It was a bit of a struggle, as are most games against the rugged Lakes Conference baseball competition, but the #1 Class 2A Cherokee Braves had what it took to prevail over a dangerous and veteran Emmetsburg team 6-4 here Wednesday night.
The win gives the defending Lakes Conference Champions a sparkling 5-0 record this early season and keeps up the momentum for coach Scott Koch's Braves and their exceedingly high expectations this year on the heels of a State Championship in 2007, and a runner-up finish last summer.
For the Braves, Tyler Jones got the pitching win in relief of starter Matt Pitts, throwing 2 1/3 innings and giving up one run on three hits and no walks, with three strikeouts.
Pitts pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on eight hits and three walks, with nine strikeouts.
The Braves scored their five runs on just six hits. The teams were tied at 3-3 after 4 1/2 innings, but Cherokee tallied two runs in the fifth and another in the sixth to seal the deal.
Leading hitters for Cherokee were Matt Koch with a 3-3 night, including a double and timely RBI. Cody Ege laced an RBI single, and Jones was 1-3 with a triple as that trio garnered five of their team's six total hits against some solid E-Hawk pitching.
"It was a struggle at the plate tonight," said Cherokee coach Scott Koch. "The Emmetsburg pitcher did a nice job of keeping us off balance. Matt Pitts did a nice job throwing for us tonight."
The Braves play at dangerous arch-rival Storm Lake tonight on the Tornadoes' new diamond, with artificial infield turf. Storm Lake shares the refurbished ball field with Buena Vista University.