Johnson City ends Shiner's playoff run
June 4, 2011 at 1:04 a.m.
SAN ANTONIO - Shiner lived on the edge throughout the playoffs and Johnson City pushed the Comanches over.
Shiner seemed on the verge of another miracle finish, but the Eagles would have none of it and claimed a 4-1 win in Game 3 of the best-of-three Class 1A regional final series on Saturday at the Blossom Center.
Johnson City improved to 31-6 and advanced to the state tournament for the first time since 1980. The Comanches ended their bid for their fifth state tournament appearance with a 28-10 record.
"We talked about if we could just have a chance to get there," said Shiner coach Daniel Boedeker. "Just get a chance to get there and make it something special and they did. They had a chance to get there we just came up a little short."
Johnson City took a 4-0 lead into the top of the seventh inning when the Comanches appeared primed to capture the same late-inning magic they had in the previous three playoff series.
Jacob Stafford singled, Joey Gamez reached on a fielder's choice and Wesley Patek singled, and suddenly Shiner had a run in and the tying run at the plate with no outs.
But Game 1 starter Laramie Blackwell relieved starter Cody Smith and struck out Donovan Mardis and Matt Pohler before ending the game on a Blaine Caka grounder to shortstop.
"We could never catch a break," said senior Coy Boedeker. "Even if we hit the ball hard it was right to someone. We just scored one run and that's what hurt us. We didn't hit the ball too often."
Shiner struggled at the plate for most of the game and much of the series. The Comanches had only two hits against Smith going to the seventh inning, and finished 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
"When we started the playoffs we weren't hitting the ball and there were things we were trying to work on," Daniel Boedeker said. "We just kept getting the clutch hits. We were hoping that the confidence would carry over throughout the team. We just could never put a bunch together."
Shiner received outstanding pitching from junior Ky Sandelovic and freshman Jacob Stafford. Sandelovic came back after starting Game 1 and worked into the fifth and yielded just two earned runs. Stafford picked off a base runner and retired five of the six batters he faced.
"I thought our pitchers did an outstanding job today," Daniel Boedeker said. "Ky wanted the ball today and we told him we would go inning by inning with him and he gave us more than we expected him to give us being that he just threw the other day. Jacob came in and kept us in the game."
Sandelovic was the victim of some tough luck when center fielder Joey Gamez lost two fly balls in the sun.
The first bounced off Gamez's glove and led to two runs in the third inning, and the next fell untouched and led to another run in the fourth.
"We caught some tough breaks out there," Daniel Boedeker said. "He lost it in the sun and they had people on base and they gave up some runs with it."
Johnson City started seven seniors to Shiner's five and Daniel Boedeker has no doubt the experience was a factor for the Eagles, who didn't commit an error.
"The maturity level was there for them," Boedeker. "They didn't panic when they got down and we had runners on base they stayed focused and stayed in the game and that's a credit to them."
The Comanches return five starters and have already started thinking about next season.
"We told them right away remember this feeling," Daniel Boedeker said. "Remember what it took to get here. We've got to take that next step and push ourselves just a little harder to take that next step."
Region IV-1A Final
Johnson City 4, Shiner 1
Shiner 000 000 1 - 1 5 1
Johnson City 102 100 x - 4 10 0
Ky Sandelovic, Jacob Stafford (5) and Cuatro Rankin. Cody Smith and Aaron Humphrey. W: Smith (8-1). L: Sandelovic (11-5). S: Blackwell. Highlights: (S) Jacob Stafford 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 for 1, R; Wesley Patek 1 for 3, RBI; Coy Boedeker 1 for 2. (JC) Smith 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks; Cody Crofts 2 for 2, 2 R, SB; Luke Neely 2 for 3, 2B; Garrett Deleon 2 for 3, 2B, R. Records: Johnson City 31-6; Shiner 28-10. Note: Johnson City wins series 2-1 advances to state tournament