Claremore Daily Progress

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April 30, 2014

‘One Last Stroll Around The Bases’

Zebras thump Tulsa Hale, 15-2 on Senior Night

CLAREMORE — Claremore head baseball coach Brent Payne told Tempest Whatley that he wouldn’t shed a tear during Senior Night ceremonies.

But, he did get emotional and showed his love for the eight seniors with a celebratory hug, culminated with a congratulations on four years of hard work, success and back-to-back trips to the Class 5A State Finals.

Whatley, the mother of four-year starting catcher and fellow senior Matt Whatley, shed the tears for Payne as she watched her oldest round the bases one last time inside Legendary Legion Field.

Matt Whatley, one of eight seniors — Cole Weiesnbach, Cody Tyre, Miranda Golbek, T.J. Wood, Bryce Howe, David Mosby and Dustin Hendricks — helped spark the Zebras to an impressive 15-2 win over Tulsa Hale Monday before a jam-packed, standing-room only crowd.

Claremore starting pitcher T.J. Wood picked up his 10th win of the season, keeping his record perfect after allowing one run through two innings.

Wood also ripped a run-scoring double in the bottom of the second inning, as well as ignited Claremore’s offense that produced 15 runs on 11 hits.

Claremore junior first baseman Cameron Smith went 2-for-3 with a single and a triple, while senior designated hitter Bryce Howe also contributed with two hits — a single and a double.

The highlight of the game, though, came in the bottom of the fourth inning when Payne inserted sophomore student manager Talon Rash into the game to pinch-run for Smith.

Rash, who pours his heart out for Zebra athletics and normally acts as the bat boy, got his dream-come-true moment in the fourth.

With two outs and wanting to score a run for the Zebras, Rash got to cross home plate — despite Dustin Weiesnbach flying out to left field for the third out.

Though, Rash’s run didn’t count on the scoreboard, he did win over the Claremore fans with his competitive spirit and hustle down the baseline, resulting in a standing ovation that will be remembered for many years to come.

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