The busy #1 Cherokee Braves, playing four games in three days, beat Lakes Conference foe Sheldon 10-0 in Sheldon Friday night, and then ventured to the rugged Carroll Invitational Tournament Saturday and Sunday where they one two of three games against ranked teams to claim third place.
At Carroll, Cherokee beat 8th-ranked (Class 2A) Council Bluffs St. Albert's 12-1, and then lost their first game of the season 11-6 against rated (3A) Harlan, before coming back on Sunday to beat Lakes rival Spencer 6-3 in the tournament's consolation game.
Tim Jones continued to swing a big bat for the Braves, cracking a three-run home run, along with two singles. Michael Boothby was 2-2 with two RBI singles, while Cory Ege was 1-3 with two RBI, and Matt Koch 1-4 with two RBI.
Losing pitcher Ben Vankekerix gave up 10 runs on eight hits and three walks, with two Ks for the Orabs.
Cory Ege fired a four-hit shut-out at St. Albert's on Saturday, walking one and striking out seven in the process in five innings of work.
Tim Jones again was leading hitter for the Braves with a 2-3 effort, including two doubles and an RBI. Kyle Ruehle was 3-4 with an RBI, Kyle Schuett 2-3 with an RBI, Michael Boothby 3-3 with two RBI, and Cody Ege 2-4.
In the loss to Harlan, Cherokee trailed 10-0 before battling back with six runs against the defending 3A state champs. The game was called after six innings due to tournament time constraints.
Tim Jones took the mound loss for Cherokee, allowing eight runs on six hits and one walk in 1/3 of an inning. Matt Koch pitched 3 2/3 innings and gave up one earned run on two hits and one walk, with seven Ks. Matt Pitts finished up and posted no line in one inning of work.
Mark Johnson was 2-3 with two RBI for the Braves, while Cody Ege was 2-3 with one RBI, Koch 2-4, Ruehle 1-3 with an RBI, and Tyler Jones 1-4 with an RBI.
Cody Ege stroked a three-run home run in the sixth inning in the victory over Spencer. "That was a very big hit for us," noted coach Koch." Matt Koch was 2-4 with an RBI, Tim Jones 2-2 with an RBI, and Cory Ege was 1-3 with a double.
Mark Johnson got the pitching win for the Braves, allowing three earned runs on six hits in six innings of work. Cody Ege pitched one inning and got the save.
Spencer's Ben Gathman gave up five runs in seven innings to take the loss.
The top-ranked Braves, now 21-1 over all and 11-0 in the Lakes Conference, play at Spencer Friday night.