Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Talented Wulfert focused on winning with Chaps this season

Big things are expected out of Midland College baseball player Tyler Wulfert this season.

The shortstop out of Farmington, New Mexico, who is still classified as a freshman after the NJCAA granted student-athletes an extra year of eligibility because of the pandemic, comes in with plenty of accolades.

Last season, the Oklahoma State signee had a great first year with the 29-16 Chaparrals as he batted .391 with six home runs, 39 RBI, 60 runs scored and 14 stolen bases to earn first-team All-Western Junior College Athletic Conference honors.

He comes into this season rated as one of the top junior college players in the nation by several publications and The JBB – The Official Home for Junior College Baseball lists him as an NJCAA Division I preseason All-American.

While the praise is nice, Wulfert, who displays a quiet confidence about him, remains humble and is only focused on one thing this season.

“I just want to win, that’s all I care about,” Wulfert said. “All I want to do is win games and build better relationships.”

The Chaps will have a good chance to win plenty of games this year as Wulfert leads a group of seven position players returning from last year, along with some veteran pitching talent, sprinkled in with some newcomers on the field and on the mound.

“I’m ready. I think we’re ready as a team,” Wulfert said. “The chemistry is what I like most. We all work well together. We’ve got great pitching, great leaders.

“Experience is a big difference from last year. We’re an older squad and I think we have a little bit more pitching this year, more depth.”

MC head coach Hector Rodriguez said Wulfert is one of those players, along with returning players Luke Bumpus, Ryan Blackwell, Caleb Heuertz and Chris Garcia, who other players look up to on the team.

“He’s a guy that puts his head down and goes to work,” Rodriguez said. “He will do anything for us to win, can play multiple positions. He will hit in the middle of the order and have an impact every game. He’s definitely one of our top returning guys.

“He could go out and be the junior college player of the year if he really wanted to. He’s capable of doing that, in my opinion. There are people who rank him as one of the top position players in the country.”

Wulfert said he takes pride in being a leader.

“Being a leader and guiding the younger teammates is important,” he said. “Hopefully they can look up to me and I can lead by example.”

Wulfert said because of the year of junior college experience under his belt, he feels more prepared this season.

“I think I’m a more experienced hitter, especially against more advanced pitching,” Wulfert said. “In high school, you didn’t see that pitching all the time. Last year, I got the experience of facing that kind of pitching. This year I also want to be more aggressive on the base paths and just improving my fielding.”

He added that signing early with OSU should help him relax more this season and help him focus on his number one goal for the 2022 season, and that is to win.

“I just love the game, I love the relationships that you get from it,” Wulfert said. “We’re ready to get after it.”

Follow Oscar on Twitter: @OLeRoy_MRT

2022 CHAPS AT A GLANCE

Coaches: Hector Rodriguez (116-67 in four seasons as head coach)

2021 records: 29-16 overall, 18-6 in WJCAC (2nd)

Key players lost: All-WJCAC P Bo Blessie (Texas Tech), All-WJCAC C Jared Gibson (LCU), LHP-OF Cameron Dayton (Texas)

Key returners: All-WJCAC SS Tyler Wulfert (Oklahoma State signee), All-WJCAC and All-Region V OF Luke Bumpus (TCU signee), RHP Luke Young (Oklahoma State signee), LHP Alizaeh Gutierrez, C Ryan Blackwell (Oral Roberts signee), All-WJCAC honorable mention INF Garrett Williams, OF Chris Garcia, INF Gibrian Pena, OF Calen Heuertz (Angelo State signee), All-WJCAC honorable mention RBP Luis Rodriguez (Incarnate Word signee), OF-RHP Jarek Wells (Houston Baptist signee) , RHP Derek Klosowski

Key newcomers: INF Rhett Clark, INF Frayner Chavez, CP-INF Hudson Parker, INF-OF Justin Rumfield

Coach’s quote: “The strengths of this team are character, leadership and makeup. It’s a really good group of student athletes. We got strengths on the mound, we have strengths position player-wise and I think our guys know that to be able to handle the ups and downs of long spring. I like our chances in the fact that we have quality makeup kids who are talented.”

Note: Rodriguez said the fall season was good and the Chaps’ six-week conditioning window which went through the Christmas break also went well. “The first week back of practice was good. I like where we are, I think the guys like where they are,” Rodriguez said. “I know we’re not where we want to be yet, but the guys are excited to get started.” … Newcomer Frayner Chavez is the younger brother of former MC standout shortstop Frainyer Chavez, who was a 22nd round draft pick by the Texas Rangers in the 2018 draft. … The WJCAC schedule will be back to full strength this season after New Mexico Junior College and El Paso Community College opted out of playing last year because of the pandemic.

2022 Midland College Baseball Roster

No. Name Item B/T Class. Ht./Wt. hometown

1 Tyler Wulfert INF/OF R/R C-Fr. 6-1 190 Farmington, NM

2 Jesse Benavidez INF R/R C-Fr. 5-8 175 SanAntonio

3 Garrett Williams INF R/R C-Fr. 5-10 185 Grand Prairie

4 Landon Pyles INF R/R Fr. 5-7/156 New Braunfels

5 Ryan Blackwell C R/R C-Fr. 5-11/210 Amarillo

6 Luke Bumpus OF R/L C-Fr. 5-10/181 Wylie

7 Franyer Chavez INF R/R Fr. 5-8/145 Little Elm

8 Hudson Parker C/P/INF R/R Fr. 6-0/162 Rowlett

10 Evan Hebert P R/R Fr. 5-11/160 Richardson

11 Chris Garcia OV R/R C-Fr. 5-11/180 DeSoto

12 Caleb Heuertz OV/P R/R C-Fr. 5-10/175 San Angelo

13 Rhett Clark INF R/R Fr. 6-0/183 Midland

14 Tyler Boudreau P R/R Fri. 5-11/172 Nova Scotia, Canada

15 Alizaeh Gutierrez P R/L C-Fr. 5-9/162 El Paso

16 Gibrian Pena INF L/R C-Fr. 5-9/200 Odessa

17 Marshall Ingram C R/R C-Fr. 5-10/187 Houston

18 Luis Rodriguez P R/R C-Fr. 6-0/225 Denver City

19 Evan Ballast INF/P R/R Fr. 6-2/193 Wylie

20 Jarek Wells OV/P R/R C-Fr. 6-1/197 San Antonio

21 Matthew Sandoval P/OF L/L C-Fr. 5-7/157 Uvalde

22 Justin Rumfield INF/OF R/R Fr. 6-1/197 Denton

23 Roman Thompson OV R/R C-Fr. 5-9/190 Lubbock

24 Aaron Oropeza C R/R Fri. 5-9/186 El Paso

25 Michael Weidner C L/R Fr. 6-2/175 Midland

27 Luke Young P R/R C-Fr. 6-0/198 San Angelo

29 Tate Van Poppel P R/R C-Fr. 6-0/198 Bartonville

30 Aaron Molina P/INF R/R C-Fr. 5-8/168 El Paso

31 Josh Doelitsch P R/R C-Fr. 6-5/173 jumps

32 Derek Klosowski P R/R C-Fr. 6-1/185 San Antonio

33 batters Mitchell P R/R Fr. 6-3/192 Lubbock

34 Ryan McAffrey P R/R Fri. 6-2/243 New Braunfels

43 Michael Lindsey P R/R 6-7/262 Flower Mound

Head coach: Hector Rodriguez

Assistant coach: Nolan Fanning

Volunteer assistant coach: Nolan Grebeck

Volunteer assistant coach: Brady Roper

2022 Midland College Baseball Schedule

Date Opponent Time

Jan 29 a-Alvin CC 6 pm

Jan 30a-Alvin CC (DH) noon

Feb 4 Wayland Baptist (DH) 1 pm

Feb 11 at McLennan CC (DH) noon

Feb. 12 at Ranger College (DH) noon

Feb 18 Vernon College (DH), 2 pm

Feb 19 Seward CC (DH) noon

Feb 23 North Central Texas (DH) 1 pm

Feb 25 Dodge City CC 6 pm

Feb 26 Dodge City CC (DH) 2 pm

Feb. 27 Dodge City CC 11 am

March 11 New Mexico JC* (DH) noon

March 12 at New Mexico JC* (DH) 1 pm

March 15 Western Texas College 2 pm

March 18 at Howard College* (DH) noon

March 19 Howard College* (DH) noon

March 25 New Mexico Military* (DH) noon

March 26 New Mexico Military* (DH) noon

April 1 at Odessa College* (DH) noon

April 2 Odessa College* (DH) noon

April 5 Howard College 3 pm

April 8 Clarendon College* (DH) noon

April 9 Clarendon College* (DH) noon

April 14 at Frank Phillips* (DH) noon

April 15 at Frank Phillips* (DH) noon

April 20 Odessa College 3 pm

April 29 Western Texas College* (DH) noon

April 30 at Western Texas College* (DH) noon

May 6 at El Paso CC* (DH) 1 pm

May 7 at El Paso CC* (DH) 1 pm

a-at UT-San Antonio

*Denotes WJCAC opponent

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