SAN ANTONIO - Shiner pitcher Kyle Condel did his best to keep Brackettville runners off the bases even when he put them on.
Shiner pitcher Kyle Condel winds up to deliver a pitch to catcher Mark Casteel during Wednesday night's 5-1 Regional Semifinal victory over Brackettville at Burbank HS SAISD Sports Complex in San Antonio. photo by BaerCom
Condel pitched a three hitter and picked off three runners to lead the Comanches to a 5-1 win over the Tigers in Game 1 of their best-of-three Class 1A regional semifinal series on Wednesday night at the San Antonio ISD Complex.
Shiner improved to 25-2 and will attempt to wrap up the series when the teams play Game 2 on 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.
"We work on that all the time," the left-handed Condel said of his pickoff move. "I throw to Julian (Longoria, Shiner's first baseman) 15 to 20 times a day. That's part of our routine."
Condel used his pickoff move to catch a runners off first base in the first, third and fourth innings, as Brackettville (15-6) got only three runners to second base and scored its only run in the second after Shiner botched another potential pickoff play with runners at first and third.
"We knew we were going to have to do a lot of pickoffs because they are so aggressive on the bases," said Shiner coach Daniel Boedeker, who visited the mound after the missed pickoff play. "We had good communication except for the second inning. We just had to settle down and follow the game plan. But when someone gets to first and you pick him off, that's big."
After striking out 21 times in their regional quarterfinal win over Bremond, the Comanches did not strike out once against Brackettville starter Sergio Calvillo.
Shiner took control by sending eight batters to the plate and scoring four times on four hits and four stolen bases in the first inning.
D.J. Pustka singled with one out, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Condel's single. Condel stole second and teamed with courtesy runner Adam Kalich on a double steal of third and second before both runners scored on a single by Kevin Patek, who came home on a double by Longoria.
"I thought we were having some better at-bats," Boedeker said. "We were being very patient and found our comfort zone. But then we started being over- aggressive and that affected us at the plate."
Shiner had only three hits the rest of the game but was able to add an unearned run in the fourth inning when Matthew Hibbs reached on a two-base error and scored on a single by Josh Nance.
The lead was more than enough for Condel, who yielded only two hits and two walks after the second inning.
"Some of it was nerves," Condel said of his early struggles. "Coach Boedeker just told me not to try and do too much. I have an awesome defense behind me. They're playing great. I just had to settle down and let them do their job."
Boedeker was pleased with the performance of Condel and the defense but knows the Comanches have more work to do before thinking about their next opponent.
"I thought Kyle threw well and once he got his curveball going he was even more effective," Boedeker said. "But this thing is far from over. Those guys will be tough to beat on Saturday."
Game summary Score F Shiner 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 -- 5 Brackett 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 -- 1 Highlights Kyle Condel and Mark Casteel. Sergio Calvillo and Jeff Sitgreaves. WP:Condel (15-1). LP: Calvillo (6-3). Highlights: (S) Condel 7 IP, 3 H, 10 SO, 1-for-4, RBI; D.J. Pustka 1-for-4, run, 2 SB; Kevin Patek 1-for-3, 2 RBIs; Julian Longoria 1-for-3, 2B, RBI; Josh Nance 1-for-4, RBI. Records: Shiner 25-2; Brackettville 15-6. Note: Shiner leads series 1-0. Game 2, Saturday, 4 p.m., V.J. Keefe Stadium, St. Mary's University, San Antonio; Game 3, if necessary, 30 minutes after Game 2.