SHINER - A usually solid team at the plate, Shiner mustered only four hits in a 6-3 win over Benavides in Game 1 of their best-of-three Class 1A regional quarterfinal series.
Shiner's Chris Baer slides across home plate with a first-inning run in the Comanches' victory Friday night in Game 2 of their best-of-three Class lA playoff series against Benavides. Harry Reese, Special to the Advocate
After a little work, the Comanches proved that they can put together a bit of hitting behind great pitching as they ousted the Eagles from the playoffs with a 9-2 rout on Friday night in Game 2.
Shiner (25-3) advances to face the winner of the Thorndale-D'Hanis series, which concludes today. Benavides ends its season at 22-7.
The Comanches pounded out 10 hits, highlighted by Jared Boedeker's two-run, 355-foot blast that extended the Shiner lead to 8-0.
Boedeker finished the night 2-for-4 and was one of eight Comanches to record a hit. Mark Casteel was also 2-for-3 and drove in three runs, and Scott Shimek and Chris Baer each had a hit and scored two runs.
"One of the keys was that we struck out too many times last game, and we knew we needed to hit the ball better than in the first game," Shiner coach Daniel Boedeker said.
Shiner also took advantage of more Benavides errors. After committing seven in Game 1, the Eagles put up five more in the second game.
But after Shiner got on the board, the night belonged to another Shiner pitcher. Starter Colton Henley struck out 14 in seven innings, yielding only five hits and only one runner past second base until the fifth inning.
To go with Henley's strikeouts, he kept the ball down and forced the Eagles to hit the ball on the ground. All but one out -- a diving Baer catch in front of the backstop in the first -- was recorded via the strikeout or ground ball.
"He mixed up his pitches well, and he got ahead of the hitters," Boedeker said. "He's a real competitor."
Henley also kept himself from trouble virtually the entire night as he picked off two runners on first base and struck out the side in the second after giving up a leadoff double to Caesar Gonzalez. Both of Benavides' runs came with two outs in the fifth inning after a dropped fly ball to right plated a pair of Eagle runners.
Other than the outfield error, Henley was backed up by his nearly flawless defense. After Baer's snag, Geoffrey Bennett tried to string a first-inning double into a triple with two outs but was nailed by Shiner cutoff man Ryan Kloesel to end the small threat.
Shiner came to the plate and quickly scored three runs. Chris Baer was hit on the forearm by the first pitch he saw, stole second and scored on a Kloesel RBI single through the hole at short. Shimek, who singled, and Kloesel both advanced on a pickoff throw that went astray and eventually scored on a Mark Casteel two-run double.
They scored three more in the third off a Dylan Hagens RBI double and a single by Casteel, who later scored on a wild pitch. A Baer RBI single in the fifth tacked on Shiner's 10th run.
With a slew of run support, Henley cruised through the Benavides order, never allowing more than one runner to reach base in any inning but the two-run fifth. He ended the game just how he began it -- with a strikeout.
SCORE: F Benavides 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 -- 2 Shiner 3 0 3 2 1 0 0 -- 9 HIGHLIGHTS: Class 1A Area Playoff Jose Martinez and Joe Pena. Colton Henley and Chris Baer. WP: Henley. LP: Martinez. Highlights: (S) Jared Boedeker 2-run HR; Mark Casteel 2-for-3, 3 RBIs, 2B; Baer 1-for-3, RBI, 2 runs; Scott Shimek 1-for-3, 2 runs. Note: Shiner wins series 2-0.