Austin American-Statesman On-Line

Thorndale routs Shiner to even Class A regional final
Bulldogs to play for state tournament berth today

Friday, June 1, 2007
Danny Davis, Austin American-Statesman Staff

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After being mostly dormant on Wednesday, Thorndale's slumbering bats got up early on Friday night.

Thorndale scored 10 runs in the first inning en route to a 14-1 victory over Shiner, evening their best-of-three Class A regional final series at one game apiece. Friday night's performance was in stark contrast to Wednesday, when the Bulldogs were held to a solitary run and four hits in a 5-1 loss.

The Comanches "came to play and we showed them we were here to play, too," Thorndale coach Kelly Kuhl said.

The third and deciding game of the series will be played at 4 p.m. today at Burger Field.

After falling behind 1-0 Friday in the first inning, Thorndale responded with a rally filled with a little bit of everything -- a Shiner error, two doubles, a triple, a hit batsman, a double steal, a bases-loaded walk and a questionable "safe" call at home -- to seize control.

Shiner starter Josh Nance faced nine batters and was able to record only one out before being pulled with the bases loaded. Nance's replacement, Julian Longoria, didn't fare much better, giving up a single and a triple on back-to-back pitches to clear the bases and give the Bulldogs a 9-1 advantage.

"We were just better prepared mentally today," said Thorndale shortstop Austin Falke.

The Bulldogs scored four more runs in the fourth inning, and the game ended midway through the fifth because of the 10-run rule.

Although Shiner's Kyle Condel -- who pitched 7 solid innings and struck out 13 batters in Wednesday's victory -- was available to pitch on Friday, he remained in the outfield throughout the game.

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