SIOUX CENTER - The Cherokee Braves moved a step closer to a return trip to the Class 2A Iowa State Baseball Tournament when they pulled out a nine inning 6-5 win over the West Lyon Wildcats in the District finals here on Saturday.
Jakob Hummel got the Braves' scoring started with his two-run single in the second inning. Designated hitter Brock Benson drove in two runs on the night for the Braves, and a West Lyon bobble on a Curtis Ege infield hit drove across Alanzo Ruble with the game - winning run in the ninth. Ruble's teammates immediately converged upon him in celebration.
Matt Pitts started on the hill for the Braves, and he was relieved by Kyle Schuck in the third. Staff ace Cody Ege came on to start the fifth inning, and the lefty was masterful once again, allowing no runs on one hit and fanning nine Wildcats over the course of five innings.
West Lyon's starting hurler, Beau Hassebroek, also led the Wildcats at the plate. as he stroked a double and two singles, driving in two runs and scoring another. The junior pitched the first 4 1/3 innings for the Wildcats, allowing the Baraves three hits and two earned runs. Jonathan VanBeek pitched 3 2/3 inings for West Lyon and absorbed the loss.
The winner of Tuesday's contest will advance to the State Tournament at Principal Park in Des Moines, with their opening state tourney game to be played on Monday.