Emmetsburg's E-Hawks had to withstand a rally attempt by Cherokee to ear a 9-6 win over the Braves in Lakes Conference action Tuesday night.
Cherokee would get a run in the first off an error, but in the bottom of the first, the E-Hawks would get runs from Dillon VanOosbree and Aaron Bird to take a 2-1 lead after stranding Zach Anderson to end the inning.
The second inning was an exchange of outs by the two clubs, but in the top of the third, Cherokee would push two runs over the plate to re-take a 3-2 lead over the E-Hawks. Emmetsburg would be retired in order in the bottom of the third inning to allow the Braves to hold the one-run advantage to start the fourth inning.
Cherokee would get a runner on base to start the fourth, but he was caught stealing second as Zach Anderson gunned the ball to Aaron Bird for the out. Two quick outs would follow to shut Cherokee down and bring the E-Hawks up to bat.
A leadoff walk from Greg Wesley was followed by a sacrifice by Zach Anderson to move Wesley to second before Wes Schultes singled and stole second, which allowed Wesley to tie the game up at 3-3.
After a fly out by Jake Kibbie, a single from Joe Jackson would bring Schultes over the plate before Max Dunlap got on base off an error that would allow Jackson to come home for a 5-3 E-Hawk lead, but Dunlap would be stranded when Dillon VanOosbree grounded out to end the inning.
Cherokee would strand two runners on the bases in the top of the fifth inning, but Emmetsburg would suffer a similar fate, as Greg Wesley and courtesy runner Grant Dietering were left waiting at second and third when the inning ended.
Cherokee would strand the leadoff runner after a walk in the sixth, but in the bottom of the sixth frame, Emmetsburg got a leadoff single from Jake Kibbie before Joe Jackson lined out to left. An error put Max Dunlap on base and Dillon VanOosbree was intentionally walked to load the bases for the E-Hawks.
Aaron Bird would single to score Kibbie, and a single from Luke Jackson brought Dunlap over the plate. Greg Wesley was hit by a pitch to bring VanOosbree home with the bases still loaded before Zach Anderson singled that would score Aaron Bird, but Luke Jackson was thrown out at the plate trying to score.
With two away and Wesley and Anderson at third and second, Wes Schultes was rung up on strikes to end the inning with Emmetsburg holding a 9-3 advantage.
Trailing by six to start the seventh inning, Cherokee got back-to-back singles and loaded the bases off an error before a single scored a run. But two strikeouts were tallied by E-Hawk pitcher Dillon VanOosbree, only to see an error put a runner on base and score a second run for the Braves, who would get a third run over the plate on a passed ball to cut the Emmetsburg lead to 9-6.
But Emmetsburg's defense regrouped and got the game-ending out at first to preserve the win.
Dillon VanOosbree earned the win going the distance with six runs, two earned, off eight hits with one walk and eight strikeouts.
The E-Hawk offense was paced by Aaron Bird with two hits, while Dillon VanOosbree had a double. Luke Jackson, Zach Anderson, Wes Schultes, Jake Kibbie and Joe Jackson all added base hits to the E-Hawk effort for the win.
Emmetsburg will enter the post season on Tuesday, July 15, at 5 p.m. in Estherville when they take on the winner of Sibley Ocheyedan vs HMS.