SMITHVILLE -- An uncharacteristic lack of execution has Shiner a loss away from playoff elimination.
The Comanches missed opportunities on offense, made mistakes on defense, and had their usually reliable pitching go awry in 9-7 loss to Thorndale in Game 1 of their best-of-three Class 1A regional semifinal series Wednesday night at Tiger Field.
Thorndale approved to 27-5 and can wrap up the series when the teams return to Tiger Field for Game 2 on Saturday at 4 p.m. Game 3, if necessary, will be 30 minutes after the completion of Game 2.
Shiner (20-7) had leads of 3-0 and 5-4, but saw them disappear as the Bulldogs scored four runs in the fifth and took the lead for good by scoring five runs in the sixth.
"We talk about these things," Shiner coach Daniel Boedeker said. "We didn't get the job done early. When you play a good team like that, you can't let them hang around."
Shiner scored a run on a D.J. Pustka sacrifice fly in the first and added two on a sacrifice fly by Kyle Condel and RBI single by Ky Pohler in the fourth.
But Thorndale took the lead by scoring four runs on two hits on Shiner starter Colten Henley in the fifth.
The Comanches regained the lead in the top of the sixth on a two-run single by Ryan Kloesel.
But in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Bulldogs sent 10 batters to the plate and scored five times against relievers Condel and Kloesel.
Then, in the top of the seventh, the Comanches scored two runs with two outs on the board. The next two batters reached base safely and with runners on first and third and two outs, Thorndale reliever Victor Reyes got Kloesel to fly out to left field on the first pitch he threw.
"I think we might have got caught up in the moment," Boedeker said. "We just have to regroup and win Game 2 on Saturday."
REGIONAL SEMIFINAL - MAY 24, 2006 - GAME 1 OF 3 SCORE: F Shiner 1 0 0 2 0 2 2 -- 7 Thorndale 0 0 0 0 4 5 x -- 9 HIGHLIGHTS: Class 1A regional semifinal playoff, Game 1 in Smithville. Colten Henley, Kyle Condel (6), Ryan Kloesel (6) and Mark Casteel; Cirilo Reyes, Victor Reyes (7) and Jeffrey Hinistroza. WP: C. Reyes. LP: Condel (6-4). Save: V. Reyes. Highlights: (S) Kloesel 3-for-5, 2 RBIs; Ky Pohler 2-for-4, RBI. Records: Shiner 20-7, Thorndale 27-5. Notes: Thorndale leads best-of-three series 1-0. Game 2: 4 Saturday, 4 p.m., Smithville. Game 3, if necessary, to follow Game 2.