Claremore wasn’t satisfied.
Despite notching an 11-run win over Memorial in Tulsa on Tuesday, the Zebras felt they had something prove. As a result, Claremore left no doubt in the series finale.
The Zebras wasted little time in dismantling the Chargers on Wednesday, scoring eight runs in the first inning and another seven in the second on the way to an empathic 17-2 win at American Legion Park.
Claremore coach Jim Sherl said it took a late-game rally to oust Memorial in the first game, which led to his team’s added sense of urgency in the second matchup.
“We played these guys (Tuesday), and they threw a good left hander at us,” Sherl said. “We struggled at the plate all day long. I think our kids were a little upset they performed so poorly at the plate. Our kids were ready to show they’re better than what they were (Tuesday).”
The Chargers held a 4-2 advantage through three innings in that game, but the Zebras managed 13 runs in the final four innings, including five apiece in the sixth and seventh.
They finished with 11 hits, eight of which came during the run.
On Wednesday, though, Claremore had 15 runs before the Chargers could record a hit, tallying 15 hits.
Noah Smallwood and Cooper Dotson led the way with three hits each, combining for five RBIs. Smallwood notched two doubles.
Two other Zebras recorded multiple hits, led by Brady Priess who had two hits and three RBIs. Trevor Janzen also finished with two hits.
“The bottom half of our lineup, we hit the ball in the gap, hit the ball in the gap, hit the ball in the gap and ended up with our eight runs,” Sherl said. “We came back in the second and just continued right where we left off. We had guys with a little more focus today, and maybe a bit of a chip on their shoulder.”
Smallwood picked up the win on the mound, striking out six batters while allowing four hits and only one earned run through five innings.
NOAH shocks Zebras, 18-11
The opening contest of the Zebra/Tiger Classic didn’t go as anticipated.
Claremore struggled to find consistency on the bump, and Northeast Oklahoma Association of Homeschools (NOAH) took advantage, punishing the Zebras with 15 hits in an 18-11 win at American Legion Park on Thursday afternoon.
The Jaguars jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Zebras answered with three runs of their own and eventually tied it up at seven going into the fifth inning.
That’s when things took a turn for the worst for Sherl’s crew.
NOAH outscored Claremore, 11-4, in the rest of the way, with nine of those runs coming in the sixth. The Jaguars managed a triple, a double and two singles in that inning alone.
Five NOAH players finished with multiple hits, led by Dan Merrill, who went 3-for-4 at the plate with 4 RBIs and two runs scored.
Matt Wofford was credited with the loss despite seeing only 0.1 innings on the mound. During that time, he surrendered three hits, five runs and walked two Jaguards.
Relievers Carson Young, Blake Stone and Cameron Palmer didn’t fare well either, combining for only five strikeouts while giving up 12 hits, 13 runs and 12 walks.
Major Smith earned the win for NOAH, striking out four batters while allowing four hits, six runs and four walks in 3.0 innings.
The real star, though, was Boone Lasater, who struck out seven batters in 4.0 innings, surrendering five hits and four runs along the way.
Priess led the Zebras with a 3-for-5 performance at the plate to go along with 1 RBI and one runs scored.
However, Claremore bounced back in the second game of the tournament doubleheader, blasting Sallisaw, 12-4, in five innings.
The Zebras, led by Smallwood and Tristin Hampton, mustered 10 runs through the second and third innings to pull away early for the victory.
Priess threw 90 pitches in 5.0 innings on the bump, striking out four.
Claremore, now 7-5 on the season, return to the diamond today at 12:30 p.m.