SPENCER - The highly regarded Spencer Tigers, returning several starters from last year's young squad, tallied seven runs in the fourth inning on the way to a 9-1 Lakes Conference baseball verdict over the fourth-ranked Cherokee Braves here Tuesday night.
The Braves offense again was easily scuttled by a strong pitching performance by Spencer's Brandt Illg, who allowed four hits and three walks, while strikng out 10 Braves in seven innings of work.
"We did not play very well tonight," said Cherokee veteran coach Scott Koch. "The Spencer pitcher had us off balance all night. We had a couple costly errors in the fourth inning."
Matt Pitts took the loss for Cherokee, giving up four earned runs on eight hits and two walks, with two Ks in four innings of work. Kyle Schuck relieved Pitts and allowed no runs on three hits and two walks, with three Ks in two innings.
The 2-2 Braves hosted Estherville-LC Friday night in another Lakes Conference toughie, and hosted Saturday's Cherokee Tournament, also including Sioux City East, Jefferson-Scranton/Payton-Churdan, and Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn.
This week the Braves travel to Spirit Lake tonight, to Denison-Schleswig Tuesday, to Hull Western CHristian Wednesday, and host Storm Lake, Iowa's top-ranked 3A team, Friday.