ELC Trips Braves 6-4
In Cherokee's home opener here Wednesday night it was Estherville-Lincoln Central collecting a 6-4 Lakes Conference win over the Braves.
Cherokee, still winless at 0-4 in this young season, played at Woodbury Central Thursday night and next week travel to Spirit Lake on Monday, Spencer on Wednesday and then return home for a non-league contest with Ridge View on Thursday.
Joe Benson started on the hill for the Braves, working five and two-thirds innings, allowing five hits, five runs and striking out five. Benson walked four. Alex Kohn came on in relief and allowed one hit, one run and registered one strikeout.
In a post game interview with KCHE radio, Cherokee head coach Tom Ryherd commented, "It was Joe's (Benson) first outing on the mound and I was pleased with how well he pitched, Sure, he had to knock off a little of the rust, but overall he threw a nice game. The kid (Joe) is a real competitor. He wanted to win and gave a great effort."
E-LC, 1-0 in the Lakes and 4-2 on the season, scored two runs in each of the first two innings, with Cherokee responding with one in the first and three big runs to tie the game in the bottom half of the second inning.
E-LC's Midgets were able to put the ball in play at opportune junctures in the game and scored another run in the third to take a 5-4 lead before tacking on an insurance run in the sixth.
"E-LC put the ball in play, played good defense and their pitcher was very efficient," said Ryherd. Carter Snyder worked all seven inning on the mound for the Midgets, allowing four runs on five hits and striking out eight. Snyder didn't allow a walk.
Cherokee's offense continues to improve. "Tonight was the hardest we've hit the ball so far this season," said Ryherd. "Nick (Clark) hit a double right out of the chute and Alex (Kohn) has been consistent at the plate all season. Trey (Benson) is coming alive at the plate and Joe (Benson) and Levi Pingel are hitting the ball hard."
Ryherd said he likes the progress his team is making despite the lack of wins. "We really appreciated the nice crowd tonight," he said. "This team is going to give fans a reason to cheer, I'm sure of that."
Cherokee catcher Clark went 3-for-4 at the plate with two singles and a double. Kohn, and the Benson twins, Joe and Trey, each had a basehit to account for Cherokee's offense.
Daryle Jensen led the Midgets offensively, going 3-for-3 and also stole four of his team's eight bases.