In a thrilling finale to the Class 3A District 11 baseball tournament last night at Springfield Catholic, the Monett Cubs came up just short in the title game, edged 5-4 by Catholic in extra innings.
"We had our chances," commented Monett Coach Michael Calhoun. "We left the winning run on third base twice, once in the seventh inning and once in the eighth, and just couldn't get it done.
"But I am proud of the way our kids fought back," Calhoun said. "It hurts, but it was a heck of a game."
Catholic, 19-8, got the winning run in the top of the ninth on a bang-bang play at the plate. Kendall San Paolo scored from third after a wild pitch with two outs.
"It was such a close play that even Preston (Thompson, the catcher) wasn't sure if he tagged the runner before he got his hand on the plate," Calhoun said.
Monett, ending the year with a 14-6 record, took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third. Michael Roberts doubled and scored with two outs on a single by Kirk Moore.
Catholic scored three times in the fourth inning and once in the fifth for a 4-1 lead, and then the Cubs chipped away.
In the fifth, Spenser Witt singled. Witt advanced to second on an error and to third on an out. He scored on a groundout by Moore.
Monett closed to 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Colten Phillips.
The Cubs nearly won the game in regulation. In the bottom of the seventh, Witt singled and stole second. Kellen Bounous singled with Witt taking third. Witt scored on a wild pitch to tie the game. Bounous advanced to third with one out, but the next two batters struck out.
The Cubs also had a runner at third base in the eighth, but he was stranded. Moore reached third base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth with the potential tying run, but he was also stranded.