Neither Yoakum nor Shiner has any control over the toss of a coin but the Bulldogs and Comanches can determine what happens once they step on the field.
Yoakum and Shiner lost coin flips to decide the format of their regional quarterfinal playoffs but they're more concerned with the outcome.
Yoakum (19-4) will take on Falfurrias (25-5) in a best-of-three game Class 3A series beginning Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Blossom Athletic Center in San Antonio. Shiner (23-2) will meet Bremond (15-5) in a one-game Class 1A playoff Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Round Rock High School.
Yoakum and Falfurrias will play for the first time since the Bulldogs won two of three games in a regional final series in 2005. The Bulldogs prevailed in Games 1 and 3 and advanced to the state tournament where they lost in the semifinals. The teams didn't play last season but Falfurrias advanced to the state tournament and lost in the final.
"I know they have one pitcher (Jason Garcia) who throws pretty hard," Yoakum coach Jace Wood said of the Jerseys, who are ranked No. 3 in the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association poll. "They're a team that usually plays the heck out of defense. They can swing the bats and they try to get into the pitcher's head by faking a bunt and getting ahead in the count."
Although Wood would have preferred to play a single game with left-handed pitcher Covey Morrow on the mound, he was pleased with the Bulldogs' performance in sweeping a best-of-three game area series over La Feria.
"We did lose a flip but we've shown we can play a two-out-of-three," Wood said. "I thought we competed very well. We've got several kids who can come in and throw if we need them."
The key for Yoakum against Falfurrias could be how well the Bulldogs perform at the plate.
"It's the same thing," catcher Cullen Harper said. "We need to be patient at the plate, make their pitcher throw strikes and hit good pitches. We also have to play good defense behind our pitchers."
Shiner went to three games before defeating Normangee in their area series and the Comanches were hoping to play another series against Bremond. But the Tigers won the flip to play a single game and look to ride the pitching of left-hander Jason Drymalla, who pitched a no-hitter and had 17 strikeouts in a 9-2 area win over Thrall.
"They're athletic and they count on their pitcher to get a lot of strikeouts," Shiner coach Daniel Boedeker said. "One thing we've been stressing to our players is to shorten their swings and take a two-strike approach. They need to stay short with their swings and put the ball in play."
The Comanches, who are ranked No. 1 in the THSBCA poll, will send left- hander Kyle Condel to the mound. Condel was the winning pitcher in Games 1 and 3 against Normangee. Shiner is seeking to duplicate its offensive output in Game 3 against Normangee. The Comanches scored 10 runs in the fourth inning and won via the 10-run mercy rule.
"We need Kyle to pitch well, our defense has to back him up and offensively we have to hit the ball," Shiner catcher Mark Casteel said. "We have to stay short with our swings and not try to do too much."
Boedeker believes going to a Game 3 against Normangee will help the Comanches in their winner-take-all situation against Bremond.
"It's a one-game deal but it came down to one game against Normangee," Boedeker said. "We faced a little pressure and our kids we're really focused in on what they had to do."