Cherokee bats boom in District win over MVAO
The #1 Cherokee Braves broke open a tight contest against a quality opponent with a five-run third inning and then rolled on to a resounding 16-1 victory over Maple Valley/Anthon-Oto in Class 2A District Semifinal action here Wednesday night.
Cherokee (26-2) plays Fort Dodge St. Edmond's (18-13) in the District Finals at 7 p.m. Saturday in Pocahontas.
The 21-8 MVAO Rams showed they were up to the task early in the game here Wednesday, trailing the Braves just 2-1 in the third inning before the Cherokee bats came alive the second time through the line-up against MVAO's crafty curve-ball pitcher, Travis Hazard. When all was said and done, the Braves tallied five runs in the third inning after two were out, and nine more in the fourth inning to end the game after five due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Cory Ege got the pitching win for Cherokee, allowing one run on six scattered hits and no walks, with three strikeouts in the five innings worked.
For the Rams, Hazard gave up 10 runs on eight hits and four walks, with three Ks in 4 1/3 innings. Justin Yockey relieved Hazard and allowed five runs on one hit and three walks without getting an out. Adam Cook then relieved Yockey and gave up one run on two hits and no walks, with two Ks in 2/3 an inning.
Seven Braves recorded at least one RBI in the big third and fourth innings, in which they plated 14 runs total. Cory Ege hammered a home run and finished 2-4 with four RBI and a double. Michael Boothby was 3-3 with two RBI and scored twice, Kyle Ruehle 2-2 with two RBI, Tim Jones 1-2 with two RBI, Cody Ege 1-2 with two RBI, and Kyle Schuett 1-2 with an RBI and two runs scored. The Braves stroked five consecutive hits in the third-inning, two-out rally.
"We had a couple big innings and broke it open," said Cherokee coach Scott Koch. "They're a tough team, but our bats started to click in the third inning and we took off from there."
The Pocahontas baseball field is a couple blocks south of the Highway 3 and 4 junction, on the west side of Highway 4.