AUSTIN - Everything Shiner coach Daniel Boedeker said the Comanches needed to do against Thorndale, they didn't. Everything Boedeker said the Comanches couldn't do against the Bulldogs, they did.
Shiner's D.J. Pustka slides safely into home as Thorndale catcher Jeff Hinistroza attempts to tag him out. Hinistroza dropped the ball during the tag, allowing Pustka to score Shiner's lone run in its 14-1 loss on Friday. photo by Harry Reese, Special to the Advocate
Thorndale made Shiner pay for each mistake and lapse of judgment and ran off with a 14-1 win in Game 2 of the Class 1A regional final series in a game stopped after 4 1/2 innings because of the 10-run mercy rule on Friday night at Burger Center.
The Bulldogs improved to 23-4 while evening the best-of-three series at a game apiece. The teams will play Game 3 today at 4 p.m. at Burger Center with the winner claiming a berth in next week's state tournament.
Shiner (27-3) looked nothing like the team that captured a 5-1 win in Game 1. The Comanches had two runners thrown out on the bases in the top of the first inning and made some critical fielding mistakes and mental errors that allowed Thorndale to score 10 runs in the bottom of the first.
"All the little things we talk about can become something real big when you play a good team like that," Boedeker said. "We made some errors and missed some spots with our pitches and they turned it into a big inning."
The Comanches grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on consecutive one-out singles by D.J. Pustka, Kyle Condel and Mark Casteel but missed a chance to score more runs against Thorndale starter Josh Culp.
Condel was thrown out at third by catcher Jeff Hinistroza after going too far off the bag with courtesy runner Adam Kalich breaking for second. Kalich was called out at the plate over the protest of Boedeker trying to score on Kevin Patek's chopper that was misplayed by second baseman Joe Salinas.
It took Thorndale only three batters to gain the lead and the Bulldogs sent seven batters to the plate against Shiner starter Josh Nance before recording an out. Nance was relieved by Julian Longoria after walking Salinas with the bases loaded and Thorndale sent 13 batters to the plate and scored five more runs before the inning was over.
"It was one of those games when they came out early swinging the bats," Boedeker said. "We were playing catch-up the rest of the way."
Thorndale had one hit after the first inning and only out-hit Shiner six to four, but the Comanches committed three errors and their pitchers issued three walks and hit three batters. Shiner had base runners in every inning but the second but was unable to score after the first inning.
"We hit some balls hard but they were right at them," Boedeker said. "We had some good at-bats and I told the guys we can build on that. We just got too far behind too early."
Thorndale ensured the game would end early when it scored four times on only one hit in the fourth inning, leaving the Comanches in the same position they faced in their area series against Normangee.
"I told them we just have to regroup," Boedeker said. "There's nothing we can do about this game. We need to correct our mistakes and not dwell on what happened. We just have to get ready for tomorrow."
NOTES: Thorndale won the coin flip and will be the home team for Game 3 ... Game 3 will be broadcast on KYKM, 92.5 FM and KTXM, 99.9 FM.
Game summary Game of June 1, 2007 Score F Shiner 1 0 0 0 0 -- 1 Thorndale 10 0 0 4 0 -- 14 Highlights Class 1A Regional Final Game 2 at Austin Burger Center Josh Nance, Julian Longoria (1), Ryan Lawrence (4) and Mark Casteel. Josh Culp and Jeff Hinistroza. WP: Culp. LP: Nance (4-2). Highlights: (S) Casteel 2-for-2, RBI; Kyle Condel 1-for-1; D.J. Pustka 1-for-3, run. (T) Austin Falke 2-for-3, 3B, RBI, 3 runs; Hinistroza 1-for-1, 2B, 3 RBIs. Records: Shiner 27-3; Thorndale 23-4. Series tied 1-1. Game 3 today at 4 p.m. at Burger Center.