When Dylan Bein was four, his father Danny lightheartedly predicted his son was going to be a pitcher at a carnival.
The game was the common carnival attraction—throwing baseballs at stacked milk bottles to win a prize.
“There are all these guys, including me, taking the balls back and trying to hit the milk jugs off,” Danny said.
Four-year-old Dylan had three balls at his disposal. He hit every target he aimed for.
“All of us were standing around like, ‘You have to be kidding me,’” Danny said. “I thought, jokingly, and told his mom, ‘This kid’s going to be a pitcher.’”
Although it was originally intended as banter, the statement became true. Dylan grew up to be a good all-around athlete and ended up choosing baseball as his primary focus before he reached Vista Ridge High School.
“I was mainly taught my baseball through the Austin Wings, the summer program I played with,” Dylan said. “But at Vista Ridge, Coach Jason Bourgeois, he definitely knew how to push me and knew my potential. He was like a best friend to me on and off the field.”
Dylan said he accomplished a lot at Vista Ridge, but he regrets never winning a state championship. But Dylan realized baseball could take him through school and perhaps farther during his sophomore year. His dad noticed earlier.
“I remember when he was about five years old and I knew he was going to be a big kid and he was very athletic,” Danny said. “I thought, ‘This kid is going to do be able to do whatever he wants,’ and he could have.”
Dylan was recruited by schools from all over the region before picking Texas State, despite growing up in Austin and watching the Longhorns play at Disch-Falk Field just down the road.
“It’s right here close to home,” Dylan said. “I like the atmosphere, the river, the small college town. It’s not a big town, and it’s sort of like your own little home.”
His father, friends with Texas assistant coach Skip Johnson, came full circle on Dylan’s decision to attend Texas State. He says he could not be happier with the choice he made.
Even though he spends most of his time outdoors playing baseball, Dylan still prefers to be in the open in his spare time. He does not like being confined.
Being a starting pitcher comes with its perks and responsibilities. A pitcher has to be disciplined and adaptive, both common attributes necessary for hunting and fishing, two of Dylan’s hobbies.
“You definitely have to have patience,” Dylan said. “Fishing is all about doing the right thing at the right time, knowing when to go, and that’s how it relates to pitching.”
Picking and choosing, decision-making and accuracy relate to pitching as well as Dylan’s interests. When Dylan is on the mound, he waits for the right moment like he’s hunting.
“He just has an uncanny way, like nothing matters,” Danny said. “When he pitched against the Ragin’ Cajuns, the number one offense in the country, you can’t tell if Dylan’s up by 10 or down by 10.”
Dylan said he focuses on the tasks at hand and what his part is in the scheme of the game plan to pick up the victory for Texas State.
Dylan’s first season at Texas State has concluded, and he hopes to reach a Major League Baseball farm system through the draft.
“The main thing is watching the draft,” Dylan said. “The draft’s here in about a week. I mean, that’s all the motivation you can get.”
Follow Ishmael Johnson on Twitter: @Ish_46