It was supposed to be a marquee matchup in District 5A-3, but it soon turned into a complete annihilation.
Tigers are predators to zebras in the animal kingdom, but those roles were reversed on the baseball diamond earlier this week.
Claremore took Coweta to the woodshed, earning 8-0 and 16-3 victories on Monday and Wednesday to claim the district’s second seed heading into the playoffs next week.
The Zebras (17-10, 10-2) cap off the regular season with a district series against Tahlequah. Game 1 took place last night at American Legion Park.
GAME 1: CLAREMORE 8, COWETA 0
Brady Priess didn’t even give Coweta a chance.
The senior shut the Tigers down from the mound, striking out six while allowing only two hits in a complete-game effort. Fifty-three of his 89 pitches resulted in strikes.
Coweta’s lone hits came in the first and seventh innings, both courtesy of Reid Stockman.
While Priess kept the Tigers busy, the Zebras’ offense provided plenty of insurance.
Claremore tallied 10 hits, led by Matt Wofford. The senior went 3-for-4 at the plate with 2 RBIs. Brooks Sherl and Jake Gilmore also recorded multiple hits with two apiece.
Sherl had 3 RBIs as well.
GAME 2: CLAREMORE 16, COWETA 3
What’s better than scoring eight runs on a quality team?
How about double that.
Coweta (19-9, 10-4) threw four different pitchers at the Zebras, but it didn’t make a difference. That group combined for only two strikeouts while allowing 15 hits.
Claremore held only a one-run lead after two innings, but things opened up in big ways in the third.
Cooper Dotson smacked a grand slam over the left-field wall in the fourth at-bat of the frame, and the rout was on from there.
Tigers pitcher Cash Singleton then surrendered three-straight walks, followed by a trio of doubles from Sherl, Tristin Hampton and Trevor Janzen, giving the Zebras a 12-2 advantage heading into the third.
Eight Zebras came away with hits, led by Noah Smallwood, who finished with three.
Sherl, Hampton, Janzen, Dotson and Wofford each had two hits of their own.
Gilmore had only one hit, but it was doozy, resulting in an RBI triple to rightfield.