Shiner was two runs better than Thorndale over three games in their Region IV-A final playoffs series and it will be the Comanches going to state instead of the Bulldogs.
Shiner won game three 5-3 Saturday in Weimar, holding off Valente Reyes and the Bulldogs with some last inning heroics.
Thorndale had knotted the best two-of-three series 8-7 Friday, also at Weimar, holding off a late Shiner comeback. The Comanches won the series opener with a 6-5 come-from- behind thriller at Blinn College-Brenham on Wednesday.
GAME 1 -- COMEBACK
Shiner trailed 5-2 after Miles Grisham ripped a bases-loaded triple for Thorndale in the fourth but came roaring back with a 4-run frame that featured only one hit, a 2-run single by Chris Baer.
Pustka did not allow a hit after Grisham’s triple and the Comanches held on for the 6-5 win.
Jeffrey Kiesling slugged a 2-run double for Thorndale in the first.
Pustka threw 137 pitches and overcame seven hits and six walks to strand 10 Bulldog base runners. Three days later Pustka threw 109 pitches in Shiner’s series-clinching victory.
Game 1 Summary: F Thorndale 2 0 0 3 0 0 0 -- 5 Shiner 1 0 1 4 0 0 x -- 6
GAME 2 -- TIED
Thorndale’s series-tying win Friday saw the Dogs take a 7-1 lead into the fifth inning then hold on for an 8-7 win.
Shiner scored six runs in the final two innings but Thorndale got what proved to be the game winner in the sixth on an RBI double by Easton Falke.
The Dogs led 8-3 heading to the bottom of the seventh but Shiner scored four times, including Brady Strauss’ 2-run homer and put the tying run on base.
Bulldog pitcher Vicente Reyes got Dylan Hagens to bounce back to the mound to end the game.
Game 2 Summary: F Shiner 1 0 0 0 0 2 4 -- 7 Thorndale 2 3 0 2 0 1 0 -- 8
GAME 3 -- CLINCHER
Comanche pitcher Garet Pustka made one big mistake in Saturday’s third game and Bulldog slugger Reyes hit it over the right field fence, a 3-run homer that brought Thorndale to within 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth.
Reyes’ blast followed singles by Chris Gerren and Easton Falke.
But Pustka retired the next three batters and Shiner got one run back in the seventh on Pustka’s bloop single, a wild pitch and Scott Shimek’s single.
That left it up to Pustka in the bottom of the seventh and the Comanche pitcher was equal to the task, getting the final two outs on a double play by third baseman Russell Boothe and first baseman Shimek.
Thorndale ends the season 26-6 while 21-9 Shiner advances to the Class A state tourney to play Maud at 2 p.m. Wednesday (June 9) at Disch-Falk Field in Austin.
Game 3 Summary: F Shiner 0 2 0 0 1 1 1 -- 5 Thorndale 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 -- 3
THE ROCKDALE REPORTER
P.O. Box 552
Rockdale, Tx 76567-2972