Editor's note: Sallisaw's roster was unavailable, so players are identified by their jersey numbers.
Gannon Sherl wouldn't deny his father a prestigious coaching milestone.
Despite surrendering two runs, balking and loading the bases for Sallisaw after walking a batter and hitting two others in the seventh inning, the sophomore's final three throws were strikes.
His second strikeout not only preserved an 8-7 victory for Claremore on Friday night at American Legion Park, but it also gave Jim Sherl his 100th win as the Zebras coach.
The occasion was celebrated with cake as Jim Sherl received a plaque recognizing his accomplishment.
"I've been extremely blessed with great players, coaches and parents," Jim Sherl said in a post on the 'Claremore Zebra Baseball' Facebook page. "Thank you for the surprise. I like cake!"
Gannon Sherl also notched the game-winning hit, a 2-RBI single to left field, in the third inning to give Claremore a 3-1 lead.
Not to be outdone by his younger brother, Brooks Sherl led the Zebras at the plate with a 2-for-4 outing, notching singles in the first and third innings. He also scored two runs, one of which came on the aforementioned 2-RBI double.
Claremore led 8-2 through four innings, but the Black Diamonds rallied with a 5-0 spurt that covered the remainder of the game.
#6 began the run with an RBI double to center field in the fifth, and #26 tacked on two more in the seventh with a double of his own to left field.
#21 then drove in #26 with an RBI groundout on the next at-bat to make it a two-run game at 8-6 before #15 doubled to center field, scoring #6 to trim the Sallisaw deficit to one.
#15 opened the scoring in the first inning with a single to right field, but Easton Phillips singled in Brooks Sherl in the bottom half to even the tally.
The next score didn't come until Sherl's game-winner in the third, and Derek Scuggins made it a 4-1 spread shortly thereafter on a sacrifice fly from Carson Young.
The Black Diamonds added a run in the fourth thanks to an RBI groundout, but Noah Smallwood and Ethan Grimett remedied the situation with RBI singles to right and center field, respectively, before Scout Cutsinger and Scuggins scored on a pair of errors.
CLAREMORE 9, CATOOSA 8: The Zebras were involved in another one-run decision Saturday, but this time they were the chasers.
Claremore trailed Rogers County foe Catoosa 8-1 through 2.5 innings but added two runs in the third before exploding for six in the fifth to steal the victory.
Zander Phillips scored the game-winning run on an error by the first baseman when Noah Smallwood hit a hard ground ball. He also tied the game with a single to center field two at-bats prior to that sequence.
His brother Easton Phillips held the Indians scoreless the final four innings from the mound, earning the win with three strikeouts and no walks while allowing three hits on 52 pitches of relief.
Catoosa had eight runs on five hits through the first three frames.
The Zebras began their spotty run in the third on an RBI groundout from Easton Phillips and a bases-loaded walk.
Their first run of the game came in the first when Brooks Sherl singled in Smallwood, trimming the early deficit to 3-1.
Claremore managed nine hits, with Grimett, Brooks Sherl and Gannon Sherl accounting for two apiece.
The Indians scored first thanks to a balk from pitcher Young, and Gavin Ragsdale tallied a 2-RBI single four pitches later to make it a 3-0 spread.
A bases-loaded walk in the second added another score for Catoosa before Cody Busch registered a 3-RBI double to right field, scoring Ragsdale, Garrett Carroll and Trey Freeman.
The Indians scored their final run on a Gavin Barclay single to right field.
Barclay and Colyn Treat led Catoosa at the plate with two hits each.