Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

April 13, 2014

BASEBALL: Zebras rock Memorial, 9-0

Howe’s grand slam in the 5th inning boosts Claremore’s offense

TULSA — 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.

Howe teamed with Claremore starting pitcher T.J. Wood, who moved to 6-0 on the season with the two-hitter through six innings and nine strike outs, to improve the Zebras to 13-6 overall and 5-1 in conference.

Claremore’s lone loss in conference came on the heels of Tuesday’s loss to Tulsa Memorial at American Legion Park.

On Thursday, though, Howe’s return to the lineup sparked an electrifying fifth and sixth inning for the Zebras.

Staring at a 2-0 fastball, Howe lowered the ‘boom’ and golfed a 375-foot grand slam up the hill in center field and over the wall to put Claremore ahead 5-0.

Earlier in his career, Howe delivered a grand slam as a sophomore in Claremore’s regional tournament victory over Collinsville at American Legion Park.

Claremore led 1-0 in the top of the second inning when freshman shortstop Dustin Weiesnbach smashed an RBI-double that one-hopped the left field wall to score freshman outfielder Jeff Oxford.

With a one-run lead, Claremore’s Wood silenced Tulsa Memorial’s offense and received huge plays in the field by Weiesnbach, who played like a veteran at a shortstop.

An infield single that got behind the reach of Claremore freshman third baseman Nick Dotson was quickly back-handed by Weiesnbach, who moved to his right and threw an off-balanced throw to Claremore junior first baseman Cameron Smith to cap Memorial’s third inning.

Claremore added four more runs in the top of the sixth inning when Oxford’s opposite field double to left field advanced Whatley to third base and scored Weiesnbach and courtesy runner Parker Price to make it 9-0.

Then, in the bottom of the seventh inning, Howe made his second relief appearance against Tulsa Memorial and needed only nine pitches to secure Wood’s sixth win of the season.

Howe struck out two Memorial hitters and got a line-drive to Claremore second baseman (T.J.) Wood for his solid outing on the mound.

The Zebras continue Metro Lakes Conference play at 4:30 p.m. on Monday at Tahlequah, and close out the series with a 4:30 p.m. home game on Tuesday.

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