Friendswood splits district games with Clear Brook

FRIENDSWOOD — Friendswood pitchers Brandon Deskins and Ryan Vera combined to strike out 17 Clear Brook batters, as the Friendswood Mustangs topped the Wolverines, 7-2 for their third straight district win.

It was a shaky start for Deskins who walked the first three batters he faced, but he gathered his composure and sent the next three batters back to the dugout on strikeouts.

Deskins threw five innings allowing one hit, one unearned run and striking out 12 batters with just the three first-inning walks. Vera pitched the final two innings in relief allowing two hits, one earned run, five strikeouts and two walks.

“We’ve just been trying to stay focused on our game plan,” Friendswood head coach Steve Hecker said of the winning streak. “Nothing has really changed. Our practices have been the same. Our approach is similar. We just started out slow.”

Friendswood took advantage of back-to-back errors on Clear Brook to score the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning. The Mustangs added a second run in the bottom of the first on a run-scoring single smacked to left field by third baseman Calvin Whitaker.

After Johnnie Nemecek singled and eventually scored on a wild pitch to give Friendswood a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third, the Mustangs pulled away from Clear Brook with a three-run bottom of the fourth inning.

“We kind of started out slow there, but Deskins figured himself out, and Vera is just a bulldog,” Hecker said. “The first inning was really nerve-wracking, but they did good. I’m proud of them.”

With two outs and two runners in scoring position, shortstop Marcus Huerta (one-out walk) scored on a wild pitch, and left fielder Seth Barber (one-out single) was driven home on a single hit to right field by Nemecek. Whitaker kept the two-out rally going with an RBI single of his own.

Friendswood got its final run in the bottom of the fifth on a bases-loaded 4-6-3 double play.

Two errors in the top of the fifth helped Clear Brook get its first run, which came by way of a run-scoring fielder’s choice groundout. The Wolverines scored again in the top of the sixth on a bases-loaded wild pitch.

Nemecek (2-for-3, three runs, one RBI), Whitaker (2-for-3, two RBIs) and first baseman Bradley Willcott (2-for-3) all had multi-hit games.

Center fielder Sterling Stephens (2-for-3) and relief pitcher Preston Tee (1-for-2) had Clear Brook’s only hits. Neither team recorded an extra-base hit.

Clear Brook 4 - Friendswood 3

It took eight innings to decide the game between Friendswood and Clear Brook, but the Wolverines got a bases loaded walk that brought home the game-winning run making the score 4-3 in favor of Brook.

The Mustangs took advantage of a leadoff error to start the game ,and later in the inning Johnnie Nemecek’s RBI groundout scored Seth Barber to give Friendswood a 1-0 lead.

After Clear Brook tied the game in the bottom of the third inning on a Madison Delgado two-out RBI single, the Mustangs re-took the lead in the next half inning.

Thad Horman’s leadoff homer to right and Trace Mertel’s run-scoring double to left later in the fourth had the Mustangs up, 3-1.

Down to their final three outs in the seventh, the Wolverines’ first three batters reached base on a walk, single and an error that allowed a run to score.

The next batter, Reggie McCalister, lifted a fly ball to center for a game-tying sacrifice fly, scoring Stephen Moreno who had singled making he score 3-3.

Friendswood was unable to score in the top of the eighth giving the Wolverines a chance to pull out the win.

In the bottom of the eighth inning after one quick out, Clear Brook had four consecutive batters reach base to walk off with a win.

After back-to-back hits from Evan Albright (single – pinch runner A.J. Winger scored the winning run) and Sebastain Pichardo (double), the Wolverines drew consecutive walks to Preston Tee and Stephen Moreno (RBI) to end it.

Madison Delgado (Clear Brook) and Thad Horman (Friendswood) both had two hits for their respective teams.