The Shiner Comanches have had two days to forget what happened Wednesday night and to remember what's at stake today.
Shiner lefthander Colton Henley prepares to deliver a pitch earlier in Shiner's season. Henley is scheduled to pitch against Thorndale today. Harry Reese, Special to the Advocate
Shiner's chances of winning back-to-back Class 1A state championships and its third state title in four years will be on the line when it returns to Leroy Dryer Field on the campus of Blinn College in Brenham today at 2:30 p.m. for Game 2, and it hopes Game 3, of its best-of-three regional semifinal series against Thorndale.
The Bulldogs (28-4) put Shiner (25-4) into a must-win situation by claiming a 3-2 decision in Game 1 on Wednesday night and moved a win away from reversing last year's regional final series loss to the Comanches.
"We understand the situation but we're not going to put any extra pressure on ourselves," Shiner coach Daniel Boedeker said. "We know we have to come out and scratch for everything we can get. We just need to keep doing what we've been doing all season."
What Shiner can't do to have a chance of advancing to the regional final against the winner of the Ben Bolt-Brackett series is strike out 15 times like it did in Game 1.
"Throughout the year we've done a good job of putting the ball in play," Boedeker said. "I think a lot of what happened (in Game 1) was going up to the plate and trying to do too much. Rather than just put the ball in play, we were trying to make too many things happen. We've reminded them of those things to help them be successful."
Shiner received a solid pitching performance from Scott Shimek in Game 1 and was the beneficiary of outstanding defensive plays by shortstop Ryan Kloesel, right fielder Chase O'Connor, and second baseman Justin Joslin.
"I was happy with the way we played defensively and the way we pitched," Boedeker said. "We could have done a better job at the plate."
Left-hander Colton Henley will take the mound for Shiner in Game 2. Henley was the winning pitcher in Game 2 of Shiner's area playoff series against Benavides.
"He needs to hit his spots and change speeds," Boedeker said of Henley. "He's done that the last couple of games. He does not need to light the world on fire. He just needs to throw all three of his pitches for strikes and pitch his game."
With the exception of its single-game bi-district playoff against Fayetteville, Shiner will go into Game 2 against Thorndale facing possible elimination for the first time this season.
"I thought we had two real good practices," Boedeker said. "We know it's not over yet. You have to win two games to win a series. We're going in with the intention of doing that. We're going to play as hard as we can to push it to Game 3."
NOTES: Shiner will be the home team in Game 2...If Game 3 is necessary, the teams will flip a coin for home team...Ben Bolt defeated Brackett 7-3 in Game 1 on Thursday. Game 2 and 3, if necessary, will be played today at the San Antonio ISD Complex...Boedeker said he has reserved a number of fields in case of rain...The Thorndale-Shiner game will be broadcast on KTXM, 99.9 FM.