@steams71 I messed around with a few different cycles, it somewhat helps...but it just seems this game is on the cusp of the Pi's performance envelope. I found around 16,000 - 18,000 is the best it can do and not have audio issues.
I turned off all the fun caveats of the game and just run it as a clean ice, bare bones game.
I'm not thrilled...but I'm very happy to have it running and playable on my build.
Thanks for the help!