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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Top-ranked Braves beat Spirit Lake

Friday, June 19, 2009

Matt Koch gets set to deliver. Photo by Paul Struck
Schuett, Koch smack home runs; Koch fans 10

What looked like a sure rout in the first inning, when the #1 Cherokee Braves erupted for three runs on two long home runs, turned out to be a battle for the Braves, as a pesky Spirit Lake team stayed tough before falling, 4-1, to the top-ranked Cherokee boys in Lakes Conference baseball action here Wednesday night.

Btaves' Head Coach Scott Koch (2), coaching third, congratulates Kyle Schuett as he heads for home after slugging a homer Wed. night. Photo by Paul Struck
Cherokee lit up Indian pitcher Derek Minor for those early three runs after Tyler Jones led off with a double to deep right centerfield, and Kyle Schuett followed with a booming home run over the left field fence. The Braves next hitter, Matt Koch, then followed suit with a towering blast over the right centerfield fence for a quick lead that looked like a rout was on.

However, Minor, a gritty athlete who is one of the state's top prep wrestlers, settled down to allow Cherokee just one more run in the final five innings. Minor gave up four runs on nine hits and one walk, with six strikeouts in six innings of work.

For the 10-1 Braves (6-1 in Lakes Conference), Matt Koch was as dominant as ever, striking out 10 Indians and allowing one run on three scsttered hits and no walks in six innings. Cody Ege pitched the seventh inning for the Braves and struck out two to get the save.

Schuett had a superb outing at the plate with a 3-3 night, including a home run, double, two RBI, and two runs scored. Koch was 2-3 with a homer, RBI, and run scored, and Tyler Jones was 1-3 with a double and run scored. Tony Hunt was 2-2 for the Braves, and Ege 1-3.

Cherokee's Matt Koch receives congratulations from his teammates after his early home run against Spirit Lake. Photo by Paul Struck
"Matt pitched a nice game for us," noted Cherokee coach Scott Koch. "He stayed in control and moved the ball around well. You have to give Minor credit for settling down after our big first inning and making a game out of it."

The Braves have a huge and hectic week ahead of them, playing at Spencer Monday, at Sheldon in a weather make-up Tuesday, at Emmetsburg Wednesday, at home against Storm Lake Friday, and in the two-day Carroll Invitational next Saturday and Sunday.

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