Cassville's first task of the week was to take down a highly regarded Monett team. The Cubs came into the contest 2-1, and some preseason polls had picked Monett to win the conference and possibly the district.
The Wildcats were un-deterred by the underdog notion and began the scoring in the game. In the second inning, Andrew Gryder, pinch running for catcher Jody Cavness who had reached on an error, stole a base and helped set up an RBI single by Cory Howard to score the game's first run. Cassville then scored two more in the third.
The Cubs answered resoundingly in the fourth with four runs of their own. Monett added three more insurance runs in the fifth inning to go up 7-3. Cassville answered back and tied the game in the bottom of the inning.
In the sixth, Howard held his own in relief and then a single by Ryan Rowley off an error drove in the winning run. The final score was 8-7 in Cassville's favor.
Michael Baker started on the mound for the Wildcats and did very well through the first three innings, but in the fourth and fifth, had some trouble.
"Michael gave up some runs in the fourth and fifth innings, because he couldn't get his curveball over," said Coach Rod Hemphill.
Baker ended with 4.6 innings pitched, six earned runs, two strikeouts, one walk and seven hits. Howard relieved Baker in the fifth, and after walking two batters, struck out four batters, gave up one hit and earned the win.
The Cassville batters did well on the day hitting .385 as a team. The Wildcats were led by Kelby Haynes who went two-for-four with two doubles and two runs. Kason Koelsch ended up one-for-three on the day but hit an important double that drove in two runs and tied the game.
Jake Nolan went one-for-one with one RBI, a run and a stolen base. Both Tim Orrell and Howard had two hits in the game. Others garnering hits were: Rowley, Baker and Cavness.
When asked about the win Coach Hemphill replied, "That was Cassville baseball, where we hit the ball hard on the ground to use our speed. This was a good win for us."
Cassville also played at Reeds Spring in the latter part of the week. The Wolves (3-1) were ready for some revenge, after losing 12-2 against Cassville in the championship game of their own tournament just last week. However, they did not get any as the Wildcats pounded the Wolves even worse in this contest.
Cassville had no trouble disposing of Reeds Spring, beating them 16-2 in a five-inning game.
Howard started the game for the Wildcats and picked up the win, pitching four innings, giving up only two hits and one earned run. Nolan came in and did well in relief, pitching the last inning and striking out three.
Hemphill continued to credit Coach Kyle Wood for improved pitching.
"Coach Wood has been working with our pitchers and it has been paying off," said Hemphill. "Hopefully we can continue our good play into next week."
Howard and Baker led the Wildcat hitting. Howard went four-for-four at the plate and knocked in two RBI. Baker was two-for-two while hitting his second home-run of the year and driving in three RBI. Cavness and Aaron Jamieson also had two hits each. Others getting a hit were: Koelsch, Rowley, Haynes and Nolan.
The Wildcat varsity is now 4-0 and will play at home versus McDonald County on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. Cassville's game against Forsyth was rained out on Saturday, and no make-up game has been announced at this time.
JV baseball action
The junior varsity Wildcats started their season this week and started it well. The young 'Cats took on Monett in a very tight game. Shut-out pitching from Ryan Pace and Aaron Brooks helped lead Cassville to a 1-0 victory.
Cody Pierson, Vinee McCracken, Zach Brasher, David Lunsford and Patrick Maher all had hits in the win.
In the second game, Brooks and Jamieson pitched and did well, giving up only one run. Pierson, Pace, Brasher, and James and William Alberson all helped with big hits.