history to receive an at-large bid to the national tournament.

That would include men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, softball and baseball. UTSA has reached the NCAA baseball tournament only three times, in 1994 and 2005 out of the Southland Conference and in 2013 out of the Western Athletic Conference.

According to the magazine, the “last four in” include UTSA at No. 64, along with Dallas Baptist at 63, Rutgers at 62 and Coastal Carolina at 61.

On the flip side, the magazine lists the “first four out” as No. 65 Liberty, followed by Wofford at 66, Old Dominion at 67 and West Virginia at 68.

The Roadrunners stated their case for qualification at the Conference USA tournament. At the C-USA event, they beat Florida Atlantic in their opener and followed that with back-to-back victories over 14th-ranked Southern Mississippi.

Southern Miss was the tournament host and the C-USA’s regular-season champion.

In downing the Golden Eagles by scores of 7-6 on Friday and 11-2 on Saturday, the Roadrunners vaulted up the national ratings percentage index into the 30s and made a strong case as an at-large candidate for the NCAA field.

On Sunday, they had a chance to earn the C-USA’s automatic bid, but they lost 9-8, falling to the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs on a ninth-inning single.

Conference USA hopes to get four teams in the NCAA field. The RPI standings after Sunday’s games had Southern Miss at No. 18, Louisiana Tech at No. 34, UTSA at 38 and Old Dominion at 41.

Record

UTSA 38-20

UTSA run ends in CUSA title game; NCAA tournament probably up next

UTSA's Ryan Flores, shown in a May 29 home game, homered in the ninth inning of Sunday's game. - file photo

UTSA’s Ryan Flores, shown in a May 29 home game, homered in the ninth inning of Sunday’s game. – file photo

(Editor’s note: Updated with all-tournament team members)

Louisiana Tech edged UTSA 9-8 in a back-and-forth game in the Conference USA baseball tournament title game Sunday in Hattiesburg, Miss.

The Bulldogs ended the Roadrunners’ quest for the tournament title and the NCAA tournament automatic bid that goes with it.

UTSA (38-20) has never received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, but that is expected to change this week. The Roadrunners’ credentials for an at-large bid this season include 11 victories over nationally ranked teams and a strong showing in the CUSA tournament. The NCAA tournament teams will be announced Monday at 11 a.m.

UTSA won its first three games of the CUSA tournament to reach the title game. Lousiana Tech was playing its third game in three days, including a loss to Old Dominion on Saturday.

The Roadrunners came from behind multiple times in the game. UTSA’s Ryan Flores led off the top of the ninth with a home run to tie it 8-8. Louisiana Tech’s Steele Netter singled down the right-field line with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to drive home the winning run.

After Louisiana Tech retook the lead 6-5 in the bottom of the sixth, UTSA went in front 7-6 in the top of the seventh on a two-run homer by Ian Bailey, his team-high 16th blast of the season. Louisiana Tech immediately answered and took the lead 8-7 with two runs in the bottom of the seventh.

That set the stage for the dramatic ninth inning.

Louisiana Tech took an early lead with two runs in the bottom of the first.

UTSA went in front with a four-run fourth inning that saw the Roadrunners go from three runs down to a 4-3 lead in the stretch of three batters. UTSA got the rally going with a leadoff walk by Josh Killeen, a double by Chase Keng and then Bailey was hit-by-pitch. Garrett Poston broke the scoring ice with a two-run, bases-loaded double. Groundball outs by Matt King and Jonathan Tapia brought in a run each to tie the game and then put UTSA in front.

Records:

UTSA 38-20
Louisiana Tech 42-19

Notable:

– Louisiana Tech had nine hits in the title game, to seven for UTSA. No UTSA batter had more than one hit.

– UTSA used seven pitchers. Ulises Quiroga had the longest stretch on the mound. He went 2 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed one hit with two strikeouts and one walk.

– Braylon Owens pitched the eighth and nine innings and took the loss.

– UTSA’s Flores, Keng, Poston and Luke Malone were named to the 2022 CUSA all-tournament team.

WEDNESDAY’S GAMES

Game 1: Old Dominion 18, Middle Tennessee 7 (7 innings)

Game 2: Louisiana Tech 4, Charlotte 0

Game 3: Southern Miss 4, UAB 3

Game 4: UTSA vs. Florida Atlantic, postponed until Thursday, 9 a.m.

THURSDAY’S GAMES

Game 4: UTSA 6, Florida Atlantic 4

Game 5: Charlotte 22, Middle Tennessee 0

Game 6: Louisiana Tech 7, Old Dominion 2

Game 7: Florida Atlantic 11, UAB 1 (7 innings)

Game 8: Southern Miss vs. UTSA, postponed until Friday, 10 a.m.

FRIDAY’S GAMES

Game 8: UTSA 7, Southern Miss 6

Game 9: Old Dominion 13, Charlotte 4

Game 10: Southern Miss 5, Florida Atlantic 0

SATURDAY’S GAMES

Game 11: Old Dominion 9, Louisiana Tech 6, 13 innings

Game 12: UTSA 11, Southern Miss 2 (Southern Miss eliminated)

Game 13: Louisiana Tech 8, Old Dominion 7 (Old Dominion eliminated)

SUNDAY’S GAME

Game 15: Championship – Louisiana Tech 9, UTSA 8