Braves Forfeit Boji Game Tornadoes Log 14 Hits In 14-8 Win Over Braves
STORM LAKE - Due to a misinterpretation of pitching rules, Cherokee's win over Okoboji last week was forfeited. That, coupled with Monday night's 14-8 loss to Storm Lake here, drops the Braves to 12-4 on the season and 3-1 in the Lakes Conference.
According to Tom Ryherd, head Cherokee coach, Cherokee's 7-0 win last week at Okoboji was nullified and void when Cherokee's coaching staff allowed a relief pitcher to go over the state's consecutive day pitch count.
"I misinterpreted the rule for pitching on consecutive days," said Ryherd. "It's totally my fault, and as a result, we have to forfeit the Okoboji game," he said.
Then on Monday night, Cherokee pitching gave up 14 runs on 14 hits and walked eight Storm Lake batsmen. There were also too many Cherokee walks, wild pitches and pass balls, which Storm Lake took full advantage of in recording the victory, placing the Tornadoes atop the Lakes Conference at 4-0.
Storm Lake got off to a quick 2-0 start on the Braves until the Braves scored in the fourth inning when Sam Kach slapped a single through the right side of the infield to score Aiden Comstock, who had singled early in the inning.
Trailing just 2-1, the Braves gave up five runs in the bottom of the fourth on four errors and a couple big hits for the Tornadoes, a two-run homer by Carson Lullmann and a double by Hunter DeMey.
The Braves trailed 7-1 going into the top half of the fifth, when Cherokee senior Trey Benson belted his second dinger of the season, a two-run shot over the left center field fence to cut Storm Lake's lead to 7-3.
But Storm Lake's offense continued to hit Cherokee pitching and take advantage of walks, balks and errors. In the end, the Braves scored eight runs, enough to win most games. But the Tornadoes were better and opportunistic and effective at the plate, racking up 14 runs on 14 hits.
Freshman Daenon Loucks started on the hill for the Braves with Benson coming on in relief. Loucks went four innings, giving up seven runs on 10 hits and seven errors. He walked four, struck out two and hit one batter.
Benson came on in relief and worked 1 and 2.3 innings, giving up seven runs on seven hits and four errors, walking three and striking out one.
Storm Lake's offense was led by Jake Eddie, a junior, with two base hits and a double to plate three RBIs. In 31 at bats, Storm Lake's roster struck out just three times.
Sam Dvergsten was the winning pitcher, working four innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and three errors, while walking four and fanning five.
Offensively for the Braves, the top half of the lineup was effective, as the 1-2-3 hitters all delivered two hits each. Leadoff hitter Joe Benson had two singles as did Levi Pingel, while Loucks singled and doubled. Trey Benson was the Braves' leader in RBIs with three, two coming from his round tripper.
"You never want to lose a game, but Storm Lake is a very talented team," said Ryherd. "We made mistakes that made it difficult to come back."
Ryherd added, "The good thing about baseball is that we have another opportunity to prove ourselves again this week at Western Christian on Wednesday, and then home against West Monona on Thursday and State ranked Estherville-Lincoln Central on Friday," he said.
The Storm Lake win marks the eighth consecutive win over the Braves. The last time Cherokee defeated the Tornadoes was in 2017.