If there is one thing Claremore JV Red coach Derek Short has learned about this team, it’s that they never give up under pressure.
Trailing 6-2, Claremore scored six runs — including a walk-off single by Kyle Chancellor in the bottom of the fifth inning — and rallied past the Tahlequah JV Tigers, 8-7 Monday night at Legendary Legion Field.
With the win, the JV Zebra Red improved to 15-5 on the season.
Claremore’s fifth inning rally led off with Joe Clifton reaching first on the single and advancing to second on Dakota Rader’s bunt single that was misplayed by the Tahlequah pitcher.
Next batter up, Nathan Hammack moved Clifton to third base and Rader to second on a bunt single down the first base line. After Spencer Walden’s shallow flyout to left field, Chancellor came to the plate with a game-winning opportunity.
Chancellor needed three pitches to drive in Clifton and secure Claremore’s come-from-behind win.
Tahlequah knotted the game at 7-7 in the top half of the fifth, after scoring four runs on four hits in the fourth to go up 6-2.
Tahlequah led 1-0 after the top half of the first, but Claremore answered with Cameron Smith driving in Walden on an RBI-single in the bottom half of the inning.
Tied at 1-1, Claremore’s Hayden Jones scorched a piercing single off the glove of Tahlequah’s third baseman and later scored on Walden’s bases-loaded walk to put the Zebras up 2-1 after two complete innings.
The see-saw battle went back in favor of Tahlequah in the top half of the third as Claremore pitcher Cody Tyre gave up a lead-off double that eventually knotted the game at 2-2.
Tahlequah’s offense got to Claremore’s Tyre in the top of the fourth and Short pulled his starter in favor of sophomore Shawn Gordon, who gave up a run and three hits to cap the inning.
Claremore regained the 7-6 lead in the bottom of the fourth as Smith smashed a three-run triple to the deepest part of right-center field. The JV Red tallied five runs on just one hit in the fourth inning.
Hammack earned the victory on the mound, entering with no outs and a runner of first base in the top of the fifth.
Chancellor and Clifton orchestrated a picture-perfect 4-6-3 double play and Hammack got a flyout to left field to cap off the fifth.
The JV Zebra Red returns to action on Friday at 6 p.m. on Friday.