(File photo by Michael Fischer)
The win improves Spencer to 7-6 in the Lakes Conference and 12-10 overall with just over a week left in the regular season.
Spencer scored one in the first and again in the third to lead 2-1. In the bottom of the fifth, Austin Allen delivered a two-out, two-run single to right field that would give the Tigers some breathing room. It would be enough as Klemme worked out of a couple late-inning jams before giving way to Blake Seier, who picked up a one-out save.
"I thought Matthew got better as the game went on," Spencer coach Brian Dirkx said. "He pitched out of some tough situations. At the end, with their No. 3 and 4 hitters coming up, we decided to make a change, give them a different look."
Seier gave up one hit and got a fielder's choice to end the game. Seier also made a key play from center field in the top of the sixth inning to stop a Brave scoring opportunity. With runners on first and second, Cherokee singled up the middle and Seier fired a strike to freshman catcher Cody Huckfelt, who applied the tag for the third out.
"It was a great play by Seier to make a strong throw right on target and a great job by Cody Huckfelt to hang in there and put the tag on," Dirkx said.
Tayler Tatman went 1-for-3 with an RBI and Michael Klemme singled and scored a run.
The Tigers have won four of their last five and will travel to play Storm Lake today (Tuesday) in the conference finale. They will host Alta-Aurelia on Thursday and play at Bishop Garrigan in Algona on Friday.
The Class 3A district baseball pairings were released and Spencer will face Spirit Lake on July 13 at 5 p.m. at Le Mars. The other side of the bracket will feature Le Mars versus MOC-Floyd Valley at 7 p.m. also on Friday, July 13. The winners of the two games will play at Le Mars on Monday, July 16 at 7 p.m.