Tahlequah Daily Press

High School Sports

April 16, 2014

Tahlequah roughed up by Claremore in district clash

CLAREMORE — Errant throws cost the Tahlequah baseball team dearly Tuesday afternoon as the Claremore Zebras picked up a 12-2 five inning run-rule victory at Legion Field.

The Tigers (13-11, 7-2) managed to score first, with Claremore right fielder David Mosby dropping a routine fly ball from Tahlequah lead-off hitter Colby Brittain, who easily made it to third. He would score moments later thanks to a sacrifice fly from Ben Stacey.

However, that lead was short-lived, as the Zebras managed to load the bases with its first four runners, who all crossed home plate before the Tigers recorded their first out. Tahlequah committed five errors in the abbreviated game – including three in the first inning alone – that left the door wide open for Claremore.

“Errors in that first inning just killed us,” Tahlequah coach Nick Zodrow said. “We shouldn’t have given up any runs in that first inning but gave up five. We were absolutely terrible. We’re not going to win anything playing defense like that.”

Tahlequah did not get its first credited hit until the fourth inning, when catcher Austin Riley had an RBI stand-up double into left field. By then, Claremore had already put the game out of reach, thanks in part to a three-run home run by the Zebras’ designated hitter, Bryce Howe in the bottom of the third inning.             Starting pitcher Houston Glad lasted 2 2/3 innings, recording three strikeouts and giving up 10 runs on five hits. Brock Mitchell threw 1 1/3 innings in relief, allowing two runs on three hits.

“Houston pitched well early on, but when you put a lot of pressure on your pitcher because you can’t play defense, it’s never good,” Zodrow said.

Striking out three and giving up one earned run, Claremore starting pitcher Cameron Smith threw all five innings for the Zebras to pick up the win.

Tahlequah’s road swing continues with games at Inola Thursday afternoon and Grove Monday. Claremore (15-6, 5-1) has four games over the next seven days against district rivals Collinsville (18-4) and Skiatook (10-10).

With the loss, Tahlequah drops to a tie with Collinsville for second place in District 5A-3, one game behind Claremore. The Tigers’ last three regular season games are against the Cardinals and Zebras.  

“We’ve just got to put it behind us as best we could,” Zodrow said. “This game was a measuring stick of where we really stand in our district and at the end of the day, right now, we’re just not that good. We’ve got a little bit of time left, but we’ve got to just try to regroup and get it together.”

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