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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Freshman pitcher Tyler Dobbs finds his rhythm on the mound

Bryan Chavez
Tyler Dobbs engages in his pitching motion during the bottom of the fifth inning on March 26 against OSU.

At the start of Wichita State baseball’s season, freshman pitcher Tyler Dobbs began to turn heads that he was the real deal. The 6-foot-3-inch lefty worked from being a reliever to a conference-game starter.

Pitching coach Anthony Claggett said that Dobbs’ early-season showing against Oral Roberts University opened up the eyes of the coaching staff. Dobbs pitched five complete innings, gave up one hit and struck out four batters after coming in relief.

“The opportunity to pitch in length, in a relief role during that outing, gave us a good vision to say, ‘Okay, Tyler can start,’” Claggett said. “That was a big moment for him and gave us some more confidence to put him in the role he’s in now.”

Thirteen appearances later, Dobbs holds a 5-3 record on the mound with a 3.57 ERA, 37 strikeouts and he has held his opponents’ batting average to just .217.

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“Honestly, I’m just playing loose,” Dobbs said. “I’ve had a couple of outings where it didn’t go my way, and they scored a couple runs. When that happens I’m like, ‘Okay, I need to make sure I lock in here and there’s a lot of game left,’ and I keep pitching. I let my talent do the job.”

Before his early success as a Shocker, Dobbs found his knack for baseball during high school. Growing up, he said he was always an athletic kid, playing football and basketball until eighth grade and switching to baseball during high school.

Dobbs grew up in Lewisville, Texas, which is 24 miles northwest of Dallas. It was during his childhood that he said his love for baseball grew, and he and a group of neighborhood friends would play what they called “tennis baseball.”

Dobbs attended Hebron High School, where he was ranked the No. 27-ranked pitcher and No. 245-ranked player in Texas, according to Perfect Game. As a junior, he was named Honorable Mention All-District, and as a senior, he was named Second Team All-District, bolstering a 1.54 ERA.

Through ups and downs, Dobbs said his mom has been his biggest supporter, and he often goes to her for motivation.

“The night before a game … she’ll call and talk to me about, ‘Hey, you just need to be calm, just breathe whenever something’s not going your way,’” Dobbs said.

As Dobbs continues to develop as a player, Claggett said that hitting the weight room will exponentially grow his game, adding velocity to his fastball and more deception in his off-speed pitches.

“I think it’s going to be really exciting when Tyler puts on 20 to 25 pounds,” Claggett said. “The looseness of his arm, the way his body works; when there’s strength behind it, … I think you’re going to be looking at something pretty special … the sky’s the limit on him.”

Claggett said Dobbs’ ceiling is “who knows?”

“We keep telling him this … but stay humble,” Claggett said. “Keep your head down, work and the next thing you know, you’ll look up and meet your dreams … the ceiling is inevitable, and we’ll see what happens.”

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About the Contributors
Owen Prothro
Owen Prothro, Assistant Sports Editor
Owen Prothro is the assistant sports editor for The Sunflower. Prothro uses he/him pronouns. This is Prothro's second semester on staff. Prothro is pursuing a degree in journalism and media production. Prothro's dream job is to be an in-the-field reporter for the Disc Golf Pro Tour.
Bryan Chavez
Bryan Chavez, Photographer
Bryan Chavez is a first-year photographer for The Sunflower. He is a freshman at Wichita State, majoring in Journalism and Media Production. Chavez is from Dallas, Texas, and wants to pursue a career as a professional sports photographer. Chavez's pronouns are he/him.

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