Most pitchers — no matter what level they're at — dream of throwing a no-hitter. For Brookfield Central senior Luke Sommerfeld, his dream came true on June 19.
That's because Sommerfeld threw a no-hitter against crosstown Brookfield East at East and came away with a 4-0 victory.
"It my first no-hitter ever," the lanky senior said. "I've always dreamed about one. I've never been able to execute it. It was mostly the defense tonight. They were playing really well. I had balls hit tonight and they were really getting to them."
Both coaches agreed that Sommerfeld is one of the top pitchers in the state when he is on his game.
"Luke, when he is locked in and he's locating, well, the other team's in big trouble," veteran Central coach Jeff Bigler said. "Because there is no one with more electric stuff in the state than Luke Sommerfeld."
First-year Spartan coach Nicholas Wycklendt agreed.
"I think he's the best pitcher in summer baseball," he said. "He throws 88-90 mph. He has a very good slider. When he's on his game he's untouchable. He is going to be the best guy that we've seen all year long."
Sommerfeld didn't feel anything special when he was warming up. In fact he was struggling a bit.
"It felt like a normal day," he said. "Actually, in the bullpen, I couldn't find my release point. Once I got on the mound, though, everything fell where I needed it to."
Silence is golden
There is a baseball superstition that you don't talk about the no-hitter in the dugout and the Lancers followed through with it.
"I knew about it in the dug-out, but I didn't want to say anything," Sommerfeld said. "I knew my teammates had my back. But I didn't want to know about it. I didn't want to jinx it. Nobody said anything."
Bigler made sure his team knew about the tradition.
"We know enough baseball in here you're not going to start talking about a no-hitter," he said. "It's an age-old rule, you don't talk about it. We didn't. We made the kids well aware. 'You know what's going on here guys?' About the sixth inning, they knew."
The Spartans had only three baserunners the entire game and two of them were erased on the bases.
With one out in the first, Jake Smith walked, and then was retired on a 3-6-3 double play. First baseman Elijah Goodman grabbed a grounder by Alex McGuire, threw to shortstop Riley Richarz, who fired back to Goodman to complete the double play.
Brad Carstens walked with two outs in the fifth. He went to second on a wild pitch and then tried to steal third, but left too early. Sommerfeld stepped off the mound and calmly threw to third baseman Jonathan Keane to get Carstens and retire the side.
East's final baserunner was McGuire, who fanned with two outs in the seventh and in the final inning on a ball in the dirt. It went back to the screen and he made it to first. He stole second, but then Sommerfeld fanned Zach Breider to end the game.
As he walked off the mound, his teammates mobbed him.
The closest he came to giving up a hit came with two outs in the sixth, when T.C. Swittel hit a shot to Richarz, who made a great pickup and rifled a throw to get him.
Central broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning when Goodman was safe on an error, pinch-runner Matt Liewen stole second, went to third on a ground out and scored on a clutch two-out single by Aaron Hammond.
Richarz singled to left to lead off the fifth inning and stole second, went to third on a ground out and scored on Goodman's sacrifice fly.
Leading 2-0, Central added single runs in the sixth and seventh inning to put the game away.
Hammond, who had two hits, singled and stole second with one out in the sixth. After a flyout to center, Matt Hodges had a big 2-out single to score Hammond for a 3-0 lead.
In the seventh, Matt Ausloos singled and advanced to second when the ball got by the center fielder. After a groundout to short, Sommerfeld singled him to third and he scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Jonathan Keane for a 4-0 lead.
Sommerfeld fanned 9 hitters in the victory.
Lost in the shuffle was a solid pitching performance by Dustin Brah, who deserved a better fate for the Spartans (6-12), as he allowed seven hits, walked three and allowed only two earned runs.
"It was the first time he pitched on three days rest and he battled," Wycklendt said. "He battled all day long and I felt to go up against Sommerfeld, he had a phenomenal pitching performance."
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