Shiner Gazette
Comanches battle their way to
State Championship

State SemiFinal and Final Games

June 10 and June 11, 2004

Semi-Final Game vs. Maud   |   Championship Game vs. Follett
All-State Tournament & MVP   |   Shiner Comanche Baseball   |   Return to Shiner Home Page

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State Champs
The Shiner Comanches won the Class 1A Baseball State Championship last Friday with a 13-3, 5-inning victory over the Follett Panthers at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. Despite several rain delays, the Comanches battled their way to the state final with a 8-7 win over the Maud Cardinals. Above, Chris Baer, Dylan Hagens, Garet Pustka, Brady Strauss, Marcus Lopez and Jared Boedeker hoist the state trophy in victory.
all photos by Shiner Gazette
If ever there was a doubt that the Shiner Comanches were a hitting team, that doubt was washed away last week at the state baseball tournament in Austin and Round Rock.

The Comanches banged out a total of 24 hits in the two games and came away with an 8-7 win over Maud and a 13-3 win over Follett to claim the State Class 1A championship.

It was Shiner's fourth state title, the last one being in 2002 when Steve Cerny was head coach and Daniel Boedeker was assistant. This time around it was Boedeker as head coach and Cerny as assistant.

After having to wait around all day Wednesday due to the rain and finally cancellation of play, the semifinal was played on Thursday at Disch-Falk Field.

The Comanches survived an early game scare against the Maud Cardinals, spotting the No. 1 team in Class A a 5-0 lead, before coming back with a sixth inning hitting attack that erased the deficit and earned a trip to the championship game.

"We were pretty excited and emotional before the Wednesday scheduled game and after the rain-out we had to refocus and regroup," said Coach Boedeker.

The kids did that and once they got their hitting game going it took them to the title game against Follett, a 1-0 semi-final winner over Pineland West Sabine on Wednesday morning.

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SEMI-FINAL GAME -- Shiner 8, Maud 7

Maud, which was making it's seventh trip to the UIL baseball tournament, took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an opening walk a single and an error.
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Coach Daniel Boedeker (5) had some sharp words for his infielders during the error riddled second inning of the game against Maud when the Cardinals went up 5-0 on only two hits. The coach's words seemed to make an impression as the Comanches buckled down and went on to win 8-7.

In the second inning the Cardinals sent seven batters to the plate and upped their lead to 5-0, taking advantage of three errors and a passed ball.

Coach Boedeker made a trip to the mound midway through the inning for a pow-wow with the entire infield to settle them down.

"I told them that we had given Maud all their runs and it was time we made them earn them," said Boedeker.
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Jamie Atkinson (6) scores when the throw to the plate takes a bad hope in front of catcher Brady Strauss.

Giving the No. 1 team five runs in two innings looked pretty dim for Shiner but as Boedeker said, "We played one inning at a time and the kids never gave up." Brady Strauss got Shiner's first hit in the second inning but was left stranded.

In the third inning Chase O'Connor opened with a single. A walk to Ryan Kloesel put runners on first and second. Chris Baer then hit a grounder to short to force Kloesel, but the throw to first to try to get Baer was high and O'Connor scored, while Baer took second. Garet Pustka then singled to left center to score Baer and Shiner was on the scoreboard.

An RBI single by Nick Yates scored Philip Marbut in the fifth to give the Cards a 6-2 lead.
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Although the photo shows otherwise Maud's Braden Brown was called safe on this Pustka-to-Shimek pick off try at first.

Baer opened the bottom of the inning with a triple off the left field wall. Pustka hit a sharp grounder to the shortstop who threw high to first. Baer scored on the bad throw and Pustka went to second. With two outs Strauss beat out an infield grounder sending Pustka to third but both were stranded as Jared Boedeker flied out for the third out.

Maud struck back in the sixth with a run on one hit, a walk and sacrifice fly to make it a 7-3 game.

Shiner bats finally came alive in the bottom of the inning with six hits and the Comanches brought home the runners taking an 8-7 lead.

Dylan Hagens opened with a walk but was forced on a grounder by O'Connor who then went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Kloesel's double.
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Chris Baer rounds third on Pustka's double off the wall in the sixth inning against Maud.

Maud made a pitching change, bringing in Nick Yates to relieve starter Trent White. Baer hit Yates' second pitch for an infield single. Pustka then belted a double off the left field wall scoring Kloesel and Baer. Russell Boothe singled to score Pustka with the tying run.

Scott Shimek continued the hitting streak with a single to left. With runners on first and second, Strauss hit a grounder up the middle scoring Boothe with the go-ahead run.

Yates finally put out the fire with two strikeouts to end the inning but not until Shiner had struck quickly and decisively to take the lead.

Shimek relieved Pustka on the mound in the seventh and worked out of a Cardinal threat to save the win. Shimek walked two and struck out two before getting Jamie Atkinson to ground out for the third out.
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Chase O'Connor (14) gets congratulations from Garet Pustka after scoring against Maud.

"Pustka did a great job for us keeping us in the game," said Boedeker. "We just didn't help him early. And Shimek did a good job closing it out. I told him just pitch your game and stay in control."

Pustka gave up three earned runs, five hits, walked four and struck out eight. At the plate Pustka had two hits and three RBIs.

"The key to this game was keeping our composure, keeping our heads. We created a few problems at the beginning but after that talk the kids settled down.

"They never gave up, they never doubted they could come back and they did it in the sixth."

It took a while, but perhaps Baer said it best following the big inning when he remarked, "It's about time."

  Maud   140 011 0 -- 7  5 2
  Shiner 002 015 x -- 8 11 4

Complete UIL Semi-Final Box Score & Stats
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CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL GAME -- Shiner 13, Follett 3

After a 90 minute rain delay in the start of the championship game on Friday at Dell Diamond in Round Rock and a short break in the play in the first inning due to more rain, the Comanches had to rally from a 2-run, 2-hit, 2-error first inning that gave the Follett Panthers a 2-0 lead.
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Scott Shimek goes into his windup against a Panther batter. Shimek went the distance in the 13-3 championship win over Follett. The day before, Shimek relieved Garet Pustka in the semi-final against Maud and got the final three outs for the save.

Scott Shimek struck out the first two batters but an error opened the way for the Panthers who sent six batters to the plate. Back-to-back singles by Jared Robertson and Tanner Woods and another throwing error brought two runners across the plate. Shimek got the final out on a strikeout.

But this time the Comanches wasted no time in striking back.. They came right back in the bottom of the first with three runs on four hits sparked by a 2-run home run by Russell Boothe.

Baer led off with a single. He then had to tag up on a fly ball by Pustka to the center fielder who dropped the ball but recovered in time to force Baer at second.

Boothe then sent Cody Freeman's first pitch over the left field wall scoring Pustka ahead of him. Shimek followed with a single and Jared Boedeker drilled a double off the wall in left to score A.J. Perez who was running for Shimek.

"The home run was a big hit. It swung the momentum and everyone started hitting," said Boedeker.

Shiner took a 3-2 lead and never looked back.

Follett tied it for a brief moment in the second on an RBI double by Freeman but the Comanches were relentless at the plate with five runs on four hits in the bottom of the inning off starter Freeman (10-0) and reliever Jared Robertson.
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Follett's Shayne Dunham scrambles back to first as Garet Pustka makes the late tag on a pickoff attempt.

Robertson led the Panthers to a 1-0, 1-hit shutout over West Sabine on Wednesday in their semi-final. The pitching change didn't deter the Comanches.

A walk to O'Connor and a double by Kloesel put runners on second and third and brought in Robertson to face Chris Baer. Baer, who was named MVP of the tournament, blasted a double down the third base line, scoring O'Connor and Kloesel.

Pustka drew a walk and Boothe followed with a bloop single to load the bases. Strauss then drove in two more runs with a single. Boothe scored on an error on Boedeker's infield grounder before a double play ended the inning.

Shimek gave up a single to Justin Blau in the third but picked him off first base.. He then struck out two to end the inning. Shimek, who had 10 strikeouts in the game, struck out another pair in the fourth. Shiner sealed the 10-run rule win in the fourth with five runs for a 13-3 score.

Pustka reached on an error and Boothe was hit by a pitch. Strauss came up with his fifth hit of the tournament, a single to score both runners. Strauss was forced at second on a fielder's choice grounder by Boedeker. Dylan Hagens then slapped a double and O'Connor walked to load the bases.

Boedeker scored on Kloesel's infield hit and Baer finished the inning with a 2-RBI shot to right to give Shiner a 10-run lead.
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Ryan Kloesel gets set to make the long throw to first as a Panther runners goes to third.

Shiner needed three outs to claim the gold. Shimek walked the first batter, got the next one to fly out to Baer, struck out the third hitter and got the third out on a ground ball.

Shimek, who gave up four hits and struck out 10, said he really didn't get tired. "Once we got past the first inning and we started hitting the ball my pitches started falling into place."

"We came out today, made some mistakes, settled down, kept our confidence and composure and got the win," said Boedeker after the game.

"These are some tremendous athletes, lots of heart and not an ounce of quit. We had problems early but we all know it's not how you start but how you finish.

"We told them this had to be a team effort. We played one game at a time. We got the hits today and everything fell into place.

"This is just awesome. I am so proud. You can't replace this feeling," he concluded with a smile.
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Seniors Marcus Lopez, Garet Pustka and Brady Strauss are all smiles as they show off their gold medals after winning the Class 1A baseball championship.

"Coming back in the semi-final game and winning gave us a lot of confidence that we could win it all," added Baer, who finished the tournament with five hits and four RBIs.

Strauss also had five hits and set a Class 1A state tournament record hitting .714.

Every one of the Comanches who came to the plate got at least one hit and scored a run.

The seniors, Garet Pustka, Brady Strauss and Marcus Lopez, all agreed, "It was a great way to end our senior year."

In a post game interview, Follett coach Rob Buffa said Shiner was the best hitting team they have seen all year.

Shiner ends the season with a 23-9 record. Garet Pustka, who pitched six innings against Maud, upped his season record to 13-2. Shimek picked up the save for Pustka and upped his record to 8-4-1 with the championship win.

  Follett   210 00 --  3  4 2
  Shiner    350 5x -- 13 13 4

Complete UIL Championship Box Score & Stats Shiner dominates All-State Tournament & MVP Picks

Semi-Final Game vs. Maud   |   Championship Game vs. Follett
All-State Tournament & MVP   |   Shiner Comanche Baseball   |   Return to Shiner Home Page

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