BASEBALL: Claremore outscores opponents 68-8 to start 4-0

Mar. 8—It might be early, but Claremore has certainly made a statement to open the season.

The Zebras have thoroughly dominated their competition, galloping to a 4-0 record while outscoring opponents 68-8 — including two games with more than 20 runs. The undefeated start also included a pair of District 5A-3 wins, putting them atop the standings with Pryor.

Claremore opened the 2024 campaign with an emphatic 23-3 victory over Glenpool last Friday, racking up 17 hits in the process.

Despite scoring four runs in the first inning, the Zebras hadn't quite pulled away thanks to the Warriors' three runs in the bottom half. However, Claremore blew it open in the second with 10 runs.

Leading the Zebras at the plate was Kellen Gaede, who went 4-for-5 with four RBIs. Zach Hale and Dan Harrington added three hits apiece with three and five RBIs, respectively, while Marcos Sallee and Izaak McMahan contributed two hits each alongside two and three RBIs, respectively.

Claremore featured a variety of hits, including a home run to left field from Sallee that increased the team's lead to 15-3 in the top of the fourth. Elsewhere, McMahan and Hale notched a pair of triples, while the former also joined Gaede in hitting a double.

Harrington earned the victory on the mound for the Zebras, tossing three strikeouts while allowing one hit, three walks and three earned runs on 41 pitches through two innings. Brennan Combs tossed three innings of relief, throwing three strikeouts with one hit and one walk allowed on 36 pitches.

Claremore returned to action the next day with a 13-5 victory over Wagoner, a game highlighted by the team's four home runs.

Brad Hoisington, a transfer from Oologah, was the first to launch a ball out of the park, sending it over the left-field wall as the leadoff hitter in the first inning.

The next one didn't come until the top of the fourth when Tyson Grimett also blasted a homer over the left-field wall as the leadoff hitter, increasing the Zebras' lead to 7-0. Grimett wasn't done there, though, for he opened the fifth with another homer, this one also going to left field as the advantage ballooned to 11-0.

Grimett also pitched two innings of relief, backing up Sallee's winning performance with five strikeouts while allowing five runs and three hits on 44 pitches. Sallee tossed six strikeouts and surrendered three walks with no hits on 55 pitches through three innings.

Then it was Gaede's turn for a long ball. Just two at-bats after Grimett's second big hit, he sent the first pitch over the left-field wall for a two-run homer.

Of course, Claremore's hitting prowess went beyond home runs.

The Zebras managed 12 hits overall, with a McMahan double complementing the four homers. Grimett and Gaede led the team with three hits apiece, driving in three and two runs, respectively.

Hale joined them in the multihit club, finishing 2-for-3 at the plate.

Claremore's big-hit habits continued Monday in its district opener against Nathan Hale.

The Zebras hit another two home runs, this time with the blasts coming from Sallee and Hoisington. McMahan added a triple as well, while Layne Rice, Harrington, Zach Hale, Grimett and Gaede each managed a double, making eight of the team's 18 hits multibag ventures.

Claremore already led 4-0 when Sallee sent a homer to left field to lead off the second inning, and Hoisington's bomb to left field in the third frame increased the lead to 17-0.

Hoisington and Harrington finished with three hits apiece to pace the Zebras, recording four and three RBIs, respectively. Connor Rowe went 2-for-2 at the plate with two RBIs, and Zach Hale batted in four runs on one hit while Gunner Holm drove in two on a hit.

Claremore used three pitchers, who combined to throw a no-hitter.

Zach Hale was the one to earn the win after tossing five strikeouts and allowing one walk on 32 pitches through two innings. Hoisington and McMahan saw time on the mound as well, striking out four and two, respectively.

On Tuesday night, the Zebras proudly honored the legendary Doug Mosier for 25 years of unwavering fandom.

Mosier was presented with the "Key to the Park" and a special Marucci bat in recognition of his dedication, but the festivities didn't stop there. Mosier had the incredible honor of standing on the mound for the National Anthem and throwing the first pitch before the Zebras' clash against the Rangers.

To make the night even more special, fatheads of Mosier were shared with fans, and he generously handed out his own baseball trading cards.

And what is a celebration without a victory? Claremore delivered the perfect gift to Mosier — a dominant 10-0 win over Nathan Hale.

Sallee put on a show from the mound for Mosier and the home crowd, striking out a whopping 11 batters while allowing only two hits on 66 pitches through four innings. His best stretch came after hitting Rangers leadoff man Joe Gorman with a pitch in the second, for he followed the blunder with seven-consecutive strikeouts.

The Zebras didn't hit any home runs this time, but their bats weren't silent by any means.

Claremore collected seven hits, and Hoisington led the way with a triple and a double as the team's lone multihit finisher. Rice had a multibag hit as well, notching a double in the fifth.

Hoisington tallied three RBIs for his efforts, and McMahan drove in two runs himself.

The Zebras' first two runs came via an error and a bases-loaded walk in the second, and the rout was on from there.

McMahan increased the lead to 4-0 with a 2-RBI single in the third, scoring Rowe and Gunner Murray, and Hoisington pushed that advantage to 6-0 in the fourth when he tripled in Holm and Tyler Osgood. Hoisington scored the next at-bat on a Salle single, and Murray reached home on an error by the pitcher later in the frame to make it 8-0.

Holm scored Rice with a line-drive single to right field in the fifth, and Hoisington activated the mercy rule when his double to left field drove in Holm.