Traveling more than 500 miles and playing four games in three days, the weary Cherokee Braves split two Lakes Conference baseball road games in Spirit Lake last week, and then dropped two games against rugged opposition in the Carroll Kuemper Tournament in Carroll Saturday and Sunday.
On Friday in Spirit Lake, the Braves beat Estherville-LC 6-4 in a weather makeup "home" game moved to Spirit Lake for convenience for both teams. Later Friday, the Braves lost a 7-0 decision to host Spirit Lake.
On Saturday at Carroll, Cherokee dropped a 10-0 five-inning job to the #1 rated Kuemper Knights, and on Sunday, the Braves lost a 14-8 slugfest to JSPC Jefferson.
Nate Seliger got the pitching win over Estherville-LC Friday, allowing one earned run on two hits and five walks, with three strikeouts in seven innings of work.
Tyler Lutz took the loss for the Midgets, giving up five earned runs on eight hits and four walks, with one K in 5 1/3 innings. Joe Clayton finished for E-LC and struck out three batters in 1 2/3 innings.
Alanzo Ruble was 2-2 with two RBI and a steal to pace the Braves at bat, while Adam Pitts was 2-4 with a triple, run scored, and one stolen base, and Jakob Hummel 1-4 with a double and two runs scored.
"Nate battled through some very shaky defense to earn his first varsity win." noted Cherokee coach Chad Osler.
Zac Smith took the loss against Spirit Lake Friday night, allowing five earned runs on nine hits and one walk, with two Ks in six innings.
Mitch Peschon got the pitching win for the Indians, giving up four hits with no walks and nine Ks in seven inning of shutout baseball.
Jake Spindler and Dillon Drefke had hits for the Braves, while Peschon and Zach Herrig each slammed two home runs for the Indians.
"Zac battled for seven innings but the Cherokee offense only managed four hits off Peschon," said coach Osler.
On Saturday, the #1 Kuemper club was just too strong for the youthful Braves, with winning pitcher Matt Berg throwing a no-hit shutout, with one walk and eight Ks in his five innings of work.
Pitts took the mound loss for Cherokee, giving up nine earned runs on 11 hits and four walks, with six Ks in four innings.
Spindler was the lone Brave to reach base, coaxing a walk. He was then erased on a double play as Berg dominated the Braves while facing the minimum number of batters in five innings, with the exception of Spindler's keen eye.
Cody Williams had a home run, double, two RBI, and two runs scored to pace the Knights.
Hummel took the pitching loss against JSPC, allowing four earned runs on three hits and five walks in one inning. Freshman Brett Walker pitched two innings and gave up three earned runs on five hits and one walk, with two Ks. Spindler pitched two innings and allowed three unearned runs on two hits and one walk, with one K.
Hummel led the Braves offense with a 2-4 game, including a double, two RBI and a run scored. Curtis Ege was 1-3 with two RBI and a run scored, and Pitts was 2-3 with a run scored.
"Seven errors led to seven unearned runs for the Rams," said Osler. "A late rally by the Braves came up short in a game already shortened by the time limit of the tournament."
The Braves host Storm Lake tonight.