The Cassville Wildcats survived a late bid by Monett and held on for a 5-4 victory over the Monett Cubs at Wildcat Field on Tuesday afternoon.
Monett came into the game sky high after winning four of their last five games to reach 5-3, including a 19-5 romp at Lamar last Thursday. Cassville was equally confident, having won eight in a row while reaching 9-1. The Wildcats defeated McDonald County 12-7 on Monday night.
|Cassville sent Travis Northern to the hill to face Monett. Northern entered the game 4-0 for the season. The Cubs answered with hard-throwing Jesse Braymer.|
|Monett suffered a devastating shock in the first inning at Cassville. Braymer was drilled by a vicious line drive off the bat of Cassville's Ricky Vanderpool. Braymer was able to partially block the rocket with his right forearm, but he was unable to continue and left the contest after facing only three batters.|
Spenser Witt trotted in from center to take over the pitching duties with the score tied at 1-1. Monett scored in the top of the first inning when Jake Smith's RBI double plated Witt. The Wildcats answered immediately with Trevor Tanner driving Braymer's second pitch of the game to the fence in dead center for a triple. Tanner then scored on Trey Rose's RBI groundout.
|Witt had a chance to get out of the inning with the tie intact, but Bo Blisard scampered to first base safely when the Monett catcher misplayed Blisard's swinging third strike. Vanderpool raced home to give Cassville a 2-1 lead before Witt coaxed a groundout from Evan Stubblefield to end the inning.|
|The Cubs tied it 2-2 in the top of the second with a little two-out rally. Jeff Gilmartin singled and later scored when Witt's sharp grounder ate up the Cassville shortstop. But the Wildcats regained the lead on an RBI single from Rose after Kyle Rhea had moved John Cavness to third with a sac bunt.|
|Northern seemed to gain velocity as the game continued. He set the Cubs down in order in the third inning, striking out the side with only 14 pitches.|
|The Wildcats squeezed out another run in the bottom of the third. A pair of walks and a single by Cavness loaded the bases against Witt, and then a passed ball with Tanner at bat allowed Taran Holt to score and give Cassville a 4-2 advantage.|
|Northern shut down Monett again in the fourth, allowing only Colton Phillips to reach base on an error while facing only four batters. In the home half of the fourth, Northern helped his own cause, clubbing a deep home run over the left field fence for a 5-2 Cassville lead.|
|Northern then recorded his second three up, three down inning of the game, getting great fielding support as he set down Witt, Aldridge and Enloe on 10 pitches.|
|Andy Hagedorn took over as the hurler of record for Monett in the bottom of the fifth. The Monett crowd held its collective breath as Hagedorn loaded the bases with a hit and a walk and a hit batsman. But after drilling Tanner with an inside breaking ball, Hagedorn saw Rose pop out to center, and the Wildcats stranded three as the score remained 5-2.|
|In the top of the sixth, the Cubs found some success against Cassville's senior right-hander. Jake Smith, Hagedorn and Marcus Enloe strung together consecutive hits with Smith scoring on Hagedorn's RBI single. Northern avoided further trouble, retiring Phillips and Gilmartin on plays in the field and then struck out Chris Trout on four pitches.|
|Hagedorn was super in the bottom of the sixth. Vanderpool reached on an infield error, then Northern hit a towering pop fly to the infield. With one out, Holt grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.|
|Trailing 5-3, the Cubs were down to their final three outs. Lefty John Cavness took the mound in relief of Northern with the top of the Monett lineup due to bat.|
|Cavness won the lefty versus lefty matchup for the first out, striking out Witt. Doug Aldridge hit a slap single to left, but Enloe's line drive to left field died in Stubblefield's glove for the second out.|
|Cavness walked Jake Smith on six pitches, and the Cubs had runners at first and second. Hagedorn punched an RBI single to center, but only one run scored on the play, and Cassville's lead was down to 5-4.|
|Trailing by just one run, Monett sent Marcus McCaffrey to the plate. Cavness dug down and nailed his first two offerings to go ahead in the count, 0-2. McCaffrey laid off a pair of wide pitches to even the count, but Cavness struck him out swinging to end the game.|
"We each made plays, but we were a play short," said Cubs Coach Michael Calhoun.
|Monett now stands at 5-4 for the season.|