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

Play ball! New season dawns for San Antonio area talent

Jace Jung, a Texas Tech sophomore from San Antonio MacArthur High School, headlines our list of players from the local area in NCAA Division I baseball. — Photo, courtesy of Texas Tech athletics, by Elise Bressler

Good morning, all.

With the college baseball season opening today, I tried to track down the names of everyone from the San Antonio area that I could find on Division I rosters.

I’ve been working on the list for a few days now and, admittedly, might have overlooked a few guys. But I did my best and, for now, here it is. I’ll update through the season if more names come to light.

Special thanks to Matt Burkholder at Texas Tech University. Matt was kind enough to email photos of slugger Jace Jung, a Red Raiders sophomore from San Antonio’s MacArthur High School.

Jung was the Big 12 player of the year and earned All-American honors as a freshman last season. He hit .337 and led the conference with 21 homers.

Here are some other names to keep an eye on:

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

Bryan Aguilar, Tarleton State, INF, senior from East Central, also Hill JC and Marshall University

Ian Bailey, UTSA, OF, grad senior from Stevens

Zane Badmaev, Tarleton State, RHP, sophomore from Boerne

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

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

Ryan Beaird, UTSA, RHP, freshman from Reagan

Brandon Beckel, Texas Tech, P, sophomore from Antonian

Luke Boyers, TCU, OF, sophomore from Boerne Champion

Garrett Brooks, UTSA, OF, freshman from Smithson Valley

Porter Brown, TCU, OF, redshirt sophomore from Reagan

Clayton Chadwick, Sam Houston State, UTL, sophomore from La Vernia

Josh Coleman, Houston, LHP, freshman from Johnson

Preston Dallmeyer, Stephen F. Austin, OF, sophomore from Poth and Ranger College

Zach DeLeon, UT Rio Grande Valley, RHP, senior from Hondo and UTSA

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

Garrett Egli, Abilene Christian, RHP, grad transfer from Smithson Valley, Sam Houston State

Cohen Feser, TCU, P, freshman from Reagan

Ty Fontenot, Baylor, LHP, redshirt freshman from Brandeis

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

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

Josh Killeen, UTSA, C, redshirt sophomore from Reagan and Wichita State

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

Cal Martin, Stephen F. Austin, UTL, sophomore from Reagan

Zack May, Incarnate Word, RHP, grad student, from Smithson Valley, and McNeese State, Hill College

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

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

Julio Riggs, Abilene Christian, INF-OF, sophomore, Boerne and Paris College

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

Jonathan Tapia, UTSA, INF/OF, senior from O’Connor

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

Ryan Ward, UTSA, RHP, sophomore from Clemens

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

Isaiah Zavala, Incarnate Word, RHP, junior from Southwest

Texas Tech wins regional; Jace Jung OK after mishap

Texas Tech infielder Jace Jung, the Big 12 player of the year from San Antonio, shook off a first-inning injury, went on to get two hits and scored two runs Sunday night as the Red Raiders beat the UCLA Bruins 8-2 to win the NCAA Lubbock Regional.

The incident unfolded after the Bruins came to bat in the bottom of the first.

Leading off, UCLA’s Kevin Kendall doubled down the left field line. Pat Caulfield, the next batter, followed with a bunt. As a result, Texas Tech pitcher Mason Montgomery fielded it and fired to first. Jung, who plays second base, was covering on the play.

The low throw led him into the base path where he gloved the ball just as Caulfield was approaching the bag. Caulfield’s knee appeared to hit Jung in the side of the head.

Jung remained on the base path holding his head for a few moments before Tech officials came out of the dugout to see if he was OK.

Initially, it appeared that he might be coming out of the game, but after he left the field briefly with a trainer, he came back out to the applause of the home fans at Dan Law Field.

As for the outcome of the play, Kendall moved up to third base. But umpires reviewed the play and ruled Caulfield out. Kendall later scored on a sacrifice fly as the Bruins took a 1-0 lead.

In his next plate appearance, in the third inning, Jung laced a single to right field and later scored during a three-run uprising. He added a bunt single and another run scored in the fifth. Texas Tech went on to win easily for its third straight victory of the weekend.

Jung, a redshirt freshman from San Antonio’s MacArthur High School, finished the night 2 for 5 at the plate. He entered the NCAA playoffs as one of the nation’s leaders in home runs and RBIs.

NCAA results

Lubbock Regional — Texas Tech wins the regional. The Red Raiders, top seeded in Lubbock and No. 8 in the nation, beat the Bruins behind five innings of two-run, two-hit pitching from Montgomery. Texas Tech will host either Stanford or UC Irvine in the Super Regional next week.

Fort Worth Regional — Oregon State eliminated TCU 3-2 in an afternoon game and then beat Dallas Baptist 5-4 in the nightcap. The win in the second game came on a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth by Garret Forrester. Oregon State and Dallas Baptist will play for the regional title Monday. TCU was the No. 1 seed in the region and No. 6 in the nation.

Austin Regional — Fairfield stayed alive in the tournament by defeating Arizona State 9-7 in a Sunday afternoon game. Texas downed Fairfield 12-2 in the nightcap to complete a 3-0 sweep and the title. The Longhorns, top seeded in the region and No. 2 in the nation, scored in double digits in each of its three games in the playoffs. UT host the Super Regional next week against either South Alabama or South Florida.

Battles, No. 1 Arkansas set to host NJIT in tournament opener

Local athletes to watch in the upcoming NCAA Division I baseball tournament:

Jordan Battles, Arkansas

Junior shortstop from Madison. Made some eye-popping defensive plays in combination with second baseman Robert Moore to lead the No. 1-ranked Razorbacks to the SEC regular season and tournament titles.

Schedule: Arkansas, the top overall seed in the 64-team tournament, will open at home Friday at 2 p.m. in the Fayetteville Regional against the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Others in the regional: Nebraska and Northeastern. If Arkansas survives opening weekend, it would host a Super Regional against the winner of the Louisiana Tech-hosted Ruston Regional.

Luke Boyers, TCU

Freshman outfielder from Boerne Champion. Helped lead the Horned Frogs to a share of the Big 12 regular-season, co-championship and also the tournament title at Oklahoma City. Hit .303 for the Frogs in 43 games in his first year out of high school at Champion, where he also excelled as a quarterback.

Porter Brown, TCU

Third-year freshman outfielder from Reagan. Bounced back from injuries to spark TCU to the Big 12 tournament title. Named as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after producing nine hits in 20 at bats (in five games) for a .450 average. In his last seven games, Brown is 14 for 28 at the plate (.500) as the Frogs’ leadoff man. He’s got 12 RBIs and has scored a dozen runs in that span.

Schedule: TCU, the No. 6 overall seed, will open at home Friday at 6 p.m. in the Fort Worth Regional against McNeese State. Others in the regional: Oregon State and Dallas Baptist. If TCU survives, it would host a Super Regional against the winner of the Old Dominion-hosted Norfolk Regional.

Douglas Hodo III, Texas

Second-year freshman from Boerne High School. Hodo stepped in to become a key contributor for the Longhorns after upper-classman Austin Todd was lost for the season with an injury. He played right field for the Big 12 regular-season co-champions. Played 54 games and started 52 for a team ranked in the Top 10 for most of the season. Hit .289 with eight doubles, five homers and 38 RBIs.

Schedule: Texas, the No. 2 overall seed, will open at home Friday at 1 p.m. against Southern University of Baton Rouge, La. Others in the regional: Arizona State and Fairfield. If Texas survives, it would host a Super Regional against the winner of the Florida-hosted Gainesville Regional.

Jace Jung, Texas Tech

Second-year freshman from MacArthur was the Big 12 player of the year. One of the most dangerous left-handed hitters in the nation. Hit .345 with 20 home runs and 65 RBIs. He’s tied for fifth in the nation in homers and tied for third in RBIs. Plays second base for the Red Raiders.

Connor Queen, Texas Tech

Senior pitcher from Boerne High School. The 6-foot-1, 220 pounder has pitched for Texas Tech in both the 2018 and 2019 NCAA tournaments, including the College World Series both years. This year, he’s fashioned a 3.86 ERA in 16 appearances.

Schedule: Texas Tech, the No. 8 overall seed, will open at home Friday at 11 a.m. against Army. Others in the regional: UCLA and North Carolina. If Texas Tech survives, it would host the winner of the Stanford-hosted Palo Alto Regional.

Jace Jung, Tanner Allen lead all-Big 12, SEC baseball teams

Jace Jung, a Texas Tech freshman from MacArthur High School, has been named Player of the Year in Big 12 baseball. Tanner Allen of Mississippi State won the same honor in the SEC.

Here’s the breakdown for the all-Big 12 and all-SEC teams announced recently.

Big 12

Player of the Year
Jace Jung, Texas Tech

Pitchers
Jordan Wicks, Kansas State; Ty Madden, Texas; Tristan Stevens, Texas; Luke Boyd, Baylor; Haylen Green, TCU.

Catcher
Andy Thomas, Baylor

Infielders
Tyler Hardman, Oklahoma; Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Oklahoma State; Mitchell Daly, Texas; Cal Conley, Texas Tech; Jace Jung, Texas Tech; Jared McKenzie, Baylor; Phillip Sikes, TCU; Dru Baker, Texas Tech; Justin Campbell, Oklahoma State

Designated hitter
Ivan Melendez, Texas

SEC

Player of the Year
Tanner Allen, Mississippi State

Pitchers
Kumar Rocker, Vanderbilt; Doug Nikhazy, Ole Miss; Jack Leiter, Vanderbilt; Kevin Kopps, Arkansas

Catcher
Sam Praytor, Alabama

Infielders
Will Frizzell, Texas A&M; Robert Moore, Arkansas; Jake Rucker, Tennessee; Liam Spence, Tennessee

Outfielders
Tanner Allen, Mississippi State; Enrique Bradfield Jr., Vanderbilt; Jud Fabian, Florida

DH/Utility
Matt Goodheart, Arkansas