CONVERSE -- Winning the first game of a best-of-three series doesnít always translate into a series victory.
Shiner first baseman Matt Pohler, right, tags a DíHanis baserunner during the Comanchesí 12-3 Game Two loss to the Cowboys Saturday at Converse Judson. photo by Jason Chlapek
The Shiner baseball team found that out the hard way on Saturday. Two days after winning the opening game of their best-of-three series against DíHanis, the Comanches struggled to find any offense on Saturday as the Cowboys picked up a pair of wins -- 12-3 and 4-0 -- to claim a 2-1 series victory at Converse Judson.
DíHanis (27-5) advanced to the region final where it will face Fayetteville this weekend. Shiner ended its season with a 23-9 record.
DíHanis 4, Shiner 0
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi signee Kaleb Keith pitched a complete-game three-hitter and struck out 10 batters to lead the Cowboys to a 4-0 series-clinching victory over the Comanches in Game Three of the series. Keith, who also threw the first three innings of Game Two, pitched the maximum amount of innings -- 10 -- that the UIL allows a pitcher to throw in a single day.
"We had a series a couple of weeks ago where Kaleb didnít throw in the first game, and we were able to throw him for five innings in both games the next day," DíHanis coach Todd Craft said. "We were planning to throw him as much as we had to in the first game (Saturday), but it worked out where we had a big enough lead where we could pull him and save him for the second game."
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third inning. Clint Rothe hit a one-out single, Keith drew a walk and Chance Barrow drove both runners across the plate with a triple before scoring on a wild pitch to give DíHanis a 3-0 lead.
The Cowboys added another run in the fourth as Reid Harton scored on an error to cap the scoring. Shiner did not advance a runner past second base in Saturdayís nightcap.
"We got behind, tightened up at the plate and tried to do too much," Shiner coach Daniel Boedeker said. "We were never able to get ahead (Saturday). Our guys came to the game with a lot of intensity, but things just didnít go our way."
Game Three of the series was the final high school athletic contest for seven Shiner seniors. Blaine Caka, Jake Jalufka, Donovan Mardis, Nick Nevlud, Matt Pohler, Zach Reese and Ky Sandelovic all played their final games in a Shiner uniform.
"It was a privilege to coach these seniors," Boedeker said. "They were great leaders."
Pohler led the Comanches at the plate in Game Three as he went 2-for-2. Reese had Shinerís other hit as he went 1-for-3.
DíHanis 12, Shiner 3
DíHanis scored 10 runs in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings -- including six in the fourth -- as the Cowboys forced a decisive third game with a 12-3 Game Two victory Saturday.
DíHanis scored a run each in the second and third, six in the fourth and two each in the fifth and seventh.
Keith started the game and went three innings on the mound. He gave up three hits while striking out eight before giving way to Jackson Zerr, who closed out the game by pitching the final four innings.
Trailing 8-0 in the bottom of the fourth, the Comanches scored a trio of runs to get on the scoreboard. Cole Strauss reached on an error and Jacob Stafford hit a single before both runners scored on a double from Reese.
Reese, who pitched Game Two, made way for courtesy runner Kris Patek following his two-run double. Sandelovic drove Patek across the plate with a single to cut DíHanisí lead to 8-3.
Sandelovic led Shiner at the plate in Game Two as he went 3-for-3 with a walk, a double and an RBI. Reese went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.
Shiner 10, DíHanis 0
Sandelovic gave up one hit and struck out nine batters, and the Comanches scored 10 runs off of 11 hits to blast their way to a 10-0 victory over the Cowboys in the series opener Thursday at Judson. DíHanis had just two base runners on the night -- one on an error and the other on a two-out single in the bottom of the fifth.
"I really wanted the no-hitter," Sandelovic said. "But we still got the win. I just tried to put the ball over the plate and make them put it in play, but I ended up getting a lot of strikeouts."
Shiner wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. Cejka and Reese hit back-to-back singles before Donovan Mardis brought both runners across the plate with a double to give the Comanches a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the first.
"Itís very comfortable to pitch with a lead," Sandelovic said. "We came out energized and played that way throughout the game."
After retiring the first two batters in the top of the second, it appeared as if Cowboysí starter Clint Rothe was settling down. But he walked Jacob Stafford, hit Blaine Caka with a pitch and walked Cejka before allowing Stafford to score on a wild pitch, which prompted DíHanis coach Todd Craft to move Rothe off the mound in favor of Cody Zerr. While Zerr retired the only batter he faced in the second to keep the score at 3-0 after two innings of play, things didnít fare much better for him on the mound. Sandelovic hit the first pitch of the third inning over the leftfield wall to put his team up 4-0.
"(Zerr) put the pitch over the plate, I made contact and it went over the wall," Sandelovic said.
Matt Pohler reached base on a dropped third strike and moved to second on an errant pickoff attempt before scoring on a double from Austin Esse. Esseís hit gave Shiner a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third.
The Comanches nearly doubled their score in the fourth as they scored four runs to build a 9-0 lead. Caka walked and moved to third on a Cejka double before Reese sent both runners home on a double to make it 7-0.
Reese moved up to third on the play thanks to an errant cutoff throw and gave way for courtesy runner Kris Patek. Mardis walked and stole second before Pohler drove both Patek and Mardis across the plate with a single to make it 9-0.
Nathan Young relieved Zerr in the fifth, but Shiner still found a way to score. Cole Strauss led off the inning with an infield single and moved up to second on a Stafford sacrifice before scoring the final run of the contest on a Cejka double.
Cejka led all hitters as he went 3-for-3 with a walk, a pair of doubles and an RBI.
Reese (2-for-4, double, 2 RBIs), Strauss (2-for-3, double), Mardis (1-for-2, walk, double, 2 RBIs), Sandelovic (1-for-3, homerun, RBI), Esse (1-for-3, double, RBI) and Pohler (1-for-3, 2 RBIs) also performed well at the plate for Shiner.