Mike Forman is a sports writer for The Victoria Advocate.
Shiner head baseball coach Daniel Boedeker -- 2004 Advocate All-Area BASEBALL COACH OF THE YEAR photo by Victoria Advocate
The Victoria Advocate All-Area first team included 12 seniors and three juniors. Shiner led the way with three selections, while Memorial, East Bernard, and Weimar each had two.
The first-team pitching staff included seniors Kenn Kasparek of Weimar, Jake Friemel of Memorial, Garet Pustka of Shiner, Josh Gray of Gonzales, and Bradley Wesson of Sacred Heart.
Kasparek, who was drafted in the 41st round by the Chicago Cubs, will attend the University of Texas on a baseball scholarship. He had a 7-6 record with a 0.89 ERA, and had 146 strikeouts in 71 innings.
Friemel will attend TCU on a baseball scholarship. He went 10-4 and had a 2.12 ERA, and had 90 strikeouts in 82 2/3 innings.
Wesson will pitch at Texas Lutheran University. He led the Indians to the TAPPS Class 2A state tournament with an 8-4 record and a 1.56 ERA. He had 135 strikeouts in 80 2/3 innings.
Pustka helped the Comanches capture their second state championship in three years with a 13-2 record and a 2.00 ERA. He had 146 strikeouts in 87 2/3 innings.
Gray bounced back from a foot injury he suffered in football and had a 6-6 record with a 1.84 ERA. He had 103 strikeouts in 72 1/3 innings.
The first-team catcher was East Bernard senior Forrest Sowell, who played a major role in the Brahmas' run to the Class 2A regional final. Sowell, the defensive player of the year in District 27-2A, had a .478 average with five home runs, eight doubles, and 42 RBIs.
The first-team infield featured Shiner junior Scott Shimek at first base, Weimar senior Kyle Mueller at second base, St. Joseph junior Ryan Daniels at third base, and Bay City senior Scott Elliott at shortstop.
Mueller hit .538 and had an on-base percentage of .659. He had six triples, six doubles and scored 42 runs, while adding 15 RBIs from the leadoff position. He also had 31 stolen bases.
Daniels hit .474 with two home runs and 31 RBIs, while scoring 21 runs.
Elliott, who will attend Tulane on a football scholarship, hit .398 and had an on-base percentage of .515. Elliott had four home runs, three triples, seven doubles, and 25 RBIs, while scoring 27 runs.
Shimek, who also pitched for the Comanches, hit .391 and had a .513 on-base percentage. He had one home run, five doubles, and 25 RBIs, while scoring 26 runs.
The first-team outfield included Shiner junior Chris Baer, Boling senior Rashad Ford, and East Bernard senior Ryan Traweek.
Baer, who was the Newcomer of the Year on the 2002 all-area team, was selected as the MVP of Shiner's state championship game. He hit .406 with three triples, four doubles and scored 42 runs, while adding 13 RBIs from the leadoff position. He also had 16 stolen bases.
Ford will attend Texas Southern University on a baseball scholarship. He hit .451 with two home runs and 25 RBIs. He scored 24 runs and had 24 stolen bases.
Traweek hit .429 with one home run, three triples, five doubles, and 22 RBIs. He set an East Bernard record with 43 stolen bases.
Memorial senior Garrett Rybak was the first-team designated hitter. Rybak, who will attend the Air Force Academy on a football scholarship, hit .426 with one home run, two triples, 10 doubles and had 11 RBIs from the leadoff position. He also scored 26 runs and had 12 stolen bases.
Karnes City senior Cody Hale was the first-team utility player. Hale pitched and played shortstop for the Badgers. He had a 9-4 record with a 1.34 ERA, and had 82 strikeouts in 83 1/3 innings. Hale hit .506 with one home run, three triples, 10 doubles, and 33 RBIs. He scored 28 runs and had 12 stolen bases.
NOTE: Shiner's Brady Strauss was selected to the third team at catcher, and Ryan Kloesel, Russell Boothe, Jared Boedeker, and Dylan Hagens were named Honorable Mention.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Daniel Boedeker has made a habit of reaching the highest level at Shiner. He was the winning pitcher in the semifinal and earned a save in the final as the Comanches captured the 1992 Class 2A state championship.
Boedeker was an assistant coach when Shiner won the 2002 Class 1A state championship, and this season he directed the Comanches to the Class 1A state title as the head coach.
Boedeker led the Comanches to a 23-9 record in his first season as a head coach and was chosen as the Coach of the Year.
"I consider myself very lucky," Boedeker said. "This is something I'll always cherish."
After missing the playoffs last season, the Comanches claimed the District 29-1A championship and won six of seven playoff games en route to the state tournament.
"We didn't want to take anything for granted," Boedeker said. "It was a matter of doing the little things right to get to this point and staying with the same routine."
Boedeker credits his former head coach and current assistant, Steven Cerny, and his team's previous experience at the state tournament for being able to overcome a five-run deficit in an 8-7 semifinal win over Maud. The Comanches then rolled to a 13-3 win over Follett in the championship game.
"It helped us to know what to expect when we got there," Boedeker said. "We knew that anything could happen and you had to be prepared for sudden changes. I think that allowed us to take things in stride."
NOTE: Portions of this article were omitted for space reasons.
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