Wildcats reach 10-1 with hot streak

Thursday, April 29, 2010
Travis Northern pitched six innings for the Wildcats against Monett last Tuesday night and helped Cassville earn a 5-4 Big 8 win. Democrat Photo/Shannon Haney

The Cassville Wildcats pulled out an extra innings win against Carl Junction on Thursday, scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to earn a 5-3 victory over the Bulldogs. Travis Northern stayed on the hill throughout, facing 33 batters, striking out 10 and scattering seven hits enroute to the win.

Trevor Tanner tripled and scored twice, and Travis Northern collected two RBI as the Wildcats extended their winning streak to six games, and improved to 7-1 on the season.

Wildcats shutout Tigers, 5-0

Then on Friday night, Cassville shutout Hollister, 5-0, in a rain-shortened contest. John Cavness mastered the Tigers, striking out 14 while posting goose eggs on the scoreboard.

Josh Dyer led the Wildcats on offense, clubbing a home run and a double while collecting three RBI.

While the run totals were far short of the lofty numbers, the 'Cats have become accustomed to during the win streak, they were enough to push the win streak to seven and the overall record to an impressive 9-1.

Cassville comeback stymies McDonald County

After trailing 7-2 after four innings at Anderson on Monday, April 19, Cassville scratched out 2 runs in the fifth, 3 in the sixth and then 5 in the top of the seventh as the Wildcats took a 12-7 victory over the Mustangs.

Kyle Rhea started the game and went two and a third innings. Ricky Vanderpool pitched the remainder of the game and picked up the victory. Vanderpool gave up 2 unearned runs and struck out seven in his relief appearance.

Tanner was the offensive hero. He had three hits, including two home runs, while collecting five RBI and scoring 3 runs.

Northern and Evan Stubblefield had three hits apiece, and also scored 2 runs each. Cavness contributed two hits, two RBI and 2 runs scored in the win.

Cassville trips Monett, 5-4

Then on Tuesday, April 20, the Cassville Wildcats survived a late bid by Monett and held on for a 5-4 victory over the Cubs at Wildcat Field. Northern pitched six innings for the Wildcats and left with a 5-3 lead. Cavness struck out Marcus McCaffrey for the final out as Monett stranded the potential tying and lead runs in the final at-bat for the visitors.

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.

Cassville sent Northern to the hill. Northern entered the game 4-0 for the season. Monett answered with hard-throwing Jesse Bremer.

Monett suffered a devastating shock in the first inning at Cassville. Bremer was drilled by a vicious line drive off the bat of Cassville's Vanderpool. Bremer 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 Tanner driving Bremer'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 Stubblefield to end the inning.

The Cubs tied at 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 Rhea had moved 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 then drilling Tanner with an inside breaking ball. But Rose popped out to center, and the Wildcats stranded three as the score remained 5-2.

In the top of the sixth, the Cubs finally 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. 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 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.

Cassville improved to 10-1 with the win and now owns a nine-game win streak. Monett falls to 5-4 after dropping the Highway 37 showdown to their Big 8 rival.

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