Shiner coach Daniel Boedeker could empathize with the way Bremond coach Clinton Smith felt after the Comanches captured a 7-3 Class 1A regional quarterfinal win in a game that went nine innings.
"I told Kyle (Condel) that if he struck out 21 people and lost I'd be pretty upset," Boedeker said.
Shiner struck out 20 times against Bremond starter Jason Drymalla and once against reliever Corey Rekieta but the Comanches prevailed thanks in a large part to a solid defensive effort and the pitching of Condel, who yielded four hits and had 14 strikeouts.
"We talked about keeping ourselves in it," Boedeker said. "I felt like if we were still around at the end we would have a chance to win it and that's what happened."
The teams were tied 1-1 after seven innings. Shiner scored two runs in the top of the eighth before Bremond tied the game on a two-out, two- strike, bases-loaded hit and had a chance to win when the throw from the outfield sailed over catcher Mark Casteel's head. But Condel backed up the plate and threw to Casteel, who tagged the runner for the third out. The top-ranked Comanches scored four times in the ninth to put the game out of reach.
"That's a play we practice that may happen once in a season," Boedeker said. "It's a matter of being in the right place and we were very fortunate that Kyle and Mark were."
Boedeker knows Shiner (24-2) will have to continue to play solid defense in its best-of-three game regional semifinal series against Brackettville (15-5) that gets under way today at 7:30 p.m. at the San Antonio ISD Sports Complex. Game 2 is scheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m. at V.J. Keefe Stadium on the campus of St. Mary's University in San Antonio. Game 3, if necessary, will be 30 minutes after Game 2.
"The best thing for us is to jump right back into it," Boedeker said. "We have to get that (Bremond) game out of us. We're happy to be playing a series because the pressure is not as great as it is in one game and it will give our other pitchers a chance to throw."
Boedeker was impressed by Brackettville, which swept its best-of-three game series against Rocksprings.
"Brackettville is pretty scrappy at the plate," Boedeker said. "They put the ball in play and they're aggressive on the bases. It will come down to us playing defense and keeping them off the bases."
Boedeker would like to see the Shiner offense become more productive against Brackettville. The Comanches had seven hits against Bremond.
"We still have room to improve," Boedeker said. "Our hitting is not where it was early in the season. Defensively, we're playing about as well as we can. It's just a matter of us taking quality at-bats."
NOTES: The Shiner-Brackettville winner will play either Thorndale or D'Hanis in the regional final. Thorndale and D'Hanis play a best-of- three game series today and Saturday at New Braunfels High.