Nate Seliger rocked a two-out, two-strike double to right-center field to score pinch runner Austin Winchell and lead the Cherokee Braves to an exciting 13-12 victory over Hinton (10-19) in Class 2A District baseball action in Cherokee Saturday night.
The win cast the 6-18 Braves into a Tuesday night second-round match-up with 27-4 Lawton-Bronson, which beat Ridge View 7-1 in the early game in Cherokee Saturday night.
The win over Hinton was a painful one for Cherokee after the Braves gave away a 12-3 lead as the Blackhawks tallied nine runs in the sixth inning to tie the game.
The Braves set season-high marks in runs, hits, and extra base hits while racing out to the impressive 12-3 lead through the first five innings. Leading the barrage were Adam Pitts 3-3 with three RBI, a triple and two runs scored; Jakob Hummel 3-5 with a double, two RBI and run scored; Marc Husman 2-3 with a triple, RBI and run scored; Sam Hinkhouse 2-4 with two RBI, a double and run scored; and the ultimate hero Seliger who finished 4-5 with a double, two RBI, and two runs scored.
Starter Zac Smith held the explosive Blackhawks at bay through four innings before the roof caved in on him in the sixth. He gave up eight earned runs on nine hits and four walks, and struck out four in five innings of work. Levi Lundquist pitched 1/3 of an inning in relief of Smith and allowed three earned runs on two hits and one K.
Nolan Field took the pitching loss for Hinton, allowing three runs on seven hits and one walks and four Ks in four innings. Starter Morgan Wenzel pitched three innings and gave up 10 runs on nine hits and one walk, with two Ks in three innings.
Brady Schindel paced Hinton batters with a 4-5 night, a home run and three RBI, while Field and Dalton Becker each cracked two hits and tallied two RBI for the Blackhawks.
"We controlled the entire game from the first pitch through the sixth inning," noted Cherokee coach Chad Osler. "A lock of control for the Braves on the mound and some timely hits allowed a scrappy Hinton team to tie the game going into the seventh. Nate hit a two-out, two-strike double to score the go-ahead run. Curtis closed the door in the bottom of the seventh to secure the win."