Claremore baseball opened play in the Class 5A East Regional 6 at Collinsville on Thursday, splitting its first two games.
The Zebras earned a 6-2 win over Durant in the first round before falling to the host team in a 9-4 decision. The loss set up a scenario in which they had to defeat the Lions once more and then take down Collinsville twice to advance to the state tournament.
The result(s) were not finalized before press time, but a recap of how Claremore fared will be available in the Tuesday e-edition.
Claremore 6, Durant 2: Cameron Palmer was a force with the bat in his hands, finishing 3-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs.
He drove in the game’s first run with a single to right field in the first inning, and his next RBI didn’t come until the seventh when he sent a double to left field. Brooks Sherl scored on both hits.
The Zebras racked up 11 hits in all, with Brooks Sherl, Gannon Sherl and Hunter Walters joining Palmer in the multihit club with two apiece.
Meanwhile, Gannon Sherl earned the win on the mound in five innings of action. He struck out one while allowing three hits, two runs and three walks on 73 pitches.
Maddux Renfroe threw 36 pitches in two innings of relief.
Kaden Renfroe scored on an error in the second to increase the lead to 2-0, and a pair of singles from Carson Young and Easton Phillips made it a 5-0 spread in the third.
Durant trimmed the deficit to 5-2 in the fifth thanks to a 2-RBI triple from Josh Smith, which served as one of the team’s four hits. Blane Potts led the Lions with two hits.
Smith took the loss in a complete-game effort, tallying four strikeouts on 94 pitches.
Collinsville 9, Claremore 4: Palmer appeared to be at it again after a 2-RBI single in the first gave the Zebras a quick lead, but that served to only ignite Collinsville.
The Cardinals answered with four runs in the bottom half and another three in the second, accounting for seven of their 14 hits during that spurt as Braden Keith, Hunter Harlan and Chayse Schlomann drove in a combined three runs. The other four runs came on a pair of errors.
An Ethan Grimett single in the third and a sacrifice fly from Young in the sixth accounted for Claremore’s final two runs, while Collinsville added two more runs of its own on another pair of errors.
Grimett was the only Zebra with multiple hits, finishing 2-for-2 at the plate.
Cage Edgmon and Schlomann paced the Cardinals with three hits apiece while Conner Duncan and Hayden Barnes both had two hits.
Cash Flegal took the loss for Claremore, allowing 12 hits, eight runs and a walk on 87 pitches while striking out three through 4.1 innings. Grant Evans threw 1.2 innings of relief.
Hunter Sills picked up the win for Collinsville, striking out six on 82 pitches through six innings while allowing three hits, two runs and two walks. Tucker Whitekiller managed two strikeouts on only 22 pitches in one inning of relief.