AUSTIN - Shiner left a late wake-up call, but arose in time to advance to the Class 1A final.
The Comanches overcame a nightmarish start and rallied for five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to claim an 8-7 semifinal win over Maud before 2,187 on Thursday morning at Disch-Falk Field.
"We never quit," said catcher Brady Strauss, who had one of Shiner's six consecutive one-out hits in the sixth. "No one doubted we could come back."
Shiner improved to 22-9 on the season and advanced to the state final against Follett (23-3), a 1-0 semifinal winner over Pineland West Sabine on Wednesday morning.
The Comanches will go after their fourth state championship today at 8 a.m. at Dell Diamond in Round Rock.
Shiner and Maud (24-3-2) were scheduled to play on Wednesday afternoon, but the game was postponed after a 31/2-hour rain delay.
The Comanches appeared to be sleepwalking in the first two innings, as they committed four errors and spotted the Cardinals a 5-0 lead.
"We were just a little excited," said Shiner coach Daniel Boedeker. "I think we were trying too hard to make things happen."
Shiner made one error that led to a Maud run in the first, and added three miscues in a four-run second inning.
"We just played like crud," Strauss said. "We didn't make the plays when we needed to."
Braden Brown started the game with a leadoff walk from Shiner starter Garet Pustka, went to third on a hit-and-run single by Phillip Marbut and continued home when left fielder's Marcos Lopez's throw to the infield bounced away from the cutoff man.
Shiner's misery continued with one out in the second inning when center fielder Chris Baer dropped a fly ball. Steven Atkinson followed with Maud's only hit of the inning, putting runners on first and third and setting up a double steal of home and second.
The Cardinals scored two more runs on an errant pick-off throw by Strauss that was followed by a Pustka throwing error on the same play. Shiner found itself facing a five- run deficit when Brown, who had walked for the second time, came home on one of Pustka's five wild pitches.
"There's no doubt we were keyed up to play yesterday (Wednesday)," Boedeker said. "We talked about getting refocused, but it still can be hard to do. I just told them that we had given them everything and if they were going to get anymore, we had to make them earn it."
The Comanches were also having a difficult time getting hits with men on base against Maud starter Trent White.
Shiner had five hits and through the first five innings and scored two runs in the third and one in the fifth. But the Comanches left six runners on base and went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
"Early in the game, we didn't get the big hits," Boedeker said. "The difference was we finally started getting the clutch hits."
Shiner's Chase O'Conner singled and scored in the third on a Maud error, and Shiner added a run on an RBI single by Pustka. Baer tripled to leadoff the fifth and scored on an error.
But the Cardinals added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, leaving the Comanches facing a four-run deficit entering the bottom of the sixth.
But after Dylan Hagens drew a lead-off walk and O'Conner hit into a fielder's choice, Shiner did not make an out until it had the lead.
Kloesel had an RBI double against White, who was relieved by Nick Yates. Baer followed with an infield single and Pustka hit a fly ball that carried to the fence in left field for a two-run double, before Russell Boothe singled to tie the game.
Boothe went to second on a single by Scott Shimek and scored the go-ahead run on Strauss' third single of the game.
"We were getting little hits and scoring a few runs early in the game," Strauss said. "It was just a matter of time before we got something going."
Shimek relieved Putska, who had struck out eight and walked four, to start the seventh inning.
"Garet was pretty tired," Boedeker said of Pustka, who threw 128 pitches. "He battled and kept us in the game, but I needed to make a change. I just told Scott to go out and have a good time and whatever happens, pitch your game."
Shimek had two walks and two strikeouts before getting Jamie Atkinson to ground to Kloesel at shortstop for the final out.
"We were just telling each other to keep chipping in runs," O'Connor said. "We finally got in the groove."
NOTES: Shiner will be the home team in the final...The game will be broadcast on KYKM, 92.5 FM and KTXM, 99.9 FM.
Game Summary: Score F Maud 1 4 0 0 1 1 0 -- 7 Shiner 0 0 2 0 1 5 0 -- 8
Complete UIL Box Score & StatsClass 1A semifinal Trent White, Nick Yates (6) and Chase Brint. Garet Pustka, Scott Shimek (7) and Brady Strauss. WP: Pustka (13-2). LP: Yates (5-2). Sv.: Shimek. Highlights: (S) Strauss 3-for-4, RBI; Chris Baer 2-for-4, 3 runs; Pustka 2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBIs; Chase O'Connor 1-for-2, 2 runs. Records: Maud 24-3-2, Shiner 22-9.