Braves Fall Late to RSM In Opener
The score was 0-0 going into the sixth inning.
That's when the 10th ranked Remsen St. Mary's Hawks scored seven runs, two in the sixth and five in the seventh, to defeat Cherokee 7-1 in the opener for both ball clubs here Monday night.
Cherokee senior starter Joe Benson threw four innings of hitless ball, throwing 56 pitches, striking out five and walking just one. "With it being early in the season, and Joe just finishing up golf last week, we pulled him to protect his arm," said Tom Ryherd, Cherokee head coach. "It was a great outing for him against a very good St. Mary's team," he added.
The Braves gave up two runs in the top of sixth inning when freshman hurler Daenon Loucks walked four and allowed a hit. Then sophomore Alex Kohn came in with the bases loaded and was tagged for five hits, culminating in a five-run seventh inning for the St. Mary's Hawks.
Three Cherokee errors in the seventh were also a factor. "We committed three errors in the game, each of them costly," said Ryherd. "If you give a good team opportunities, they will make you pay."
Two of Cherokee's three miscues came when fielders lost the ball in the night sky, allowing St. Mary's to score three of the five-run seventh on errors.
Cherokee finished with just three hits on the night, led by senior Trey Benson, who went 2-for-3 with a single and a double. Sam Kach had the Braves only other a hit in his first varsity start. "We hit some balls hard tonight and we battled each pitch," said Ryherd. "But we also struck out 12 times as a team. That's too many."
The Braves used four pitchers on the night - Joe Benson, Loucks, Kohn and Aiden Comstock, who combined to give up six hits and seven walks.
"It's early, and we know we have a lot of work to do to get to where we want to go," said Ryherd. "This game tonight helps us to focus on some of those areas that we need to get better. More reps in practice will help us immensely."
Cherokee played on the road at Mapleton against MVAOCOU on Wednesday and traveled to Akron-Westfield on Thursday. Cherokee returns to Kenny Bern Field here on Monday, May 23 against Sioux Center.