The one thing the Claremore 2A Zebras learned this summer was how to fight through adversity.
Though Vinita swept Claremore, 9-7 and 9-5, Friday night, the Zebras never quit and played with the ‘heart of champions’ til the last out of the season.
Trailing 9-0 going into the top of the fifth inning of Game 2, Claremore tallied five runs with two outs to leave Vinita with a respectable finish.
Jeff Oxford’s two-run single and Spencer Sullivan’s clutch hitting helped pave the way for the Zebras in the fifth inning.
Brady Brim and Chris Dotson also recorded a pair of RBI-singles in the fifth to ignite the Zebras.
The first game, however, started off on a positive note with Claremore leading 1-0 in the top half of the first inning.
Oxford drew the lead off walk and scored the Zebras’ first run on Chris Dotson’s sacrifice fly to center field.
Vinita, however, regained the momentum and took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the first.
In the top of the second, the Zebras narrowed the gap to 3-2 on Brady Kropp’s one-out walk and Oxford’s RBI-single to right-center field that plated courtesy runner Cole Williams — running for Claremore catcher (Brady) Kropp.
Vinita exploded for four runs on four hits in the home half of the second to extend its lead to 7-2.
Then, in the bottom of the fourth, Vinita’s lead grew to 8-2.
Claremore, however, responded with a five-run fifth, aided by Oxford’s two-run single and Brim’s RBI-single. After Brim’s single plated Nick Dotson to make it 8-3, Kropp and Kyle Chancellor drew bases loaded walks to cut Vinita’s lead to 8-5.
One batter later, Oxford’s two-run single to right field pulled the Zebras within a run at 8-7.
Vinita secured the victory, meanwhile, with a run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Chris Dotson suffered the loss after giving up nine runs with seven strikeouts in seven innings.