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.


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.


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.


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.”

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

Texas State’s Tristan Stivors reflects on a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experience

Texas State closer Tristan Stivors has struck out 23 while walking only one in 13 innings this season. He fanned three and earned the save in the Bobcats’ 6-4 victory Wednesday over the top-ranked Texas Longhorns. — Photo by Jill Slaughter, courtesy of Texas State athletics

SAN MARCOS — Fourteen games into his senior season with the Texas State Bobcats, 6-foot-4 righthander Tristan Stivors has developed into one of the unquestioned leaders on the team’s pitching staff.

If a game is on the line late, everyone knows who is getting the ball.

It’s Stivors, who throws breaking pitches so nasty that hitters’ knees sometimes buckle as the ball darts into the strike zone. For some, swinging at shadows might produce more success.

In eight appearances with the Bobcats this spring, Stivors has struck out 23 and walked only one in 13 innings.

The former multi-sport standout at Medina Valley High School also has fashioned 1-0 record, an 0.69 earned run average and four saves.

One of the saves came in the biggest of moments Wednesday night when the 17th-ranked Bobcats upset the top-ranked Texas Longhorns, 6-4, in Austin.

With runners at first and second base, Stivors pitched out of trouble in the ninth inning when he struck out UT star Ivan Melendez to end the game. Melendez was frozen on a breaking pitch that bit hard and caught the inside corner.

When the home plate umpire called strike three, a packed house of nearly 7,500 fell mostly silent except for a vocal group of Bobcats fans who cheered wildly.

“It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Stivors said Thursday afternoon before practice. “It’s something that I will never forget.”

With the win, the Bobcats improved to 11-3 on the season, including a 6-2 record against power conference programs and 1-1 against the Longhorns.

This weekend, Texas State hosts three games with the Southern University Jaguars, starting with the series opener at 3 p.m. Friday. Single games are also set for Saturday and Sunday.

Next week, the Bobcats will host the Prairie View A&M Panthers on Tuesday night, and next weekend, the team’s Sun Belt Conference schedule commences in a three-game road series at Arkansas State.

The conference season looks promising for the Bobcats right now, given that they have won three games at home against the Ohio State Buckeyes, two of three on the road at Arizona and now have split two against UT.

Texas won in San Marcos, 9-8, on Tuesday night to spoil a night in which a Texas State-record crowd of 3,283 attended. The Bobcats returned the favor 24 hours later in Austin at UFCU Disch-Falk Field even after falling behind by three runs early.

Trailing 3-0, Texas State found a spark when John Wuthrich hit a three-run home run in the third inning to tie the score. The Bobcats scored two more before the inning was over on miscues between the UT pitcher and catcher.

In the fourth, Isaiah Ortega-Jones belted a solo home run, lifting Texas State into a 6-3 lead. Texas, in response, added one run in the fifth to make it 6-4. But, remarkably, a Texas State team that lost 36 games last year held the lead to the end.

Crazier still, Bobcats’ pitching notched strikeouts for the last six outs, including three by Levi Wells in the eighth and three more by Stivors in the ninth.

Stivors, who was warming in the bullpen in the eighth, heard all the groans from Longhorns’ fans as Wells fanned three in a row.

Moments later, he heard a thunderous roar of disapproval when the home plate umpire ejected UT coach David Pierce, apparently for arguing balls and strikes.

“Another time I noticed it was really loud was when I was stepping on that mound,” Stivors said. “I actually looked around and I saw how many people were (in the ball park), and I just took it all in. I made sure just to stay in the present moment.”

On Tuesday, Stivors had pitched the top of the ninth inning in the UT series opener. That night, his mission was to keep the game close. He succeeded, blanking the Longhorns while striking out two.

But the Bobcats, trailing by one, eventually lost in agonizing fashion. In their last at bat, they left the potential tying run at third. On Wednesday, it was the Longhorns who came up empty in the ninth, courtesy of Stivors and his newfound swagger after a so-so 2021 season.

“He’s been really good and really lights out for us,” Texas State coach Steve Trout said. “And, I think more importantly, he’s just rolling right now with some confidence. He knows he’s got the stuff to get anybody out, and he wants the ball in that moment.”

Last year, Stivors was 2-3 with a 5.34 earned run average. He struck out 39 in 28 and 2/3 innings. But he was prone to streaks when he couldn’t command his pitches, and he walked 13 on the season.

This year, by contrast, his command is much better. Particularly, his command on his fastball. Stivors throws it with “tilt” and keeps it low and away to righthanders. By doing so, he sets up his breaking pitches, including both a slider and a curve.

Trout said the curve is definitely the “dirtiest” pitch in Stivors’ arsenal.

“That’s his most confident pitch,” the coach said. “He threw a really good one (on a 3-2 count against Melendez) and won the game for us. What a clutch pitch, and, you know, he was battling with everything. The fans. The energy (in the stadium). Everything. Everything that was going on.

“That just shows you his mental toughness, to be able to execute that pitch in that moment.”

It also shows you why Stivors has earned the dual roles of both closer and leader for a team on the rise.

Texas State baseball holds on to beat top-ranked Texas, 6-4

John Wuthrich hit a three-run homer to ignite a five-run third inning Wednesday night, leading the Texas State Bobcats past the No. 1-ranked Texas Longhorns, 6-4.

Isaiah Ortega-Jones added a solo homer in the fourth for the Bobcats, from the Sun Belt Conference, who have won six of eight meetings this season against power conference programs.

Texas State has swept three games from Ohio State of the Big Ten, won two of three at No. 11 Arizona of the Pac-12 and now have split two against the top-ranked Longhorns from the Big 12.

On Tuesday night, Texas rallied from a three-run deficit to beat Texas State 9-8 in San Marcos. A night later, UT threatened to pull off another comeback in Austin, only to be stifled in the late innings by Bobcats relief pitchers.

The game got intense after the eighth, particularly, when three Texas batters struck out against Levi Wells.

After the third out, UT coach David Pierce was ejected by the home plate umpire. With Pierce coming onto the field arguing his case, fans howled. But pretty soon, Pierce went back to the dugout, gathered his things and left.

In the bottom of the ninth, Tristan Stivors, formerly of Medina Valley High School, entered to pitch for the Bobcats.

Mitchell Daly singled and Eric Kennedy reached on a one-out hit by pitch. With runners at first and second, slugger Ivan Melendez came at the plate.

Stivors didn’t flinch. He threw a breaking ball to strike out Melendez looking to end the game. Both Wells and Stivors each struck out three in an inning’s work to complete the victory.


Texas State 11-3
Texas 12-2


Brazos Valley wins 4-0 to take over first place in the TCL South

Tristan Stivors, Will Johnston and Zach Poe combined on a two-hitter Saturday night as the Brazos Valley Bombers beat the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio, 4-0, in Bryan.

With the victory, the Bombers (14-9) moved into first place in the South Division of the Texas Collegiate League. The Chanclas (13-9) fell into second after losing two straight in Bryan at Travis Field.

Stivors, a right-hander from Medina Valley High School and Texas State, set the tone with four innings of one-hit, scoreless pitching. He struck out seven.

In the fifth inning, the Bombers replaced Stivors with Johnston, a 6-foot-3, left-hander from Texas A&M. With a herky-jerky motion and a heavy fastball, he also pitched four scoreless, allowing no hits. He walked two and fanned five.

When Johnston walked two in the eighth, it broke a string of 20 straight Chanclas batters retired.

Poe issued a one-out walk to Anthony Forte and allowed an infield single to Jordan Thompson, giving the Chanclas hope for a comeback in their last at bat. But Ryan Flores popped out to center field for the second out.

On the last play, Forte was caught straying too far off second base. He was picked off to end it, giving Bombers pitching 17 straight scoreless innings over the last two games.

San Antonio and Brazos Valley will play once more in the regular season, on Sunday night in Bryan. Both have seven games left in the regular season.

In the TCL, the top two teams in both the North and South divisions reach the playoffs.

Behind Brazos Valley and San Antonio, Round Rock (13-10) and Acadiana (9-12) both remain in the postseason chase with a chance to finish second.

Acadiana beat Round Rock 3-0 on Friday night. But Round Rock rebounded to win 10-0 in the second game Saturday.

The series, being played in Acadiana’s home of Youngsville, La., will be completed on Sunday night.


San Antonio — 0 2 0
Brazos Valley — 4 11 0
Please click on the link for Saturday’s box score.


San Antonio 13-9
Brazos Valley 14-9

Coming up

San Antonio at Brazos Valley, 7:05 p.m., Sunday, in Bryan.

Down the stretch

After a day off on Monday, the Chanclas return home Tuesday for the first of three games at Wolff Stadium against the Amarillo Sod Squad. They finish the regular season with three against Round Rock.

On Friday July 31, the Chanclas will play at Round Rock’s Dell Diamond. On Saturday, Aug. 1, it’s Round Rock at San Antonio. On Sunday Aug. 2, the teams will return to Round Rock for the regular-season finale.


The Chanclas have been kept off the scoreboard three times this season, all on the road. In their two previous shutout losses, they fell 1-0 on a two-hitter at Amarillo on July 1. They lost 5-0 on a no-hitter at Acadiana on July 8.

Chanclas starter Lance Lusk wasn’t sharp, but he did complete five innings. He gave up two runs, only one of them earned, on eight hits. He walked two and struck out none.

Bombers right fielder Sean Arnold had a big night. On defense, he had an assist in throwing out a runner at third base to end the first inning. On offense, he went 2 for 3, scored a run and knocked one in. In the fourth inning, he slapped a single that scored Austin Bost.

Manny Garcia continued to torment the Chanclas with two hits and two RBI. In the opener of the series Tuesday in San Antonio, he homered and doubled and drove in five runs. He’s also made three diving catches in the outfield.

With Saturday’s performance, Brazos Valley has now won three of the five games in the head-to-head series against San Antonio.