Those four letters hold a special meaning to the 2013 Verdigris Cardinals baseball team.
For the past two seasons, the Cardinals have used ‘W.T.L.G.’ as their motivation toward building a baseball dynasty.
Inside the dugout — from March to May — these Cardinals believe in ‘Winning The Last Game’.
For this year’s senior class — led by outfielder Tanner Smith and shortstop/pitcher Blake Battenfield, Verdigris has produced back-to-back state championships in Class 3A.
In 2012, the Cardinals rallied to beat Metro Christian, 6-5 for their second state championship and finished the season with a 30-4 overall record.
In 2011, the Cardinals rolled past Eufaula, 8-2 to claim the 3A state championship and recorded a 32-8 overall record.
Under the leadership of head coach Brian Keith and assistant coach Scott Smith, the Cardinals’ baseball program has produced a two-year overall recorded of 62-12.
The senior class gears up for their final season, looking to bring a 3-peat back to Verdigris.
For Smith and Battenfield, and the other seniors, the diamond is where dreams come true.
On Saturday, the road toward the 3-peat starts for this experienced group of Cardinals.
With Battenfield and Ryan Skalnik still chasing those title dreams on the basketball court in the 3A Area Tournament, the Cardinals will open the season against Nowata without their ace pitcher/shortstop and starting third baseman.
Smith, however, returns for his fourth year in center field, and will be looked upon for leadership and ‘pop’ in the Cardinals’ lineup.
Blessed with blazing speed, Smith provides the Cardinals with a potent weapon in the outfield.
Also, sharing time in the outfield will be senior Ryan Hurd and senior J.W. Owens.
Hurd and Smith helped spark the Cardinals’ football team to the second-round of the Class 3A state playoffs and a 10-2 overall record.
Smith amassed 2,282 rushing yards and scored 31 touchdowns as the Cardinals’ four-year starting tailback.
This season, the Cardinals’ infield will consist of Skalnik at third base, Battenfield at shortstop, Kale Keith at second base and Mitch Hammack at first base.
Behind the plate, sophomore Riley Kelzor and Hammack will share catching duties.
The 2013 Cardinals roster includes: Blake Battenfield, SS, Sr., Gabe Rodery, 1B/OF/LHP, Fr., Ryan Hurd, OF/RHP, Sr., Ryan Skalnik, 3B/RHP, Jr., Reece Phillips, OF/RHP, Soph., Mitch Hammack, 1B/C/RHP, Soph., Nathan Green, OF, Soph., Trey Weiesnbach, OF/C/RHP, Fr., Riley Kelzor, C/1B/RHP, Soph., Nathan Nadal, OF, Fr., Kale Keith, 2B/OF/RHP, Soph., Blake Stone, 3B/1B/OF, Soph., Caleb Ayers, 2B, Soph., Tanner Smith, OF/RHP, Sr., Trevor Moyer, 1B/OF/LHP, Fr., J.W. Owens, OF/RHP, Sr., Dalton Turner, OF, Fr., Sam Hill, 1B/RHP/C, Soph. and Peyton Battenfield, 2B/RHP, Fr.
Verdigris opens baseball season Saturday against Nowata
Hrdlicka, Teter pour ‘heart’ into Zebra soccer program
For the past four years, Claremore High School seniors Katelin Teter and Nick Hrdlicka have represented the ‘heart and soul’ of the Lady Zebra and Zebra soccer programs.
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SOCCER: JV Lady Zebras edge Verdigris, 2-1
Claremore sophomore forward Brylee Brasher may have felt a little out of position Monday night during the junior varsity game against Verdigris.
Normally, starting in the goal for the Lady Zebras varsity team, Brasher came out of her comfort zone to start at forward for the Claremore JV.
The position switch proved to be a great decision for head coach Robin Sutherland, as Brasher showed a tenacity on offense that led to Claremore’s 2-1 win over Verdigris.
Claremore’s Stone leads NSU tennis to MIAA title
Amanda Stone was a player the last time Northeastern State won a conference title in tennis. This time, she’s the coach.
Thanks to a 9-0 rout of Lindenwood on Saturday, No. 31 Northeastern State claimed no worse than a share of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association championship.
Vian's Rowdy Simon seeks playing time in Tulsa backfield
The Tulsa football team practiced for two hours on Saturday and finished the workout with a 102-play scrimmage.
Whereas last Saturday's scrimmage was dominated by the Tulsa defense, today's scrimmage session was a more balanced. The Tulsa offense scored on 10 of 21 possessions, including six touchdowns and four field goals, and the Tulsa defense had two takeaways.
FOOTBALL: Tulsa-Tulane season opener moved to Aug. 28
The American Athletic Conference announced today that the Tulsa-Tulane football game, scheduled for the first weekend of the 2014 season, will be played on Aug. 28 at The University of Tulsa's H.A. Chapman Stadium.
BASEBALL: Arkansas cruises past SFA, 7-2
The Arkansas baseball team (23-15) jumped out to an early lead Tuesday evening and never looked back, picking up a 7-2 win over Stephen F. Austin (15-21) at Baum Stadium.
Hornbeak leaving OU men's basketball program
In a surprising decision, sophomore guard Je’lon Hornbeak informed Oklahoma’s coaching staff on Tuesday he will transfer at the end of the spring semester.
Rave reviews following OU's spring game
Oklahoma didn’t play a game as much as it put on a show Saturday at Owen Field. At least, that was the intent.
BASEBALL: Sooners outlast Cowboys in 18-inning marathon
The longest game at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium lasted 18 innings between the Bedlam rivals. The Oklahoma Sooners converted three runs in the top of the 18th to come away with a 12-9 victory.
Locust Grove cleans house, ousts four coaches
Locust Grove High School has relieved head wrestling coach Johnny Cook and head boys basketball coach Ronnie Maple of their coaching duties, school sources said Tuesday.
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