AUSTIN - Kyle Condel hadn't forgotten what happened in his two appearances against Thorndale last season and he made sure it didn't happen again.
Condel pitched a four-hitter to lead Shiner to a 5-1 win over the Bulldogs in Game 1 of their best-of-three Class 1A regional final series on Wednesday night at Burger Center.
Condel was hit hard in relief in Game 1 of last year's regional semifinal loss against Thorndale and endured a similar experience in Game 2.
But Condel turned the tables on the Bulldogs by taking a no-hitter into the fourth inning and completing the game with 13 strikeouts.
"I still have a bad taste in my mouth from last year," Condel said. "I felt a lot more confident this year. My infield was talking to me all night telling me not to worry if I made a bad pitch because they were there for me. The way we've played defense, I knew I could come after them."
Shiner had six hits and took advantage of some Thorndale miscues while improving to 27-2 on the season. The Comanches will attempt to wrap up the series when the teams return to Burger Center for Game 2 on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Game 3, if necessary, will be played Saturday at 4 p.m.
"I thought Kyle did an excellent job of changing speeds and getting ahead of the hitters," Shiner coach Daniel Boedeker said of his junior left-hander. "He threw two curveballs and was able to locate his fastball and that was the big difference."
Condel pitched around an error in the first inning, a hit batsman in the third and used a pickoff to escape trouble in the fourth when Thorndale (22-4) had two hits.
"I was trying to stay ahead of their hitters," said Condel, who threw 103 pitches, including 70 for strikes. "I know they're a fastball hitting team and I was able to do that most of the night."
Shiner built a 2-0 lead without a hit against Thorndale starter Cirilio Reyes. Josh Nance led off the bottom of the first with a walk and beat Reyes' throw to second base on a sacrifice by D.J. Pustka. Nance took third on a passed ball and scored after Reyes walked Mark Casteel to load the bases on a fielder's choice grounder by Kevin Patek.
"It was good to go up early with the way Kyle was pitching," Boedeker said. "We would have liked more insurance but it was a good feeling knowing we were one up."
The Comanches added a run after two were out in a wild fifth inning that included the ejection of Reyes. Pustka was hit by a pitch and went to third on an errant pickoff attempt by catcher Jeff Hinistroza. Pustka scored on a wild pitch before Condel drew a wall bringing Casteel to the plate.
Casteel popped up a 2-1 pitch in foul territory outside the first base line and was running to first when he was struck by Reyes. The home plate umpire ruled Reyes intentionally knocked Casteel down and ejected him from the game. Cirilio Reyes was relieved by his brother Victor and left to a standing ovation from the Thorndale fans.
"They know us and we know them and there's a mutual respect between us," Boedeker said of the teams, who are playing in the postseason for the fourth straight year. "When we get between the lines, things come up. But I don't think there's any hard feelings."
Thorndale scored its lone run in the sixth after loading the bases on singles by Josh Culp and Hinistroza and Condel's only walk of the game to Kalen Revia. Joe Sandoval, who was batting in Cirilio Reyes' spot, hit a bouncer to Nance at shortstop. Nance stepped on second for the force out of Revia but his relay to Julian Longoria at first was not in time for a double play.
Walter O'Brien, who was courtesy running for Hinistroza, attempted to score from second on the play but Longoria relayed the ball to Casteel, who tagged the O'Brien out at the plate.
Shiner gave Condel some breathing room in the bottom of the inning when it had four hits. Patek led off with his second hit and pinch runner Adam Kalich stole second before scoring on a single by Longoria, who went to second on the throw to the plate.
Dalton Handley followed with a double to score pinch runner Drew Stafford. Pinch runner Drew Hagens moved to third on a sacrifice by Matthew Hibbs and scored on a single by Nance.
"We don't panic," Boedeker said. "We know the momentum is going to shift because you have two good teams. When they do something, we want to come back and even it up."
Game summary Game of May 31, 2007 Score F Thorndale 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 -- 1 Shiner 1 0 0 0 1 3 0 -- 5 Highlights Class 1A Regional Final Game 1 at Austin Burger Center Cirilio Reyes, Victor Reyes (5) and Jeff Hinistroza. Kyle Condel and Mark Casteel. WP: Condel (16-1). LP: C. Reyes (10-1). Highlights: (T) C. Reyes 4.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 6 SO, 1-for-2, 2B; Josh Culp 1-for-2, run; (S) Condel 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 13 SO; Kevin Patek 2-for-3, RBI; Josh Nance 1-for-3, RBI, run; Julian Longoria 1-for-3, RBI; Dalton Handley 1-for-3, 2B, RBI. Records: Thorndale 22-4; Shiner 27-2. Note Shiner leads series 1-0. Game 2, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Burger Center; Game 3, if necessary, Saturday, 4 p.m., Burger Center.