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.”


Texas State 47-14
Stanford 45-15


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.”

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.


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.

UT’s NCAA Regional includes an old rival — Texas A&M

The possibility of a playoff game — or games — between the rival Texas Longhorns and Texas A&M Aggies loomed Monday as the NCAA baseball tournament’s 64-team bracket was unveiled.

Texas will host a regional starting Friday that will include A&M, Indiana and Texas Southern University.

On opening night in the double-elimination format, No. 2 seed Indiana will play third-seeded A&M at 4 p.m. and top-seeded Texas will play No. 4 Texas Southern at 8.

If the Longhorns and Aggies both win — or, if they both lose — they would play Saturday.

The tournament games will be held in Austin on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and, if necessary, also Monday, at the UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

Other teams from the state that made the tournament include Texas Tech, Baylor, Houston and Dallas Baptist.

Texas Tech is the only other program in the state that will host on opening weekend.

The TCU Horned Frogs, who have played in the past four College World Series, were left out of the 64-team field after they made it to the Big 12 tournament title game and lost to Baylor.

Sam Houston State and Rice were among other notable programs missing from the national bracket.

Last year, the Bearkats made a surprise run to the NCAA Lubbock Regional title and advanced to play Florida State in the Tallahassee Super Regional.

This year, they won the Southland Conference regular-season title but failed to win the SLC tournament.

Rice, under outgoing coach Wayne Graham, posted a losing record in the regular season and failed to win the Conference USA tournament title for the automatic bid.

Thus, Rice had its streak of 23 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances snapped. It was the third-longest streak in the nation.

In Austin, fans will get to see NCAA tournament baseball live for the first time since the Longhorns hosted a Super Regional in 2014.

It’s the first time Texas has hosted on the first weekend of the tournament since 2011.

Tournament time in Texas

Regional openers are set for Friday

Texas — No. 13 national seed, No. 1 regional seed, hosts in Austin and opens against Texas Southern

Texas Tech — No. 9 national seed, No. 1 regional seed, hosts in Lubbock and opens against New Mexico State

Baylor — No. 2 regional seed at Palo Alto, Calif., plays opening day against Cal State Fullerton

Texas A&M — No. 3 regional seed at Austin, opens with Indiana

Houston — No. 3 regional seed at Chapel Hill, N.C., opens with Purdue

Dallas Baptist — No. 3 regional seed at Fayetteville, Ark., opens with Southern Miss

Texas Southern — No. 4 regional seed at Austin, opens with Texas