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Cherokee vs. Gilbert

July 27, 2009

Fourth-ranked Cherokee scored in the bottom of the 11th inning and defeated Gilbert 1-0 Monday night at Principal Park in a terrific Class 2A first-round game. A one-out double by Jacob Hummel and a single by Phillip Schulenburg gave the Braves the victory and ended the second-longest scoreless game in state tournament history.

The Braves are making their fifth straight state tournament appearance, winning the title in 2007 and finishing second last year. Cherokee (26-3) will advance to Thursday night’s semifinals. Gilbert — making its first state tournament appearance — ends the season at 25-7.

Both teams missed early scoring opportunities. Gilbert got three singles in the first inning, but no runs, after a line drive double play followed the first two hits. Cherokee left eight runners on base in the first seven innings. The Braves had two runners on in the eighth, but a double play ended the inning and the threat.

Both starting pitchers — Cherokee senior Matt Koch and Gilbert sophomore Joe Goodman — went the maximum nine innings. Both struck out 10. Goodman allowed six hits and Koch five.

Gilbert got a leadoff double from Logan Maffett in the 10th, and he moved to third on a groundout. But two strikeouts ended the Tigers’ threat.

Cherokee had runners on second and third in the 10th, but a strikeout ended the inning.

The Braves got a one-out double from Hummel in the 11th. The rocket shot ricocheted off second baseman Walker Day into center field. Schulenburg then singled in the winning run.

Koch and Schulenburg had two hits each to lead Cherokee. Maffett had three and Goodman two for Gilbert.

It was the second-longest scoreless game in state tournament history. In the longest, Davenport Central defeated Cherokee 2-0 in 12 innings in a 1976 Class 2A quarterfinal.