LEAGUE CITY — His first start in a matchup between District 24 and 6A on the road didn’t faze the Clear Lake Preston Sommerville freshman Tuesday night.
The calm lefty cuffed Clear Creek for 6 ⅓ innings and his teammates took advantage of the Wildcats’ sloppy defensive play in a 6-3 Falcons victory at Mallory Field.
Clear Lake (15-3-2) played its first game 24-6A while Clear Creek saw its district record drop to 1-2.
The Falcons scored two runs in the top of the fourth inning to break a 2-2 tie and rode Sommerville’s consistent performance until he hit the 110-pitch mark with one out in the seventh inning.
Senior Brayden Watson then walked in to retire two of the three batters he faced to preserve the win.
“I told Preston before the game that we don’t need you to be Superman, we just need you to compete,” Clear Lake coach Josh Bromberg said. “That’s exactly what he did. He almost gave us a full game and we saved the bullpen. It was a good night.
The deciding fourth inning began with a walk to Jack Hammock.
James Nimmo then hit a slow roller down the first base line, but an errant throw allowed Hammock to score from first. Nimmo went to second on the play, was held up on third and homered on a cleared ball for a 4-2 score.
A single by RB Ethan Glaze in the fifth made it 5-2 before Clear Creek closed to 5-3 after Aaron Aceves and Caden Schindler were both hit by pitches, and the former eventually homered on a wild pitch.
The Falcons added an insurance run in the sixth when Zachary Tuxhorn scored on a bases-laden wild pitch.
Clear Creek head coach Brent Kunefke was impressed with Sommerville.
“He’s really, really, really good,” said Kunefke. “I’ve been here long enough to see Brandon Waddell, and that’s what he was like.
“He threw everything for strikes. Sometimes he was slow and methodical, then the ball would jump out of his hand and it was on top of you.”
Creek’s defense also helped the Falcons’ cause.
“Four errors, and I think they scored from a few passed balls,” said Kunefke. “It wasn’t a very clean game by the Wildcats. The Falcons blew their tails and congratulations to them. They kicked us in the back.
Sommerville hit eight hits and allowed five hits in his impressive performance.
“I just told myself not to get nervous,” the freshman said. “Probably after the second inning I started to feel more comfortable.
“After looking at their lineup once, I had an idea where to pitch.”
Somerville was disappointed with the field boundary which caused his exit.
“I felt pretty good,” she said. “I felt like I could have done it all the way.”
Clear Creek took a 2–0 lead in the second inning on a two-run single by Schindler after Tyler Austin reached on a dropped third strike and Scott Martinez picked up an infield single.
Clear Lake tied the score in the third on an RBI infield single by Christian Rivera and a wild pitch to Jake Guerra at the plate. Those runs were set up by an opening double by Samuel Moreno and a single and stolen base by Tuxhorn.
“We have to try and split the series now, but the difference is we have to win instead of them,” said Kunefke.
“The District’s entire season is trying to weather the storm. It all starts on the mound and with defense. We just have to play better.”