Claremore Daily Progress


May 13, 2013

'Cards get the 3-Peat'

Battenfield closes out prep career with 4-for-4 performance, save in 3A Finals

EDMOND — Verdigris senior Blake Battenfield polished off a ‘unbelievable’ four-year high school career with a spectacular performance Saturday afternoon in the Class 3A State Finals.

Battenfield went 4-for-4 at the plate and tossed three scoreless innings in relief to lead the No. 1-ranked Cardinals past No. 2 Vian, 7-1 for their third-straight state championship.

“It’s an amazing feeling, one you can’t describe,” Battenfield said on completing the three-peat and winning state. “I couldn’t go out a better way. This community is so close and supportive. I love Verdigris and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”

Battenfield, who signed with Oklahoma State University, hit a pair of doubles, but it was his second in the bottom of the fifth inning that provided the insurance for the Cardinals.

After Reece Phillips’ run-scoring double in the fourth put Verdigris ahead 2-1, the Cardinals scored a pair of runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth to close out the Wolves.

Battenfield said that the fifth inning has always been the ‘big’ inning for the Cardinals this season.

In the quarterfinals, Verdigris used a two-run homer by Ryan Skalnik in the fifth inning to beat Oklahoma Christian, 3-0.

Then, in the semifinals, Verdigris scored seven runs in the fifth to whip Spiro, 10-3.

On Saturday, the fifth inning once again proved lucky for the Cardinals.

After trailing 1-0 in the top half of the third, Verdigris evened the score at 1-1 with Skalnik plating Ryan Hurd on a sacrifice  fly to center field.

The lead held til the fourth when Verdigris took over with Phillips’ RBI-double.

Verdigris senior pitcher J.W. Owens (8-0) tossed the first four innings and allowed one run on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks.

After Verdigris claimed the 2-1 lead, Battenfield took the mound in the fifth and dominated with two strikeouts in three scoreless innings.

“I wanted the ball in the fifth,” Battenfield said. “The adrenaline was going and J.W. did a great job of getting us through four.”

Keith added that the game plan was to throw Owens for four and then bring Battenfield in at the fifth inning.

“Blake was unbelievable out there,” Keith said. “He’s one of the best pitchers that I’ve coached in 21 years. I wouldn’t want the ball in anyone else’s hand in that situation (leading 2-1).”

Verdigris, clinging to a 4-1 lead, slammed the door in the bottom of the sixth with three runs — aided by Kale Keith’s two-run double.

“All season long, this team has found ways to win,” Keith said. “They’ve never backed down and let pressure get to them. They are so resilient and scrappy.”

Notes: The four Verdigris seniors — Ryan Hurd, Tanner Smith, Blake Battenfield and J.W. Owens — went 95-14 with three titles in three years. ... Battenfield finished 33-4 on the mound with more than 300 strikeouts.


Text Only
  • BASEBALL: Howe’s RBI-double rallies Zebras past Vinita

    Claremore senior designated hitter Bryce Howe delivered an RBI-double in the bottom of the fifth inning that helped rally the Zebras to a 6-3 win over Vinita in the 4-State Festival Friday night at American Legion Park.

    April 13, 2014

  • DSC_0100web.jpg BASEBALL: Zebras rock Memorial, 9-0

    Going, going, gone...
    With the bases loaded in the top of the fifth inning, Claremore senior designated hitter Bryce Howe made Tulsa Memorial pay for intentionally walking senior catcher Matt Whatley.
    Howe’s grand slam — his second of his varsity career — boosted Claremore to a 9-0 victory over Tulsa Memorial Thursday afternoon in Metro Lakes Conference action.

    April 13, 2014 3 Photos

  • FILBYweb.jpg BASEBALL: McGill’s seventh-inning hit propels Sequoyah past Sallisaw

    Logan McGill’s bases loaded ground ball with one out in the bottom of the seventh scored McKaine Foster, giving Sequoyah a 5-4 victory over Sallisaw Friday evening in the 4-State Baseball Festival.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • SOCCER: Lady Zebras blast Metro Christian, 3-0

    The No. 3-ranked Class 5A Claremore Lady Zebras scored two goals in the first half to complete the 3-0 win over Metro Christian Friday night.

    April 13, 2014

  • DSC_0068web.jpg BASEBALL: ‘Cats sweep Aggies

    The Rogers State University baseball team swept a doubleheader against Heartland Conference opponent Oklahoma Panhandle State Friday afternoon at the Diamond Sports Complex.
    The Hillcats took advantage of four Aggie errors and tallied eight hits en route to a 4-0 victory.
    In the nightcap, RSU belted 10 hits to register a 5-2 win.

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • WNBA DRAFT: Phoenix Mercury select OSU's Tiffany Bias

    Tiffany Bias became the third player in Oklahoma State history taken in the WNBA Draft, going to the Phoenix Mercury with the fifth pick (17th overall) of the second round on Monday evening.

    April 15, 2014

  • Arkansas hosts A-Club Spring Reunion on April 25-26

    The A Club is hosting its annual Spring Reunion weekend April 25-26 around the Razorback football team's Red-White Spring Game.

    April 15, 2014

  • WNBA DRAFT: Tulsa Shock add Hooper, Plaisance to 2014 roster

    The Tulsa Shock have selected Jordan Hooper with the 13th overall pick and Theresa Plaisance with the 27th overall pick, respectively, in the WNBA Draft.

    April 15, 2014

  • WNBA DRAFT: Tulsa Shock select Baylor's Odyssey Sims

    The Tulsa Shock have selected guard Odyssey Sims with the second overall pick in the WNBA Draft.

    At Baylor, Sims finished her career averaging 28.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game her senior year.

    April 15, 2014

  • NCAA MEN'S BB: Kentucky's Cauley-Stein returns for junior season

    Kentucky has announced that 7-foot center Willie Cauley-Stein will return for his junior season.
    Cauley-Stein missed the final three games of the Wildcats' run to the NCAA championship game after sustaining a left ankle injury in the Midwest Region semifinal against Louisville.

    April 15, 2014