A sluggish Monett Cubs baseball team got by in a Big 8 conference match-up at home Tuesday night, beating the Aurora Houn' Dawgs, 5-4.
Lefty junior Jesse Bremer went the distance for the Cubs, allowing six hits, while striking out seven.
Monett reaches 7-5 on the year, 3-2 conference. Aurora falls to 6-11, 1-4 conference.
"We had the opportunity to break it open, but Aurora made plays," said Monett Coach Michael Calhoun.
In a season that's seen the Cubs play up to the better teams but anemic in its performance against the mediocre clubs, perhaps the competitive appetite of this bunch has the team getting ahead of itself.
|In the first inning, Aurora's Austin Hicks made sure that the contest would demand something more than Monett expected when he dove for an impressive catch in left field, limiting the offensive inroad by Monett to a score of 1-0.|
Aurora echoed the run in the second, making it 1-1.
The fourth inning was the game, when Monett got going with an Andy Hagedorn double, a Marcus McCaffrey walk, a Colten Phillips hit, a Jesse Bremer hit and a Nicky Roberts walk plus a double in the four-run stanza by senior Spenser Witt.
Aurora eeked one out in the sixth to make it 5-2.
The 'Dawgs rally in the top of the seventh threatened to push the game into extra innings. Three hits and a walk by the bottom of the Aurora order pushed a pair of runs across before Bremer retired the game with a strikeout and an Austin Hicks pop-out.
"I love our defense," said Bremer. "Fly balls to the outfield are caught."
Pitcher Dustin Hedrick went the distance for Aurora.
Pierce City roughs up Diamond, 5-1
After dominating Golden City on Monday night for a 7-3 win, the Pierce City Eagles returned home Tuesday night to soundly beat Diamond, 5-1.
Mitchell Gibson picked up where he left off Monday, getting aboard with a walk in the first inning and then getting into scoring position with a steal. Jared Barchak advanced him with a hit and Wayne Joe Sooter drove home Gibson to make it 1-0.
Barchak and Sooter were at it again in the third, scoring when Trent Boykin's double brought the boys home, making it 4-0 Eagles.
Jared Barchak's fastball sent 10 Diamond batters to the dugout. His no-hitter reached the fifth inning and his varsity career record now stands at 20-4.
"We think we're over the hump," said senior Barchak.
"At the beginning of the year, I felt like I had to throw a shutout -- but now we have kids who can make plays. They're confident now," Barchak added.
"We're throwing strikes and making plays," said Pierce City Coach Darin Henderson. "Our younger players are coming around. We had to get past the spotty play of one good thing per game -- pitching one day, good defense the next. Our kids are buying into our system."
Pierce City hosts Miller on Thursday in a weather makeup game.
Monett plays at Springfield Catholic on Wednesday and at Republic on Friday.