Shiner is hoping history repeats itself in its best-of-three game Class 1A regional final series against Thorndale.
The Comanches took a 5-1 win in the series opener on Wednesday night at Burger Center in Austin and each time the teams have met in the playoffs the last three seasons, the Game 1 winner has gone on to win the series.
"You realize how important Game 1 is to win," Shiner coach Daniel Boedeker said. "It puts a little pressure on them. But we know they're a good team and we still have to get ready to play Game 2."
A berth in the state tournament will be on the line for Shiner (27-2) when the teams return to Burger Center for Game 2 today at 7:30 p.m. If the Bulldogs (22-4) can force a Game 3, it will be played Saturday at 4 p.m. at Burger Center.
"We know what's out there for us but we've still got to knock this out," Boedeker said. "We cannot look past this team."
Thorndale had seven starters in the lineup in Game 1 returning from a team that swept Shiner in the regional semifinals last season. But the Comanches earned their first win over the Bulldogs since Game 2 of the 2005 regional semifinals behind a four-hit, 13-strikeout performance by Kyle Condel.
"I expected them to hit better but you have to give credit to Kyle," Boedeker said. "He hung in there. He was able to get ahead of the hitters and didn't have to pitch to what would be their strength."
Shiner pushed across its first two runs without a hit against starter Cirilio Reyes and had four of its six hits when it added three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning against reliever Victor Reyes.
"I think a lot of it was we saw those guys last year," Boedeker said. "They throw a lot of curveballs and that's what we were looking for. I thought we had a lot of focus at the plate and we need to take the same approach into Game 2.
Boedeker expects Josh Culp to be on the mound for Thorndale in Game 2. Culp was the starting and winning pitcher in Game 2 of last year's series, going five innings and yielding four runs, two earned, and eight hits.
Josh Nance is likely to be the Game 2 starting pitcher for Shiner. Nance allowed only three hits in the Comanches' 2-1 eight-inning Game 2 regional semifinal win over Brackettville.
"I've talked to Josh about his approach to this game and I plan to talk with him some more," Boedeker said. "All he has to do is throw strikes and give us a chance to win."
NOTES: The Class 1A state tournament will be played Wednesday and Thursday at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. The semifinal games are scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and the championship game is set for Thursday at 4 p.m....The game will be broadcast on KYKM, 92.5 FM and KTXM, 99.9 FM.