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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Former Bobcat Tristan Stivors drafted to Chicago White Sox

Texas+State+Baseball+senior+closing+pitcher+Tristan+Stivors+%2813%29+and+his+teammates+return+to+the+dugout+after+the+eighth+inning+with+three+outs+to+go+to+defeat+the+Cardinal+in+game+four+of+the+NCAA+Stanford+Regional%2C+Saturday%2C+June+5%2C+2022%2C+at+Klein+Field+at+Sunken+Diamond+in+Palo+Alto%2C+Calif.+The+Bobcats+won+5-2%2C+sending+Texas+State+Baseball+to+an+NCAA+Regional+final+for+the+first+time+in+its+program+history.

Texas State Baseball senior closing pitcher Tristan Stivors (13) and his teammates return to the dugout after the eighth inning with three outs to go to defeat the Cardinal in game four of the NCAA Stanford Regional, Saturday, June 5, 2022, at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto, Calif. The Bobcats won 5-2, sending Texas State Baseball to an NCAA Regional final for the first time in its program history.

After former Texas State closer Tristan Stivors was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 16th round this summer, Bobcat baseball head coach Steve Trout had one message for the 2022 collegiate saves leader: enjoy the ride and make the most out of it.

Stivors and Trout both had the most memorable and successful year of their careers. Trout was a mentor to Stivors as he underwent the behind-the-scenes process of being scouted by pro teams, and Stivors was Trout’s most reliable arm out of the bullpen en route to the first regional championship game in program history.

Trout, recipient of the Ron Maestri Sun Belt Coach of the Year award, was the leader and mastermind behind the historic 2022 baseball season but he gives his thanks and credit to his players.

“They are the ones that win games and give everything to this program,” Trout said in a press release.

The deep playoff run was also part of Texas State being awarded the Vic Bubas Cup, an award given to the top athletic program in the Sun Belt Conference. Texas State President Kelly Damphousse spoke for the baseball program and the athletics department as a whole when he said he wants a continuation of individual successes like Stivors and overall athletic excellence to continue.

“We want to keep doing this,” Damphousse said. “We’ve got great athletic programs… our baseball team almost won the World Series [NCAA Regional].”

Stivors was a key cog in the machine that was the 2022 Bobcat baseball team and was the Bobcat called upon to pitch in big late-inning situations. Stivors was the first consensus All-American in program history due to leading the nation in saves and posting impressive strikeout numbers.

Despite his long list of accolades, he credits his teammates for the success they had last season.

“We had an incredible season, nobody is gonna tell you otherwise,” Stivors said. “I’m gonna remember those guys for the rest of my life… there’s no doubt that most of those guys are probably gonna be at my wedding or in my wedding one day.”

Now a member of the Chicago White Sox organization, Stivors will be faced with demanding obstacles to overcome to reach the majors. His journey in baseball thus far, however, has better prepared him mentally and physically to overcome the challenges pro baseball has to offer.

Before playing at Texas State, Stivors played baseball at New Mexico Junior College for two years. Although the majority of his pro looks came from his time at Texas State, he said the grind of junior college baseball is much more comparable to the minor league grind than to Texas State.

“It’s strictly just baseball,” Stivors said. “Along the lines of practices, games and just the atmosphere, it’s a lot like junior college.”

In Stivors’ time so far in the minors, he has had the luxury of top-tier training facilities, but not the attendance or mode of travel he had at Texas State. Texas State baseball also provides their players with state-of-the-art training facilities, but flies players to away games and has fans consistently attend home games.

From traveling to different schools and pitching in the most attended game in school history against the University of Texas to now taking long bus rides and pitching in the sparsely attended low minors, the mentally grinding experience of “strictly just baseball” is nothing new to Stivors.

While pitching at New Mexico Junior College, Stivors got his first taste of the scouting process. Not only did he catch the attention of college teams wanting his powerful fastball and devastating slider, but he also received the attention of his current home: the White Sox.

Stivors said the White Sox were the team he’d been in contact with the most throughout his collegiate baseball career, and it was no surprise when he got drafted by the organization.

“Going into day three [of the draft] the White Sox called me before the draft… and they were like ‘okay, be ready for your name to be called.’ And then once that round came they called me, and here I am now,” Stivors said. “It just felt right.”

Once Stivors got the call, former teammates and coaches didn’t hesitate to reach out with their support and congratulations.

“I’ve been getting a bunch of support from all over,” Stivors said. “From the community, my teammates, from everybody.”

 

Stivors’ first assignment in the White Sox rookie ball affiliate, where he tossed an immaculate inning of three strikeouts on nine pitches, led to a quick promotion to the next stage of the process, Single-A.

A pitching philosophy of consistent strike throwing and pounding the strike zone is something that is adopted by both the Texas State baseball program and the White Sox organization and sets Stivors up for a continuation of bullpen dominance.

“The philosophy is still the same here [in the minor leagues],” Stivors said. “You gotta throw strikes to get outs.”

Stivors’ former Bobcat teammate and 2022 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year Dalton Shuffield also shared the experience of being drafted, with Shuffield going in the tenth round to the Minnesota Twins.

Interestingly, a potential matchup between Stivors and Shuffield could be in the making with the Twins and White Sox sharing the AL Central division.

Stivors said that if he were to face Shuffield, he would strike him out in three pitches

“I know what his strengths are, I know what his weaknesses are,” Stivors said. “Honestly, I hope I get to face Shuffield.”

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