Those four letters hold a special meaning to the 2013 Verdigris Cardinals baseball team.
For the past two seasons, the Cardinals have used ‘W.T.L.G.’ as their motivation toward building a baseball dynasty.
Inside the dugout — from March to May — these Cardinals believe in ‘Winning The Last Game’.
For this year’s senior class — led by outfielder Tanner Smith and shortstop/pitcher Blake Battenfield, Verdigris has produced back-to-back state championships in Class 3A.
In 2012, the Cardinals rallied to beat Metro Christian, 6-5 for their second state championship and finished the season with a 30-4 overall record.
In 2011, the Cardinals rolled past Eufaula, 8-2 to claim the 3A state championship and recorded a 32-8 overall record.
Under the leadership of head coach Brian Keith and assistant coach Scott Smith, the Cardinals’ baseball program has produced a two-year overall recorded of 62-12.
The senior class gears up for their final season, looking to bring a 3-peat back to Verdigris.
For Smith and Battenfield, and the other seniors, the diamond is where dreams come true.
On Saturday, the road toward the 3-peat starts for this experienced group of Cardinals.
With Battenfield and Ryan Skalnik still chasing those title dreams on the basketball court in the 3A Area Tournament, the Cardinals will open the season against Nowata without their ace pitcher/shortstop and starting third baseman.
Smith, however, returns for his fourth year in center field, and will be looked upon for leadership and ‘pop’ in the Cardinals’ lineup.
Blessed with blazing speed, Smith provides the Cardinals with a potent weapon in the outfield.
Also, sharing time in the outfield will be senior Ryan Hurd and senior J.W. Owens.
Hurd and Smith helped spark the Cardinals’ football team to the second-round of the Class 3A state playoffs and a 10-2 overall record.
Smith amassed 2,282 rushing yards and scored 31 touchdowns as the Cardinals’ four-year starting tailback.
This season, the Cardinals’ infield will consist of Skalnik at third base, Battenfield at shortstop, Kale Keith at second base and Mitch Hammack at first base.
Behind the plate, sophomore Riley Kelzor and Hammack will share catching duties.
The 2013 Cardinals roster includes: Blake Battenfield, SS, Sr., Gabe Rodery, 1B/OF/LHP, Fr., Ryan Hurd, OF/RHP, Sr., Ryan Skalnik, 3B/RHP, Jr., Reece Phillips, OF/RHP, Soph., Mitch Hammack, 1B/C/RHP, Soph., Nathan Green, OF, Soph., Trey Weiesnbach, OF/C/RHP, Fr., Riley Kelzor, C/1B/RHP, Soph., Nathan Nadal, OF, Fr., Kale Keith, 2B/OF/RHP, Soph., Blake Stone, 3B/1B/OF, Soph., Caleb Ayers, 2B, Soph., Tanner Smith, OF/RHP, Sr., Trevor Moyer, 1B/OF/LHP, Fr., J.W. Owens, OF/RHP, Sr., Dalton Turner, OF, Fr., Sam Hill, 1B/RHP/C, Soph. and Peyton Battenfield, 2B/RHP, Fr.
Verdigris opens baseball season Saturday against Nowata
Verdigris’ Hanslovan commits to ORU
One of the biggest decisions of her upcoming senior year is finally behind Verdigris High School soccer standout Caitlyn Hanslovan.
The four-year letterwinner and three-time Class 4A state champion forward announced Tuesday that she will commit to playing NCAA Division I soccer at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa.
RSU's Loy earns third-straight Academic All American honor
Rogers State senior outfielder Katrina Loy was named to the Capital One Academic All-America College Division Softball Third Team as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Area players earn All-Region baseball awards
The awards keep piling up for Verdigris High School graduate Blake Battenfield.
After being named to the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State Large East team earlier this week, Battenfield and numerous other players from Rogers County earned OCA All-Region accolades.
Battenfield was joined by his teammate, Ryan Hurd, who was a senior outfielder/shortstop for the three-time Class 3A state champion Verdigris Cardinals.
NEO softball season ends in Utah
Sophomore pitcher Maggie Ham struck out 12 batters to lead the No. 1 seed Butler (Kan.) Community College Grizzlies to a 5-2 victory over No. 4 seed Northeastern A&M College Friday afternoon in a loser's bracket elimination game of the NJCAA Women's Division 1 National Softball Tournament at the Canyons Complex.
OBU sends 41 to NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships
Forty-one Oklahoma Baptist track and field athletes make the trek to Marion, Ind., next week for the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships.
Megan Byford lands Tulsa women's basketball coaching job
Tulsa Head Women's Basketball Coach Matilda Mossman announced today the appointment of Megan Byford as an assistant coach for the Golden Hurricane. Byford comes to Tulsa from the Oklahoma State coaching staff.
Tulsa's Manning adds walk-on from Wichita
The University of Tulsa Head Coach Danny Manning announced the addition of preferred walk-on Riley Kemmer for the 2013-14 season.
Danny Manning Basketball Camp set for June 3-6
There is still time to register for Danny Manning Basketball Summer Day Camp and Parent-Child Camp. The Day Camp runs from June 3-6, and the Parent-Child Camp takes place June 14-15, both at the Donald W. Reynolds Center on the campus of The University of Tulsa.
Tulsa's Teeters shatters school record in 100-meter dash
Freshman John Teeters shattered the Tulsa school record in the 100-meter dash en route to qualifying for the semifinals during the first day of the NCAA West Prelims at Mike A. Meyers Stadium.
SLC TOURNEY: ORU's Bowen dominates Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Drew Bowen carried a no-hitter into the 7th inning and added to his storied postseason résumé as third-seeded Oral Roberts University knocked off second-seeded Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 6-1, on Thursday afternoon at the 2013 Southland Conference Baseball Tournament.
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- Verdigris’ Hanslovan commits to ORU